A work of lifestyle

As we prepare to move back to Colorado, Kelly is wrapping up his apprenticeship with Mark Skudlarek at Cambridge Pottery. It has been amazing to live on Tranquil Lane (not kidding) and experience the seasons of life in the pottery.

Mark is a production potter, which means that he makes functional pieces for daily life. His showroom includes: mugs, plates, lamps, casseroles, his famous 'chicken-bricks,' beer steins, planters, large-scale vessels, treasure boxes for your dresser...

Large vessels, a mug, and the kiln in the background - all by Mark

Large vessels, a mug, and the kiln in the background - all by Mark

Speaking of one of his pottery mentors, Warren McKenzie, Mark articulates that the 'work-of-art' in pottery is the entire lifestyle, facility and process:

  • Making clay and glazes from raw materials
  • Chopping and stacking wood for home and kiln
  • Turning pots (as Mark likes to say)
  • The wood firing, a 5-day process that happens twice a year producing a few thousand pots.
  • Home, family and community who gather around the pottery and its events

This process is called the production cycle and flows with the seasons, culminating in a tour in fall and spring. When someone takes home a piece of pottery, it becomes part of their life and they continue this creative process.

It has felt natural to practice meditation as we have lived with Mark in his artisan lifestyle for this year. Many days, I would bring my easel into the workshop and paint alongside the potters.

Gayatri painting and lamps.JPG

We leave Tranquil Lane with a bittersweet sigh and a sense of gratitude as we say farewell for now to Mark and the boys. We will take methods and inspiration for pottery, life and art with us into our next chapter.

Check out Mark's work at www.cambridgepottery.com

Seeing what is possible

Can you see what is possible? Creative people can. They can see what resources they have right now and take action. 

I'm having a ball getting things together for the next Art Night with the Cambridge Arts Council. It takes a moment to choose what the project will be. Other projects have been Mandala Painting and a landscape of the Northern Lights. What to paint this time...

OWLS! Who doesn't love owls? They're ewoks with wings and talons. They're stealthy, wise, perceptive, attractive - just like us. We all have a furry, smirky place in our hearts for an owl.

How will an owl painting be possible? I found a reference of a Chinese brush painting that hit the spot and set out to make a sample painting.

Chinese Owl Painting.jpg

Time to create a simple process where this painting can be made in two hours by someone who may not consider themselves to be an artist and may be drinking wine.

  • A light wash for the background, making out the moon.
  • Cut in the branch
  • Spray paint maple leaf stencils in burgundy and copper (bling is a must!)
  • A few steps for a simple, impressionistic owl with a little attitude

Let's see what's possible!

Art Night at Camrock Cafe, Cambridge WI

Friday October 13, 7:00-9:00pm