Monday, November 12, 2012

Well, it's new to you

I managed to list a few things on Etsy recently that have been waiting patiently in boxes for several months now. Fortunately for you, pottery doesn't go bad. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New layout, new website

I've just redone my blog layout quite a bit to be more cohesive with my new artist website I have been learning to make in my digital media class. I miss all of the color, but now it's a bit more streamlined, more professional perhaps, and plenty of color will always come with the work. :)
I've been using Cargo Collective to build my website, and it's been working out wonderfully. I would definitely recommend it. And unless you choose to upgrade, it's free to use.

Check mine out here: Lori ellen Phillips,  or by clicking the link over there on the right of the page.

I've decided to use my middle name since there is already a Lori  Phillips ceramics artist with a website, who'da thunk?! She is not me, in case anyone ever found her site and thought it was me. But she does wonderful work. You can view her work at
There is also, which is an accomplished opera singer. Also, not me of course. So hopefully by using my middle name, when I have a chance to purchase my own domain name, loriellenphillips won't be taken.
I'll try to upload some pics of new works in progress soon. Grad school keeps me pretty busy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Works in Progress

I've started making large bug-like creatures. No, not this little guy, he's for real! And dead, sad day. And he looks like a ninja turtle. :D My studio-mate Leah found him and gave him to me. I am the unofficial bug lover and saver of the studio, rescuing even the tiniest gnat from my water bucket.


These are legs, although they are upside down. I coil build them this way, and they will be attached to the body by fitting them over collars after firing. Ya know...theoretically. I build them to fit, but I don't wanna actually put it all together until I get it glaze fired so the clay is at it's strongest. Fingers crossed! 

This is the body before I had the top built. Those skinny extensions of the  legs are actually the collars that will fit into the legs, so they won't be seen.

Then I added some weird growth. I want each creature to have its own sort of environment it carries on it's back, all unique to each individual creature. I made this one a bit simple since it's my first one and was a little experimental.

Added some worms!

Tentacles? Vines?

Mossy fungus.

Real critters making their homes in my imaginary critters. :)

This has been bisque fired since these pics were taken and is waiting to be glazed, along with some of the functional goods I've been working on. I've also made some yarn bowls that aren't pictured.

That brown mug is from a small test batch of clay I made using barnard clay in the mix. It should fire to a nice, dark chocolate brown. We'll see!

Box o' test tiles!

 Recent cone 6 tests.

Last semester we had to formulate our own base glaze deciding things like whether we want a matte glaze or glossy, opaque or transparent, etc. I wanted a nice buttery matte, and got it on the first try using the molecular unity formula (soooo confusing). These are both my base glaze, on the left fired in a cone 10 reduction firing, and on the right at cone six oxidation (in a gas kiln). I was excited to see it could go from cone 6 all the way up to cone 10. I was also excited to see small crystal growth from the cone 10 test. :) Can't wait to see how it does in a wood fire! If you want the glaze recipe just let me know.   It feels soooo nice on the hands. 

Using our base glaze, we then had to add colorants (oxides) to our recipe and see what happens. This one was a guess at adding manganese and cobalt to my base glaze to get a certain effect, and I actually got exactly what I was looking for in this case as well. I was really excited and surprised, haha. It has a nice blue on the highlights, and it is a nice eggplant purple where it pools and is thicker. These pics don't do any of these justice really. Like I said, just ask for the recipe if you are interested. 

I believe this one had titanium dioxide added (I'd have to double check) and once again this isn't the best pic, but it turned out lovely. It's the palest periwinkle blue with small crystals.

That's all for now. I should be loading another bisque in two or three days, and then going on a glazing frenzy. I shall return with my results!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Etsy Listings

Well I finally got some things listed in my shop! It's about time, eh? I also have a lot of new things waiting to be bisque fired, and things in my brain that need to be made already, so there will be more. :)

This is my favorite thing I have listed. It's been waiting to be posted for probably more than a year! Give it a good home already:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What the hell am I doing?!

   Good question! Grad school is like being an ant. You work hard to build a your anthill, and just when you are getting somewhere, it gets kicked over. Seemingly on purpose.
   In the beginning of April, the other new grad students (we just finished our second semester) and myself had to go through candidacy. You present your work to the faculty and tell them about it, and tell them about your show idea and they give your their comments. They get to decide if you have the ok to proceed with what you are doing as-is, or if they think you need to change some things, or need to just start over, or run for the hills, or whatever. Seth and I got the thumbs up, however both of us (and some others I think too) have to re-show two pieces in the first two weeks of next semester. I have several pics to post here, but there are some things I like about them, and some I don't. I'll talk about that as I go I suppose. Also, I have something a bit different to start working on for my show next semester as I've yet again changed my mind about what I want to do (happens for everyone all the time, especially over the summer), therefor, these pics might be kind of moot as far as my direction goes, but just so all you folks back in KY can see some stuff I've been doing, well, here ya go.Warning: these are not the best pictures.

   We had to set up on campus because that's where our first show has to be (for the the MA show. In another year and a half we have an MFA show which must be off campus. UD is a three year, two degree program). Prior to grad school I had always made pedestal pieces, and I wanted to break away from that this time. I wanted to create environments for my strange, plant creatures to live, and I used mulch and moss, etc, instead of just ceramic materials.   

   I really liked the woodsy dirt floor this gave, but faculty pointed out that because of the color similarity between the dirt and the piece(s), it got a little lost. They are right, but I didn't particularly mind in this case because heaven forbid someone has to actually LOOK at something to think about what's going on, eh? But I do see their point.

   They also questioned why everything was left on a flat surface, which was something I actually hadn't though about up until that point. I think creating hills and valleys within the gallery space is actually a great idea, and up until a recent new idea, was going that route. 

   I love it when bugs land on my work. :D 

   This was a sampling of something I wanted to do much bigger. I wanted about 30 of these vine-like creatures growing out of the ground creating a path you had to walk through. 

   The tallest one here is well over six feet tall and constructed from two parts that were epoxied together after firing, and the seam filled and painted to hide it. 

   Not much got said about these specifically, just complaints about dirt. I could still use the same pieces to show again next semester if I wanted too, just a different presentation, which is fine. Although I've grown bored with these, and have similar, but new ideas to work on now. 
   I think my biggest complaint about grad school here is that getting any kind of positive feedback is a rarity, with the exception being maybe your studio-mates. While it's easy to point out everything a student is doing wrong, I absolutely believe that it is important to also let students know when they are doing something well, even if it's just a "Hey, I really like what's going on right here." There's a difference between being babied (which I do not expect to be at all) and getting some positive encouragement. And being encouraged by your superiors is important in every filed and every job. It's a psychological fact. But whatever, I'm gonna keep on keepin' on and practice listening to my instincts about my work, which I think I've been having a hard time doing. 
   I also have some things for etsy, pics ready to go and all. I'll save that for later though when I actually get them posted. There's enough pics crammed into this post, haha. All in all, things are pretty well here. :) I'm glad to have the summer to be in the studio with no other classes to steal my time. Now if you'll excuse me I have lunch to eat, and clay to mix. 

EDIT: It has been suggested that I add my artists statement to this post, and I think that may be a good idea, so here ya go: 

I draw inspiration for my work from the oddities and mysteries found in the natural world; microscopic organisms, unusually shaped or textured seeds and pods, fungi, lichens, and carnivorous plants. I’m excited by their growing process, the evolution of how they came to be, and the mystery of what might be inside something such as a large growing pod when cracked open. Rather than recreate these objects, I use their unique textures and forms to create ambiguous botanical life forms of my own invention. I want to create that same excitement and curiosity in the viewer that I myself have when exploring the environment around me. I find myself often giving pieces anthropomorphic characteristics since much of my work is a narrative of my personal experiences and growth as a human being, and also the experiences, changes and observations I make of the people around me. I work in clay because I love the intimacy of such a malleable material. It is a meditative and therapeutic process that puts me in direct contact with the earth that gives me my inspiration. There is an unlimited amount of discovery in the process of exploring glazes and other surface treatments as well as firing the work.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Regular posts coming soon!

Just a quickie post to say school is going great and I will have new things for Etsy very soon. :) I also have a new computer now (a laptop, finally!) and don't have to share the boy's anymore, so keeping up with everything should go much more smoothly. I need to get pics of my studio space and new work, etc.. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 18, 2011

All Settled

So the boy and I headed down here to Irving Texas (just a sneeze outside of Dallas) last Monday/Tuesday, and we are pretty well settled in at this point. Only a few small messes to straighten up, some walls to paint (I already have my colors ready to go!) and some art to hang. When it's completely finished I'll have pics to post, before and after. When I look at the mess of the before pics now, I can't believe what a mess this place was. We could barely walk around. Now with everything in it's place there's actually a good amount of space in this one bedroom apartment! And we LOVE it here! We are literally right around the corner from absolutely everything. A ridiculous abundance of  restaurants and stores and a huge mall. Soooo much stuff we didn't have in Richmond Kentucky. And if we drive into Dallas (not quite brave enough yet, haha) there's galleries and the museum, a huuuuge three story mall (if we ever have money) and so on and so on. Or if we just wanna stay around home we are right next to one of our complexes three pools. :D We've been utilizing that as often as possible, haha.
I know when school starts up at the end of August, and when we get some part time jobs we will be really busy, but we're gonna freakin love it. 
Pics soon!