Saturday, November 27, 2010

Completion of complicated work

One of the hardest things for me to do is recreate something complicated like this photo in an artwork.  It's like I can't get my brain around everything that's going on. 

So what I do is eliminate, simplify and change.  It makes it easier for me, and it "reads" better when it's done.  

I got rid of many of the flower buds, changed the dead cactus pad in the center, and used some, not all of the prickly pear pads.  

I finally finished it this week.  What do you think?  The client saw it just before I got done, and she was very pleased.  I had gotten the feel of the picture, which is what she wanted.  

Thorned Jewels

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Proud Grandma

That beautiful tall boy on the right is my middle grandson.  His flag football team won the championship this last Saturday.

We were all so proud!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The big celebration

Here are some of my family members who came from near and far to see the changes in downtown Chandler and to look at all the benches our group did. 

It was an especially exciting night for me.  Everything looked fantastic, and it was so cool to see people just strolling around downtown. 

Saturday's block party was really hopping!  Lots of people, lots of activities.  Lots of WIND!  Oh well, it wouldn't be an outdoor event if weather wasn't a factor. 

It's back to the studio today to finish cleaning up and glazing tile. 

The end is in sight!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Tomorrow is the big day.  It's the downtown Chandler block party from 12-8.  There are going to be speeches and booths (can you say fry bread, yummmm) and our group is giving walking tours from the new Vision Gallery adjacent to the City Hall.  If you'd like to see what Vision Gallery looks like go to

My sister's coming in today from Minnesota and we're going to go tour the benches.  Then my sister-in-law and my nephews are coming down from Scottsdale.  It's an exciting time for me.  I'll take some pictures today and show them next week.

Party on!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2 Sides to the Story

Some of our tile project's benches are different from one side to the other. 

The sidewalk side of Steve's bench, Snakes and Roses, shows the intricacy of the individual pieces.

The street side, shown below, has more of a uniform pattern, and a different color treatment. 

The thinking was that people viewing the benches from the street would be driving by, so would not have the opportunity to stop and view the  the work.  People seeing it "sidewalk side" could sit down and get a chance to enjoy the full effect.  

The street side's still pretty cool, I think.  Great job, Steve!

Monday, November 15, 2010


There's two big goings-on this week I wanted to be sure locals knew about.

1.  Thursday, all day, Chandler Gilbert Community College is having their student ceramic sale.  It's from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the student center.  Prices are reasonable and it's a great opportunity to get a nice little something for some of the people on your Christmas list.  I'll have a few things there, but not as much.  Seems I've been a little sidelined this last year.

2.  The sideline.... The dedication of the new City Hall in Chandler is Saturday at noon.  There are a lot of things going on from noon to five that might be worth checking out.  The new location of Vision Gallery is open, there's going to be an artwalk with lots of new artists, and our tile group will be available at Vision to give walking tours of our completed, yes, I said COMPLETED benches.  All ten benches are done, except of course, mine with the missing end.  (Working on that). Two of the art tables are done with another three going in this week, and some of the sculpture pedestals will be in.  You ought to come down and see what's what!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Group effort (Mostly Ted!)

There were two benches out of the ten that were group efforts.  Al and Sue did one, and Steve, Ted and I did one.  Actually, Ted did most of the work on this one, at least all the simple stuff, like the basic idea, the green leafy design, making the green leafy design, designing the background tiles, you get the picture.  Steve and I contributed the grunt work labor and some color decisions.  And, if you look really close, you will see my famous Esco dots on the leafy green parts.

Ah, I do all the hard stuff....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You win some, you lose some...

Do you remember this one?  I'm going to do a tile table, and these were the first tiles I put underglaze on.  The colors, when they're fired, are supposed to be:  chartreuse, avocado, violet, rose, orange, white, red, and turquoise.

Well, that isn't exactly what I got.  The turquoise, chartreuse, and orange turned out just fine.  The violet was sketchy, and the rose was horrible.  The problem with the violet was I didn't do enough layers.  I did 2, and it needed 3.  I think that the problem with the rose was that I mixed it myself.  Obviously not a very good idea.  Ordering more underglaze today, and will try this again. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Dance of Life

Friday night was the re-opening of the Herberger Theater's art gallery.  I was one of the artists selected to display a piece.  The guest artist was John Wadell.  He does these amazing bronzes of dancers.  He has 12 large bronzes in front of the theater.

The reception was pretty cool.  We went with some friends and enjoyed seeing all the other artist's work, then Mr. Wadell spoke for a bit.  He's a very lucid and entertaining 92 years old.  They also had some interpretive dancers performing for us. 

My pencil drawing, "Practice, Practice, Practice" is actually taken from some poses I had my daughter-in-law do for me.  If you'd like to see some of the other work from the exhibit, go to and go to the art gallery tab, and then View Current Exhibit.  And there I am!!!! 

Off to the studio today to make tile.  We're getting close to finishing our original contract, so that's pretty exciting.  The City has also approved two more pieces.  So after Thanksgiving, we'll be doing some more.  One of these days here soon I'm gonna get back to wheel throwing.  Just not holding my breath!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Table in Progress

We went downtown Friday and Saturday to look at the progress of our work.  There was a lot more to see on Saturday but I hadn't brought my camera.  Good thinking, huh?

But Friday they had started on my table, and I was thrilled to see it actually put together. 

The bottom layer isn't completed yet.  I don't know if they're waiting for the rest of the brickwork to get done, or if they were waiting for the name plate to finish. 

But I was so pleased to see how it's looking, even though it's not finished, and the grout is not in.  It still looks pretty cool, huh?

The top looks even better than I thought it would.  It's great to get good surprises now and then.

Steve's Snakes and Roses bench has been put in, and looks fantastic, even without the grout. 

The group bench we did with Ted has the street side done and the sidewalk side started as well.

There's going to be a lot more done this week, and next weekend would be a great time to go down there and take a little walk.  Exactly my plan!  This time I'll remember to bring my camera!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010


I went downtown yesterday to talk to the tile guy to correct a little mistake in my newest bench.  They had put the background "hole" tile in horizontally.  Nope, all vertical.  That one was my fault.  I was not specific. 

And got a great shocker.  I am 18 tiles short on the blue background.  Going in to the studio today to scour the joint.  If I can't find any hidden away, looks like I'll be making tile today. Kept me awake all last night. 

The good news:  they started on my turtle table yesterday afternoon.  I'm going by there this morning on my way to the studio to take a picture and see how it's going. 

I must have done the calculations for that bench half a dozen times.  I looked at my numbers and they still look right.  This is not the fun part. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

2nd bench in progress

This was yesterdya morning about 8:30.  Andrew from Custom Tile LLC met me and we laid out the vignette and talked about how the background tiles would go in. 

Then I left it in his capable hands.

My husband and I came back to look later in the afternoon.  The main portion of the vignette was in - do you see the tumbleweed holiday tree in the center?  And most of the background tile was in place as well. I imagine it will be close to finished today, then grouted early next week.  My table is supposed to be started tomorrow, too.  Yeah, yeah, yeah!!!

Here is the street side.  Ted and I call these the "brain tiles".  They're on our group bench too. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ah Scarlet, tomorrow's another day!

Tomorrow's gonna be a big day.  We have several benches that are scheduled for installation, including my last one, along with some of the tables.

Very excited to get going again.  Will take some pictures as we progress and post them.  If not tomorrow, then Thursday fer shur.