Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dancing Ravens


Dancing Ravens
by Linda Starr
6" h x 12" w

Remember my post inspiration flies by? Well I've been thinking about raven inspired ceramic pieces ever since. I said I was going to post something real soon, but the ceramic pieces were mostly in my head. Many times I have plenty of ideas but every day something seems to get in the way.

Take for instance, yesterday. We had a huge wind storm which not only blew our telephone lines down, but blew many power poles down in the area. Our telephone lines are lying in our neighbor's pasture on the ground but are still working. Any minute though one of his cows could step on the lines and snap them off. If that happens you won't be hearing from me for a while since I am on dial up. The telephone company is supposed to come soon, but they have many other repairs to do in our area. The wind also snapped off the very tall power poles going beside the lake bridge - clean off at the top. The top of the poles landed on the bridge and are now waiting to be repaired. The bridge is still closed to traffic and everyone has to take a detour till they make the repairs.

Saying I was going to post something on my blog is a great motivator to accomplish my goals. So today, no matter what happened, I decided to work on a few of my ideas for raven inspired pieces, so I'd have something to show you.


Raven Tile
by Linda Starr
7" x 7"

The main piece I have been thinking about all week is the raven bowl above. I was inspired by the ravens who flew by the other day and by a Native American drawing of ravens. I wanted two ravens to meet in the bottom of the bowl, but wondered how I would illustrate them. I slip decorated a slab of clay and then put the raven decorated slab inside a bowl I'm using as a slump mold. I still have refining to do, but I wanted to show you I really have been working on something.


Asian Inspired Pendants
by Linda Starr

The raven tile was the first piece I made today for a warm up. As I'm looking at him now I'd like to modify where he's holding onto the branch. Sometimes seeing pieces after they are completed in a photo enables me to better critique my work. I also noticed I still have some touch up and clean up to do on the bowl and tile. I had some clay left over and decided to make a few pendants. The pendants are Asian inspired, which doesn't quite coordinate with the previous pieces, but making them has given me some ideas for other pieces I might make, perhaps a few raven pendants.


Blackcurrant Whirl Hollyhocks
by Linda Starr

Here are some hollyhocks blooming in my herb garden. I'm back to working on more raven inspired pieces. Till next time.

21 comments:

  1. You Go Girl! The Ravens look great. Our Ravens have now left the city for the mountains. They'll be back for winter. When the seagulls come as summer begins, the Ravens go. Because of their summer-time link, my husband jokes that those silly seagulls are his favorite bird...

    I'm sending a link to your Hollyhock picture to my Mom -she LOVES Hollyhocks!

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  2. Hi Cindy, thanks, the bowl looks much better in person than in the photo. Strange the ravens go to the mountains, better nesting areas and food? Hollyhocks are so special and they reseed and come back year after year. I have the black (dark purple ones) and some double whites too.

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  3. Well down at doing some raven inspired pieces already. I'm most impressed. I do particularly like the energetic feel of the "Dancing Ravens" It is a really nice composition too.

    What amazing weather you do have in your part of the world! We are probably in for another dusting of snow this weekend, but I don't think there are any plans for winds to snap telegraph poles!

    Hollyhocks! They are just so romantic and beautiful! Nature's ball gowns!
    And you have black and double white ones. I do hope they survived the pole snapping storm!

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  4. Oh, I meant to ask, does my site load at a reasonable speed for you? I do have lots of photos, and just wondered if that causes problems for you on dial up? Do let me know if there are frustrating waits for things to load, and I'll look at pruning back some of the images.
    Best Wishes, P.

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  5. Lovely ravens and your clay looks so nice, like fresh pastry. Going to look at how quickly Peters site up loads now.

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  6. Linda- you are truly soaring- the ravens are wonderful! What growth in your work.
    Keep spreading your wings. I expect we will see a lot from you this next year.
    Love it!
    ps- we can get a semi down the drive- I know we can get your motor home here.
    or just let us know- we will cut off some limbs.
    M

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  7. Love the raven images, keep it going. Downed telephone poles are a problem living out in the country, They just shut down out of the blue. I'm also a Hollyhock fan, although they take over the flower bed and Japanese beetles just love them, I notice that the beetle will go into the leave layer and get stuck and die, might have to plant the hollyhock with the grape vives.

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  8. Ravens are rockin'!!! Looking good!

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  9. Hi Peter, thanks, I am trying to get some movement into the birds. The raven on the tile's feathers are supposed to look like they are blown by the wind.

    I upgraded to Windows 8 and now my computer is going so slow I am sorry I did it - so it isn't your photos - besides I really like all your photos that you post - it makes me feel like I am visiting there seeing all your pottery and landscape photos - so please don't stop posting them.

    I think this was a freak storm. The last couple of years we have had strange weather. Today it is raining. We usually don't get rain in June, but we didn't get any in May and got hot weather - it is like the two months switched places.

    Hi Kitty, thanks I really like working with the clay when it is soft and when I purchase it I always ask them for the softer bags.

    Hi Meredith, thanks so much, your approval means a lot to me. I truly wish I lived near a professional potter where I could bring my work for them to see in person and critique. I am not sure I will ever be able to do an apprenticeship (with someone who does handbuilding), but I think I would benefit from even a short amount of it. I like the fact the East Coast has the Clay Club and folks can bring their pottery in for all to see and critique. I wish we had something like that here. I guess I do have it at the Ventura County Potters Guild I belong to, but it is 2.5 hours one way to drive and I just can't go except to special events. Thank goodness for blogs and people like you and others.

    Gary is a very good truck (semi) driver so no worry WHEN we come to visit, he'll make it down your driveway. Thanks again.

    Hi Ron, thanks so much. No body around here could believe the freak storm we had, they got new poles at the bridge so no detour now, thank goodness, that was 40 miles out of the way round trip. I notice something is eating the leaves of my hollyhocks but so far the flowers are ok. I did have a extra double crepe paper looking light pink one when I first moved here, but it died, maybe a gopher. Those beetles aren't the smartest I guess. The hollyhocks seem to be ok - we get wind here anyway and the plants seem to be stronger because of it - thanks goodness, we had a few willow branches and lots of leaves on the ground, but no major damage that I have seen yet. Some of the dahlias are blown over, but they are in the bins so more susceptible to the wind.

    Hi Patricia, thanks, can't wait to see your new work too and hopefully if we get some cool weather I can make it over the coast to see you some time, summer usually doesn't work out though, perhaps the fall.

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  10. nice dancing ravens... looks like they're talking to one another

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  11. Hi Jim, thanks, I think they are talking but I can't quite hear what they are saying.

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  12. Yep,yep, yep, I agree with everyone. Can't believe you blog with dial up though. When we had dial up I refused to get on the internet! I rally like the idea that you used ravens you saw fly by as inspiration for your work. I need to open my eyes more I guess. I never think about things like that and I'm probably missing a boat load of inspiration. your work is really evolving in a beautiful direction!

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  13. Hi Tracey, I guess I am used to dial-up because I never had high speed. I used to sign on at 52 K now its 48 K with my new modem - I need to get a better modem. We told ourselves we will get high speed when we move.

    I've always had an affinity for ravens and when they flew overhead they were so cool looking. I actually see something every day in the gardens here I could use in my clay pieces, whether it be a texture or color. I am not always sure how to accomplish what I see in mind though, but I know there is a way, so I just try. Most of the time when I walk around with my camera I think of things to make in clay - probably because I slow down to take the photos and relax a bit more than my usual full speed ahead routine and then my brain has time to "see" things. Tracey, I love your raku work and just loved that tall raku vase you posted with the beads and the African inspired mask - they were both amazingly beautiful. Thanks so much, I hope I can continue to evolve.

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  14. Ooo, love the raven silhouette images in both the bowl and tile. Simple and strong. That's a good idea to take pictures and critique your work from your pictures - if you are a good photographer, which you are and I struggle with.

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  15. Love it! I think you should go t=with them for awhile and see what else they would like to appear on!

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  16. Hi Barbara, thanks so much, I have already changed the ravens in the bowl slightly, the lower wing of the bird on the right I made a bit smaller and put more space between the feathers and I changed the branch the raven on the tile was standing by adding a few more branches and trying to show where the foot was holding to the branch. For some reason I can see things in a photo better than I can see them in person.

    Hi Mary, thanks I had the best intentions of making many ravens pieces, but already other things are popping into my mind. I really need to set some real goals for myself and strive to achieve them as I am all over the place on many projects.

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  17. I love the Dancing Ravens.

    Michael

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  18. Hi Michael, thanks so much and thanks for visiting my blog; I added your blog to my blog roll.

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  19. Hi Linda...
    Hope you have power after the storm. I just made some pendants today and really like yours, especially the bamboo ones. Silly question maybe, but how do you get the edges of the pendants so fine and straight and all? They edges are so crisp and clean looking.

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  20. Hi Amy, yeah we have power, they finally got the telephone line up too. Thanks about the pendants, they have dried much lighter than they were I hope the black slip still shows up. I cut the pendants with my needle tool and then when they firm up a bit I rub them with a slightly damp sea sponge to smooth them on the edges. It is really important for pendants to be smooth as they are worn against the skin and clothing and you don't want them to snag. I have a real hard time keeping them as smooth as I would ike them, but I keep trying.

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  21. Oh Amy, I forgot to say when I use the needle too, I also use a plastic ruler to run the tool up against which I think helps with the crisp line. It is so easy to forget how you do something when explaining it to someone else.

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I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment