I know what you're thinking- how in the world can it already be week four!?!?!? I know the feeling, yet, here we are, half way through the summer session, the shelves are full, the kilns are pumping, and tomorrow, we are loading our cone 10 soda kiln! Yes, it is ALL happening, so with that in mind, here are some things you might want to consider while going about your work in the studio. First, weeks seven and eight are for finishing work only, and not starting new work. B, there is only a one week break between sessions, so, if you are planning on signing up for a fall class, you can keep your cubbie and unfinished work in there, though I'm guessing that if you're reading this for updates, you are most likely not a person who will need to do that. Three, the sign up for Fall session is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, so pay attention to ye ol' inbox and IG account for announcements for students/members to sign up before the general public. Classes fill up super, duper, diabolically FAST, so...don't get caught snoozing on this. There is going to be some really cool stuff this fall. Don't miss it.
Critique club is not just about the critique. I mean, it is, but it's really more about learning how to look at art from an unemotional place and figuring out what works, what doesn't, and how it could be stronger as a piece of art. Even if you don't have a piece to bring, you can learn an extraordinary amount about making things well. Listening to people talk about their processes and having dialogues around goals, strategies and problem solving is an invaluable and unique way to learn about the creative and not-so-creative approach to making things with clay. So just come. It's awesome. Also...Dylan often brings home baked goods to these things, and I have to tell you, he is not only good at making pots and hiding in bisqued vases. He is also very good at yummy treats. See you Tuesday night at Burnish at 6 pm!! There is nothing like this in Bellingham, and it is a small slice of the value you get by being a part of the Burnish community. Take advantage.
If you have been around the studio for any time at all, you know Hilde Schaaf, clay artist, instructor, and living legend. Hilde started in clay at a very young age in Germany. She grew up in an area of Germany where there is a long-standing pottery tradition, in a family of potters. It is easy to see her ease and expert touch in her work and in the way she assists her many students.
Hilde also makes her own bamboo brushes, which led to an exploration of mark making and brush strokes on her work. She has worked with some of the greats, was a studio potter for roughly 30 years, and now, she is at Burnish Clay Studio. Hilde helps. She feeds people, supports friends and colleagues constantly, and is incredibly generous with all her amazing clay knowledge. If you get a chance to take a class with her, count yourself lucky. She is truly a gem of a human and a spectacular maker.
Tip of the week
This tip comes straight out of a throwing class this week and it's about trimming. Trimming seems like it is mostly dependent on the tool you use, but the real secret to trimming is that you have to let the wheel do the work. When your clay is leather hard, and your wheel is moving slowly, this is when most people push down on the tool, dig in to the clay, and make mistakes. The best way to trim is to speed the wheel up and allow the tool to skim the surface of the clay without too much pressure, thusly allowing the clay ribbons to come off the pot evenly while minimizing the occurrence of chattering.
If the attempt of trimming does result in chattering, simply take a small trimming tool, find a corner and trim off an unpredictable and different thin pattern around the pot to throw off the rhythm of the chatter. Once you have that thin and non-rhythmic pattern carved into the pot, you can use your large tool and the wheel's speed to trim off all the chattering and the uneven pattern you created to obscure it.
Bellingham National Juried Art Exhibition and Awards
Acts of Healing and Repair
The Whatcom Museum is seeking submissions by artists of all backgrounds who respond to the theme of healing in their work for this year’s Bellingham National Exhibition titled Acts of Healing and Repair.
This fourth biennial Juried Art Exhibition and Awards will take place at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building, and will open to the public Sunday, November 12. The guest juror of this year’s “Bellingham National” is Grace Kook-Anderson, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art at the Portland Art Museum.
Artists may submit up to three artworks for consideration for this exhibition. Application fee of $35 is a one-time fee.
Important dates to note:
August 11: Deadline for Entries. Apply online.
September 25: Juror’s selection for the Bellingham National 2023 will be announced via email and the CaFÉ website
October 23 – 28: Artwork received at Whatcom Museum via shipment or personal delivery
November 11: Exhibition preview reception
November 12: Exhibition open to the public
February 25, 2024: Exhibition closes and artwork is returned