December 2010

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There’s a song, All In by Lifehouse that goes, “I spent a week away from you last night…”.  Actually, it’s been 105 days since we last met.  That would amount to more than two years – lyrically speaking (or in the life of a dog).  So, it’s been awhile.

Sacrifice, Beth Shook

~detail: Sacrifice, 2010.

In my absence, life and art, the classroom and students, and due dates and deadlines converged.  Perhaps collide is a more appropriate term.

As October began, my 3-D students were becoming more comfortable with the pace of the course.  I was working to complete inventory pieces and exhibition work for the December show, Journal Entries and Margin Notes, at Practical Art.

Once November crept up (like a commando), a bit of apathy settled onto the classroom.  Thanksgiving was a welcome break.  In the studio, I was finishing up work for the exhibition; to be delivered the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I felt ahead of the curve.  And so, a week earlier I accepted a commission/consignment with Bergies Roast Coffee House for mugs and other coffee related paraphernalia.  That curve quickly circled back on me.  A few more week long days allowed me to get Bergies a bit of inventory before Christmas (there’s more in the works).

Once December became reality, the students had discovered a fresh focus; largely because they were working with unfamiliar materials.  Their naïveté worked to their advantage as they took a leap of faith – with impressive results.

3-D student work

3-D Design: (l to r) C.Covino, alabaster subtractive sculpture. R. Protega, soapstone subtractive sculture.

3-D student work

3-D Design: (l to r) S. Gish, soapstone subtractive sculpture. D. Wilson, soapstone subtractive sculpture.

In the days preceding December, when I delivered my six small pieces for the show, I was assaulted by fear and doubt.  What I had considered a small exhibition space suddenly seemed three times the size I remembered.  Had I really misinterpreted the area?  Panic.  Prayer.  My stomach felt sick.

I saw the work installed for the first time at the reception, 10 days later.  The work held it’s own in the space.  Strong as individual pieces; impressive as a body of work.  Deep breath.  (Thank you, Lord).  The reception was lovely.  I chatted with old friends and made some new acquaintances.  The show will be up through the end of December.  If you have the opportunity, stop in to check it out.

~a little press/PR about the show:

Clay-Ground: Local artist journals with mud, Phoenix New Times.

Ceramics and Chinatown: A guest blog by Beth Shook,

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