Porcelain Octopus 1I keep making Octopuses, I just can’t help it.
I go to make an elephant and the trunk makes me think
I would like to be making an Octopus right now. Then the poor elephant has heard my thoughts … well, is my thoughts, and the trunk comes out a bit too long and octopus-like.
well … they are kind of similar ..
Porcelain Octopus 3this one came out of the kiln with an arm pointing to it’s eye like a gangster would do.
“I’m watching You!”
Of course getting the “eye” might not be to me, it could be to
some shenanigans going on in the heat of the kiln.
“I’m watching You!”
Mermaid and Octopuslike in the Mermaid and the Octopus moment. When I made them, their hands were a breath away from touching, then as they dried, Octopus kept raising her arm higher, and who knows where those arms went while in the kiln, but this is how they finished.
Coming down for another touch , moving away or somewhere in between?
I’ll never know
Octopus4this is what I love about all this, its unpredictably.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you do?

What do you do when you find yourself living on a rare jewel of a giving yet struggling planet out in the Universe and you realize that we are all together … alone?

LB 3 portageyou build Life Boats.

You pack your essential supplies
Connection – Communication – Compassion LB walking with dog detail 2

and then you
Create
Celebrate and
Circle around Listening and LearningLB 3 portage detail2

~ as Playfully as you can ~

Three Stops for Enchantment

So, I am driving along looking for a 2 hour free parking spot down town. This requires a lot of quick focus if you are alone. But something caught my eye.
Do I continue on with my parking drama? or do I stop for a better look?
I stop
IMG_0148because I need a closer look at this.
IMG_0147Clearly it is a fairy house, you can see her resting over to the left near her fire truck and her silver car. See her pink wings? Such a tidy little home she has.
*   *   *
So, I am walking along my sometimes usual path to shop for supper when I notice this ~
IMG_0149I’ve seen this tree trunk many many times, but this time I saw it … upside down
IMG_0149-and I could see exactly what was missing
IMG_0176*  *  *
So, I am walking along a city block looking at all the amazing magnolia blossoms that are  getting really serious about the coming Spring
and I wonder
IMG_0179will this bird be back?

Bits & Bites

Every had a scattered week? Well that was me this week, lots going on. And it is wet here in Vancouver. We don’t have to shovel but the endless grey takes it’s own toll.
IMG_9974Maybe some one just HAD it with their kids playing inside for days on end … I hate to think
… this was by the trash bin in the alley
IMG_9973as I mentioned, it’s been raining ….. lots

spotted by Bettina Matzkuhn on her bike ride home

spotted by Bettina Matzkuhn on her bike ride home

but work I must, I am going to make some more of these guys, They will focus me
IMG_9978 IMG_9977

 

too careful

I spent a long time painting each surface made up of 25 tiny cubes

IMG_9784
taking great care with each cube, I even posponed my firing a whole day so I would not feel rushed to start firing so late in the day that I’d be up all night keeping one eye open on the kiln.
story1It’s a story made up of 25 cubes, 6 sides. You have to rotate 5 cubes in a row at a time to find the story. It’s a puzzle. It has particular beginning or end. I’ve posted just 2 of the 6  panels of the story here. I got so involved painting, I forgot to photograph what I had done. Photographs are the Answers to each side, so I’m cooked if I drop it, I’d have to sit down and solve each side like anyone else.
When I finally finished painting each side, as planned, I loaded the kiln the next day being careful, taking my time and double checking that everything to be fired was in. I placed my little kiln dog on top and started it up and it wasn’t until hours later when I went to turn it up on high that I realized that I had forgotten to put this little puzzle in!

Nothing to do but let my anticipation go …
Now I will have to wait till next month to see how this comes out …..
It’s a lesson on patience

 

 

Ick Factor

Used gum is Icky … yes? … Yes!

Yes it is.

But I admit I had a bit of a fascination with it a while back. I even used it as the header image on my very first blog Some Things I find.

an old fav of mine

an old fav of mine, found at the BC Ferry Terminal

I was reminded of it again today, down at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but I was Totally out-Icked. This is what I saw. IMG_8372it’s an  A B C  Gum Fest (Already Been Chewed)

The idea is to add your own abc gum to this portrait of Douglas Copland, and add they did! And visitors still are, in between and getting photographed with it and taking selfies.

IMG_8370I found it curious that most of the gum was added onto the tip of the nose, pinocco-like.

IMG_8378

a cigarette but and … why not, they actually go together, both are dropped onto the street and lift there

IMG_8371

Total Ick! you can even see the teeth marks in some of this stuff

not to gross you out too much but this got me thinking about gum on the street again …

I haven’t noticed gum on the street lately. Is it that I just stopped looking?                         So I lookedIMG_8377See those dark spots? That’s old walked over gumIMG_8376black gum spotsIMG_8379all the way home

Over 3 walking miles of old black gum marks

nothing fresh enough to stick to my shoe

It’s either all down at the Gallery or folks just aren’t spitting out gum their on the sidewalk as much anymore …

Might we be evolving?

Might we be coming more civilized in the gum department?

or  maybe not, considering that the above gum head sculpture is considered to be Art,

a kind of performance Art

and … while we are on the subjust of gum …

Does anybody remember Black Jack Gum?

I see 5

The saddest first.

This stopped me in my tracks as I was walking over to a weekend farmer’s market.

IMG_7952a thousand fallen cranesIMG_7955IMG_7960a tree eye ~ lizard and elephant like ~ Looking right at me

IMG_7957morning dew

IMG_7956a great idea ~ lace graffiti

IMG_7961and who can’t fall in love with this sad spider

[chalk on concrete wall at the Trout Lake community centre]

 

Body Language

I was showing a friend a new piece, a Life Boat. She asked me if those were people …..

LifeBoat body Language detail-2I thought she asked because she didn’t have her glasses on. But she said that

one never knows with me …

IMG_6560They could be animals or creatures

fair enough

LifeBoat body Language detail-1It got me thinking though. Yes their faces are undefined.

I do that for a reason.

I am talking in Body Language

Nine Little Stories

Little Story One

IMG_5991Why do we keep pulling up these masterpieces?

Little Story Two

pink blooming Acacia P1050834 P1050824 P1050823This is a Mimosa Tree. So sensitive that when you touch its leaves, they fold inward …

until they get to know your touch.

Is there anything more beautiful?

Little Story Three

IMG_7622This little painted bird is painted on an carefully chosen antique dictionary page

by Veronica Roth

Look closely, you can see the text through it’s heart.

Little Story Four

IMG_6876My friend who took in a rescue dog from Mexico a few years ago and Loves all animals, bought 3 of my porcelain Elephants. The little one in the middle is a rescue elephant, it can hardly stand up by itself. I can not sell it or gift it because of this. It needs to lean on another elephant for support. It went to her home, a good home and is happy and well cared for there as you can clearly see. This family of 4 was meant to be ~

Little Story Five

IMG_7620There was a strange halo around the sun yesterday

I felt like I was in a science fiction novel

Little Story Six

IMG_7597This was at my door the other morning

I would like a calling card like that ~

Little Story Seven

IMG_7623I used to get in trouble over and over and over again for drawing on my wall paper.

I would have liked to live where she lives.

Little and Last Story Nine

IMG_5993Don’t we All need hope?

StoryBook

This piece is off to a new home!

P1120448_2It is called StoryBook or Story Teller

It had been part of a show I had at Placewares in Gualala, California, right on the west coast. [the ‘Gu’ in Gualala is pronounced like “Wa’ not ‘Gu’ like in guacamole] My dear friends and owners of the most Amazing Shop/Gallery Placewares are two of the most creative people I know. They Inspire me.

P1000608_3Long time designers (DR in Cambridge, Mass in ’70’s etc) and innovators, inventors, artists, taste makers and partners, Maynard and Lu have kindly carried and shown my work. Check out their about page and follow some of their links, I assure you, you will be Most interested in these 2! Maynard makes these wonderful visually clever, complex and warm hearted “Looking Boxes“.

DSCN0003_2StoryBook has been reluctant to leave their shop, and you can understand why, it is such a creative playful, interesting place to be!

StoryBook is part of an on going series I have been working on called Elegant Turns. This piece is made up of 5 movable sections, each part has 3 different images so when you turn them (and yes, you can) you get different combinations that make up one image*. I never had one set story in mind when I made this piece but stories kept coming up, flooding me with imagery and that guided this piece.

Now StoryBook is off to make new ever changing stories. But the stories it collected during it’s stay at Placewares will part of it be forever.

* Elegant Corpse:
It is simply one drawing, usually of a person or animal, drawn by 3 different people. Onto a piece of paper folded three times, each person draws a head on the first 1/3 of the paper and folds it back and under leaving marks where the torso should begin on the second fold. This done, each person then passes their hidden ‘heads’ to their neighbor.  Then everyone draws the torso leaving marks for the legs in the last 1/3 of the paper. This is then it is passed around again and everyone draws the legs and feet. What results is a usually very amusing and somewhat curious character containing the talents of three different wits.  I have transformed this 2 Dimensional matrix into a 3 Dimensional form which enable the combinations to increase geometrically.

A Gift from the Kiln

I’ve had a great week at the studio. I got into a good rhythm and stride and the ideas flowed. I tried to keep balance by doing some yard work and it seemed the ants had it in for me this visit so I was busy, as the pest control guy says, de-populating them. I felt territorial and remorse at the same time. Hopefully they will move out to the great outdoors …. But ants are a whole other blog, I have an interesting theory about ants.

On the 5th day of my stay I was ready for my 1st firing. A bisque firing which prepares the pieces for the glaze firing. I loaded 3 shelves with all sorts of work.
The first shelf, the bottom shelf.

20140504-132212.jpg
And here’s a close up.

20140504-132256.jpg
To me it almost looks mathamatical, almost chaotic and organic. Can we do otherwise??
The second shelf. It’s a real jigsaw puzzle. There are so many different sized shaped to fit together.

20140504-132644.jpg
And lastly, just barely enough room, is the 3rd shelf…. With a note to myself to pack my next firing better.

20140504-132827.jpg
The firing goes well and the next day after glazing everybody, I did pack the kiln better this time. It was packed to the gills. I had to be extra careful to keep them all separate enough so they wouldn’t glaze together and stick. The firing went well, cause for thanks every time, and as I carefully unpacked all but the elephants, I am left with this. I had staggered them in between the bowls.

20140504-133226.jpg
I was taken by their natural elephant way of wandering.
But the surprise came when I noticed this. Now Tell me … what really goes on in there during a firing?!!?

20140504-133702.jpg
2 of the elephants trunks must have moved (dare I say danced?) around slightly in that white hot heat and fused together, touching in the most beautiful way! I picked them up carefully thinking that I must intentionally make some this way next time. As I was examining them, their fragile touch unlocked and they were separate again. Too bad I thought … Their connection was lost, they were two elephants again, not one.
~ Their bond might be lost lost …. But not the idea ~

20140504-134944.jpg
~ Kiln Harvest ~

Wisdom Tooth ~ Sweet Tooth

now these are weird …

not for the faint of heart  or squeemish…

these are Creepy Cool so hang on to your hats

Here we go

2a bowl full of teeth!

now don’t fret because I made them myself

from porcelain clay, I’m a potter, remember?

6They are knitting stitch markers, you can use them to mark where you are in your knitting pattern, they make knitting easy and enjoyable because they tell you when you need to change your pattern, they are kind of like being on cruise control … in knitting

5I was just looking to make something a little EDGY

and these are …

4look closely, there is a gold cap on one of them

7one could even use them as a Brooch, which someone I know does

ragga teeth-vkl-2014-k2p2

3I’m selling these in my Etsy shop (my shameless plug) and they come in this cool tin box

Wisdom Tooth is the one with the gold Tooth

Sweet Tooth are, well, 6 sweet teeth!

~ Sometimes you gotta just stir things up a bit ~

RocketVaRooooom

Living Sculpture

I was at The Vogue Knit Live conference in Seattle last weekend and came upon this living moving knitted art sculpture. I was so intrigued. It reminded me of Tai Chi Push Hands. I found myself coaching them with their binds and releases in  my mind as they move so sensitively in tandem. They responded so subtly to each others slightest movement. Sometimes their give-and-take created a big knot between them slowly tangling themselves up, then they would  slowly slowly untangled themselves like in a kind of living puzzle.

~ Slow down and watch this little slide show ~

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

the hands and mind behind this work is fiber and performance artist ~ Antonia Price from Seattle

A Kind of Murmuration

Theres an outdoor sculpture right at the Canadian US border. It’s there to what? Relieve the tension of the possible unexpected? Sweeten a border guard that woke up on the wrong side if the bed that morning? Maybe it’s there to calm the border…. hmmmm… something to think about. It’s a sweet torcher for me because ALL I want to do is look and look and look at it.

20140224-090443.jpg
I think it is wonderous. And it gets my imagination going full speed. There are so many perfect things about it. It plays with border, it flies, it seems to move. It seem hard to take it all in at once which gives it movement and life.

20140224-090853.jpg
I reminds me of a starling murmuration only it stays frozen like a photograph so I can stare at it (in between handing over my passport). See what I mean? I just want to Bliss out on this work of art but I’m in Situation not conducive to blissing out. It’s a Right-Left brain buster!

20140224-091207.jpg
Maybe that’s part of the piece. We only seem to catch a quick glimpse of it and then we are gone (hopefully). We are always left wanting more. At least I am. So I was happy that my friend somehow was able to photograph it so now I can look and look and look at it. Of course a photo has none of the life force of being in witness to it.

20140224-092106.jpg
Witness to the power of defining a border without sealing it.

(photos – Daphne Harwood – sew daphne.blogspot.ca)

Shared Inspirations

So many impressions ~ So many ideas ~ So many thoughtful creationstumblr_mipcobkAw41qfl268o1_500all get stored away 036ddc851f1ac1e457cbc4fd23c2648eand pondered46645_4451821142138_1409935378_nand moved by391321_10151524176357525_1743510723_nre-thinking & re-seeing & re-imagining420948_472021896171206_1821229318_n

They all enter my own workIMG_6044Come On In, I say! IMG_6045There is room for us all

mystery ~ my story

Context ~

When something is taken out of its context it can sometimes have a better chance of being seen. looked at, re-seen. It’s raw and unimpeded by what we have come to know when we know the big picture. Context gives the part of a whole piece meaning. Once we know and understand it, we cannot not see that smaller part as it stands alone. To look at just a piece of the whole can inspire a re-framing. It’s interesting to observe how we build narrative of our experience.

photo 4-3I can wonder a lot about what this is, I can muse on different perspectives ~ I have questions. Is this a close up or am I looking at something far away, who did this, how did this happen, what am I seeing? And on and on and delightfully on… It gets me wondering and isn’t that the great thing?

I’m going to post several images for you to see and mind-play with. At the bottom of the page I have posted a gallery of where I found each image. See what happens to your stories when you see them in context.

~ It’s just a game ~photo 5-1 photo 3 photo 3-3 photo 3-1 photo 2-5 photo 2-1 photo 1-5 photo 1-3 photo 1-2 photo 1-1Now here they are in context

the questions are more enlivening and engaging ~ don’t you think?

Modeling

I have mentioned this before but I don’t like posing for and modeling the things I knit on Ravelry or modeling the shawl pins I’ve been making. Maybe I am camera shy …..I have recently made a new line of coloured pins and …. ya … here we go again. I have to show them in play.

Honey Cowl+owlTP

Last time dear Matilda came to my rescue and I will hire her again, but I thought there should be a new look.

Years ago I was made a series of female clay vases. They could hold flowers that looked like colourful ideas and creativity coming out of their heads, I saw them as putting forth new ideas, not as containers for a flower arrangement, and that is a big difference.

woman in thoughtWell, they I suddenly saw them again as I was dreading going before the camera. Yes! They could model for me! They would be delighted! So with a little playing around with photoshop/photoshopping… not only did they model for me, they could go anywhere, I could play with the backgrounds.

So without further adieu … my new working partners.

Standing by the sea on a Northern Gulf Island.

Mermaid Pin ~ Imagine

Mremail-sealight-viewin my neighbourhood when we were in a thick fog for a week. It was quiet and mysterious,  the fog horns called out for days on end.

Trusting Owl Pin

Owl-model-fogThis is on the coast of Massachusetts

Sheep Pin

Sheep-mauve-mass marshand it’s Snowing!

Owl ~ knit wise

TP-OWL-mauve-snowflake

Inspiration

I collected a few images from the web that inspired me. I don’t know how they will work their way into my ideas and creations but they spoke to me so I collected them. We see so much these days, we are inundated with imagery and it is our “Normal” now. I can hardly imagine what it might have been like not too long ago where folks didn’t see much in the way of new imagery past their little town. Maybe they saw things in a deeper way since our minds seem to want to be refreshed with something new to look at. Maybe they saw more nuance in nature and the ordinary, or not …

c9d73c7ec9dc7a98cbcd7dff31e5fcc8

index

TOPSHOTS French director and choregraph

162060_101238938969_5925308_n

A little Hall Table fun

Last Fall we had this little visual conversation going on our front hall table. Each one of us would add, move or remove something on a whim, It lasted about a month, here is a little taste of our Hall Table Conversation

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Projects 40

A few years ago 5 artists friends and I got together for Projects 40. This link below will talk you to my results. We all followed a set list if 40 ideas/assignments. 5 all-day-long days creating these 40 explorations pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a invigorating creative bliss ~ my own rules were to use unfamiliar materials and unfamiliar techniques. Sometimes frustrating, sometimes suspiciously easy but in the end … very worth while.

http://projects40.wordpress.com/nancy/