It's been a long time since I've written here, and this morning, the first of a 3 morning holiday to be spent in bed recovering (hopefully) from the upper respiratory infection that has almost done me in for the past 2 weeks, I spent several hours doing something I haven't had the personal time to do for a while- checking in on the blogs of many of my favorite metal and polymer clay artists. Some, like polymerclaydaily, seem to always be there with something new. But most of the blogs I checked were like mine....laguishing in the doldrums of a life too hectic to take 15 minutes a day to write about their art. some, like me, may have found that real life (and the real job that supports my artistic endeavors - at least for the next 737 days) has intruded too frequently. August through October are usually relatively hectic for me - closing up a June year end. As a town comptroller for a municipality that puts heavy demands on its management team, the audit and post audit season, with outside auditors and state agencies demanding more and more data more frequently, I rarely have time to "play".
the drive to and from work that was supposed to become better when the Big-Dig was finished, hasn't. An average one way drive for me is an hour and a half. why don't I take the commuter rail, you might well ask? well, the ride into Boston is never less than an hour by rail.; then I have to change trains twice once I board the "T" for what has become in recent months another hour ride. and If I miss the 6 o'clock train out of North Station, then I have a 2 hr wait. If I miss the 8 PM train due to an evening meeting, I'm dead in the water until 10 PM and if I have the misfortune to miss that one, I end up sleeping on the cot in my office. so rail commuting is a non-starter. Leaving by car after 8 PM should make for a better commute, but then one runs into night construction up until early December, and badly maintained icy roads from December until Marchm while the night construction usually heats up again in April.
So, today I went looking to see what old and new friends had been up to and this is what I found.
Julie Picarello will have a new book out just in time for Bead and Button this spring. THat's good news, because although I learned how to make a lizardsa tail in her class a LACS this spring, I seem to have lost my notes and my mind- hopefully she'll remind me in her new book.
Luanne Udell seems to be immersed in her hospice work and is recycling old magaine articles on craft- a good thing for those of us who didn't get to read them first time around.; She has a timely recycled article on respecting your collectors.
Elise Winters is pitching Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads - a polymer exhibit we had hoped to visit at the IPCG's retreat in July- sadly it won't be opening until after we leave- a side trip from Chicago to Racine would have been fun with a busload of clayers.
Tejae Floyde has some great pics of what she's been doing over the holidays.
Betsy Baker of stonehouse studios talks about the holiday sales and what's new on her etsy page.
Victoria James has some great new texture plates for sale - I particularly like the crumpled foil texture.
Lynn Davis talks about why she works in so many different media – like me she’s easily bored (would that I had time to be bored at the moment).
Les ethiopiques (mon dieu! I’ve had to go to foreign tongue blogs to find someone, anyone, writing since November!) has come up with great tutes in on faux leather and faux ceramics in polymer – but you’d better be able to read French ! Actually, it’s not that hard, because her illustrations are so good, but I love the instruction “ …puis, on scalpe!” – this is in her hidden magic tute. I knew the 5 years of hs, 4 yrs of college and 2 yrs of post grad French were going to come in handy some day- since I left the teaching of French in 1972, and my Quebequois bon ami moved on 15 years ago, I ‘ve had few opportunities to use it. But Helene has pushed me to refocus a bit, just to enjoy her tutorials- she also has a recent very attractive snowflake cane tute.
Fabi, in Madrid, is a bit harder for me since I never really learned to read Spanish – order food from a LA “roach coach” I can do, but read a language I never studied is a bit harder. If I understand what her current lead story is, it’s an amazing nativity scene in clay. You have to see it to understand what I mean by amazing. http://fabicontusmanos.blogspot.com/
Metal clay academy is buzzing about meteor, the new bronze clay
Bev at mango tango is talking not about her jewelry, but a conch disaster in the Keys
Angela Crispin- she of the bilingual blog so you don’t have to read French to enjoy it – talks about the upcoming art clay festival in Prague (who knew?, probably Katie Baum will be packing her bags yet again!)
Vickie Hallmarks shows a great enameled copper & metal clay piece in her bird design – with dyed concrete that I just can’t bring myself to embrace…to industrial by half for me, but quite nice when Vickie fabricates it.
ArtClayStudio contains news of Carol Babineau’s retirement and Gail Moriarty taking over the studio, but still has mostly Carol’s work in the class guide. I know how hard it is up do a major overhaul on web pages, but hopefully Gail will find time to update with her own spin soon- look forward to her wacky sense of humor showing up on the web pages.
Kelly Russell talks about cardiac med problems (not a good thing, take it easy , Girl!)
Nobody new in the Metal Clay Masters registry in months (yeah, if I’d get off my duff, maybe there’s be one more name. I’m 3 pieces short of the required 10 to submit , but inertia – and the audit season- struck with a vengeance). Last week I came across the half finished steel knife blade from my Tim McCreight knife making class at the Bead House in November, which was supposed to polish off one of the required pieces (silly me!).
So, out of the 95 polymer & metal clay sites I have listed as favorites, only 15 have anything new since November! Several no longer exist at their old addresses, and most of the remaining 80 bloggers write about as sporadically as I do. so I don't feel terribly guilty about not sharing with y'all. hopefully some of the other 80 artists have been so busiy in their studios that they haven't had time to write....
I’d promise to do better, but the reality is, given a choice between blogging, creating and sleep, sleep wins hands down, and while writing is easier for me than the creative process, I really do need to start gearing up for retirement (less than 2 years now) and that means 1- cleaning up the homestead in preparation for moving after retirement and 2- getting off my butt creatively , and starting now to build the retirement life I want to enjoy in 737 days (but who's counting?)
Maybe I'll get lucky, inspiration will rattle me to the core and I"ll crank out several wonderful pieces that I'll be happy to share with you all - it's a new year, and time for an attitude adjustment. now if I could only find the robitussin.....