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About LeeU

  • Birthday 07/14/1947

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  • Location
    New Hampshire
  • Interests
    Now retired from 30+ years in behavioral health services, I am back to enjoying and making art. I hold a BFA in ceramics from VCU's School of the Arts (Virginia Commonwealth University). I have set up a small, functional, in-home studio, with an L&L Easy-Fire on the back porch. In addition to clay, I'm interested in painting, photography, and writing.

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  1. My challenge is to be more attentive to constructing an intentional palette in the first place. I gravitate to favorite combos and then sometimes just get spontaneous with whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. I make plans to develop a couple of palette schemes, and cut out glaze swatches from catalogues or print them out from web sites and tack them up on my inspiration board...and usually never look at them again.
  2. Well, Primal came out looking less exciting than I hoped so I am going for a refire. Not Broken broke a little bit again and did not get the super colorful treatment I'd planned---I decided to keep it simple. Here is the finished wall piece.
  3. Pleased with myself--had a good time peddling my wares at the First Friday Art Walk, Portland, Maine, a sidewalk event held on the main drag near the fine art museum.   No registration fee, no tent required, close-in parking, & I had a helper!  

    1. Denice


      I am happy you had a good day,  you deserve a rest.   Denice

    2. JohnnyK


      Way to go, Lee! Any day you can sell a piece of  your work is a good day, especially when there's no overhead and a lot of exposure :)

  4. I'd put money saved on gas for a distance I probably would get tired of real quick into hours I could book nearby at my convenience--getting out and doing something is better than staying in and doing nothing. I make decent small items that I can peddle locally and that helps me at lease break even. Personally I can't stand unanswered questions-I'd rather get a "sorry, no time to answer, try someone/somewhere else" than dead silence. There's a lot of inadequate-poor-just plain wrong-info about claywork on the Internet /FB, as well as "taught" in some community studios, but I can trust the recommendations found here, especially for online resources like specific workshops/videos. For me, since I am not into production or making money, my best approach is to keep it simple and just have some fun while I explore & learn whatever it is I'm focusing on.
  5. I am so tempted to just write "Run, Forest, run". Long silent pause. But, OK, I'll play. 1. Unless you have zero debt and zero money concerns, determine a realistic budget strictly for the studio and it's operations. 2. Include all things ceramic, such as related travel, major & minor supplies, overhead, fees for participation in exhibits/craft fairs/conferences/local potters guild etc. 3. Set the financial projections up for about 3 years--it will take that long to see what the real expense is for your mode of claywork is going to cost you. 4. If by now you're saying to yourself but it's "just a hobby", run, Forest, run. 5. Stick to the budget and if it is not working, don't delay making the necessary adjustments. I check my budget monthly to see if I'm on track, and I enter expenses when they occur--not 3 weeks later when I can't remember what I got or what I paid, and I've lost the receipt (which should be in a file but sometimes isn't).
  6. Unless of course you make some of your living by selling beautifully glazed tea light holders! (Could not resist. )
  7. I'll second that emotion (or rather the emotion that comes with overthinking). I was quite relieved when I learned in art school that "Less Is More" is a thing.
  8. You do not say whether this is solely a kiln room or a studio w/kiln. Personally I think 10' x 16' is large enough for a small well organized studio & a modest kiln. Judicious choices and placement of shelving and storage will give you plenty of room for a non-production enterprise. If it is more than just kiln usage I'd want water if possible.
  9. I use the protected porch year round, except the wheel must be moved inside in deep winter if I want to use it then- -tho I mostly hand build. I think Callie notes the best solution-build an insulated enclosure outside against one wall of the pool house, for the kiln
  10. I started out very focused, learned the basics quite well--got a good comprehensive ceramics education (and a BFA in crafts). Then I became engaged with experimental techniques/more sculptural work, while still in VCU art school. (I was going to out-Voulkus Voulkus, don'tcha know). It became a moot point when I took a detour into a 25 Y career in the addiction treatment field. I thought it would be short lived, because voc rehab was willing to bankroll my Master's if I committed to working in public service for a few years. I turned out to be very good at specialized program design & getting federal grant funding, so ceramics went into the attic to gather dust. After I retired (State Planner in Behavioral Health for NH DHHS) I constructed my little studio in my trailer (bedroom & back porch). However, I have lost so much ability (physical/cognitive) that I can't get back to where I once was. So, my present place is some "other direction". At the moment, I'm just looking to satisfy myself and make enough (local smalls of the home decor variety) to break even, which I am finally doing. Probably the most consistent thread from then to now is I am continuing my Hidden Mask series, which I started back in '81.
  11. I just around to this post since I don't do shows, but am always interested in food. OMG--Soylent Green...the movie!! I saw it when it came out in '73 and it was fairly horrifying! It made entirely too much sense, as a possibility, especially after reading things like Brave New World, Animal Farm , 1984 etc. in H.S.
  12. I'm in central NH--it gets around 2-20 in deep winter. I use a small ceramic heater or oil-filled radiator for my ceramic work on my back porch (10 X 12-but only about half is dedicated to claywork & my kiln). The screened porch is sealed with restaurant patio-quality clear vinyl . Snow & rain can drift in a bit and of course winter is very cold here but it is workable even in February with the small heater. I just can't use the wheel out there from Jan-early March. Personally I like shelving & storage to be lightweight and/or have wheels so I can change configurations as needed. Stacking totes are also my friend. I use a folding utility table w/Hardie Backer on it and have the same for safety underneath the kiln, an L&L 23s, vented to the outside. I fire year round. What fun you're gonna have!!
  13. My daughter was just diagnosed with this last week, after being dismissed for years by practitioners who told her to just put on a sweater, some people just get a bit colder (her "bit colder" was almost debilitating; being discounted over & over didn't help any. @Hulk--I'm gonna pass along the tip about cutting the socks for extra warmth on the ankles.
  14. In addition to having a kiln that will low fire (ex. 04-05) AND med-fire (ex. 5-6) it is worth it in the long run to assure it is large enough for the larger (wide and/or tall or odd-shaped) work. However, it is possible to go too big (ask me how I know this LOL). Try to estimate the cubic feet needed to fill the kiln without having to wait too long to produce enough wares for a firing.
  15. Becasue I live in a rented mobile home I am not allowed to have any traffic at all and no sales from my location. The master bedroom has been converted and outfitted as my studio & the enclosed back porch is my kiln room. They are nice, tho small, environments, well laid out, and I have all the usual cool stuff of any functioning studio. It's frustrating because I know absolutely that I would do really great if I could have mini-tours/sale days right here. There's enough room open on the back porch and rear deck that I could do a great display. I have inventory, but no ready outlet for it that doesn't involve way (way) too much work on my part to get it where it would have to go--just not up for it. My daughter might help me set up an Etsy store, but even that seem like too much hassle at this particular juncture in my life. I seem to be treading water at the moment. I may do a down & dirty pop-up yard sale with my "smalls" as part of the stuff (we can't have yard sales either, but if it was up & gone real fast-just a few hours & no road signs-only an online ad- I'd probably be OK). I used to go to studios/kiln openings before the pandemic but I'm not willing to chance it (personal risk factors) until the Delta factor plays out & we see whether the vaccines loose effectiveness around 6 months, as is possible.
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