Sitting in Sunshine

Well folks, I’m pleased to say that I made it to the Y four times last week.  It felt really nice.  But I ran for the first time in who knows how long on Friday and judging by the state of my calves this morning I think:

1) I need new shoes.

2) I need to run more often.  Ouch.

In other news, I’m giving a presentation on my time in Hungary on Tuesday afternoon.  I haven’t started putting it together yet.  Unless you count looking at pictures and watching video, which I’m going to go ahead and say is countable because:

1) I have to refresh my memory.  Maybe I should go back and re-read my posts too…  hmm.

2) It’s a slideshow so I have to show pictures, so I have to look at all the options first, right?  🙂

Apparently this is going to be a post full of numbered lists.  So, let’s continue the trend by showing two happy things in my studio.  Onward!

1) Four little molds sitting in the sunshine.  (Does that sound like the title of a kid’s song to anyone else?)  I made them last week to add to the two I had already made- they’ll be used to re-make my column piece, to be installed for the MFA show (opening April 7th – are you coming??).  I’m hoping that the wire I ordered to hang the piece will be here tomorrow, so I can get crackin’ on it.  I need to see the diameter of the wire (I’m having a hard time visualizing how thick 0.018″ is…) so I know how big to drill the holes, and the holes have to be drilled while the piece is leather hard or else they crack the edges.  So I’m in a holding pattern there.  My goal is to have all the “leaves” finished (fired and all) in less than two weeks, once I get started.

I’m also going to use these molds to make my piece for the show we’re having in New York in the middle of February, arranged by our professor, Jim Lawton.  Thanks, Jim!  I think I can get those parts made, fired, and out of the kiln in three days.  I’m waiting on that one too, to figure out how I’m going to mount them on the wall.  I have a couple of meetings tomorrow to get some ideas on that.

The molds, chillaxin' in the sun.

Here is #2 happy studio thing:

2) My orchid, sent to me from my parents last year.  I love it!  This is the third time it’s bloomed, but it’s never had two shoots (?) with blossoms before.  Matt B. from the studio took care of it while I was in Hungary.  I don’t know what sort of magic he worked upon it, but I’m grateful!

So happy!

Here are two other blogs you might enjoy:



and here are three etsy sites you should check out:




The end!

A Week (or so) in Pictures

Hello there.  I haven’t posted in a while and I’m feeling distinctly un-motivated towards writing at the moment.  So, I’ll upload some pictures and then maybe explain them in short blurbs.  Ready??  I’ll start you off with a good one.

It’s about that time.  That is, it’s time to start eating up my stores of food in the fridge and cupboards of the ICS.  Here are some pickles from my fridge shelf.  Want to join me for supper tonight?

Now that my weird flu (which I think was actually salmonella from some fresh produce I bought) has cleared up and I can eat real food again, I’ve been attempting to eat cake and ice cream every day.  This ice cream was chestnut flavor, I think.  Not the best flavor I’ve ever had, but fun to try.

I went and visited the storage area for the ICS’s permanent collection earlier this week.  It’s pretty amazing.  Here are a couple images of pieces in it (I have a lot more pictures and some video of the collection, holler if you want me to send you some others).


Piece from ICS's collection, by Wookjae Maeng (Korea)

Piece in ICS's collection (I forgot to write down the artist's name!)

The directorship of the studio has changed as of December 1st.  There was a small party for Janos Probstner, the former director and the man who founded the studio.  You can read more about these changes here.

Janos serving his homemade plum palinka.

It’s not too late to sign the petition to help the studio.  You can reach it here:  They have 900 signatures as of right now.  I think 1,000 sounds nice, eh?  Get crackin,’ people!!  Thank you to my many friends and family members who have already signed.  You’re great!


The old synagogue in Kecskemet is a strange place.  The main floor is now a bar and karaoke lounge.  The entire place reeks like stale cigarette smoke.  Up on the second and third levels there’s a really strange display of plaster (?) reproductions of Michelangelo’s sculptures.  I went up to see them the other day.  I was glad I was there in the afternoon rather than the evening, because none of the lights were on.  They actually seemed completely disconnected – I tried the switches.  It was a little creepy at first, but then I decided to ignore the shadowy figures and give myself over to the beauty of the stained glass windows instead.

Strange display of reproductions of Michelangelo's work by Tolnay Karoly.

Stained glass window in the old synagogue in Kecskemet, Hungary.

Yesterday, I went to Budapest for the day to meet up with some of the Hungarian students I met here.  Merci invited Bette and me to go to her hairdresser for fun haircuts.  Her hairdresser is a young guy who likes to do extreme styles.  I figured, I’m in art school and I’ve never had an “art student” haircut before… so he cut off half of my hair (please forgive my broad stereotype there).  I like it.

New mug shot.

After haircuts, we ate and walked around the town for a little bit, exploring the Christmas Market and strolling along the Danube.  It was a fun day, despite how it ended….

Merci and I ended up randomly running into Meredith on the streets of Budapest.  She had also left the studio (separately from me) to do some things in the city.  So, we took the train back together.  Merci stayed in town (the Hungarian students have already had final reviews for their studio work).  Anyway, when we were about 5 minutes outside of Kecskemet, standing near our car’s exit, the train stopped.  Pretty soon we heard there was an accident and we’d be stopped for an hour or two.  I debated walking the remaining distance but decided not to.  We returned to our compartment and chatted with the other women we’d been riding with.

Two were students from the Basque country, and one was a very nice Hungarian woman.  About an hour into our stop, we found out that the train had hit a man and killed him.  We still don’t know the whole story – we thought it might be in the papers today, but apparently it was too late to make it to the press.  So.  That was a sort of unsettling way to end the evening.  I don’t quite know what to think about it.

Probably not the greatest way to end this post, either, but I don’t have any other news.  I’ll try to put up something with a happier ending in a few days.


The other day I was having a discussion with one of the Hungarian students here.  We were talking about slip trailers.

 This is a slip trailer.  You use them to put designs onto clay.  Below is a picture of some slip-decorated pottery.  You can see how the blue and white areas are raised.  This is where lines of slip were laid down on to the pot.  You can think of slip as basically being clay that’s sort of watered down until it’s a thick liquid, with a colorant added to it (in this case maybe zinc or tin for the white and cobalt or copper for the blue).  You fill one of these slip trailers with the liquidy colored clay and then squeeze it out in patterns onto the pottery.

Slip-decorated pottery I saw in Instanbul.

Anyway, we were talking about slip trailers and somehow I mentioned that in the US we sometimes use those blue baby booger suckers as cheap slip trailers.

Here is one of those.

Then, I found out that in Hungary you can buy a special vacuum attachment for doing this particular job.  Hence this post’s title.  Apparently they’re good not only for babies, but also for when you have bad sinus congestion.  Sucks it all right out!  At first I was a bit appalled.  But now… I’m not gonna lie, I kind of want one… could come in handy some day!

1st photo: imagesq=tbn:ANd9GcQOJTGtImLvK8iCdjWfIe83K71b1GYveGLr0pzjym2_dKkJuGPnyA

3rd photo: