31 July 2006

breaking the rules

I have a few rules about blogging, private rules, not rules really let’s call ‘em “boundaries”. Why? Mostly to keep focused and to not get overwhelmed with all that I could post. I can shut down if too much is going on, I go into the “stare at the ceiling” mode and that is not good. Revealing this boundary, breaks another boundary, not talking about my rules, oops I mean boundaries. The first boundary I am speaking of is not to have pictures of things that are not studio related. I know a lot of you post photos of all kinds of things and I love them and love that you do but this is my blog so the rules (boundaries) only apply to me. I broke my own rule by posting this picture of this sign that I saw today. How could I resist? Then I realized, hey this is studio related because I saw it when I had to leave the studio to make a call on my cell phone to Susan. The telephone in the studio was on the blink and living out in the country cell phone service is spotty. My cell phone does not work on the farm where I am so I had to drive up the road to what I like to call “the sweet spot” to make my call. It was a studio related call when I saw the sign therefore it IS studio related. I did not break my rule after all. Ha, tricked myself even! Other than that I am in the final crunch to get work done for the Berkshire Craft Fair, which is in two weeks. I am sorry for not writing back to some of you as I intend to, I have been working away here and you know, trying to stay focused. Check out all these naked pieces just begging for some attention.

29 July 2006

white picket pieces

I came home from a brief excursion on Cape Cod to a mailbox full of email. Something happened while I was away, something GOOD! Thank you Lisa!

Last week I did something really dumb. I was finishing up the final pieces for two orders, had everything glazed and it was sitting on my table ready to go and I noticed some bald spots in the glaze. I thought I'd better attend to them before loading the kiln so I grabbed what I thought was glaze from a box underneath my table and applied it to the thin spots on the work. The next day when I opened the kiln and peeked in I noticed something was funny. The vases did not look right, like they had a crackled white wash on top of the glaze. I paused, walked away from the kiln, walked back to the kiln, looked again, thought some more, going over what I had done the day before, then walked back to the table with the box of glazes and picked up the container I thought was glaze, looked at the lable...oh dear, I used engobe thinking it was glaze. See the containers for the engobe and glaze are exactly the same, I don't usually use engobe but had a container of it to experiment with and wasn't thinking to be careful about making sure the containers didn't get mixed up. I am guilty of grabbing and brushing. So now I have five vases that look like white washed picket fences. Sometimes these accidents with ceramics can be gifts, a new technique discovered but not this one. They're ugly. I don't know why but the whole thing kinda made me laugh. No matter how long I have been doing this mistakes still happen and with ceramics and one must always leave a wide margin for error as there is so much to be accounted for with the medium. I am usually lucky and have never made this mistake before. I guess it is my offering to the Clay Gods, seems they were feeling hungry and had a hankering for vases.

24 July 2006

all in a name

I am not one to use my name in sentences, as people often like to do…”it’s Fayt that we met.” Yikes! The name Fayt both attracts and frightens people, especially romantic interests of the dramatic persuasion. Like I have some sort of magical power to control the forces of the future because of my name. Nope it’s just a fluke. I like my name, I said to my friend Bill. He raised his eyebrows an started to laugh. It sounded vain and he was quick to let me know. Though what I meant was I am grateful for my name and it has served me well, innuendos and all.

Which brings me to this past weekend. I went on an adventure with my friend M.C. to a fabulous letterpress warehouse to find her some things she needed for her Vandercook press and I was in search of a replacement for my lost name stamp. The place, Letterpress Things, in Chicopee, Massachusetts is a print makers dream come true. Press’s of all shapes and sizes, type, ink, parts anything and everything you could hope for. John, the owner was so helpful, taking the time to greet everyone and help us individually. He also told us a funny story about his trip to San Francisco that happened to coincide with Gay Pride Weekend and his unsuspecting wife’s response to the men wearing leather chaps sans the Levi’s.

So what the hell does this have to do with my name, you might be wondering? Well I searched for the type that matched my old name stamp but I did not even know the name of the font. Trying to locate specific type in a letterpress shop without knowing the font is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. I looked through a book trying to identify it and could not find a match, so I gave up. After all was said and done, things bought, stories exchanged, I pulled out my business card and offered it to John. I thought then, maybe I should ask him if he recognized the font. He said he wouldn’t be able to but pointed to an older gentleman that was wandering around and said “but he would” and beckoned the man to help. The gentleman took my card, looked at it, walked over to the book of type that I had spent a half an hour looking through and located the font in two minutes. I was ecstatic to say the least. Then the man said “I think we have that type here” and walked over to one of the many drawers, pulled it open, picked up some letters, looked at them and said, “yes, this is it.” Double happiness! I asked John if I could buy only the letters of my name, expecting him to say no as the entire case of type was for sale, thinking he probably did not want to break the set up. John walked over to the drawer, my eyes wide and hopeful and said to me “ you’re making it difficult” while quickly sifting through the letters putting my name together and said "here, put it in your pocket.” Yup, that's right, he not only broke up the set but he gifted the type to me to boot. Triple happiness!

I guess it was Fayt that brought me there. Did I just say that?

23 July 2006

July 23rd

It is exactly one year ago today that I retired from twenty years of waiting tables and started supporting myself completely with my Art. I like being a full time Artist. It’s the best!

20 July 2006

don't give up.

I was in New York City this past weekend and became one with the pavement. It was so HOT it felt as if my feet were melting into the ground. Of course the day I was to check out the museums they were all closed. I did get to the American Folk Art Museum and that was a delight. The White on White (and a little gray) exhibit was beautiful. I was grooving on the marble dust paintings, I am quite certain they are the precursor to black velvet paintings. They are all glittery and full of luscious black and white contrast. I secretly like black velvet paintings.

I felt a little bad leaving off with my last post. In fact I did not sleep very well after I hit the “publish post” button that night. I was certain I’d get hate mail. I was wrong and thank you to those people who might have been pissed about what I said and refrained from telling me so, I really appreciate it. Yes, I am a whimp. I got the the feeling from the responses I received that I brought up one of those issues that people feel uncertain about, myself included. I think we all have the best intentions to share, blogging is a sharing thing in itself, but are uneasy about discussing it when it crosses over into that other place of which we may feel protective of.

I am back in the studio finishing up a big order for the Gardener in Berkeley, California. I remember when the store first opened. I was young, just starting to explore being an artist, taking my first ceramic classes. I would go in and admire all the lovely pieces they carried and fantasize about having my work there some day. I really didn’t have any work then but I was good at dreaming. It is a milestone for me to have my ceramics there. In fact it has taken me nine years since I started this line to finally get it in the door after many attempts. It goes to show that you gotta keep trying even in the face of rejection. I like to think with every no there is new opportunity out there waiting to be discovered...a yes!

12 July 2006

Sharing vs. Caring

So, I have been getting some very specific questions lately. Questions about my technique. Fair questions, I suppose. This is a complicated issue and one that many people have strong opinions about. It’s about sharing. Some of you might know the Salvation Army signs that say, “Sharing is Caring”. I had a boyfriend that used to say that ALL the time. It started off being cute and then it got annoying. I still love that old boyfriend; he is a dear dear friend now, never the less, I never completely bought the sharing is caring bit. I know, I know the world would be a better place…If only I would divulge my deepest darkest secrets about the techniques that I've developed and use in my work. See, I do believe in sharing. I love to promote friends, I love to see other people successful, I even like to teach people some of things I do. Just not everything. I don’t think any Artist or any person for that matter, gives all their secrets away, even the ones who say they do. There wouldn’t be any mystery left without some things withheld. Call me selfish, greedy, a hoarding you know what, but all’s I’ve got to say is, a girl’s got to have her secrets.

11 July 2006

tree cheers for tree!

A difficult week indeed. Lost my identity, the studio drill was stolen and emotions have run high in my personal relations. With that said, I am doing pretty well. I like the idea of creating a new identity, drills are a dime a dozen and I am so very lucky to have fabulous people in my life who are honest and willing to show their emotions and stick to working things out even when it isn't always pleasant. Three cheers for three! Or "tree" as my Hungarian mom would say.

10 July 2006

identity loss

Recently I lost my name stamp for my ceramics. I am really sad about it. The stamp was made from old letterpress type that I found and taped together. It has been my signature mark on my work for nine years now . I think I might of accidentaly thrown it away when cleaning up the studio. A new one can be made but it won't be the same. I feel like I lost my identity. The moral of the story is, never clean your studio.

07 July 2006

the trouble with love

Love, sometimes it can bite you on the ass. A little nibble can be nice but leave teeth marks and it’s no good. This is the summer of love it seems. In fact I just went to Woodstock for the first time last week. I have so many friends getting married right now. This bowl is a wedding gift that I made for my friend and her new husband. The design was inspired by their wedding invitation. Beautiful birds on pink paper, chocolate brown envelopes tied with a blood red ribbon. I just finished another wedding bowl for a friend whose best friend just got married. Two other friends of mine are marring each other and I need to make them a little something too. I am having a problem with love. The problem is that I love this bowl that I made and now I don’t want to send it. It does not happen to me often, loving my work. I usually don't get attatched and joyfully send it off knowing it will make someone happy and there will be more to come. Then again love does not happen that often. My dad had this saying comparing love to birds, something about letting them go and if they come back they are yours…you know what I am getting at but sometimes you just don't want to let it go.

05 July 2006

friends and fog

Sometimes I ache for things. Lately it has been San Francisco. I am on the East Coast for an extended stay and though I am surrounded by bucolic splendor and have my every need met I find myself missing my goofy city. I suppose longing can propel us forward into the unknown or in my case back to the known. I don't completely understand why I am yearning for that cold foggy city when here in New York State I frolic about in the lightest of cotton clothing wearing flip flops. If I were back in San Francisco now I'd be still wearing my winter sweaters and turning on the heater in my house. I think I just kinda like missing something. If I didn't miss it then what reason would I have to check out this new website to fantasize about eating a taco from a truck.

There is another reason why I think I am missing home these days. This coming weekend is the annual Association of Clay and Glass Artists sale held in Palo Alto, California. I have participated in it for the past four years so it is a little strange not to be there this year. It is a fabulous sale and I highly reccomend checking it out if you are in the area. If you do go please say hello to my friend Whitney. What that girl does with a pot is amazing. You must also visit the amazing Christa and check out Inge's delicate porcelain boots, oh and there is Mardi and Sara and check out David, he puts pink glazes on his pots. I think that is the coolest. Go see Joanna and her lovely simple forms. There is Rae, Mary Mar and Terrill with her amazing glass creations. Oh and don't forget to visit Sharron too, she'll inspire you to go to the far reaches of the world to build an Art Center. You'll also want to take some cash because I know you'll want to buy something.