Saturday, March 30, 2013

Freaking Out

Plates Getting Silkscreened

Teapots Getting Decals

Bisque Fired Pots Awaiting Glazing and Firing

Flower Carousel
This week was Spring Break. It snowed every day till Thursday. Today (Saturday) we finally had a sunny day and warmer weather. It's been a rough week. I fired a kiln and had a few successes and quite a few disappointments (oh, shino let me down). 4 weeks till my BFA show...time to freak out even worse than I already am. Some of the projects I wanted to do went awry and I feel as though I've let some of my teachers down. I don't really know what to do except keep working and try to make things better next time. At least the firing went well. Only 9 hours as opposed to the 23 hour salt firing I did a few weeks ago. What a horrible experience! And I've decided I am making porcelain and making some porcelain pots for my last semester once this show stuff is over.

Shows, graduation, and life stress are starting to wear me out. I'm getting anxious and frustrated. It's a lonely place to be. And although I have several options for once I finish school I can't help but feel so homeless. I have places to stay, but none is my home where I will be settled in permanently or even semi-permanently. And it is lonely and sad. But it's okay. It's just making the stress I am already under that much harder to deal with gracefully.

I finished watching the whole series of Foyle's War. I loved it and am sad it's over. I don't watch a lot of TV but I loved that series. Mr. Foyle is so stodgy and respectable. And Sam's and his work relationship and friendship is so cute. And weirdly enough, when the soldiers return from WWII I sort of related to how difficult it was for them to return to a "normal" life because when I came back from China I had a hard time readjusting and felt like people were offended that I didn't slide so easily back into life here. And my time in China was for study, not to fight a war. But it exhausted and stretched me to my limit in a lot of ways. How much harder is it for our servicemen and servicewomen to readjust and work through the experiences they face in the line of duty?

My friend Candice and her sister and parents came over for brunch today. It was so nice and I find that having parents here makes me feel calmer. Just having someone listen and talk to you like you are an adult somehow comforts me and makes me feel better. And being in a family environment is refreshing. College is weirdly age segregating even when you are trying to be involved with people of all ages and stages. At least, here in my town it is.

The problem with being an art student is that you spend all your time "doing what you love" and worrying about doing it well to the point that when you go home you are too creatively worn out to do all the projects at home that you've been wanting to do. I want to sew and make books and silkscreen tee shirts. But I end up trying to clean my room which is inevitably a mess again by the next weekend, watching Foyle's War (not a viable excuse anymore), or visiting with my roommates instead. I think I'm too stressed to relax and do projects for fun right now. Art school is rough. I don't know if this is the case for every other major, but the nature of my studies are such that I always feel that no matter how hard I work and how much I do it's
a) never enough work
b) never good enough work
c) never finished...never resolved.
It's tough feeling like you've worked and you're not sure you have anything to show for it. Even when I make A's I feel like I've failed because it's always a starting point...nothing is ever finished. I just want something to be good enough.

All this to say...I am in 3 shows this month which is great, but makes me very self-conscious of my abilities to make good work. I kind of want to run away and hide. And I know I need a change, but I dread leaving everything familiar and going to something unknown and even more unstable than what I already have. And I'm mostly really tired. So I think I'll end here and get some rest.

Happy Easter tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Altered Book project.

We critiqued our altered book projects today in my mixed media class. Surprisingly I got a lot of really positive feedback on this project. I guess my teacher and classmates really liked it. Oddly enough, I liked it too. I wasn't crazy about this project but I had fun with it in the end and using books as a material instead of as my finished object is part of what made this fun. I have plans to revisit it and make it bigger and better. Maybe over spring break.

I am really loving this mixed media class. I have all sorts of ideas for things I want to do now that I wouldn't have thought to do before. Also, when I graduate and may not have immediate access to a studio it gives me lots of things to work on at home on a limited budget. I feel more excited about graduating now that I have plans for more projects to do.

Speaking of graduation...I believe that there are only about 7 weeks left of this semester! Woohoo! :) I can't believe it!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Email...March 6. From my pengyou. :)

hey, Jiemei!! (sister)
    I miss you so much! I understand you are very busy, so it is ok. when you tired,please make youself relax and don not worry me, If I know you are fine, i wil be so happy. I still work hard prepare my phd exam and meanwhile find job in universities. I will attend exam next week in Shanghai and next next week will ga back Beijing attend another PHD exam. I don not know, looks crazy and busy! But i am fine, I really miss you so much! Good luch about you senior show.
   Keep in touch! Jiemei. I send I with my mom's photo and my dog-benben's photo to you! We all look forward to meet you!
   Take care! Hugs!
我想我的中国人朋友!现在我希望她在这人 。 我们要说中文,喝茶。她是我的中国人姐妹。:)
 I miss my chinese friend! I wish she was here now. We would talk in chinese and drink tea. She is my Chinese sister. :) I hope to someday get back to China and catch a visit with her. I'm so tired and it has been a very long day. It is sweet to get home and find an email from your pal.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What I was thinking about while making ceramics today.

I am more spirit than flesh.
I am more unseen than seen.
This body you see is not the most real part of me.
Because while you can see my person
You cannot see my thoughts.
You cannot see my feelings.
You cannot see what makes

The thoughts I never vocalize
Yet are so loudly spoken in my mind;
The feelings I experience so vividly
Yet are so intangible;
The part of me that will leave my body one day
When I pass from this life...
That is soul is me.

This world in all its color and texture and sound and flavor...
This is a shadow of reality.
A glimpse of what we have yet to experience.
It is such a mystery to me.
The part of us that is the most alive and real is the most hidden.
It reminds me of reality more than this world does.
It makes me curious for how more wholly I will experience eternal life with my Jesus.

Ceramics. Bricks. Pots.

 Is it just me, or does the gray of winter show off the bricks that our kilns are made of in a new, colorful way? With such a gray background they are almost vibrant.

Pots from the wood and salt firings I participated in this week. The wood kiln was an exhausting but exhilarating experience. The salt kiln was just exhausting and a bit depressing. I'm a bit tied up in a knot about my work...this senior show is making me nervous. And my last two firings did not yield exactly what I was hoping for. I played today and made this little teapot. It was fun. I think when I just experiment and have fun instead of try to mass produce something in the hopes that some will turn out well I make better work. I think all the little successes I feel I have achieved in my work come about when I am playing and just enjoying making...not making under pressure.