Finding Time for Art

By Linnea Barth
Much like Aimee Sirna said in a previous blog entry, at this particular stage in my life, juggling an infant and a toddler as well a full time job, I do not have a lot of time for making art. One of the creative outlets that I have been able to sustain though has been ceramics. I usually do my ceramic work in school with the students. I have found that working with my students in clay can be mutually beneficial for a couple reasons. The first being that it gives me an opportunity to use my hands for something other than diaper changing! Secondly, I find that when I work with the students their craftsmanship improves. I’ve noticed that when you merely demonstrate the use of clay they are less likely to take the time to create a truly exceptional piece, but when you work alongside them and model creating a finely crafted work of art, they are more likely to become emotionally invested in their work as well. So, I have created many of the ceramic pieces below while working with my students here at Norcom.
I made this vessel a number of years ago when I was experimenting with ribbons of clay and organic finishes.


This is a more recent piece, made only this past fall with my art III students while revisiting my ribbon theme. The finish is a combination of traditional teal glaze with an earthenware glaze lightly brushed over the top in an effort to create a patina like finish.


This piece was made as a gift for my brother, and a demonstration of a relief project for my art I students last spring.


This is a sushi tray from a series I made a number of years ago. I carved the Celtic design into the top of the tray, which was molded over a plaster meat tray mold that I also made. I then dropped crushed red glass into the recessed parts. The bottom echoes the design in the top and was painstaking to cut, score and slip. In the end I was very pleased with the results on this and actually revisited the Celtic design to decorate a working earthenware lamp that I am also very proud of (my husband did the wiring on the lamp for me)…I wish I had a photo of the lamp to share, as I hand soldered a mica shade for it as well, but it is at my parent’s house in NY and they are currently in Virginia and unable to send me a photograph.


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