My 2017 resolution was to “master mug making.” I did not succeed, but I did some other cool stuff instead. So for 2018, I tried again with the slightly adapted “get better at making mugs” because best case: I’d get better. And worst case: I’d do other cool stuff instead, again. It’s going pretty well. We’re almost done with the year and I’ve made some of my favorite mugs in the whole wide world. A few lucky people have gotten one to use themselves, but mostly I’m hoarding them and admittedly my coffee and whiskey intake has increased significantly.
I find joy in understanding the contexts of things: the multilayered narratives, the why and how behind the what. It's in that spirit that I collected images of the work I've done in the past year, inspired by last summer's adventuring in Iceland and printed a book:
Inspired by Iceland contains paintings, sketches, and ceramic work inspired by the raw landscapes of Iceland, alongside images of work in process and photographs from the country itself.
I'll be selling it this weekend at Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco. But for those of you far and away, you can order your own copy online, just click that blue button below!
Namaskard vases are restocked (the first series of these sold out over the holidays).
translating this view of Yosemite Valley from my hike to the top of Eagle Peak in December. oil on a very large unstretched canvas
My ceramic goal for last year was to master mug making. I didn't really -- there wasn't enough studio time. I'm trying agin in 2018. Here's the first batch. Actually not too bad -- mug bodies are consistent. Just need to work on getting more comfortable and consistent with handles.
A group of shorter pots with painted glaze, inspired by the landscape of Iceland.
My quest to put paints & glazes in dialogue continues with these vessels inspired by the Iceland landscapes.
Below are images of the process & final results, along with a couple shots from Námaskarð (an area of bubbling geothermal mud pools near Lake Mývatn).
I had some old paintings stacked in the studio that were hideous. Really, quite bad. But I couldn't bring myself to throw away a decent stretched canvas, so I scraped them down (a bit), layered on a coat of titanium white, and threw down some glacier inspired shapes and colors. This weekend I layered on some darker shades and some are starting to come together alright. In a few, the texture of the old painting underneath works. In others, it looks stupid; I'll probably end up trashing those. Going to let them simmer for a bit and then go in for a third round next weekend. Regardless of whether any of them make it through the month, it makes my soul happy to be working with oils.
A batch of glacier-inspired paintings wasn't working for me. I revisited them a few times but they were exhausted and so was I. In a final effort to salvage the lines and colors, I cut them into components and assembled them into new works. These attachments are working much better now.
A typical studio flow:
laying out a grid of surfaces and working on them at the same time.
Usually one or two turn out right.
Here are some from this weekend. I will probably rework these but in the mean time, here they are in progress...