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About LeeU

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 07/14/1947

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  • Gender
  • Location
    New Hampshire
  • Interests
    In addition to clay, I'm interested in painting, photography, and writing. Recently retired from 30 years in behavioral health services, just getting back to enjoying and making art. I have a BFA in ceramics from VCU's School of the Arts (Virginia Commonwealth University). I recently completed setting up a small in-home studio.

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  1. LeeU

    Studio Photography

    I am relating to this in two ways: first, my former husband is a retired advertsing photographer-shot all over the world (incl. for Getty) had much great equipment, but talks about the relief of selling it all off and letting go of the stress. Second, I have just been looking for a camera for myself for my table top product shots. (No, I am not going to ask him for advice-he will insist that Xxx's 6K body + 2K lens is the only way to go). Likely even the Canon w/lens mentioned above is out of my range, as a hobbyist on a short $$ leash. Pics on my website are via cell phone & basement level photo editor. Got any ideas for a servicable used setup for 1K or less? Pls. msg. if so. Thx.
  2. Yesterday someone presented me with an unexpected gift. I'd been driving a friend around for months because his car died with no hope of resurrection, he had no money/no credit, and he only just finally obtained a vehicle. It was a "thank you"--a little red box he picked up at a collectables consignment shop. It has a name in gold on the bottom left, so I looked it up. Imagine my surprise to learn it is a vintage Russian lacquered trinket box. However, reading further, I suspect mine is a product of cultural appropriation, as there is a flaw on the side where the lacquer is slightly split. In this case, I am OK with it being a knock-off, if it is, becasue it's still a cool box, the 'thanks' was nice, and I learned about some art I'd never heard of. Fedoskino Pegockuho Lacquered Jewelry Box, Russian: The Three Sisters "PEGOCKUHO" is the Russian word for "factory". The word "FEDOSKINO" is a village near Moscow, Russia and is the home of the longest standing miniature lacquer trinket box industry. The history of this artwork spans back to the 19th century and is known for its high-quality artistry and craftsmanship. These unique miniature oil paintings gained popularity and stood out with the addition of gold leaf, mother of pearl, and metallic media. Using these components helped to replicate and capture the true beauty of nature on these vintage boxes, constructed by a specialized papier-mâché process (which uses a clay primer-justifying my posting this on a ceramics board LOL/lu). With the opening of Russia in 1990, the art of Russian lacquer miniature painting has gained worldwide appreciation and these small treasures are highly sought after by collectors. As a result, many Russian boxes are now being produced by untrained people using inferior materials such as wood, poured acrylic, or pressed sawdust-board called argalite. These imitation lacquer miniatures are being sold on the streets of Russia and through venues like eBay. Many of these fakes have the name of one of the four villages and even the name of a well-known artist added to fool the uneducated buyer. (Emphasis mine/lu)
  3. LeeU

    Favourite craft show tools and tricks

    My favorite craft show "tool" is the well-honed avoidance that I apply in response to all such events that would directly involve me! My "trick" is...I run like the wind...far, far, away... anytime some well-meaning "fan" or advice-giver suggests I ought to (oh, you must!) do shows/fairs. Not happening. If I could hire someone to pack & schlep everything from start to finish, maybe. But, who am I kidding? No. Not happening. More power to all of you who enjoy it (or even just endure, but always show up). I imagine the whole proceedure, being able to generate some revenue, meet people, show off your wares, etc. feels quite satisfying. I admire people who have the drive to participate in such a dynamic market place. Maybe even have a bit of envy. But not enough to join the club. People keep trying to get me to change my tune. I just had a conversation tonight, at dinner with a couple of other craftspeople, about "why" I won't be bringing my goods to the "big one" this weekend, and the one after that, and the three before Christmas etc. etc. Guess I'm the odd man out. Makes me twitchy to even think about being immersed in that much hustle & bustle.
  4. LeeU

    first craft fair WWYD?

    I have to laugh. I had well over 50 of them at one point, each righteously stolen from behind various establishiments late at night, most with a "Property of...(and) Misuse Punishable by Law" notice printed on them. They made up a wall of bookshelves, next to the large Con Ed cable spool I stole to use for a table. So, where and how, pray tell, are you getting yours?
  5. Shawnhar--I understand that many contemporary dreamcatchers are just commercialized cultural rip-offs...but the depth of feeling expressed by your very strong words above makes me think I am really missing something. Could you expand on that? My knowledge of the item and the purposes it is traditionally used for by native peoples, is limited (i.e. Wikipedia level). I have one a neighbor gave me recently--made from a cheap craft kit--and I wanted to refuse the gift because I know it is crap---but I was too chicken to risk hurting her feelings and had no idea what I could say to "justify" a rejection of it. Now I really want to ditch it---give me something to say that I can stand behind if she notices it is gone, other than it's tacky and badly made!! (Thx)
  6. I have a WeighMax digital and I just love it--it was inexpensive and does everything I need it to do. Used the triple beam back in the day, but I do not see any significant advantage over the current electronic technology.
  7. Working on a kiln load-I am likeing the direction I am heading-a bit larger, a bit more mainstream, trying to refine glaze combinations. This tile (to fit as a top for an old black iron ash tray stand I picked up) is commercial dark Gold, Ivory Crystal, and Orion. Should be interesting--we'll see.
  8. I think this (deliberate misrepresentation/falsely suggesting etc.) is the key regarding the notion of "cultural theft". As Liam (hope I got that right) noted, intent is the primary factor. Without the ability for people around the world to appreciate the creative expressions of various cultures, including those held to be sacred, I think we would be impoverished to the point of spiritual starvation. Whether rigid boundaries are protective, obstructive, or aggressive, I think we lose part of our humanity by petitioning off aspects of ourselves. I find it joyful and uplifiting to learn from other cultures, including more about my own. I was especially thrilled when, in art school, I was essentially chastized by a few instructors for making art that was "derivitive" of some famous painter or sculptor. It really tickled my fancy because I had never heard of these artists nor ever seen their work. So, all the critique did was validate my own impulse to keep on doing what I was doing and the heck with the imposition of limits without foundation. I also subscribe to Jung's notions of the "collective unconscious" and think that it is a vital life force in the expression of art, in all cultures.
  9. Got half a kiln load. "Time to make the  donuts!" (I wonder how many members are too young to remember that fun commercial?)

    1. Min


      Never heard of it... I do remember "where's the beef" though.

      edit: I looked up the donuts commercial, don't think it aired in Canada because I'm definitely old enough to remember it if it did.

    2. GEP


      I say “time to make the donuts” to myself almost every day!

    3. Min


      Time to get back to glazing donuts :)

  10. LeeU

    Looking for a ceramic mold

    Opps---didn't read/see carefully enough. Well, nothing came up in the U.S. , not even on eBay. Seems like that is indeed what it will cost.
  11. LeeU

    Seeking Advice

    To me, safety is a potential concern. I would first visit the Office of Disability Assistance or whatever it is called and request some guidance. Document this vist and the response. This man's deficits are more than minor memory problems; address potential problems (and solutions) within the administrative mechanisms & CYA. (An aside: a student known to me had undisclosed disabilities and was bullied out of a for-credit degree program, while no one bothered to have even a subtle conversation or try to help when it was clear that help was needed. After the student attempted suicide, in despair at flunking out, I asked the instructor why he permitted this treatment. He said "I don't want people like that in my classes." Following multiple lawsuits, from other situations where instructors were misinformed about the HIPPA and ADA laws regarding broaching the subject of possible disability, the institution now has a fine program to legally identify and reasonably accomodate impaired students...including seniors with early dementia in course they may audit.)
  12. LeeU

    Looking for a ceramic mold

    This company has it. http://www.unicornceramics.com/crest/
  13. That's quite a mix of different glaze manufacturers...some may just not play well with others. Why not just a simple white glaze on bisque?
  14. Lovely piece, and personally I think thick/heavy walls are just as appealing--sometimes even more so--than the ever-present preference for thin clay. I wouldn't sell it, though, becasue of the blisters. I probably would lightly Dremel down the sharp points so they don't snag your hand (and even touch up if necessary with acrylic color-matching). Quite an ambitious sales venture-best of luck!
  15. LeeU

    Glazing inside of long tube bead

    The wire you want is Kanthal /Nichrome. Glazing inside the bead would result in fusing to the wire. How long is super long? If too long, the tubes may be prone to warping, especially with you being new to learning techniques for the handling of clay. You can buy pre-cut rods that are about 9" long and rest on a bead tree (just search major ceramics suppliers). The rods will also slump if too much weight is strung on them. You'll have to test.

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