Art Elements Monthly Theme: Swirl

 

Welcome to my blog post for the Reveal of the Art Elements Theme Challenge: Swirl

I know that I am going to be beyond excited to see all of the talented artists work as this theme is something that is pretty wide  open to interpretation for inspiration. My life every day seems like a swirl – always moving.

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA Illuminated Fountain Show. The week after Bead Fest Philly, Jenny Davies-Reazor, Lesley Watt and I went up to see the night time show. Flowers there earlier in the week also provided lots of inspiration!

The force of the water through the moving fountain heads and at night set to music and lights are a Swirling delight to behold.

A lot of my hand carved texture plates are very swirl inspired. I wanted to use my Now That’s A Jig to play around with the idea of wire making swirls and then using them for earrings (some will be great for holiday ornamentation). I wore these all day and my ears did not feel worn out with weight. They were quite movable while wearing them, and did not get stuck on anything – so they passed my wearability test.

Swirly Beads fresh out of the kiln – future project ideas brewing!

My life continues to SWIRL – nothing like hosting a blog hop theme reveal and having a one day Facebook show going on. I’m going to be computing all day! Marsha Neal Studio in the Handmade Component Bazaar Facebook Group from 10am Thursday 8/30/18 to 10am Friday 8/31/18 EST. If you bid on anything in my show on Thursday/Friday or make a purchase from my Etsy shop, mention Art Elements Swirl and I’ll take 10% off your invoice. US orders over $25 will get free USPS First Class Mail shipping through 8/31/18.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and see my Swirl Inspirations. Here is a list of the other bloggers participating in the Art Elements Monthly Theme Challenge:

Guest Artists:

Alison

Anita

Cat 

Caroline

Jill

Kathy

Karin

Kimberly

Mischelle

Raven

Sarajo

Tammy

Art Elements Team: 

Cathy

Caroline

Claire

Jen

Jenny & Lesley 

Laney

Marsha (you are here)

Susan

One lucky Guest Artist Blogger is going to be picked to receive this group of items fresh out of my kiln:

I will announce the winner by updating the Art Elements Swirl Reveal post. If you want a chance at winning the monthly artists giveaway, get your blog up and running and keep an eye out for the monthly themes on the Art Elements Blog (announced early in the month, reveal at the end of the month).

2018 Facebook Group Shows

You can find lots of items in my Marsha Neal Studio Etsy shop all the time.

Online Facebook Group show links:

Handmade Component Bazaar

One Sweet Bead Market

Ceramic Art Bead Market

Art Elements Monthly Theme: Seed Pods

Thank you for stopping by my blog to see my inspirations for this month’s Art Elements Monthly Theme: Seed Pods.

I was working in my studio a week and a half ago and though that I better start on my pieces for this seed pod theme. After cruising my pinterest boards I started using some muscle memory to create shapes (see the curved cone shape pieces in the bottom right of the photo). These pieces evolved and changed and then it struck me that these donut pieces sitting on my bead table could make a really cool “top” to a hollow pod shape.

Ceramic Studio Work Making Vessels Inspired by Seed Pod Forms

Working with porcelain and stoneware clay in a sculptural manner, things tend to get a bit heavy (I should whip up some paper clay like Caroline and try making more of these). I typically work through ideas to make pieces thinner as I go, pushing boundaries of the clay ripping, then as I learn, older forms get wetted down and recycled back into usable clay. Ideas move around my head as my hands start at making something of high quality to thoughts of “what will these be used for?’.

Ideas sometimes get going so fast it is like a tornado of happiness in my brain (I recognize this is the “addictive” chemicals kicking in and at this point: People are going to want one for their house – for their little nook and cranny place. Maybe I can put a small hole in it and it could hold an air plant. What about a cool macrame holder… Yeah!). Oh boy. Slow down brain…

Porcelain pieces out of the kiln.

So I knew I wanted the inside of the vessels to have this turquoise look. Like a little secret special bit of water (ever seen Romancing the Stone from the 1980’s? I think I always wanted to drive my little Pepe to that secret place and find an emerald too!).

And the other forms with the spiraling tendrils and pod heads – oxides with translucent colored Amaco Celadon glazes layered – my favorites! I will probably make some sort of wire form to suspend these by. Maybe one day I can work some fiber into something that surrounds them in a way that looks like the decay of the flower petals.

Before (left) and After (right) the Cone 5 Glaze firing. Cone 5 is around 2232 degrees F.

Above is a little insight into my glaze kiln firings. I like to suspend as much as I can to get the glaze to cover most of the piece. Just one of the things I prefer do to in my work.

Seed Pod Collections, Ceramic Vessels to hold the dried seed pods (Pot Head Vessel by Diane Hawkey).

And here is a bit of my actual seed pod collection. I made these seed pod collector vessels for bit of time. They are perfect for putting your dried pods and flowers on display and out of the way from getting crushed. My friend Diane Hawkey makes the coolest One of a Kind “Pot Head” figures – my lady pot head loves hanging out with the seed pods…

Through social media you can see more work and share your Seed Pod themed inspiration by using the hashtags: #AEThemeChallenge #AESeedPod #ArtElements #Art__Elements

Thanks for stopping by my blog for this months Seed Pod post. Here is a list of the other blogs where artists are going to share their creations..

Guest Artists:

Tammy

Raven

Alysen

Anita

Cat 

Kimberly

Rozantia

Sarajo 

Divya

Caroline

Catherine

Kathy

Jill

Art Elements Team: 

Claire

Caroline

Lesley

Niky

Laney

Susan

Marsha (You are HERE)

Jenny

Cathy

Jen

And make sure to stop by the Art Elements blog to see about the August “Swirl” theme!

Check out my Pinterest “Seed Pods and Such” Inspiration Board:

Art Elements Monthly Theme: Tidal Pool

The theme for May 2018 Art Elements Blog is Tidal Pool.

I have always wanted to see tidal pools, but have never had the opportunity (yet).

So with my ceramic pieces, I approach the inspiration with color and textures.

Marsha Neal Studio Ceramic Beads. Tidal Pool Glaze on Left. Ocean Textured pieces on Right.

Collections of objects from the ocean spanning from the 1980’s.

Through my younger years I collected and purchased items (sea shell shops* at the beach here in Delaware and in Florida on vacations). After college, when I began carving texture plates to use for my reverse printed textural pieces, I decided to make some pressed object texture plates as well. When I press these items into soft clay, I usually use a sponge to press the items in as many are fragile and have sharp edges.

*As an adult my mind struggles between the arguments about taking items from the ocean for human use and overexploitation of these marine resources and the though about how like insects, many of these life forms have hundreds of offspring, so hopefully a few can make it to reproductive age. But with what destruction we humans are doing here on earth, how can those few even get to that point. My heart is torn. I still love the ocean and the life there.

Bisque Fired Ceramic Clay Ocean Texture Plate

I have always loved marine creatures. The octopus swims the line of creepy and magical. Here is one I created with wool by needle felting over a pipe cleaner armature.

My First Needle Felted Octopus (based on the Blue Ringed Octopus).

And like anything else I make, my brain goes into what I call production mode: how to make these better, faster, and with a high quality and still enjoy the process. The three smaller ones below are not yet finished.

Various Sized and Stages of Needle Felted Octopus

Thanks for stopping by my blog for this Art Elements Themed Blog Hop for Tidal Pool. Please make sure to check out the other artists work:

Guests
AE Team Members:
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Marsha (you are here)

Art Elements Monthly Theme: Equine

The Art Elements Equine theme this month takes my heart back to my pre-teen love of horses and my favorite of mythical creatures – the Pegasus. I would like to give an honorable mention to the Sea Horse because I was equally obsessed with them, but they fall into a totally different classification for this round.

And I would like to give a shout out to Jenny Davies-Reazor for coming up with this months theme!

Marsha at 12 riding her horse TwigBuster (Grandpop’s farm in Tennessee around 1987)

In the mid-80’s I was the perfect age for My Little Pony. I had about a half dozen of them and took them everywhere with me. My imagination took me to far off places. I even wanted them to fly so bad that I tied one to a bunch of helium balloons during a friends birthday party. I remember never letting her get out of my jump grab reach – oh, the horror of actually losing one! And horse themed books – my first chapter books were the Misty of Chincoteague books, and I still have some of the Serendipity books by Stephen Cosgrove and Weekly Readers, which I kept and have read to my kids. Chloe has a bunch of the newer My Little Pony toys – although she no longer plays with them like she used to.

Horses, ponies, and pegasus still pass through my imagination, but more along the lines of wonder than inspiration to create work. I decided that I would look to some books for something that may spark some creative juices flowing.

I decided to push my “muscle memory” skills with repetitive drawing as suggested by Danielle Donaldson in her book The Art of Creative Watercolor. I am a doodler, not a professional sketch or drawing artist (I was never encouraged to pursue art classes in school). So as I was working my muscle memory skills, I made the decision to forget the rules and just draw lines to try to make a horse shape. A few minutes into sketching evolved these very angular horse shapes.

I then decided to practice a bit more since I have taken a couple of online watercolor classes (Carla Sonheim and Melanie April) that I could use some of those skills combined with things I read in Danielle’s book and just go for it. The result by no means is perfect, and actually I have a lot of muscle memory skills to pick up with watercolor, but I am not disappointed (mostly because I had no set goal other than to do something with a horse theme).

I got to work wet on wet, wet on dry, sprinkled salt for texture, and used ink for definition. So many possibilities as I practice more and more. It feels great to just have fun!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog as part of this Art Elements Monthly Theme challenge. Here are the other participants in this months challenge.

Guests:

Alysen

Anita

Beth

Catherine

Jill

Paulette

Raven

Sarajo

Tammy

 

AE Team Members:

Caroline

Claire

Jen 

Laney 

Lesley

Marsha 

Niky

Sue

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marshanealstudio

Ceramic Artist. Garden and Nature Enthusiast.

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