Really, it’s not a big secret, but I do get, “Oh, I didn’t know you were Korean too!”, and the occasional Chinese who speak to me in Mandarin and often mistaken for Japanese.
So, gets me to thinking what makes me who I am in the mind of others. And, how does it affect who I am?
Don’t know. Still trying to figure it out.
Next month, I travel to Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China, once again to participate in 5th ‘HONGGUANG ZIQI’ Ceramic Art Exchange Festival. This will be my second participation. One of the events calls for the artists to dress in our “traditional costume” to represent our home culture.
I was born in Seoul, Korea. When I was nine years old, we moved to Chicago, IL., and made our permanent residence. I am 41 years American by citizenship, and 52 years Korean by ethnicity.
So, what should my “traditional costume” be? Any suggestions?
At the same time, my pottery journey also reflects this enigma of influences both American and Chinese/Japanese/Korean.
That’s all for now. If you have thoughts on my costume, I would love the help.
I thought I had been proud of my work, confident of my artistry and craftsmanship, but the level of vulnerability of this challenge made me question my purpose and passion. Am I as good as I think I am, good as I’ve been told by my family and friends? Does my work speak to my individuality? Does my display show lack of maturity as an artist? Et cetera et cetera.
I arrived at Fort Mason Center Building C at 4:15 and at 5pm, after months of preparation—from making new pieces to forcing everyone close to me to judge my work and display to the point of exhaustion—I rolled my handy-dandy cart of 1 Tupperware bin of work, one shelf riser and black table-cloth into a white-walled room lit only with fluorescent overhead lighting. Staked out a corner space where I can place a 3′ x 6′ table on an angle and started setting up…took all of 20 minutes, kind of anti-climatic, really. Another 20 minutes of fidgeting the pieces an 1/8th of an inch in all direction, I called it “the best I can do today.”
There were 13 other hopeful clay and glass artists waiting for the judging to begin. There were 6 jurors, both clay and glass professionals, 1 moderator and 1 recorder (oh, what I would have given to be a fly on the wall!). We waited in another room, away from nosy and curious artists, mingling nervously. Some candidates were already dismissive with comments like, “if I don’t get in/if they don’t like my work, I’m not bothering to try again” and “I heard people have to try several times to get in”. Others seem highly confident, boasting of all of their sales and gallery accomplishments. Me, I was just grateful that in 3 hours time, I can pack up and pat myself on the back of my accomplishment in having challenged myself and presented work worth the critique of other professionals.
Jurors walked in at 7pm and walked out at 8:30pm. What does it mean when they finished so fast? Should we be concerned? Many wondered and worried. I packed up and 15 minutes later, I drove out of the parking lot. My fear of rejection didn’t get the best of me and regardless of the outcome, I am humbled by the process and glad to have experienced it.
And yes, if I don’t get accepted this time, I will learn and try, try again.
High gloss and luster shino glaze developed by Higher Fire Clayspace and Gallery in San Jose.
In my quest for a new kiln/studio—my home studio is now a Kiln-free zone ordered by my landlord…long story and saga still unfolding—I have made myself at home in San Jose at Higher Fire Clay Space and Gallery. And with it two giant gas kilns and a very consistent reduction firings by equally competent studio managers and instructors.
So, I now have a new series of works using a combination of Lehman’s Shino, Higher Fire Gold Shino and a dusting of Blue Celadon glazes. But with so many other beautiful glazes to choose from, I will have to continue to explore the many colors and combinations!
And yes, the GOLD!
Dan Dermer, studio owner/potter, has formulated a special shino glaze recipe that puts gold on pots! Super glossy and stable with rich gold and beautiful carbon trapping where the dusting of celadon is heavier.
Also getting ready for the San Carlos Art and Wine Faire next weekend, and then I attempt to jury into ACGA-American Clay and Glass Artists…nervous about this one. Once accepted, it’s a live long membership (so long as you pay your dues!). Wish me luck.
Start of the holiday season marks my busiest most stressful time of the year—preparing for the shows and sales leading up to Christmas week. Instead of thinking about festive decorations, organizing favorite holiday recipes and making a list of what I’d like to receive, I am elbow deep in mud, glazes and covered in price tags.
No complaints though…except for the gift list. I prepare the these weeks with anticipation of how people will like my new pieces. And I have some exciting new pieces!
These are exciting time for artists who show and sell. To get feedback and comments, to see how people handle each piece. It’s disappointing when people walk past my work and not touch them. I think most are afraid to touch or think that they would be obligated to buy once touched. Artists love to talk about their work. To share the thoughts of how or why they made them. Most of us work in small little studio on their own with Pandora playing in the background. We want people to talk to. So next time you are at an art show, be engaged, be social. Ask for the story, and there’s always a story.
Visit me at Art in Clay Ceramic Show and Sale presented by Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild on Nov 16-17, 10am – 5pm at Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto.
Carved Globe Ornaments: $18 each. Available in bronze, black, red.
Watering Vessels: $65 each.Orders placed by 12/1 will deliver in time for Xmas!
I’m very excited to share my latest pit fire with the help of photos from a fellow pit fire participant’s photos–cuz I was too busy playing with fire.
Our scheduled OVCAG-Orchard Valley Ceramics Art Guild-September Pit Fire Workshop was managed by me and I must say it went very smooth…thank goodness!
I arrived at the Santa Cruz Twin Lakes Beach with my very handsome muscle man, otherwise known as My Husband Lance in tow. And he did a magnificent job of digging out the fire pit!
We piled on the wood collected from a local sawmill who generously donated their scraps.
And because I like to play with fire, I added a few more when I noticed some empty spots. Wanted to make sure that we didn’t have any exposed pots during the firing. Boy, it was HOT!
Now the hard part…letting it burn.
Trying to look like we are waiting patiently…
Lunch time! We came prepared with pot luck food…pastries, hot coffee, chips and dip, cold cuts, cold peanut sesame noodles and lots of fruit. We could have fed 10 more people!
After about 2.5 hours, we started to get way too eager and decided to move the embers around to speed up the cooling process.
And my pit. Great black and lots of color flashes from the Salt and Copper Carbonate. It was the deepest pit and burned longer than the others, and the results were beautiful!
And back in my studio, the other pots.
Notice the difference between the smaller ones in the middle and the bigger ones. I started get bored with the pebble burnishing and so the bigger ones only got 2 phase burnishing while the little ones had 3 phase burnishing… 1. at leather hard, 2. at green and 3. at bone dry with canola oil. Once these are finished with floor wax polishing, I hope they even out, but in the future, I won’t be as lazy!
We started at 7:00 am and left the beach at 1:45 pm which included cleaning up and packing up the car. Super efficient and got great results. A very happy crew!
Finished teapots using the techniques acquired from the George Dymesich’s Teapot Workshop…was that in May or June?
Bulbous body, lugged-on handles and flat top lids that sit on top of the lip versus my usual with was a recessed top for the lit to sit within.
I have a couple of more colors and a total of 12 teapot currently but some didn’t photograph well and some don’t have handles yet…couldn’t decide whether to continue with the hand-made bamboo handles or the store bought ones.
I have a beautiful copper teapot and a cobalt one that I’m eager to put the finishing touches.
These are definitely going to be available for sale on Etsy and the others will be on display at the next sale with Blossom Hill Craft’s Fall Sale on September 14th in Los Gatos.
Teapots are thrown on the wheel with Navaho Wheel mid-range red clay fired to cone 5, using food safe liner glaze and exterior glaze. Hand-washing teapots are recommended for use with tea. Maximum capacity of around 24-30 liquid oz. Keeps warm and holds plenty to share a cup or four!
Summer is coming to a close, getting my kids ready for the new school year.
It also means I need to get my inventory up for the fall shows/sales.
First one up is Blossom Hill Crafts in Los Gatos, CA. This is my first show with Blossom Hill Crafts, so I’m not sure what I will be bringing. I have new teapots, cups, bird feeders and water pitchers. It all seems a bit disjointed, but I have a few weeks to work on getting it all to look good together.
Those of you who are in town or visiting around that time, do stop by and say hello.
September 21-22, 2013
10:00 am – 5:00 pm each day.
Held indoors at the History Club of Los Gatos
123 Los Gatos Blvd., Los Gatos, CA 95030