The Power of Imperfection

Circle gets the square ©2016 WTEK
Circle gets the square ©2016 WTEK

In school we’re taught geometry – circles, squares, triangles. They are precise, perfect, you can use math to make them (technically I guess you can use math to make any shape…) But they can be so sterile! (except triangles, they are so varied and pointy I can’t help but love them.) And it can be hard to create perfection. When something is so simple every imperfection shows.

Dolmen Pendant - definitely not regular ovals! ©2012 WTEK
Dolmen Pendant – definitely not regular ovals! ©2012 WTEK

Give me instead organic, slightly wonky forms. Rounded triangles, ovals, egg shapes, unidentifiable shapes. Keep it balanced, but teetering on the edge. While I may have had problems with somethings at the Olympics, I did

What if these had been precise triangles and rectangles? Boring! ©2016 WTEK
What if these had been precise triangles and rectangles? Boring! ©2016 WTEK

love Rio’s overlapping guitar pick shapes logo for the games. I even feel like they might have stolen it out of my head, it could easily have been a pendant design.

These kind of shapes have more of a connection to me, this earth, reality as we know it. Those perfect circles and squares are just ideals. Give them any time in the real world and they start to evole, erode, and generally fall apart. But I guess entropy is math too…

2nd Quarter 2016 Goal Check-In (just a little late)

Wendy’s 2016 Goals

yet to be named gorget ©2016 WTEK nickel, brass $200.00
yet to be named gorget ©2016 WTEK nickel, brass $200.00
  • Solo Exhibition
  • Blog Post Every 4 Days Every Week
  • 4-8 Group Exhibitions
  • Representation in 1-3 New Galleries √
  • 12 7 Major Finished Pieces
  • 1-2 Art/Networking Events per Month

Obviously I’m a little late getting this posted for the 2nd quarter’s goal check-in. Just know that there is a lot of turmoil going on in other non-metal parts of my life that have been intruding too much into these better areas that I would prefer to focus on. Depression can be a real bugger.

Let’s start with the first goal – solo exhibition. I don’t have any concrete news on this front, but I have been getting out there and contacting galleries about this. So active work is happening and that I am happy about. Hopefully soon I’ll get something more concrete to share with you.

You can tell that even with the decreased blog post count I’m not exactly where I wanted to be with this. I’m back on track now though to continue giving you content once a week.

As well as continuing to have work at JAM Gallery, I had a few pieces in the PA Guild of Craftsmen Instructor & Student Exhibition in February and the Community Art Show at the Lancaster Museum of Art is going on right now. So that’s two of 4-8 group exhibitions down. Plus Handmade Holidays 7 will be this December. That’s three!

The pattern for the It's further than this now, believe me! ©2016 WTEK
It’s further than this now, believe me! ©2016 WTEK

I’m at the same level of galleries since the last check in, so that’s OK. I wouldn’t mind adding another before the holidays, but I also haven’t been working actively on that this quarter.

The 12 finished major pieces will not be an attainable goal. That was based on making mostly sculpture, and I have been working on some more jewelry and just in a general slow down in regards to making right now (see note above.) I have three finished sculptures and I am almost done with my box for the 2016 YBC Challenge, so that will be four. I will be working on jewelry after that for my upcoming Holiday craft show and HH7, so probably I’ll be able to get maybe 1-2 other major pieces finished this year. Hard to say yet though.

I have been making it out to at least 1 art/networking event each month, so Yay Me! I still need to up the ante, so I can always improve this one.

How about you? Are you hitting your waypoints in 2016?

The Great Pottery Throw Down

The 10 artists of the Great Pottery Throw Down presented by Sara Cox, and judged by acclaimed potters Keith Brymer Jones and Kate Malone

I think by now you might have figured out that I like ceramics. You might also have figured out that I like (the idea of) watching reality shows about art and makers, but am usually disappointed in them. Well, thank you Laurie Jane Kern for hooking me up with a way to watch the BEST art related reality show I’ve even seen!

The Great Pottery Throw Down is a British show that follows a format like the Great British Bake Off, but features potters who show their talents each week in a variety of ceramic techniques. What makes this different than most of the American reality shows is that they don’t focus on creating personal drama among the contestants. The focus really is on how well the participants throw, build, and glaze their pottery.

It was a great mix of contestants from a wide variety of backgrounds and each week they had one big project focusing on a specific technique (throw 5 identical vases for raku firing, handbuild a 5ft garden sculpture, make a slip cast bone china chandelier) and two smaller projects that helped the audience learn about historical (and modern) techniques. These would be things like throwing as many cups off the hump as you can in 15 minutes, create nine tiles using surface textures, or throw a sphere on the wheel. Each week one of these was a blind judging and one was a speed trial.

Don’t know anything about ceramics or have any idea what things like “throw off the hump” mean? THEY EXPLAIN THEM TO YOU! They talk about the different techniques, what they are used for, and even give you snippets of the English history of ceramics. IT WAS AMAZING! If you get the chance, you should watch the series. I wish that we would have more of these types of shows here. The only crying was because the one judge, Keith Brymer Jones, would be so moved by the work that the contestants did, not because one called the other a name or some other such contrived drama, or sleep deprivation, or whatever they do to rile contestants up on shows like Work of Art or Steampunk’d. It was a fantastic look into how 10 different artists approach different facets of ceramic technique.