Sunday, March 9, 2014


One of the special things about art is you are never too young or to old to be an artist and do art.  Maryann is a fellow student and friend of mine in art class. She is my role model for an active 80 year old! We take pottery together at a wonderful city recreation program offered by the city of Tampa. She comes to class dressed to kill in pressed jeans and heels.  She says she throws better on the  pottery wheel with heels!  Her jeans had a crease that is just so, and her boot heels are always polished to a shine.  She doesn't do pretty little Sunday art, she dives in raku and big clay projects.  She brings handmade chocolates and deserts to class ever time.  She is always putting some major party together or off on a cruise with her husband Don.  She is positive, smiling and full of " I can do spirit"!   Here she is learning to saggar fire with Kathy, our teacher.  

Our teacher Kathy and fellow friend and  classmate  Maryanne

Our Best Dressed Artist in Class, Maryann
She even throws with heels on!!

Etching solution pour 

Applying etching compound for saggar firing

experimenting with different materials for a sager firing
Aluminum foil wrap

Kathy is a teacher who has a wonderful sense of  humor and loves her students

Monica is another student who started classes at the same time I did.  Monica is from Peru, she is an art history major and has worked at the Dali museum as an education ass. co-ordinator.  She met Brian this past year and they married.  I think she will be staying in America!  She is a dynamo of persistence and patience. She has accomplished major skills in a short amount of time.  She and I have become the best of friends and it amazing to watch her grow in art and life.

Trim work takes time and patience

Monica Guerrero is fast becoming an accomplished potter
These are the latest raku pieces that I worked on.  The faces are from a mold which causes me some conflict. I have always had trouble reconciling my art training which called for total self creation as opposed to the use of molds.  I prefer to create everything with my own hand, but in some cases I have decided to use molds for repetition in larger projects, as a part of a whole. I have a concept for a large show that has many components and these faces would be part of a total concept.  I like the way both faces turned out.  I had an idea the white crackle glaze would work well.    I also layered strips of torn newspapers over sections of the form, then applied the glazes. Laying on the newspaper strips blocks the glaze and leaves that area unglazed for firing. In the raku firing the unglazed area turns black. I thought more contrast and texture would add interest to the finished product.  I am very pleased with both.  

My Raku Faces

Raku with White Crackle
Raku with Sagent Green

 When I started these city funded art classes I was still very ill and struggling with fatigue.  Just to being at class part of a day took all my strength. Some days when taking glass and clay class together in the same day I could only make parts of a day or  I would go to my car at lunch break and take a nap. 
 These days I am fine and making a whole day is no problem.  But I credit these people and these art classes to my healing.  Check and see if your city offers art programs.  It can often be a great deal and offer you a knew lease on life. The classes are very reasonable cost wise. 
 Thank you Tampa Recreation Department for providing quality art instructors and a studio atmosphere environment! Kudos to you.! 
If you city doesn't offer these, the have them call Tampa Recreation Programs or check for other cities that successful have programs like this. I will provide links for you here: City of Tampa Recreation Art Classes.
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