Sunday, December 21, 2008

To do

I wish I had more time before Christmas. I'm only about half way through the to-do list my wife gave me.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Empty Bowls part 3

The kids in a circle bowls are very easy to make.
Each year for the Empty Bowls food bank fund raiser have my students make bowls that while retaining their childhood exuberance for art also contain a certain elegance and sophistication.
The past few years I have used a slump mold with my students. I made this slump mold using a large salad bowl that I filled with plaster. With this bowl shaped lump of plaster my students can form their bowls.
For the kids in a circle bowl the students used gingerbread cookie cutters to form the little people from slabs of clay rolled about ¾ of an inch thick. Then we placed the cutouts on the mold slightly overlapping with a little slip to help them stick together. I removed the clay from the mold when it was leather hard. After bisque firing I had the students paint the figures but each student could only glaze one figure on a bowl. That way each figure was very different, just like the kids.
Another bowl that the kids and I have done using the plaster slump mold is a hand bowl. After rolling out a slab I had the students trace their hand on the clay and then cut it out. This hand print was then placed on the slump mold along with about 5 other hands. Depending on how you place the hand prints on the mold the bowls look either woven or like a flower.
I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures but my art classes are only 45 minutes long and we have to start and finish clay projects in that time and it is hard to find time to take pictures during the process.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Sometimes even when you know change is coming when it happens it is still a shock.
1982 while still in college I first used Polaroid film as part of my chosen profession. Yes I had used Polaroid before, my parents had a huge Polaroid camera I think we got it in the late 1960's or early 70's. It was great and we took it everywhere. Polaroid Automatic 350
But in college I began using it as part of my professional photography.
5466959  I then used for the next 17 years all variates of Polaroid  film. During the height of my professional photography career I would use two or three boxes of film a day. To check lighting, proof shots for clients, record ideas, ok locations,props, models with art directors.I cannot imagine shooting without it.   I even carried a timer and thermometer with me to use the film as a backup to my light meter. (Polaroid develops at a precise rate according to time and temp)With that knowledge and a good lab I very rarely had over or under exposed film.
About 2 years ago I first heard rumblings that Polaroid would be ceasing production but today I read on a  web site that December 2008 is the last month of production. No more, the end, find something else to use, start stockpiling.
I'm sure, no I know that there are kids that have no idea about Polaroids but they sure were fun. I really enjoied pulling that film apart and seeing the image. The excitment of being on location and relizing that I was down to the last few sheets and I knew that the art director would want more, they always wanted to see yet one more Polaroid.
I think I still have part of a box of 54 stored away. I think I'll take some Polaroids on December 31 in memory of a friend.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Empty Bowls part 2

Last month I wrote about the Empty Bowls project I did with the students at Mary E. Bryan Elementary and I promised to post pictures. Well as always the project did not get finished till the last minute and I forgot to take pictures till I was delivering the bowls to the Second Harvest Food Bank. So just before I took the bowls in I opened up one of the boxes and picked a bowl. The only place I had to shoot was on top of my car with my cell phone. Ok not the best situation but here is one of the bowls. They did turn out very cute and the kids had a great time personalizing each figure.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sewing in class

This year I wrote a grant to create a quilt with my students. For this I needed to teach the kids to use a sewing machine. When I gave my classes an impromptu survey about 2 or 3 students per class had used a sewing machine, usually with a grandmother. Not very many but by the end of next week all 500 of my students will have sewed two straight seams.
All of my students will participate in this project in some way. Today I have the two TMH (Trainable Mentally Handicapped) and I had them sewing or at least sitting in front of a machine watching how it was done. It is quite interesting sewing hand over hand.
I also found it interesting how well the boys did. They would watch the demonstration and study the mechanics of the machines and do quite well with their first experience with sewing.
This week all the students are making small bags to store the clay trivet in that we have spent the last month making. All are looking froward to being able to take home this treasure.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sometimes my head just hurts.

One of the blogs that I regularly read is "Wired Top Stories". On November 24 there was a follow up story on former Connecticut school teacher Julie Amero who had been prosecuted on pornography charges. From this she faced 40 years in prison.
Then on December 1 there was another story about Lori Drew. She was the mom that created a fictional MySpace page that eventually drove a 13 year old girl to commit suicide. For this she now faces up to 3 years in jail and $300,000 in fines.
Why do I get the feeling that we are not on the same page.


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