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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. Scalpels (inexpensive is fine) are good too.
  2. Aarrgghhh...we only got a few weeks notice that the guild I belong to is doing a raku demo 10/28.  I just emptied my kiln and I do not have anything low fire to fill it with,  so I could bisque (required) a few raku pieces for the event.  I'm going to try to crank out a lot of ^5 and bisque that along with the raku clay. I don't want to pass up the opportunity.  

    1. Gabby


      This sounds like a solid plan. I have been wanting for a long time to take part in a raku firing and hope to do so after the first of the year.

    2. Benzine


      Careful, Raku is addictive...

      It's the gateway to other alternative firing methods.

  3. Dare I suggest because historically that has been an exercise in futility (not trying to wander into the politics of various interactive global economies, but there is that!). If true "choice" were involved, there would be no need for objection! It is the integrity of the sellers that is being expressed, in not just leaving it to the purchaser to pay such awful/unfair tarrifs without the seller giving it another thought.
  4. I deleted my post-too esoteric even for me. Probably the hardest question there is---is it art? Or, what is art?
  5. Commerce is political, shaped by whether fair, or not, and the degree to which transactions are intertwined with gov't(s), private parties, cultural influences, and-in many societies-religion. The process of distribution, viewing, selling, preserving, or destroying art is often political, regardless of the content or nature of the piece. We on this Forum tend to avoid addressing politics in reference to our work, in order to keep discussions civil and focussed on the pleasure, processes, practices, and problems of clay and glazes. But, there is a political aspect to the selling of art, when gov'ts impose excessive (not reasonable/fair) export duties, taxes, fees, export penalties etc. , which, in this case, have literally impeded someone's ability to conduct business in a fair manner relative to the value of his work. Yeah---BLEH---and double bleh!
  6. My house is unashamedly peppered throughout with my own work. Some is non-functional, like my "excavation" series of shelf pieces and my Hidden Mask series of wall pieces. My practical day-to-day ware includes tea light holders, rakued tiles that I use as large coasters, cone incense burners (my favorites are a heavy piece glazed in a beautiful silvery Palladium and one in a clear gloss-glazed super white porcelain), unique spoon rests, catchy catch-alls, free-form card/letter holders, tiny herb/spice spoons, small vessels and vases, and 2 favorite mugs.
  7. LeeU

    Newbie needing advice

    I've not had much experience with air drying clay, other than bad ones. It eventually chipped or cracked apart-maybe I gave it bad ju-ju somehow. I suspect either approach for attachment would do the job. That material is not waterproof and you probably will want to use an effective sealant on your piece. There are decent books/videos on using the substance for sculptural work (for adults, not kid projects) "google".
  8. LeeU

    skipping bisque firing

    And Old Lady is very kind, regardless of what she says. She took the time to talk w/me on the phone & 1st taught me about single-firing, which I do exclusively now (except for items for community kilns). And trust me, I know for a fact that not "everyone else" here is kind, myself included.
  9. I avoid juried groups and exhibits and try not to succumb to doing local art shows. It's just not for me. I was exposed to the "art scene" in NYC and VA and there is nothing about the whole milieu that I care for, especially the lifestyle that can come with it in some places, if one gets caught up in that. The most valuable learning I got from my formal education (a state school) in ceramics was being taught the necessity and practice of critical thinking, and vetting for myself any assertions before buying into something, (like the mass mis-perception that Picasso is a great and revolutionary artist-sorry, couldn't resist). The first time I heard an excellent art history presentation on what was beyond the surface in a 15th century painting, where the fly on the pretty piece of fruit was actually a socio-economic commentary on the deterioration of the culture at the time, I realized that art is often about more than "what you see is what you get " or what I like or don't like--that formal education about art--making it, understanding it, and appreciating it--is important. When I learned how to center and throw, I also learned about the great potters throughout the centuries, and clay artists working with non-functional objects. This was amazing to me, and without the BFA degree program I doubt I'd ever be enlightened about the depth of possibilities for making things of clay and other materials, or the impact of art on the world. That is not to say that probably a high percentage of the learning could be acquired outside of a formal educational process, with free lectures, Youtube videos, decent local studio classes, local guilds etc. , and maybe easier to handle cost-wise , assuming there is a drive to make self-education a priority. I often say something is not either-or, it is yes-and, and I thin k the viewpoints in this thread fit that perfectly--great discussion! 3 hours after I wrote the above, this popped up on my FB feed: ""The true purpose of arts education is not necessarily to create more professional dancers or artists. It's to create more complete human beings who are critical thinkers, who have curious minds, who can lead productive lives." -- Kelly Pollock
  10. Y? Just curious-I have no clue.
  11. Bins and sticky notes are my salvation.
  12. Happy happy--my helper is tackling this backlog (code, sort & store), which will soon free up my workbench so I can get back to making things!
  13. I think that painting everyone with the same brush is inherently inaccurate. I submit there are many people who do not justify their good fortune in earning a degree by assuming negative things about others who did not/were not able to go the same route. Just because someone is educated and has a degree, that does not automatically tell anybody anything about their life, their values, their struggles, their pain (or joy), their economic status (good or bad) or their politics/philosophy/world view. I always wanted to study art and the creative process as expressed in this and other cultures, now and in history. The value of formal education in developing my skills in ceramics is worth 1000xs the price, for many reasons, and it is still paying off to this day. As someone who earned a BFA from an esteemed art school, while on welfare and struggling mightily as a single parent with a toddler in tow, and 20 years older than the other students, in deep poverty, at times homeless, with many other crippling hardships, plus the add-on of student loans, I must assert how enriching, valuable, freeing, and supportive of my creative expression and drive, and my very survival, the experience was. What I got was a sterling education from the best faculty of knowledgible, competant, and skilled artists/instructors one could ever want. I have carried and used the benefits of that excellent education throughout all aspects of my life, not just in art interactions, but in ctitical thinking, world-view, career, understanding people and cultures, and many other areas of functioning. My formal training was invaluable and has enhanced my creative expression and appreciation of crafts & art. It took nothing away from my innate creative drive, my ideas, my self-concept/identity, or my preferences for working with my materials. When someone is being derisive and dismissive of that "piece of paper" Old Lady's line comes to mind: "putting you down does not raise me up." Or rather, putting me down does not raise you up.
  14. LeeU

    How was this vase made?

    Well, it's a daggone pretty little thing, we agree on that much!

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