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Evelyne Schoenmann

Qotw: When Did You Last Use Nature As A Design/mark/whatever…?

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Ooops, I am a day late. Sorry. Life got in the way....

 

This morning I tried, for the first time after the 2 surgeries, to throw on the wheel. Awwww, no good. It still hurts too much. So what I did is I went for a walk in the woods and collected different tree barks to use in future on objects.

 

When did YOU last use nature for your ceramics work?

 

Cheers,

 

Evelyne

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Evelyne, I'm sorry you're still sore and having problems throwing. Its frustrating but be patient and maybe it will be better soon. I somtimes use leaves as stencils and carve leaf designs in my pottery. I have lived near the ocean all my life so I'm inspired by waves and wavy patterns in the sand and most of my carving is of a free flowing wavy nature.

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Evelyne:

Hope you heal up quickly. This time of year when all the leaves are off the trees and 3-4" inches of snow are laying on the branches I spend alot of time looking for patterns. Where the branches cross, or where I can see through the woods and see multiple layers of branches crossing: I see shapes, figures, and abstract images. Yesterday afternoon before dusk I came home as a light fog was coming up.in the tree lines. I pulled over in our lane and slowly let the headlights fan across the tree lines looking for shapes and images. Years ago I made an interesting observation looking out the windows of our inspiration room after a fresh 6" snow fall had covered the barren trees. I was viewing everything in black and white: and I realized how often times color actually obscures our perceptions. Much like mud on a wheel is absent of color: we are throwing a form in our abstract opinion. it is only after we have created a form in abstract; that our souls come along an add the color.

Nerd

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Evelyne, get better quick! Your hands will come back to you. The body can do amazing things and endure insane circumstances. 

 

I plan to spend the better part of this year working on an ocean inspired glaze palette. So I guess I would say yes. Although to me, nature is the most beautiful thing one can look at. It changes every moment, in different light, in changing winds, and in every season.

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Evelyne, give yourself some time.  The healing will happen.

 

Last week, I rolled some leaves into clay that I was making into buttons.  I saved leaves/ferns/etc from the summer/fall and froze them in ziploc bags.  I have been mesmerized by the patterns the snow is creating in the branches of trees, how it drifts and the patterns of the animal prints, jackrabbits, cottontails, deer, elk, neighbors cats......it's the first thing I look for each morning. 

 

Roberta

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A few of my pots are decorated with an abstract design but the overwhelming majority are inspired by nature. Stars, mountains, leaves, flowers, grass, trees. Animals. My stamps tend to be nature inspired as well. Sometimes I will consciously make the opposite, a cityscape instead of a mountain range, just because I worry about falling into a rut. 

 

Evelyne, 

Last year, I finally started to wheel throw after years of yearning for it. Two months in, I was washing dishes when a mug (cheap bisqueware) broke in my hand and cut my pinky enough to need four stitches. I wasn't allowed to put my hand in any water for three weeks; then I waited another three to try the wheel again. It was very discouraging to slowly gain the function and comfort back, and it was a while before I started making progress again. 

And yet that pales in comparison to the time and healing a whole hand must take! You have my full sympathy. 

 

Years ago I made an interesting observation looking out the windows of our inspiration room after a fresh 6" snow fall had covered the barren trees. I was viewing everything in black and white: and I realized how often times color actually obscures our perceptions. Much like mud on a wheel is absent of color: we are throwing a form in our abstract opinion. it is only after we have created a form in abstract; that our souls come along an add the color.

Nerd

 

I worked as a photographer for awhile and when I processed wedding photos in Photoshop I always made it into black and white to see what happened. Sometimes the picture lost meaning but sometimes it caused a visually distracting element to melt away so you could focus on what was really happening in the photo. After probably 24,000 pictures done this way I have learned to "see" in black and white when I want to. I've learned to look past the hues and see the shades. It's not exactly a marketable skill but I have fun with it. :) 

I had a book of color photography by Ansel Adams. He wrote a foreword and said that many people assumed that because he was such a renowned black-and-white photographer, he was color blind. In fact he was tested and found that he had an extraordinarily developed sense of color. He simply preferred the medium of black-and-white photography so very little of his work is done in color even though color film was available for most if not all of his career. I thought this was fascinating. 

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Hi, Evelyne,

Just back from Montana. You will heal, but it takes time.Months. I know from having had the same surgery.

I use nature often in my work, whether it is texture or directly from images. I just got my piece using fossilized sea urchin texture accepted into the NCECA Cone Box .

 

Marcia

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heal well, evelyne, take it slowly.  try something new during the recovery period.  something not as physical.  just be sure to come back to clay when you are healed.

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At the centre where I pot, a couple of us are doing the pierced cylinder challenge from the throwdown.  I really wanted to do something like the winner, but with a spiral, like the spiral staircase in Venice.

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But.......  Having drawn up exactly what I wanted, I now want something more nature-like.  A spiral of butterflies or leaves or trees or.....

 

Now just doodling until I come up with the right idea.

 

So, I last used nature as a design this week.

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I'm not sure that I can point to a specific influence of nature that had an impact on my clay work recently...unless it was our unusual 8" of snow that fell a week or so ago that had be thinking about imprints/tracks.  I do know that a quiet day by the lake or an evening in the woods by a campfire can seriously re-charge creative energy.

 

Peace,

-Paul:)

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I love plants that are native to the eastern US, where I live. Drawing them really gets me to focus on the smallest details. I have made a couple of vases with carved images of plants on them, which is really enjoyable for me. I know a plant better after looking at it so closely and following its lines, as well as reading its description in my guide books that help me look for the details to include. The images I attached are of a maple leaf viburnum, a broad beech fern frond, and a wild geranium.

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What? Another week flew by without my noticing it? Boy, how time flies.

 

Thank you my forum friends for all your nature-ideas. Tomorrow I will sit down and read everything you wrote (and try to learn some new ideas, tips and tricks).

 

And tomorrow I'll post the next QOTW. So please stay tuned to this frequency.... :D

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Paul, you should pit fire in the snow. Its so pristine. Just let the wood burn down to solid ground and then fire the greenware from there. It dispells a lot of the myths about moisture in/on the ground. Fire each vessel when its ready and your results will always be 100% successful. :). When I fired in the snow it was only 3 inches deep so use more wood that I did. And remember, if ANYTHING goes wrong with the pottery or firing, its your fault!! :). Don't kill the messenger..:) I think my firing was in Early February 1996 and at one time had one picture of it.

 

 

Evelyne,

I copy vessels whose original makers used native textures on the exterior of pottery. Take the Northeastern Iroquoise cord marked pottery. Its probably a stylized version of their bark baskets, and some even have stitch marks! Check stamped pottery is probably a ceramic version of a woven cane basket, and a corncob brushed sofkie pot probably represents the fur on a deerskin container. Just remember "form follows function" and that will explain where some cultures came from to get where they went to! One day I'll show an example that make this clearer.! See ya,

Alabama

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. Was just going through this thread and some others; looking at the pieces of work posted. Guess I will repeat myself again- the talent and skill is off the charts. At some point someone will have to explain to me exactly why pottery pieces on the level I have seen in here are not held in high esteem in the art world. I know the answer is part; because China has flooded the market with machined reproductions, with printer applied glazes. Yet those are no replacements for hand made, hand decorated, hand sculpted, and hand glazed works of art. There comes a point when a piece moves past the point of pottery into the realm of art.

Nerd

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I use images from nature in almost every piece I make.  Sometimes the relationship to a natural object or creature is fairly distant, but other times it's completely explicit.  In the last firing I used resisted slip to make a treefrog bowl.  The apparently abstract patterns I cut into bowls and mugs are actually derived from a hybridization of flowers and mandalas (and I suspect the latter originated from the ordered and centered quality of many natural objects.)

 

 

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Recently it was announced a plastic eating bacteria was found. I suspect this is a chemosynthetic (sp?)  of some sort.  I take from this Darwin didn't express it quite right. It's not survival of the fittest. It the ability to look outside the box, observe, build on past experience, sometimes let dumb luck find something and take a shot at a way to create to express your art... not someone that says....I won't even take a shot at this, Success is taking a shot at being (in a way) an omnivore and exploiting all sources to make your art and find a niche that works for you.

 

Just to digress a moment. judging by the chemosythesising (sp?) bacteria & life found by black smokers in the deep part of the oceans.I suspect (fossil) fuels are actually renewable created by this sort of chemosynthetic bacteria in the Earth's rock layers. IMO oil fields that should be depleted are still producing  fuels of some type  and new fuel fields are being found because of this

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