Friday, August 30, 2013

5. our first day in the studio

Our second day, after my little escapade in the shower and meditation and breakfast, started as usual with our morning meeting, discussion, reading, and exercise which was very fun.  

image courtesy of Marti Blair

image courtesy of Amanda Taylor

We had to get a length of paper, grab one of many objects, and do 50 drawings of said object in 5 minutes.  I think I got something like 16 or 17 done.  But the purpose of the exercise was to get you looking at the object in many different ways.

image courtesy of Natali Rodrigues

Then we were off for our first visit to the studio for a tour of the facilities and to make out our materials list which I never did and then back to the center for lunch and Catharine's and Karl's artist presentations.

Their presentations done we boarded the bus and went back to the studio for our first day of active work.

Our first task was to make at least 4 – 2” x 2” squares using white, french vanilla, and clear to be used to make the disc which would become a bowl that we would present to the Center as a thank you gift for letting us use their facility.

It'll only take 30 minutes, Karl said.

image courtesy of Amanda Taylor

Several hours later, everyone had their squares assembled on the kiln shelf and it went in for it's first firing.

The only thing I had in mind to work on before I arrived was to learn how to make powder wafers. Powder wafers are very thin fused layers of powder formed into shapes with a stencil. They are usually incorporated into larger fused plates or bowls or plaques. They are very delicate and at the same time, surprisingly strong.

My intent is to use them as themselves, layered and tack fused, to create an image. I had brought electron microscope pictures of butterfly and moth wings which I used to create my wafers. These echoed my gazing into the creek, deeper than the surface. To the naked eye, the wing of a butterfly or moth is a thin and delicate but solid thing. Looking below the surface, we see that the wings are made up of overlapping scales, much like the feathers on a bird.

after firing

I made stencils out of poster board and also 1/16” fiber paper, did some in opals and some in transparents and got them into the kiln.

At the end of our session, we split up into several groups and headed out for dinner.

That night I got my first good night's sleep.

more next post


  1. Amazing to get inside the minds of artists...always wished I was one.

  2. A very nice choice of shapes.I really enjoyed it.

  3. What a fabulous decision to go to this retreat. Wow.

    I'm still thinking about your dream/headache/getting stuck in the shower. It all seems of a piece to me.

  4. Wow.. very cool. And I'm glad sleep finally came to you.


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