Thursday, January 25, 2007

color contemplation

The Pace-Wildenstein Gallery is currently showing Robert Irwin's work, “Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue?” The gallery is unlit except for the natural light streaming in through the ceiling. The panels of color—one suspended, one mirroring it laying on the floor—set a mood of reflection and color contemplation. I was particularly entranced by the blue panels, which seemd watery and almost metallic as you gazed at it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

beautiful pottery at garth clark gallery

One of the people who influenced me early on to get involved with clay is my old friend David. We met when I was just out of high school and he was already pursuing a degree in clay at Philadelphia College of the Arts. He lives in New York City now and works out of the Greenwich House Pottery. When I am in town, we always tour all the galleries and museums together. This afternoon we popped into Garth Clark Gallery on 56th Street. I love this gallery; it's a small gem of a space and they always have an outstanding pottery exhibition. I was inspired by the exhibit today of Gwyn Hanssen Piggott. She throws these beautifuly delicate bowls and cups, with thin rims and soft glazes that remind me of the colored eggs araucana chickens lay. My friend Bronwyn happened to give me a collection of eggs from her araucana hens that she raises in her backyard in West Oakland right before I left for New York, so the colors have been on my mind.

Many of Gwyn Hanssen Piggott's vessels have a different colored glaze on the inside, which creates a very soft and delicate mood. I always love the contrast of a different colored glaze on the inside of vessels. Along with the cups and bowls were sturdier bottle forms. The pieces were assembled as a still life, which was a lovely way to see everyday functional objects. It made me stop and think again about that tension between "art" and "craft". I would write more about what I think on that subject, but it's been another busy day in New York City for me, and I'm off to bed!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

new york

With the help of my friends-- Joanna who helped me glaze the remainder of my work, my fab husband who unloaded and reloaded kilns, Sidney who folded and stuffed my new brochure, Sara who packed my work, and Bronwyn who helped me get it to the FedEx-- I managed to get off to New York City without a hitch despite not having much use of my left arm. I have always said that I have the best friends and most amazing people in my life, and in an emergency like I had with my arm and trying to get ready for the New York trade show, it's great to be proven right again.

My arm at this moment is doing so much better. Very little pain and I am quickly regaining movement. I will be in New York for three weeks and I think by the time I get home I will be almost as good as new.

When I stay in New York I live with my dearest and oldest friend, Waleed, who has a great apartment in the Chelsea district, which is also the heart of the New York Gallery district. When I come to New York for the trade show, I usually stay an extra week or two so I have time to visit the galleries and museums, and visit with my circle of friends who live here. I also like to stick around for Fashion Week because Waleed, a clothing designer, always has a show and he also usually needs an Errand Girl (me) in the days leading up to the actual show.

Yesterday I went to the Japan Society to check out their exhibition of some contemporary Japanese potters. It's rare that I have time to check out pottery, and this was a wonderful exhibit to see. There were a few pieces I found especially inspiring, like Yagi Akira's work to the right here. I love to make nested forms, and I love the idea of nested forms that fit inside each other. I can't wait to get back to work and give it a shot! I also saw a set of 22 nested bowls, the smallest one thrown with a needle and a magnifying glass. At first I thought that it would have been a lot easier for the artist to just pinch it out, a tiny little bowl like that. But then I realized that the challenge is to throw each piece on the wheel to maintain the integrity of the set. I'm not as anxious to try throwing with a needle, but I love to think about someone else doing it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

check yourself

Life is hectic at the moment, which is why I have not posted in a while. I realized it was really time to post no matter what because my current favorite blog, thirty year old secretary, hasn't posted since Dec 18 also, same as me. I keep checking the blog and thinking, "Has he decided not to blog anymore?" Then I realized other people might be thinking the same thing about me.

I'm still here. I have time to post because I'm snowboarding in Tahoe and had an unfortunate incident which involved my shoulder locating somewhere else during a fall, then relocating itself while I was in a spasm of hyperventilating and nausea. Fortunately the husband was with me and I was ferried down the slope by Ryan, the EMT. I love EMT people, they are so calm and centered. They are always very concerned about you, and whether you know your own name and what day of the week it is. Firemen are the same way. I absolutely love firemen. Cops... not so much, unless you're a victim...

Anyway, the fact that I can't move my arm now comes at a very inconvenient moment because I'm getting ready to leave for the New York International Gift Show in less than 10 days, and I still have glazing, packing, and a myriad of other small details to cope with, which would go so much more smoothly if I had free use of both arms. It's a major "check yourself" moment. I've managed to keep stress at bay, but my confidence has taken a hit after the last Gift show in August, which did not give the orders I was expecting and wanting. I've been readying the troops, and have taken steps to be more visible and desirable in the sea of product that is the Gift Show, but doubt has taken up residence in my brain. I do not like Doubt. Doubt is the opposite of an EMT. Doubt is like, "Oh no! I think you're screwed! What's your name? Oh my god, who named you? What kind of name is that? What day of the week is it? Omigod! It's Tuesday? You better get busy! But your collarbone is broken what are you going to dooooo....???!!!"

It's kind of great when things get taken out of your control. You have to give up. Giving up is a beautiful moment. It's realizing that all the things you thought you had to do, well, you don't have do any of it. Maybe you can't do any of it. You can't get it all done, you can't be perfect, and life keeps going. In a different way than you planned. Those down-to-the-wire, perfectly timed and executed plans.