October was a busy month, and I am not talking shopping for a Halloween costume ! San diego saw a myriad of ceramics-oriented activities across the county and beyond, including several exhibit openings, like the San Diego's Craft Revolution at the Mingei Museum, or the COVA Invitational Exhibition at the San Diego Art Institute. So many things to see but so little time. I finally made my way to both exhibits today, and I was blown away by the quality and originality of the work. Some of the artists at COVA are friends and seeing their pieces on display, under bright light, made me appreciate the details and craftsmanship they put into it even more. The Mingei, as always, did a wonderful work at rendering the vibe and feel of the Craft era that swept Southern California in the 50s through the 70s. I was amazed by the wonderful woodwork on display, notably some very curvy furniture and a huge pendulum clock. The ceramics were interesting, in a very much earthy kind of way. More focus on forms and details than on the glazes.
But October was also a month of workshops. I focused my attention on three.
1) Moldmaking at Palomar College with Peter Pinkus.
Making mold is unkown territory for me, so this was perfect. In 3 hour time, Peter demonstrated the use of a mold by making his trademark colorful designs on slipcast pieces, as well as preparing plaster and casting a mold. That was very nice of Palomar College ceramics department to open this free workshop to locals. From what I heard, the visit was paid by the sales of the student's work. Awesome !
2) Salt and soda firing at Francis Parker High School (CASD sponsored).
CASD sponsored another salt and soda firing at Steve Cook's ceramics studio. Much more hands-on than the workshop at Idyllwild. I got to spray soda ! What a rush !
3) Brushmaking workshop at Clay Associates Studio with Glenn Grishkoff (CASD-sponsored).
"The brush both as function and art" was a titillating title for a CASD workshop, I had to check it out. Glenn came down from Palm Desert to teach us how to make our own brushes from scratch, mainly bamboo sticks, animal hair (as well as feathers and straw), and strings. It was fun, intense (hardly stopped for lunch), and greatly rewarding. I went home with 9 original brushes, with skunk tail, squirrel tail, moose hair, deer tail, horse mane, hackle feather, among other things. Now we need Glenn for another workshop, so we can use them !