Tuesday, August 26, 2008

S'more new work

Here are a few more pics of some other new stuff, and even though I said I wouldn't post about it any more, these pieces are faceted--blame Deborah Woods. So anyway, this first picture is of the larger bud vase form that Judy Shreve said that I should make. I'm not as happy with the form, but I'm too lazy to make more tonight. I think it either needs to be taller and straiter, or shorter and squattier (I have now declared that a REAL word). I still need to make a tray and arrange them with the larger one in the middle with several of the smaller vases around it. I really think that it's going to be neat when it's all done, but hand building was always my least successful activity in clay class.

This second picture is a new bowl with the fancy, smancy rolled lip that is so much fun to do. Sorry the picture is a little blurry--it's so damn humid outside that the camera lens is continually fogging up.

This third one is just a bottle, but I kinda like it. I like the relatively straight walls, but I may try it bulged out a little on my next batch. I'm also going to try the spring faceting tomorrow for the first time. We'll see how that goes :)

Lindsay and I have been talking seriously about grad school--both for her and me. She is going to go back and get her masters in education, and then I really, really want to go back and get my MFA, obviously in ceramics. I think she is going to start next fall (hopefully), so that puts me going back in four years (possibly). The scariest thing is really money--we made it through undergrad without any student loans, and I would love it if we could avoid them, but I don't think it is going to be possible. We are still at the early stages of discussing it, but we both really want it to happen. I know she is going back one way or another, but whether or not I go is up in the air. We've still got to look into financial aid and such, but I really hope we can do it! Not to mention we are trying to expand our family, which will put a very welcomed strain on the funds as well. Wish us luck--I'm sure we will figure something out!

(By the way, the pitcher from the last post bit the dust last night. I've only tried a few times to pull handles off the pot, and I've tried on big forms every time--don't ask me why--I'm an idiot. Needless to say, it didn't go too well. It's ok, I'll make more some day)


  1. Very funny you . . . still liking the work. When I was checking into going for my MFA (which I didn't do)I discovered that there are some schools that offer full tuition, which I took to mean that they paid your way. I think they can be competetive and only take a few students a year. I would check and ask around. You might be able to go for far less than you think. I'll let you know if I remember any details.

  2. Ben do you want to teach? If not maybe the money you would spend on an MFA you could use to set up a nice studio.
    I like the faceted bottle.

  3. too early -- I also want to tell you -- the bowl is fabulous - I love the rim against the facets!

  4. Deborah--What made you decide not to go for your MFA?

    Judy--I do think I want to teach. The more I think about what I want to do later on leads me back to teaching. When I first went into the history program at USC, I was going to teach, but history lost its appeal (as did teenagers ;). I think that I would really enjoy teaching ceramics--hopefully at the collegiate level.

  5. If I had been able to go soon after college I would definitely have.I still am pulled by it, but I think it's better for me now to move forward with trying to make some money from this. I think I'm probably a bit older than you however. I'm 42, so a different place in life. I still wonder if I'm making the right decision though.

    The way I look at it. You're most likely never going to look back in say 10 years and tell yourself, man I wish I had never gotten my MFA. However, it is quite possible you will look back and regret not getting it.

  6. Hi Ben - Been reading your blog and watching the developing series of faceted pots. The gradual development of forms and technique is an interesting process... as is your discussion on grad school. At a workshop with Suze Lindsay and Peter Beasecker several years ago, one of the participants asked that question. I remember Peter saying that formal education was the right path if you wanted to teach. If not, you could glean what you needed/wanted to learn in workshop settings and skip the other stuff. Of course, I think some of that depends upon your age. For the most part, all of us in the workshop were 40-somethings, which plays a part in that decision-making process as well.

  7. Thanks Deborah! I think you are right--I can never see regretting it.

  8. Patricia--I think that one of the most appealing things about school is the freedom it gives you for exploring new things. Grad students (those that I know anyway) are always pushed to try new forms, glazes, techniques, firings, etc. One of the reasons this appeals to me so much is that I don't really know which direction I want to go. Like you said, I'm young enough and early enough in my career that grad school may be the way to find my style/focus.

    Another aspect that really appeals to me is the constant feedback on new work. Blogging is really great for this too, but we tend to not be overly critical like many of the critiques I attended in college. Thanks for the great comments everybody! You are all the best!