Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I have been fascinated with the concept of veiling and revealing. One of the celebrated characteristics of thin porcelain is its ability to permit light through. Light often symbolizes the optimistic aspects of hope in the future. The translucent nature of the material also offers to obscure vision. Porcelain can be an agent to both hide and reveal these issues.

This body of work started last spring with an invitation to make and exhibit work as part of the Kingston HIV/AID Regional Services Annual Lantern Festival, which takes place in September in City Park in Kingston. The theme of the art exhibition was Resilience, which is a great inspirational topic for people dealing with HIV. The artwork had to be illuminated as lanterns: by candle, not electricity. I chose to focus on what eventually becomes the terminal issue for many HIV patients: infection from bacteria and viruses (some of the most resilient species on the planet). The process by which single-celled animals reproduce and ensure their place in eternity is termed mitosis. My work is a hopeful comment on the physical and mental resilience of patients in the face of these resilient bugs. Thin porcelain is inlaid with rice, which when burnt out in the kiln, gives the appearance of bacteria in a Petri dish under a microscope. Until the lantern is lit from inside, the bacteria effect is not really that noticeable (this is why I have left it unglazed). Once lit, the bacteria are revealed. The metalwork was done by Stefan Duerst.

As an extension of this work, this winter, I have taken the idea from these outdoor lawn lanterns (candle-lit) and convert them into indoor table lamps (electrical). These lamps project fairly bold light up to the ceiling, while sending diffused light with very soft slightly lighter dots to the surrounding walls. The soft wobbly organic rim and form contrast with the more hard linear nature of the base. I am making clay bases for some of the lamps and have collaborated with Randy Doner on metal lamp bases.

I also submitted the shade portion of the lamps to OKWA's exhibition this winter which is just finishing at the Kingston Public Library.

This project started as an artistic response to social and cultural concerns of the ravages of disease, and with an optimistic intent, it has translated into a handcrafted object for everyday use in the home.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ambiguity?!?! Inspiration?

I always thought that ambiguity was something that you subtly did to resist the temptation to unnecessarily reveal details.

But apparently there is a government (Isreali) that has the unrepentant conviction to make it an official policy!

You have to admire such transparent intent to obscure transparency. Go Mossad!!

This is encouraging me to explore the concepts of transparency, translucency, light, veiling and revealing in my art! You've got to take inspiration where ever you can get it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kollaboration Kingston - 7 March 2010

Check out the new website of a group of artist and crafts people from Kingston, Ontario that are collaborating to create art, while at the same time creating change for their community.

Carolyn Barnett, Knit ArtistHilary Cosgrove, Textile Artist Stefan Duerst Architectural Blacksmith Jane Thelwell, pottery (image by Tracy Olan) Cathie Hamilton, Painter Tracy Olan, Photographer Julie Davidson Smith Encaustic Artist Trevor Waurechen, Illustrator Lindsey Fair beach glass artist and metalsmith

Friday, February 12, 2010

guess what came out of my kiln today

All kinds of great stuff came out of the gas kiln today!

If you came to NGB Studios for our Demo Day on Sat Jan 23rd, your fabulous treasures are ready for pick up! The all turned out well.

I have a bunch more prototypes for my electric lantern lamps... stay tuned to see the metal bases that are being designed by Randy Doner.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

OKWA Show - Honourable Mention

Unfortunately, I missed the Organization Of Kingston Women Artists Juried Show opening on Sat afternoon at the Kingston Library,, because I was up in Smiths's Fall's for a meeting with the Ontario Crafts Council for their Spring 2010 One-of-a-Kind project, .

I just found out that the jurors offered and "honourable mention" for my work in the show (seen in the photo). This is a "first" for me...I am so pleased.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Toronto Spring One-of-a-Kind Show, 31 Mar - 4 Apr

I am firing my kiln like mad to get ready for the One-of-a-Kind Show in Toronto this spring. If you want to see some of the best craft from across Canada, check out the web site.

Friday, February 5, 2010

tenmoku funnel mugs

These mugs are made with high-fire stoneware in a gas reduction kiln. The glaze is a traditional oriental recipe called tenmoku. It is a thick luscious brown which runs to the lower spots and where it gets thin it turns red.