I highly recommend looking back through the chain of posts, there are some really amazing artists represented!
The hop was started by Kathy Loomis, see her blog here.
And make sure to read Christina's post in her Blog.
Now to answers some questions about myself:
1. What am I working on?
At this point in time I find myself working on a large number of different projects ranging from life-size ceramic sculpture to mold pressed jewelry pieces. For this stage in my career, I am still testing the waters and experimenting with new mediums and processes. I am also trying to refine my art-making process so that it can be more affordable and more available. Between that idea and my desire to create conceptual, high skill, work I am all over the place in the studio.
I do no think this is a bad thing. Because I am creating more parameters for my studio time, I am forcing myself to tailor what is coming out of my studio; I have to be more specific about what I spend my time on. The fun part about it is that I am experimenting with other materials and processes instead of just making solely ceramic work or using traditional processes..
While my sculpture still remains figurative, it too has seen a shift in materials. All my new pieces have some sort of non-ceramic material in them. I have become very interested in texture and the tactility of different materials.
Sculpture will always be my most rewarding form of creation but it is also the most difficult to sell. I have started a series of design work with ceramics to supplement my other studio work.
I have also recently landed a large scale tile wall piece commission with BMW and that will be taking up much of my time in the beginning of next year.
This question is a bit tricky. For my sculptural work my pieces are constructed in very unconventional methods and they also have a simplicity and mood that seems to be very different than other ceramic artists. In my process, for example, I build solid instead of slap or coil building, I cold finish with paint and other materials instead of using glaze, and I use a lot of epoxy, a lot. Instead of trying use more contemporary aesthetics such as bright colors or modern objects, my work tries to reach back in time or to be timeless. I turn to ancient Egyptian and classical work to inspire my form and materials. I also use unconventional and at times, unpractical, materials such as glitter, dyed Spanish moss, or junk.---- I don't know of any ceramic artists who use glitter.
3. Why do I do what I do?
There are so many reasons. Art is endlessly rewarding. Besides truly believing that exposure to art increases intelligence, problem solving, flexibly , and happiness, it also awards me a great number of fantastic opportunities. Artists have the unique luxury of associating with people in all kinds of places doing all kinds of things.
As far as my process goes, making sculpture in the method that I do is constantly changing, it is never dull or static. It keeps me moving and learning and improving myself. I am constantly having to meet people, practice, and research to accomplish what I desire. The end result is an tangible expression of that process that I can share with others. It is a true way of connecting with myself and my environment.
4. How does my process work?
I usually think about a piece I want to make for a while before I begin. Sometimes ideas come to me during everyday life, usually during reflective moments, and sometimes I come upon them in lucid dreams. After I have the beginnings of an idea, I spend a great deal of time thinking about it. Often times I will supplement this thinking with research or field trips. Once I have an idea in my head, I gather all the necessary materials to begin, sometimes that involves a drawing or some photographs, often it involves a model. I have no set method of working, every project is different. I will often try to imitate other artists processes to keep things interested in the studio as well.
Introducing Alice Ballard!
Alice's work is inspired by forms found in nature, and much of her artistic process is related to interacting with nature itself. She has a splendid garden and collection of found natural objects. To me Alice's work speaks about harmony, how she balances art-making teaching, and working in her garden, speaks to the nature of her work. I am constantly learning from her way of life--- Alice has found a wonderful marriage of work and pleasure!
Besides being an accomplished artist, Alice is an excellent educator. I myself have personally greatly benefited from her knowledge. She has a naturally nurturing personality that comes through in both her artwork and in the classroom. The inspiration that she has passed on to her students will last for generations.
Alice's Blog can be found here, She updates it quite regularly and is well worth a subscription.