Getting Organized

Hello again, can I admit something?  As much as I’m looking forward to this semester, I’m already feeling a little intimidated by the online/hybrid/in-person class format.  But I think I can reframe this anxiety and my lack of confidence in my study and organizational habits in a way that will help me plan ahead!

When trying to figure out where to begin reintegrating my school schedule (while battling the urge to simply go about my days as I’ve gotten used to them over break, which is easy to do while still home) I thought about what tools help me but that I don’t implement often enough.  Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to get used to making to-do lists and planning out my day and it’s time to double-down.

I think I’m ready to swallow my pride a little and begin to write down everything I have to do and create a place where I can visually keep track of my responsibilities.  I’ve already started and, as silly as it sounds, being able to check off a box on a to-do list is sometimes just as rewarding as completing the task itself.


What I’ve Checked off my List-  There’s one project I had put off all break.  But when I put it on a to-do list on my cell phone, I quickly became irritated by how long I let the task roll into the next day.  My goal was to have a place in my bedroom to, well, write down more lists for school!  I have a uniquely shaped wall and I’ve already applied two coats of blackboard paint.  My finishing step is to prep the surface for use (this is done by rubbing the whole wall down with white chalk and erasing it, leaving an even, grey chalkboard, it’s actually a lot of fun!)

Tumnus Moran Chalkboard Wall Project Progress
Oh and pardon my dog, when I made my bed to take the photo, he took it as an invitation to make the photo cute 🙂

Another box checked on my list this week was to draw anything, even a doodle in my notebook.  So here is my doodle!  I am happy that my classes this semester will help motivate me to put pencil to paper more often.

Tumnus Moran Demon Fella Doodle
Little Demon Fella

Now, with the start of a new semester upon us, I am more than excited to start planning for time in the ceramics studio!  In the spirit of staying organized (and lists!), I found a list of artists my professor gave me to consider.

Looking at the list with fresh eyes recently, there were several shapes that I found intriguing, and, when contemplating my own work, techniques I wish to explore soon.

It was hard not to find the closed forms in Toshiko Takaezu work endearing.  They also offered broad, inviting canvases for her stunning Raku glazes.  I think I am personally drawn to the Raku fired pieces for their signature black (which I believe is caused by the combustion in the rapid firing process but I would be super excited to learn more about that!) You can view more of her work here but this piece stood out to me.

Toshiko Takaezu Black Moon

“Black Moon”

Date : 1990s
Medium : Stoneware
Dimensions : Diameter: 57.8 cm (22 3/4 in.); Overall: 52.1 cm (20 1/2 in.)

Closer Look: Cleveland Museum of Art

Image: https://www.toshikotakaezufoundation.org/artwork-database/black-moon-cleveland-

My personal ideas for my work were also challenged by artists like Don Reitz and Peter Voulkos.  Looking at their work, I can’t help but notice how emotive a piece can be even when it’s elements are industrial or broken looking.  Both artists’ work makes me feel similar emotions and I can see myself exploring the deconstructing of my thrown pieces and more fluidity in my slab constructions.  I’m looking forward to taking the time to study these artists more in depth and learn more about the techniques behind their work.

Don Reitz Kachina
Florida Kachina, Don Reitz, 2009
38 x 12 x 12 1/2 in, Wood-fired stoneware
Image Citation
Snowmass, Peter Voulkos, 1995
Stoneware, 48 x 28 x 27 in
Image Citation

What’s playing-  So I’m not sure if I mumble or if it’s my Google Assistants ears, but when I asked for music the other day, I was randomly given a playlist of the Best of 2012.  There were so many songs on the list that made me happy, and while it’s a complete change of mood, this week I’m recommending picking a playlist for a random year on your music player of choice and remembering some old guilty pleasure songs.  Sketch something when you do and see what you come up with!

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