Clay, etc.

As you may have noticed, I have stopped complaining about my job.  The freaking out has kind of subsided and I have just been…content? Maybe that’s the right word.  I have been thinking about that fine line between contentment and complacency, and I really feel like if I was being complacent my gut would tell me and it just wouldn’t feel right.  For some reason or another I just decided that it’s ok if I don’t do something that is world changing for a job.  Sometimes I get that sense of urgency that life is short and I am just wasting time doing something I think is dumb, and then this causes a panic to run for the hills (or to live in a basement studio apartment, ride a scooter, and work at Starbucks and volunteer because somehow that is better…)  While I am certainly not opposed to getting a new job someday sooner or later, I have just kind of been enjoying the paycheck and doing other things that make me happy.  How does this bring me to the subject of pottery?  Well, my major in college was ceramics, and while I certainly was not on a path to change the world back then, I was definitely at my happiest.  I have been researching some classes I may or may not take in the fall, just to get back into it again.  There are a few studios in Chicago, Park West Ceramics and Lincoln Square Pottery Studio Learning Center  that look interesting to me.

When  I was at the Art Institute this week I saw some pretty ancient pieces that I loved.  I love how organic these shapes are and there are no fancy bells and whistles.  I think they could all pretty much fly as modern, if you ask me…although I don’t know anything about this time period in Japan!  I also love that they are non functional in the traditional way, which makes me even more curious about them.  I think that long ago most people were making things that they could “use,” unless they were symbolic or used for religious reasons. (That is my casual interpretation of history, at least!)

Japanese Earthenware, 5th-7th Century

Japanese Earthenware, 5th-7th Century

I LOVE this form below.  It reminds me a little of Peter Voulkos.  The description said it was found under kiln ruins and is considered to be a damaged vessel that was a clay bowl fused together with part of a saggar which was a box or compartment used to protect the bowls, etc. in the kilns.  I think it looks pretty awesome as it is.

Glazed Stoneware, China, (1279-1386)

Here is some work by Peter Voulkos.  I had a studio tech in college that studied with him so I felt like I learned a lot about him.  Sadly, he passed away the day before I was supposed to go to a lecture by him in Ohio.

Peter Voulkos, Isis, 2001

Peter Voulkos, Red River, 1960

Peter Voulkos, Plate, 1998


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Roberto Matta might be my new favorite!  In the spirit of embracing going solo, I went to the Art Institute today for my first day of vacation.  I have to say, going to a museum might be my favorite solo thing to do…you can go at your own pace, skip what you want, and hang out in the same gallery until you’re done looking.

Today my favorite was this piece by Chilean artist Matta:

"The Earth is a Man" Roberto Matta, 1940-1

It’s hard to see the detail in this photo but I could look at it forever.  It kind of drove me crazy (not in a bad way) because I could not figure it out.  I like to imagine how a piece was created when I go to museums and this had so many transparent layers and intertwining shapes that I cannot tell what his process was.  I’m trying to look up more information on him and one article about this painting said it was “vibrating.”  He was a fan of Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali, and Arshile Gorky and moved from Santiago, to Paris, and then eventually to the States in 1933.

Here is some more of his work that I found online.  I wish I could find bigger pictures…

"Invasion of the Night" 1941

"Light Forms" 1940

"On fleur, on oiseau, on" 1940

"On fleur, on oiseau, on" 1940

Maybe you can kind of get the gist.  Although in detail they are much more fascinating.

Here is picture of the new-ish Modern Wing and a few other things I liked.  I spent a lot of time in Asian Art galleries looking at ooooooold pottery.  I took lots of pictures so stay tuned.  Nothing like ancient art to  get you excited about clay again!

I remember loving this one when I came here when I was younger.  It's Japanese earthenware from the 5th-7th century.

I remember loving this one when I came here when I was younger. It's Japanese earthenware from the 5th-7th century.

An installation by Dahn Vo. You can't tell but it's all painted gold.

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Stress Arrest!

I got this life changing supplement (I’m serious!!) from The Gleason Center in Spring Lake, Michigan.  My family has been seeing Dr. Gleason for years and a while back I had some testing done and he made some great recommendations for supplements.  I have to say, taking this and cooling it on the sugar per his recommendation has helped me feel amazing!!  It has GABA, which I was told is the main calming neurotransmitter in your body and a bunch of other things to support your body and brain when dealing with stress.  You can take on at night and it helps you fall asleep and then you feel incredible the next day!  I called the office to thank them for telling me about this and they said the whole office takes it and loves it.  On one hand this is great, on the other it tells you a lot about the world we live in where everyone feels the need to take something in order to relax.  Still, I would recommend this to anyone, especially with what we are all bombarded with all day, every day.

Gimme some GABA please! You can get it at $22.99 for 90 capsules.

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Whole Foods is Stressful

Unfortunately, I am embarrassed to say I know exactly how this guy feels.


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Summer Music?

I can’t wait for the new Bon Iver to come out next week…it’s going to be SO good!

Also, ❤ Jill Andrews!

Truth by Alexander is a good one too.

I’m also past the point of feeling nerdy about what I listen to, I just don’t care, so I’m going to throw out this Nikki Minaj song that I think is awesome.

So, in the spirit of summer sharing/summer favorite survey time….what are you guys listening to??

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Summer reading

I love that there’s a book and video exchange at the end of my street.  So far I have only taken a thesaurus from it, but it would be fun to donate too.  So far I’m doing pretty well on my new commitment to read more.  I just finished The Help and I asked Laura the Librarian to bring me a book home tonight and she brought me This is a Book by Demetri Martin.  It’s supposed to be hilarious.  Also, on the list for a book club is Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson.

What are you reading?





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Patience, and probably a cocktail.

After my first week back at work I’m a little too cranky to write a well thought out post, so I’m going to share one of my favorite quotes.  I had it in a frame for a long time, then replaced it with a photo that I took at Lula, and then one of my favorite people shared it with me again this week.

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the question themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)

Heres the photo that replaced my quote…at Lula in my favorite front window seat.


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