Orient, WA, United States
Sacred clay becomes Pagan Bling for your sacred spaces. Bend, stretch or tweak clay into almost impossible shapes? Why not!
Besides working with clay? Sustainability! And I'm crazy about building things out of old weathered boards and cool junk. No TV but reading mystical, paranormal or books about ancient cultures and new discoveries plug me into all kinds of new realities.
Skills and Techniques
It all began in the hillside basement of an old Queen Anne house in Seattle. There was a pure layer of clay. Primal, untouched...smelling of humus and mold, it began teaching me secrets in my upstairs art room. I ordered a kiln and the adventure unfolded over the next 40 years. Everything is made from earthenware slab which means I hand roll the clay to whatever thickness. I scrub on (and then off) layers of oxides and glazes to acheive the rich colors that accent the imprinted design textures.
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Get to Know
Must say I have loved my life so far. Shanghaied as a nine year old kid, I pulled fish, cooked and got my marine radio operators license while I was my dad's only deck hand the next three summers on a salmon troller in Alaska. The trips lasted 8 to 10 days and were out of sight of land.
As a young married adult I first lived on an old cedar raft type houseboat on Lake Union in Seattle WA. A huge, strange old unfinished brick house overlooking the ship canal became home next, with a big wild yard to love. (I also had a table on Flower Row selling my first clay stuff at the funky Pike Place Market in the seventies, before it was renovated.)
Then came the back to the land thing during the days of initiating the first food co-ops and we were starting free womens' clinics. Living off the grid was a hot topic that brought us a move onto 20 acres of raw land in Southwest Oregon, where we could try our hand at sustainability. Later at one point, I lived in a cabin that was a 2 mile hike in where I now had the help of six kids (3 mine and 3 new ones) plus a burro and some horses to tote groceries, laundry and building supplies.
Meanwhile my electric kiln was in storage in a neighbor's chicken coop until another bigger change (we need not go there) inspired me to buy my own first house. In a cute little cottage in Bandon Oregon, my focus once more became primarily on artwork. I began making masks that sold in the west coast galleries and traveled with my kids doing the art fair circuits from Puget Sound to Southwest Oregon.
I did a few artist in resident classes in the public schools and opened a shop in a delapidated oldtown building on the waterfront. I taught small Cosmic Doo Dah Sessions privately and began arranging invitational art shows to sell my work at friends' houses. That scenerio was somewhat like a Tupperware party, but way more get down, new age woo woo, wild women's gatherings type fun.
Being a certifiably obcessed DIY person, I upgraded 3 houses best I could and built 3 rustic cedar house trucks over the years. My scariest project was relocating a toilet and replacing the waste lines here in my house at Orient WA. For a long time there were 2 toilets in my bathroom...one of them duct taped shut while I got up nerve enough to completely switch to the new system.
So I have a small studio now, read a lot, collect cool junk, garden, float the Kettle River every summer and try to cook enough tasty healthy food so the bad stuff I eat doesn't kill me off. Since my artwork has always been self taught and learn as I go, it's usually one big endless experiment. That's probabably what keeps me hooked...opening that kiln. Though the surprises can be somewhat alarming, it often turns into just plain fun if glaze re-dos produce some new keepers.
Stay tuned for whatever comes out of the kiln next and thanks for checking out my ArtFire site.
*The tiny original kitchen which I'm turning into a studio. The highback sink...best slop sink ever.
Seems I am always working on inventory in the middle of a half finished re-model.
The beginning steps of making a candle holder tray.
The cedar housetruck I built to hold and display all my gear for the fairs. Tore the bed off an old 3/4 ton Chevy and designed storage bins, a bed loft and a small kitchen.