Saturday, April 24, 2010
Last year I ordered a variety of mason stains. A short time later we sold our home, so we were busy packing and making travel arrangements. Then we were traveling across the United States looking for a new home and studio location. We eventually decided to move to Florida. All the while I have been dreaming of using all the bright colored mason stains I ordered, but I can't find them. So I am forced to be creative with the three colors I have of blue, green, and black.
Today I was in a reflective mood, wondering if my work is a product of my environment, my culture, or my heredity. I like to think my work is a combination of all of that and is headed toward a consensus of influence. If you've been reading my blog for a while you've noticed my Native American heritage coming through in my spirit jars. The natural world around me has an influence in the leaves, trees and bird symbolism I use. Mid century modern style also shows up in some sculptures and patterns I use in clay. And now that I am living in Florida, I suspect a more tropical influence will start to surface.
What do you think, is an artist's work a product of their environment, their heritage, their culture or a combination of all of them. If you are an artist what do you think has the most influence on your work? Do you make work specific to your local market. Since I've recently moved to a new area I wonder what type of art would appeal to those living here. Should that even be a consideration in making art?
This week I am experimenting with cone 6 frost porcelain clay from Laguna and these are the first pieces I have made with that clay. The first two pieces have a definite environmental influence since we are now living a stones throw from the gulf. The second has a bit more modern style with the stylized surfer riding the waves.
The star burst flower dinner plates are a combination of nature and a modern style. On the second plate I smeared the flowers taking the plastic hump mold off because I used olive oil since I couldn't find the WD-40. The smudged flowers look a bit like wet newspaper print. I wouldn't mind putting more layers on that piece, have to think about it. Colorful geometric shapes come to mind; where in the heck are those mason stains. They'll probably be in the last box I unpack. Or if I order some more, the day the new ones arrive will be the day I find the ones I ordered so long ago.
The last piece is the first one I tried with this frost clay. It started out as a pinch bowl, but the clay was so plastic and floppy it got away from me. So I decided to make an appetizer tray rather than re wedge the clay. We plan on going to a local art faire on the coast, so stay tuned for photos from that excursion. I'm curious to see what type of work artist's make in this area. Comments and suggestions are welcome.