Monday, June 23, 2008

When Pigs Fly

Today is a sad day for millions of George Carlin fans. The comic genius passed away yesterday evening at the age of 71. I adored his off-color, irreverent humor and although I know it was too explicit for some people, I loved the fact that he poked fun at the truth in ways that I sometimes found shocking and pretty twisted. I went to see him perform many years ago and got to hear his "incomplete list of impolite words". I still laugh when I think about him rattling those off. If you've never heard this part of his routine and think you can handle it, click here. I recommend not having children in the room while you're listening to this. It's full of "bad words" so don't watch it if you have delicate sensibilities about that sort of thing.

I guess I have a bit of the twisted thing going on too, especially late at night when I'm surrounded by funny people like Marla Frankenberg. The above photo is our version of a flying pig, aka Heavenly Ham, that we made after a weekend workshop that Marla did here in WV. I keep it hanging in my studio as a reminder that sometimes life is so absurd all you can do is laugh.

Toni Ransfield from New Zealand has a much more elegant take on the flying pig theme. This one is made around a real chicken egg.

We're all familiar with the whole idea of the phrase "when pigs fly" as a comment on an absurd notion but maybe it's become a bit trite and overused. Perhaps, "when pigs dive" may be a more up-to-date choice in today's world.

May your day be filled with much laughter and minuscule amounts of absurdity.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mystery Man

I know very little about David Revonav (I think that's his last name) other than he's a Washington, DC - based artist who recently started to work with polymer clay. Here's one more thing I know: I adore this ring in his Etsy store and I'm really sad it's not my size!

Beautiful, simple, clean work with a modern aesthetic. I love it!

One thing I'm not too fond of right now is AOL. I'm struggling to get anything accomplished online. All the more reason to stay at my studio table and keep my hands in the clay. Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Friday, June 13, 2008

All Over the Map

Thanks to the magic that is Flickr, I've traveled the world this week looking at some wonderful artwork from talented individuals that I may never have otherwise had the opportunity to experience.

Enno de Kroon is an artist from The Netherlands who paints on egg cartons and has totally blown me away with his whole concept of two-and-a-half dimensional art. When viewed at an angle, his paintings provide a totally different perspective than the frontal view that's shown here. This is how he describes his choice of canvas and the viewer's experience:

"As a painter I consider egg cartons as two-and-a-half dimensional objects which offer me remarkable possibilities for imagery. The waves of the egg cartons limit the viewer's perception; they also make him aware of his positioning towards the image. The intentional limitation in subjective perception gives room for imagination and recall: the process of occlusion. By a fusion of direct and indirect perception conventional imagery is overtaken. At first sight this leads to a physical and mental incompleteness, that forces an integration which can only take place within the inner experience, apart from time and space."

His Flickr profile is full of fascinating glimpses into the amazing work he calls Eggcubism and the process it entails. You'll be missing out if you don't make a stop here yourself.

A trip to Spain brought me this beautiful necklace by Natalia Garcia. It reminds me of some vintage inlaid mother of pearl beads I have in my stash which I can't bring myself to let go of. I love the look and the feel of this piece, which is also very reminiscent of capiz shell. For those of you who are attending the Euro Clay Carnival in England next month, you'll get to meet Natalia there as she is one of the instructors.

A quick jaunt off to Scotland and I was enjoying the cool fantasy sculptures by Marc and David Green. This one is Tricksy, riddle-maker and master of manipulation.

These artists have provided much-needed relief from what I will always remember as "the summer of the locusts" here in the U.S. The irritating sound they make is bad enough but I happen to have a bad-ass locust eater living in my house that takes every opportunity to chase them down and devour them when he goes into the backyard under the guise of relieving himself.

The poor slow-moving locusts don't stand a chance against the cunning and speed of Baxter, the Wonder Dog. However, they take their revenge a couple of times a day when we're treated to the unmistakable sound of a retching schnauzer who deposits half-eaten locusts in the floor. I'm sure you can guess who has the honor of cleaning that mess up. Flickr is the only thing keeping me sane at this point.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Day of the Dead

I know it's a little early for a Day of the Dead celebration. My research showed that it's observed early in November. But, Tamra Kohl, a Texas artist whose background is in commercial sculpting, celebrates her appreciation for this traditional Mexican holiday every day of the year. I love her caterpillar which brings to mind a strange mutation of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Jack Skeleton from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

And coming to a parade near you, the shriner in his little car is just perfect!

Her tribute to Hank Williams, Sr. is another of my favorites. The talented Tamra shares more of her work here, including some wonderful photos of the process she goes through to create these fascinating, colorful sculptures.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Decoupaged Polymer Clay

Julia, aka White Guppy, is a Spanish artist who's come up with a way to decoupage onto polymer clay. Her beautifully patterned pillow beads first caught my eye on Ebay. Although she sells these beads herself, she's been generous enough to share her method for creating them on her blog and like so many of the talented European clayers, she's also included an English version of her tutorial.

I think her method would translate wonderfully to tube beads, as well. Or perhaps, this half-moon hollow bead design by Michele "Luny" would be a nice way to show off some interesting patterns.

I like the fact that both of these ladies have taken the time to experiment and come up with something unique in their approach to bead design. Hope you find the time to try something different yourself this week!