Join me....

I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Collaborative Creations: SisterWork

"I can do things you cannot,
you can do things I cannot; together
we can do great things."
Mother Teresa

I am pretty certain that Mother Teresa was not referring to art when she made this statement, but the sentiment applies.  When two creative spirits merge amazing things can happen...especially when we freely recognize our own limitations and honor the abilities of another.  Such was the case when my sister, a potter, mentioned her need for some line images to me, an artist.  She was headed to a "transfer workshop" at the John C. Campbell Folk School and was not content (thank goodness) to work with publicly available "clip art."

 My sister Amy (who possesses a range of talents) remembered this drawing I did many years ago for which she wrote a poem.  In her mind she saw the drawing upon a vase.  Could we go there?


But the in-between story is one of experiments on both our parts...

I got busy doing some black and white line drawings of a variety of objects.

Some she requested, others I just wanted to do.

She took a pile of these along with a beautiful bounty of cups, bowls and vases she had prepared especially for this workshop.  They were in several stages of completion depending on the technique they would use to move these designs onto them.

Her "homework" waiting to be packed for class

Julie Hearne of Turning Point Pottery in Brasstown, NC planned to teach 4 transfer methods in the 2.5 day workshop but I am only going to share one (and that even briefly) here.  The "water slide decal" method involved a computer, photoshop, a printer with "magnetic ink character recognition" toner, transparencies and a bucket of distilled water.  The general idea is to size the image and print it onto the water slide decal transparency (available from Beldecal for $1.00 per page).  There is iron oxide in the ink toner.  Then you soak the transparency in the distilled water and slide it into place on the pottery.  Fire to cone 04 and.....

if the glaze plays well with the iron oxide....
if you understand photoshop and how to size and how to sharpen and how to whiten whites...
if your initial glaze does not darken too much hiding the image...
if you don't mind black lines in some cases and sepia colored ones on others.....
well then,
You will have a beautiful pot with an image permanently embedded.

(The secret to this alchemy is no secret: practice, test, repeat!  But we are full-out, balls to the walls kind of creators and the joy was in forging ahead and taking notes later...if we remembered them!)

Amy made a page of transparencies from a colored drawing I did

I wasn't at the workshop but Amy took enough notes and photos for us to hopefully re-enact the process down the road.  She became intrigued with the possibilities of using script and I can see all kinds of special drawings for use-specific pots.  I don't throw pots and she doesn't draw lines but oh my, imagine the trouble we can get into working together?!

More show and tell:

the image

the water glasses

the drawing made into water slide decals

the bowl interior (they wind around the sides also)

and some pasta bowls....

 I have never imagined my doodles or drawings being used as pottery decoration and now it is hard to get the thought out of my head.  I have painted pots before and become very frustrated as I could not see the true colors beneath the chalky finish of the glazes (admittedly I should have spent more time practicing, testing and repeating).  But this process is a single color effect....and now I want to know: can we layer them, can we combine with texture, can we make strips and chains of a long image to wrap around, can we....I love thinking "can WE..."

Even if you do not have a sister close enough to play with find a 'sister in creativity' and bite off a project, something that involves both of you adding a little something that the other one cannot.  It can be one of you cooking and the other doing the flowers for a dinner, maybe one of you writing the poem and the other one illustrating or typesetting it, one dyeing fabric the other making a bag from it.  The whole idea is to engage two brains...not competing but working together.  I guarantee you will see something emerge that you did not anticipate...the creativity gets dialed up several notches just by throwing ideas around (if you are cooking with brussel sprouts could I also use them as florals?)

I'm a huge fan of collaboration.  Go for it.  Let me know what comes of it.


p.s. My sis, AmyH does not have a website (yet) or I would direct you to it.  If you have any questions you need to run by her just send them to me and I will forward to soon as she completes her ocean sail through the Bahamas and Haiti she will reply.

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