New Year, New Inspiration

I have been doing a lot of thinking about what direction I want my work to move in this year, and I think I would like to again consider the figure and explore it as a form of narrative. I started looking through the book "The Figure in Clay: Contemporary Sculpting Techniques by Master Artists" and discovered a great resource for different building techniques and unique conceptual clay sculptures:

I am particularly interested in three artist: Arthur Gonzalez, Akio Takamori, and Adrian Arleo.

Arthur Gonzalez combines ceramics and found found objects to create mysterious figures that bring up personal concerns and world issues.

Akio Takamori creates porcelain sculptures inspired by his Japanese heritage.

Adrian Arleo's sculptures often blends together human and animal characteristics. I specifically love the textured surfaces that she adds to her figures:

As I move forward, I am thinking about how to create art that is meaningful and important to me, and what human or personal concerns I might express through my work.

Holidays Arrive with a Flash!

All I really have to say at the moment is that I can hardly make pottery fast enough for the venues where I have been selling (Carytown Artisan Market, Glave Kocen Gallery Holiday Market, South of the James Farmer's Market, Etsy). I am constantly busy! This past year with Jaimie Ware has been a great success and keeps picking up, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I am only just starting out, and that hopefully business will continue to expand. I hope to get better at balancing my time for creating, teaching, selling, marketing, and exploring new ideas.

Again I have to say that teaching art can definitely work nicely with being an artist. When I am crunched for time, my students can still inspire me to try new things. Somehow during this hectic schedule I decided to also work with sculpture and started a three-dimensional portrait... I'm rediscovering how much I love the human form. So much can be said from an expression, or a pose.


Woohoo! I'm BACK!

After a long hiatus from blogging, I am back with many exciting advances in Jaimie Ware! The first and biggest change is my new studio location. Joe and I moved to a sweet little town house in the West End and have busily been working on creating a studio space that will be used for creating and glazing ceramics. (It also doubles as a guest bedroom! And maybe a photo studio!)

(Awesome studio space with intense overhead lighting, shelves, bulletin board, 
white board, elevated TV, and super Brent Potter's Wheel!)

It was definitely a challenge getting the right lights for a room with no overhead lighting, but these work lights are enough to keep me awake and focused!

My first throwing session was this weekend and I am excited to share one of the first pieces I've made in my new space. I have been pushing myself to throw larger:

(Vase from my most recent wheel throwing session)

I think my large vases are still a little heavy, but some of the carving texture I do later on will help thin them out.

Another change is that I have started helping out a few hours a week as a studio intern at the Visual Arts Center, to learn more about maintaining a studio and its equipment, and to spend time with all those awesome people. I threw a little at VisArt this week, and it's very inspiring to be in a setting with lots of other clay artists. The creative juices are flowing even more now. 

Something that hasn't changed is that Joe and I are continuing to sell pottery at the South of the James Farmer's Market every other weekend until November 24. That means we will be there this weekend, October 13 from 8am-12pm, and you should stop and say hi!

And last, because it is October and I can't keep this to myself, I will share this photo of my cat as a hotdog. Happy Autumn! 

(Poor Dexter hotdog!)

Trip to New York

As I traveled on the train back to Richmond and sat in an excruciatingly warm and booked Quiet Car, I found myself with a great amount of time to reflect upon my past week. Despite the heat, I have decided traveling by Amtrak is an excellent idea, and maybe I don’t have to haul my car up north too often. I love being able to be productive while traveling, even if being productive means napping!

I ended up relaxing much more than I meant to this week during my spring break. I traveled up to NYC to go to the National Art Education Association Convention and present on the topic of Reggio Emilia and Documentation with two friends. The presentation went great and we met a number of people who were looking to meet others that teach through the Reggio philosophy. Send me an email if you want info or handouts!

One of the highlights of the NAEA Convention was going to Olivia Gude, Doug Blandy, John White, and Mary Hafeli’s presentation “Teaching Improvisation”. They were very inspiring when talking about the importance of spontaneity in the art classroom, and gave me energy and ideas to bring back to my teaching. They challenged us to move out of our bubbles and be a little uncomfortable. During the session we were told to move quickly and silently throughout the entire ballroom, and then later to partner up and touch each other while looking at each other. And what does this have to do with teaching art? …It’s important to challenge our students to move out of their zones of comfort to try and experience new ideas, and the best way to get our students to do this is to model that behavior and challenge ourselves to move out of our comfort zones too.

Another highlight was that my roommate Erin Waldner coauthored a chapter for the book “Transforming City Schools Through Art” and it came out just in time for there to be a book signing at the conference. It was pretty exciting to see her with well-known authors from the art ed. field giving out their autographs!

My other big highlight was winning a Westcott iPoint Electric Pencil Sharpener for my class. It is amazing! The best point I’ve ever had on a pencil!

In addition to going to the conference, I also got the chance to chaperone a group of high school students to see the new Broadway play Once for FREE. Chaperoning was pretty easy except for the terrifying part of making sure all the students got on and off the subway, but basically they all knew the city way better than I. The musical was still in the previews, but it was a fantastic, simple, and beautiful story about love and music.

So all in all I haven’t done much with Jaimie Ware the past two weeks, but that’s ok. I think taking a break will help recharge the excitement for it.

In Progress Work From the Studio (That is Also My Bedroom)

In an effort to blog more regularly, I thought I'd share some of what I am currently working on. This week at St. Catherine's, the girls have something called X-Term, and I get a week plus spring break to make pottery! I will also be attending the NAEA conference in New York City to present about research in art education with Erin and Lenora, but until then, I am trying to stay focused on clay.

After I put up the art show at Lift, I have been working on making more of the plates that I really liked. I have also gotten excited about making porcelain jewelry! These are some porcelain pieces that are in the leather hard and bone dry phases (unfired clay):

Serving dishes, jewelry, cup, and bud vase

Small dish, big texture

Little Hug Knot Dangle Earrings! 
(These were inspired by the Hug Knot Necklaces on my Esty site:

I am also constantly networking on Etsy to try to get noticed and have more sales. What I have learned so far is that you need to really get involved with the Etsy community in order to become a consistent seller. Teams are a great way to learn about other businesses... but also a great way to lose track of your entire day. Guilty!

Super Exciting Start of 2012!

Stop by to see some of my new pottery February 2012 at Lift Coffee Shop and Cafe: 
218 West Broad Street  Richmond, VA

Me outside of Lift on Friday :)

This past weekend was a blast and really made the last month of hard work feel truly worth it! The opening for my show Drift and Flow was on Friday as part of Richmond's First Fridays events at Lift Coffee Shop, and the place was surprisingly full! I am so grateful for all the kind and supportive people I know that came out to share my joy in having my first solo art show. There will be many more to come soon.

The show was inspired by a set of egg cups that I was commissioned to make (I call them Tiny Dancers), and includes functional and sculptural pottery with a sea-like aesthetic. The entire show was put together in under a month. How this happened: One day I was having breakfast at Lift and Joe convinced me to ask them how I might put some work up in their cafe. I was extremely nervous to ask questions but with more prodding I got up the nerve, and one of the ladies there told me that they were in need of a new show in just three and a half weeks. I said I would love to take on the February show. Of course three and half weeks is enough time to design pottery, make pottery, fire pottery, glaze pottery, fire pottery, photograph pottery, make advertisements, make programs, and figure out shelving for drywall walls that have no studs! 

Well, it somehow happened, and was a great success. 
A number of pieces were sold and others were commissioned!

I really would not have been able to do this if I didn't have my handy new, self appointed Brand Manager Joe Charles, who helped me get the ball rolling and assumed his new role brilliantly. (Also many thanks to many others!)

It was also wonderful having my camp friend Becca visit for the weekend to come to my show, watch my high schoolers act in one act skits, eat Sweet Frog, and make the Super Bowl more exciting! What a great weekend!

Esty Update

My Etsy shop is continuing to expand, and I have already sold a few pieces! I have also received a few commissions and am eager to begin that work. It is very exciting, and is making graduation look even brighter with the potential for more time to create!

12 days until graduation!

A Successful Farmer's Market!

It's about time I finally posted about the farmer's market that I was able to be a part of two weeks ago! Located at the Forest Hill Park, in Richmond, VA, the South of the James Farmer's Market is every Saturday from 8am to 12pm, May through December. This was the first time that I was able to set up a booth in the main vendor area, and it was a nice location for getting my name out and showing off some pottery.

The booth had a nice location, nestled between a wine tasting and a produce vendor.
My trusty hand made mannequin displayed my new logo.
I am very happy with how the new glazes and designs turned out!
Photographs © Joe Charles

During the three hour period I was able to make some good sales, and the following are some of the pieces that were sold:
9 inch Textured Bowl
Espresso Mug
 Seashell Platters

Vending was exciting and was certainly a success. I will be back at the Forest Hill South of the James Farmer's Market the Saturday (9/3) of Labor Day weekend! Come by and take a look for yourself :)

New Kiln Firing #2

My second glaze firing was two days before I would head back to Richmond, so I had to fit all my pieces into one firing.

I liked the aesthetic of looking down into the kiln at the first shelf of glazed pots. How exciting!

The second firing was just as successful as the first, and I had a nice set of work to bring back to Richmond. More photos to come!

Finished Low-Fire Pieces

Over the summer I was also able to finish a few pieces that I have had hanging around in bisque form. I added some changes to this edition of textured cups:

More bright colors! Leaving the black off was another change, but we'll see how long that sticks...

Test Tiles and Glazes

I found Amaco Potter's Choice glazes that fire to cone 6 in the Nasco catalog. I wanted to test how the glazes look and react to the three Highwater clay bodies I am using: Desert Buff, Brownstone, and P-5 Porcelain.

To make test tiles I threw bowls without bottoms and sliced them into individual tiles. I set them out to dry in the driveway:
I chose 8 glazes, so in order to have all the glaze combinations I needed 64 tiles of each clay body. In total, 192 test tiles!

Glazing the test tiles was a long process, and I thank my lovely "studio assistant" Mrs. Merrell for spending time to help with the glaze work. The test tiles would be the first firing of the new kiln, and after a few struggled attempts at wiring the kiln, it was up and running!

The result was a lovely range of glaze colors:

Brownstone Clay
P-5 Porcelain Clay

Desert Buff Clay

Firing #1 was a success!

New Kiln, New Back, New Business!

This summer has been exciting in many aspects! My initial plan for the summer was to make pottery and work at a farmer's market in Richmond, Virginia... Possibly lifeguard on the side. I signed up for the Forest Hill Farmer's Market and was able to sell my pottery one Saturday in May, with the new business name: Jaimie Ware. Then, in an unexpected turn of events I relocated to my parents house in Stamford, Connecticut to have and recover from an L4-S1 spinal fusion (lower back surgery). Dr. Rosenstein was a highly recommended surgeon, everything went smoothly, and I've been recovering very nicely.

As I needed to stay in Stamford for a while, my family helped me establish a pottery studio in the basement. The first step was to buy a high-fire kiln! My mother already had a small cone 05 electric kiln, but expansion was necessary. We found an L&L cone 10 electric kiln on craigslist for only $500! The hour and a half drive was definitely worth it.

The first thing I began working on were some cone 6 porcelain pendants, cups and bowls. The cups and bowls were all thrown and then carved or altered. I found it was more cost effective to bisque fire in the smaller kiln, and stack everything.

The first bisque work of the summer:
"Hug" Necklace Pendants
Textured Cups
 Sets of Cups and Bowls

The next step would be to find glazes that I could easily use with my electric kiln!