Tuesday, April 28, 2009

After The Wake

Our tree blooming beautifully

Weddings and funerals are regular events in a large Italian family. You think that there would be no inspiration to be found at this point in such events, but oddly enough being at the wake, seeing family again, and saying goodbye to Uncle Johnny gave me new found energy and many inspirations. I hit the studio on full speed this week and want to share with you some of the things that are transpiring.

Firstly, I've been trying to bisque fire and glaze many, many vessels I just never got around to finishing. I figured if I do a little at a time I'll have a nice table full again come next Christmas. Lord knows it will take until Christmas to fire all that I've created already. Only problem is, I think my kiln is a bit ticked off that I'm making her work so hard. Just look at this mess!

My kiln is angry

My LORD that is NOT what I had envisioned!!! Not sure what to do with these pieces, but the larger one will get experimented upon. I hope to learn some new things cause it is truly killing me that I ruined a great shaped vessel in stoneware, non the less.

Horses are on the brain too. Not only did I open up my commission books today for another sm sized slot but I got the bug back to start my Proud Arabian Mare. She has only been waiting for me for about a year now. I'm trying to hone in on a pretty color for her. How I love this mold. It's so feminine and graceful.

Gals getting their primer on

Of course, the Working Girl resin was totally tempting and a "must nab" for me. I was dying to paint her and sorta hope whom ever wins the commission slot tonight might have one of these gals to paint. She's pretty hot!

Getting her coat

PS...Pumpkin the pony had to be put on the side. I'm just tired of looking at her. Tired of trying to see what exactly is wrong and tired of trying to rush her. :/

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Black n Tan Commission in progress

Morta...this post is about that awful inevitable. The goddess sorta took a bit of a rest here in our household and won't leave it seems.

First, the meanest rattie I have ever owned, (from Petco I must add) Fawn up and died. Not before she came to me, curled up and started being nice and friendly. :/ Too little, too late, but I'll take it. She was scared. Then Toby gets ill, badly ill and has to be put down. Next, we missed the little hint on the Sea Monkeys website which states: "For better results feed only HALF the small spoonful of Sea Monkey food the first time you feed."


Cue four year old crying and mom reassuring him that the Sea Monkeys were greeted by Fawn and Toby and that God takes everything back to Him and that new ones are on the way. New Sea Monkeys in no time.

Of course, all joking aside, we did have another death in the family. My father-in-law's brother passed after a very long and painful battle with cancer. He is at peace and despite another wake to attend it will be nice and comforting to see all our family again this afternoon.

Another comfort on the flip side of death is of course, life. All new babies are a joy and as I watch all the birds outside in our yard chasing each other and preparing their nests I think about my new baby ratties coming home in May. When I contacted the breeder I had no idea I wouldn't have any rats left by the time my new babies were ready to greet me. I figured I'd be a house with six rats. Nope.

Photo: © 2009 Meghan of Paper Heart Rattery
Coming soon my gal Petunia

Photo: © 2009 Meghan of Paper Heart Rattery
Coming soon my gal Cinderella
Yep, she's nekkid!

Not only are the new babies ready, but I was also asked by another rat lover if I could help rescue a rattie from LaGuardia College Science Dept and the call couldn't have come at a more perfect time! I heartily agreed to give a rattie who has helped others learn through the sciences a home.

So, hopefully, Morta will have grown tired of her stay soon and the house will be bursting with new life and friends AND with new Sea Monkeys too.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quiet Reflections

I love "Tutu's" muzzle. So kissy!

Quiet. Reflective. Painterly.

That pretty much sums up me right now. I sat down at my studio desk last night and didn't really have to force myself to work. I really wanted to paint and welcomed the calming feelings that came with several hours of non stop finishwork.

I tried not to focus on having to put Toby down, but thoughts of me somehow betraying a friend just wouldn't leave. I know it was the right thing. He suffered too long. So, in trying to ease these thoughts I decided I would try and complete two projects I took on a few weeks ago that won't find finish for one reason or another. The porcelain tea light below was one of those projects. It's now ready to meet its new owner and hopefully cheer her up. The thought of it cheering someone up, cheered me up a bit.

So, animal wise we have one less here at the Danza house. I thought it might be fun to get a few photos of all our animals here. I'm going to do that soon. Once the fish wake up outside in the pond and once my new adopted baby ratties arrive in May. All positive and good things to reflect on.

Spirit Jump tea light

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Sad One

Sweet Toby

Today was a tough day. I've yet to do any work. I've yet to think about any work. I doubt I'll get much work done. My boy Toby had to be euthanized today and it was a very difficult decision to make. He was suffering. He isn't suffering any more. I was searching for a nice photo of him today for the blog and I totally forgot how amazingly beautiful he was. He suffered too long I think. I tried to do the best thing possible. It still sucks all around. :(

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Snuggled Around Mud

Wee little batch of bunnies

Ceramic work is ruling the studio this week. My mind is just wrapped snuggly around mud. I'm happy here and I'm totally on that "artist's high" at the moment. Check out the vase below. I started etching the flower into it and hopefully have a technique in mind that will look as nice in person as it has been looking in my head.

Pencil drawing on dried mud

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Uncomfortable, But...

Odd, but inspiring viewings

As uncomfortable as this artist's images are making me feel, they are also inspiring me fully: http://www.bedeltiscareno.com/

And although the pieces are mostly mixed media my mind is forcing me to think ceramic. Perhaps it's the glossiness of it all. In any case, I like the way my mind is twisting my own thoughts about ceramics and ceramic sculpture this morning over my coffee.

Somewhere floating around is also thoughts of my pony sculpture and my mind is forcing me to believe this piece is near completion for the sake of a NAN deadline, but my heart is telling me different. The dilemma? Rush to be a part of the party? Just let it be and get it right? The caster is waiting and I've stopped seeing...

Comparing sides.
One looks fairly decent, the other needs much work

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Listen, the first batch

Poster for LIsten

Today begins the official release of my rattie sculpture "Listen". I am very excited and hope to have things ready to move this evening.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Still Out of It

Still trying to get out from under the holiday festivities. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back in the studio. Until then a little art with sheep. :)

You'll have to turn the player off >

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

A cheap find at the Salvation Army
is now my favorite crucifix in the house

It's a holy week here this week. I must be honest, I've gotten very little done by way of studio work. I keep finding myself just wanting to be silent, meditative, prayerful and without any distractions.

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls." ~Mother Teresa

So, the studio is closed till Monday. I'll update my news groups today at some point and then officially be celebrating the Easter holiday. I wish you all a blessed and happy holiday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lazertran Transfer Paper = F

Label attached to bottom

So, for the past two days I have been struggling with transfer papers from Lazertran because I want the rat sculptures to have a nice polished look on the bottoms. I capped the large pour hole in the leather hard stage, printed out my information and then proceeded to adhere the transfer papers to the bottoms. Then redid them when they bubbled. Then did them over once again when the paper turned white instead of being transparent. Then reprinted everything because the type distorted. Then tried to get the cut marks to disappear to NO avail.

At this point I am so beyond frustrated. The black hooded rat named "Maybell" gave me the worst trouble. At this point she has one word on her and that is, "Danza." This word is the only part of the paper that didn't get messed up after the process.

I went to their website, followed their directions and reread those directions again and again and reapplied the papers over and over. So, two days of nothing but bottom work and I'm through. I've decided that this product is not worth the money I spent and I'll never buy from this company again. Money and time being wasted are NOT two welcome things in my studio. So Lazertran Transfer Paper Co. you get an F!

The ratties themselves turned out great though. Here is "Willow" a chocolate agouti. At least, I think the way I glazed her would fall into this color category.

"Willow" rat sculpture

Monday, April 6, 2009

More Changes

New back with tail

Last night I made the call to chop off Pumpkin's back left leg once again. It looked funny and just didn't sit well with my eye. I repositioned it and then wondered how the heck I was going to cast free standing back legs in earthenware! Although I am feeling rather proud and brazen after the succesful completion of "Listen's" mold I fear that a ceramic version of "Lil Pumpkin" would really throw me for a loop with four free standing legs to cast and a free flowing tail.

I decided that the tail should run along the back legs and a base would probably be the very best solution for the front legs. No matter how I slice it, there will be hair pulling moments with this one once I get to the molding stage, but why complicate things even further?

Here is a shot of her from above and a comparison of how she has progressed.

Top view of Pumpkin

How she has progressed

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Off with it!


Last night Pumpkin's tail and legs came off and I think she stands much better now. She is certainly looking much better from all angles. I hate having to reach this point and shave things off, especially when working with epoxy. I started this little sculpture about 2 years ago when I was using epoxy for sculpting and I still dislike it as much as I did then. Changes such as this are so much easier in wax.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Up To The Minute

Progress continues

The bunnies were a hit yesterday. I'm thrilled! I can't wait to unveil the next batch. I promise, there will be more of a "head's up" with the following batches. I guess you could say this first batch was sorta of like a test. I'm glad to see they passed and are being very well received.

Speakin' of a "head's up" Twitter is a fun place to get small snippets of information. I have had a Twitter page for a while now but it wasn't until yesterday that I realized how very useful it could be for collectors who might want to get that "edge" on sales and other "behind the scene" happenings. In any case....in case you're interested:

Free Twitter buttons from languageisavirus.com

    Lastly, the little pony sculpture is making progress. I worked her shoulders and back and belly a bit. I am hoping for a finish within the next two weeks. My eyes have grown tired of looking and I need a bit of a break from her this weekend.

    Friday, April 3, 2009


    #1 "Honeybunny"

    It's official!

    The Sleepy Little Bunny run has now been released! There are only four in this batch but many more coming very soon! Each are made of fine porcelain and measure approx. 1" in length. Feel free to head on over to the BUNNY LINK if you are curious to learn more!

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    #2 "Lily"

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Peek Around

    The drafting table

    If you were to visit today you'd see me cleaning my very messy studio as my son painted away with some non toxic kid paints. He made some really lovely new pieces for my studio walls. You'd also see the newest rattie molds. The bottoms, which I'm trying to cover with clay, are giving me lots of grief. You'd also see that I created some new banner ads. It felt good to do a bit of graphic design again. Some days I miss creating layouts and designs.

    Approaching the wheel

    Problematic bottoms

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    April Fools Day

    Old pedigree ad from the 90s

    Happy April Fools!

    Half this week was spent preparing for the yearly visit to my accountant. In getting myself and my file cabinet organized I found some old, but good, items tucked away in the bottom of my file cabinet. Old sketches, unfinished stories, used catalogs and reference sheets and some really old pedigree papers were stuffed away in that drawer. LOL! Isn't that ad above a trip? People actually redeemed the coupon below. LOL I love it! Actually, I miss the art of pedigree assignment. I think at this point if I wanted to PA I'd have to go incognito out there.

    East of the Sun
    West of the Moon sketch