DEFunADay! This Friday at the DCCA!

February is the shortest month. 

28 days. 

The Delaware Fun-a-day project is simple. Create something each day. Exhibit them. Its a free, volunteer run event, and I cant wait to see everything this Friday. The opening is at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts at the Riverfront in Wilmington, from 6-9pm. 

DE FunAday1

FunAday2

Since February starts with Imbolc/Candlemas – the feast day of Brigid… I decided to do sculptures. Goddesses, clearly. The Celtic goddess Brigid was a fire goddess: the fire of the forge, the creative fire in the head, and so, to me, the fire of the kiln as well. I was inspired by ancient and archaic goddesses from all cultures, from teh Venus of Willendorf through Cycladic idols. It was a great pleasure to sculpt freely, with few limitations. I kept the size small both to keep them intimate in scale, but as a logistical, practical requirement to the Fun A Day project. 

I have a few orders for goddess cabochons, to be used in jewelry, and I do foresee making more of these simple, evocative figures in the the near future. 

Hope to see you on the 6th at the DCCA! 

 

 

Fall festivals….

 

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.  ~Edwin Way Teale

 

Although Fall doesn’t officially start for a few weeks now,  years of teaching full time have set my body’s clock to equate September with fall. Here in Delaware we had a wee little earthquake and danced with Irene as she made her way up the coast. Now rain and cooler weather are welcome signs of the season. Fall is my busiest festival and show season as well. After the hectic pace of teaching ceramics summer camp, I spent August on vacation and in the studio. And I am finishing up projects here and there, firing kilns and packing up tiles and shrines up for…

Bethany Beach Boardwalk Festival: I love the ocean after Labor Day. Still gorgeous as always, clear skies, warm sand. Come to the beach one last weekend after the crowds have died down! This one day show is on the Boardwalk and Garfield Parkway, a large and impressive collection of artists and crafters. The annual silent auction contributes its proceeds to art departments of local schools., a generous and worthy cause. The festival runs 10 – 5 on Saturday the 10th. Details can be found here. 

Artsfest: Annmarie Garden on Solomon’s Island MD hosts this fantastic two day show on September 17th and 18th. Music, wine tasting, artists galore – all set in the lush park and sculpture garden setting. So worth a day trip! I adore my location on the wooded path, set among the trees and the shade! I have many artist friends I  look forward to seeing each Spetember, catching up, bartering…(10-5 each day. Details pictures and directions: here. 

Art on the Avenue: This one is exceptionally exciting for me this year. I am returning to Alexandria VA on October 1st – and I am officially selling my jewelry and wearables! I am permitted to bring tiles and shrines as well, as I have in past years But I am spreading m wings and I will have ceramic pendants, mixed media pieces, earrings… a divers e offering of unique hand crafted wearable. I started out metalsmithing and painting in college, and I am in many ways returning to my roots! Hope to see you there! (Sat. October 1st, 10-6 pm. Details and directions: here

earrings galore!

But that is not all. I have a few other irons in the proverbial fire: 

I will be donating a piece to the Small Art, Big Auction annual fundraiser at the DCCA. Artworks are to be 12 x 12” and there will be diverse offerings in every media. It is a fun, creative fundraiser for this Wilmington DE arts organization, and who doesn’t have just a little available wall space? 

And classes! Are you interested in trying your hand at clay? metal? Bookbinding? Here is a short list of what and where I will be teaching in September and October; there is something for everyone. Hope you can join me!

September 20& 27th – “Fly away home” ceramic sculptural tile at the Art Studio, Newport, DE

September 28 & October 12 – Ceramic finger labyrinths at First and Central Presbyterian Church in WIlmington DE

October 11th – Resin collage jewelry workshop at the Art Studio.

Stay tuned for updates on other fall classes in the next month or so…Until then, a sneak peek! 

glazing labyrinths

Glazing ceramic labyrinths…

Fly away Home

“Fly away home” in progress…

student work resin

Student work from last fall’s resin workshop. 



 

 

 

 

 

Cerrridwen, Taliesin…and a Blue Hen?

Blue Hen plywood

It all started with the hen, the blue hen to be exact. The City of Newark, DE is having a fundraiser – in the style of the decorated animal sculptures you have seen – I am sure – in many cities across the country. As the state bird is the Blue Hen… artists have been given a plywood silhouette, app. 30″ tall. Out birds will be auctioned off in September, and will be displayed (inside) at various businesses in town, and on Main St. The previous picture shows the earliest stages, after carving up my bird, to create a niche inside. Then she was covered in paper – from the Encyclopedia Britannica, or course. And yes, I used the article on “Poultry farming”. 

Blue Hen paper

I knew right away I wanted to create a shrine in the body of the hen. Shrines are my most personal, expressive medium. Although the chicken is not a totem animal I use symbolically in my work, I wanted to challenge myself to make a “real” piece, not just a fundraiser donation. I had committed my name, my time, and energy to this venture, and I wanted it to be true to my body of work… So the only mythic reference to a chicken in Western myth that came to my mind – was the myth of Cerridwen. She is the Keeper of the Cauldron – in which She brews inspiration. She is the Goddess of rebirth, transformation, inspiration. She is a creatrix, a mother, a wise woman… In the classic myth regarding her: She brews an elixir for her son, hiring the boy Gwion to stir the cauldron. After a year and a day – the mythic measure of time for an arduous task – the potion splashes Gwion’s thumb. He sucks it, to cool the burn and receives all the wisdom, knowledge therein. Greatly displeased – Cerridwen pursues Gwion to punish him. The chase takes on epic proportions as they shape shift through many animal forms, each pair representing an element. These animal pairings will be shown on the hen itself…

sawing animals

hound and hare

otter and salmon

songbird and raptor

The greyhound and the hare. The otter and the salmon. The hawk and the songbird. But where does the hen come in? After three transformations, as the chase continues, Gwion turns himself into a grain of wheat. Cerridwen as a hen, simply eats the grain. In nine months, She gives birth to Taliesin – who is to become the greatest bard of all time. Rebirth, inspiration, transformation… 

Hen nearly complete

The niche will hold a small clay tile of Taliesin – whose name translates as “Radiant Brow” referencing the ‘fire in the head’ of divine inspiration and enlightenment. It seemed fitting to have him incubating there. I plan to include the text of the myth with the piece. I know that many will find it more in depth than they prefer. But I feel that keeping the inspiration pure and not simplifying the concept of the work is honest, and a homage to Cerridwen herself. The overall color palette is natural and harmonious, very earthy. I hope it finds an appreciative audience when it goes out into the world in September, and does its part to raise funds for the Newark Arts Alliance.   Please feel free to comment and tell me your thoughts!

( I will add new pix as the work progresses!)