“What is to giv…

“What is to give light must endure burning.”
-Viktor Frankl

I wish I’d known this quote when writing my thesis!


Want to win a handmade cup? And the MFA thesis show (finally!)

Hey!  Where are you and what are you doing?  I’m sitting in my studio, waiting to have a meeting with my adviser.  I’m hoping he’ll have some novel ideas about shipping my work.  I have a show in Colorado in June, and I did a shipping estimate for it yesterday.   Guess how much it was?  The person who guesses closest will win one of my small translucent porcelain cups!

Winner’s cup may differ from what is shown here.

I’m going to be strict here, and say you must be following this blog in order for your guess to be counted.  How do you do that?  Simple: enter your email address in the box on the right hand side of the page where it says, “Stay in the loop!”  Leave your guesses in the comment section here; the contest will end & the winner will be notified on Sunday at 5pm ET.

Alrighty then.  As you begin formulating your guesses, I’ll enthrall you with the remainder of this post.

As I was saying, I got the shipping estimate.  It’s now clear to me that I either:

a) need to find a wealthy sponsor


b) need to figure out a different way to ship my pieces,


c) I’m not willing to change my work


d) I don’t own a teleporter.

I really hope I can figure this out, because I’m not sure I can afford to do the show otherwise.

Moving on, here are some pictures from the MFA thesis show opening reception, which was held on April 7th.  It was really fun to see everyone who came out to the show.  Extra high highlights were my parents, who flew in from ND, Meredith Morten, who many of you might remember from my adventures at the ICS in Hungary last fall, and Bethany Rusen and David Doktor, who braved the east coast traffic from Philadelphia. 🙂

Click on one to open a photo viewer.  The photos end with the installation process for my 22′ porcelain column.

On the Wall: UMassD MFA Ceramics @ the Thomas Hunter Projects, NYC

I had a nice scenic drive through Manhattan yesterday afternoon.  At least, I’d imagine it was probably scenic.  I didn’t actually do too much looking, because I was completely lost.  Five of us went down to Hunter College to install our show at the Thomas Hunter Project Space.  My car’s navigator, Tom, decided to ride back to New Bedford with Alia and Leslie so that he could stay and hang out in the city for a little longer, which was fine with me.  I wanted to get back to MA ASAP for a friend’s birthday party.  I thought I could make it back A-OK by going out of the city the same way we came in.  In hindsight, this was grandly delusional.  Even though I found the correct road, going north instead of south (which I was pretty proud of), I either missed the exit for I-95N or it just doesn’t exist going that direction.  I’m choosing to believe the latter!

After many angry yellow cab honks, a singular, brief attempt at using an atlas while driving (I don’t recommend), and a phone call to have someone else googlemap me out of the city, I came to the startling realization that all I had to do was turn on the GPS function of my cell phone.  I finally escaped the city’s clutches.  Free!  I thought gleefully.  And then I ran into traffic going 18mph in Connecticut.  Because it was (barely) snowing.  Needless to say, I missed the party 😦  But my friend was understanding, so that was good.

The first part of the day went much more smoothly, however.  I think we were all pretty happy with how the installing went. I’ll post some pics here of everyone’s work for those of you who can’t make it to the closing reception (which is going to be on Friday, the 24th from 6-7:30PM).  If you’re coming to the closing reception, you’ll need to check in at the main entrance to Hunter College on 68th and Lexington and get a visitor’s pass before trying to get past the security guards in the art building.  You’ll need a photo ID.

I’m pleased with how my piece turned out.  I think I’m going to make another version of it for the thesis show in April.  Below is a gallery, so if you click on an image, it’ll blow up larger and then you can navigate forward and backward using the arrows to the right and left of the image.

Mrs. Carney Would Be Sad

Well, here I’ve sat, almost all day, writing for my thesis report.  (I’m currently trying to explain why I use light and what it Means.)  It’s not going well.  I’m going to go ahead and blame the fact that I’m starting to lose my ability to think properly in English.

Because this is an international studio, everyone speaks different languages.  (I know, I know!  Duh, right?)  The common language is English (Thank you, God!  There were some Francophones at the birthday party this weekend, and despite my six years of French, I had no idea what they were saying.) but most everyone’s background language is different.  So everyone has a different “base” that they bring to the table.

For example, the Hungarian language doesn’t use distinctions like “he” and “she” – everything and everyone is “it.”  Also, you know how in other languages the adjectives belong in different places than they do in English?  Well, prepositions get moved around too.   So, I’ve gotten in the habit of restructuring my sentences, to make conversations easier.  And I’m starting to think that way too.  I find myself writing sentences and upon rereading them I have no idea if they’re grammatically correct.  I write something, and then read it, and then think, “That sounds strange.  Is it wrong?”  And I don’t know the answer.

So, Charlotte, Jim, Susan, and Deborah, if you’re reading this, I apologize in advance for my thesis report!

In all seriousness though, I’ve been very impressed by how many of the people I’ve met here, both in and out of the studio, speak English and speak it very well.  Like I said earlier, I’m grateful I’m not having to try to make myself understood in French, which I supposedly learned, or Hungarian, which is completely foreign.  Kudos to anyone out there who’s even partially mastered a second language!  You have my admiration and envy!


Here is a random picture for you to look at – I hope I haven’t posted it before:

Kecskemet Market

Farmer's Market in Kecskemet


PS  Mrs. Carney was my seventh-grade English teacher.  She was a pretty great teacher.  Strict, but great.  🙂