Saturday, December 12, 2009


I haven't posted in a long while. This posting is some of the why.

This is a project I developed as part of a class I was taking at Highlands University. I wanted to learn the skills necessary to plan and execute 3/4 life sized ceramic sculptural figures.

Ganesha was chosen because of his virtue in getting through tough thresholds.

The first step was to create a maquette. So, here he is at nine inches tall. I took him all the way through the glaze firing process to try out some glazing ideas as well.

The finished piece will be around 48 inches tall and so some adjustments to the form and composition were possible and necessary.

The cobra belt is designed to cover the seam where he is split in half in order to fit in our kiln.

While the maquette stood on his own, the full size version will likely require support in the back. His left foot will be resting on a human skull.

I loved the process of dancing with the clay in this construction. I allowed the clay to teach me where it wanted/could go while attempting to retain enough human proportion and anatomical detail to delight and not discomfort my eye.
This resulted in some surprising gestural passages that presented challenges in reconciling the figure as a whole.

However, every time I got "fussy" and tried to beat the form back into a more "classically" acceptable shape, I was defeated. So, ultimately I bowed to my teachers: gravity and clay and moisture and went with the energy, trusting it would all work out in the end.

Based on the maquette, his head would be about the same mass as his torso. I created a significant internal structure to support the weight on his chest and spine.

His neck proportions had to be massive for the head. Meanwhile everything was drying very quickly. Challenging to build the mass and at the same time get the shape for a workable form.

I was delighted to discover how an elephant head recapitulates the form of an elephant as a whole. Also many other animal forms surged into the process at the same time. what wonderful teaching/learning.

His tusks are made from porcelain and will be added later. I might cast them into bronze as well, not sure yet.

The pose of the arms and trunk are traditional. His right hand is grasping the broken end of his left tusk. His trunk is reaching for the bowl in his left hand.

I am very grateful for the support and feedback of many people (especially Al and Vic) throughout this process. I love how this project became truly a group effort.

Next steps are: drying, bisquette firing, glaze firing, stand construction and assembly, and finally installation. I pray we all survive each step of the process.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Neil Gaiman and Miniature Knitting?

It's true. These two words do go together.

What Bliss.

Althea Crome.

Thanks Aster!

Friday, February 6, 2009

PK's muffler

Two images of the mysterious PK. Thanks pig sister! Glad you like the scarf.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Knitting for Hope

It is a new day we can all participate in, even knitters.

Knitting is an act of hope.

Change we already believe in.

Thanks Birdie!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Berly's upcoming show in Vegas


February, Friday 13, 2009, from 5 - 8 p.m., Berly Laycox's studio gallery The Looking Glass will be hosting its Grand Opening. The Looking Glass is located at 410 Columbia Ave, Las Vegas, at the corner of 4th and Columbia.

The main exhibit will be "Creepy Birds" - photography, sculpture, mixed media, collage and drawings inspired by birds. Berly’s work is known for its gorgeous patterns, its meditation on details others often don’t see, for its themes of rhythm and decay.

Berly recently moved to Las Vegas after graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her photographs of summer in Japan were recently featured in the deMare Fine Art Gallery’s Holiday Show.

The next issue of GALLINAS Magazine, issued February 11, will feature a profile of Berly Laycox by her mom - and huge fan - Birdie Jaworski.

Other pieces on display will include Berly's book art and photographs of Las Vegas.

Local author Birdie Jaworski will read several original stories based on Creepy Birds She Has Known.

Daniel Jencka will perform harpsichord music.

Refreshments will be served to all avian and human attendees.

All guests will be given the opportunity to meet the stars of the show - African Grey Parrot, Ramses, and Sun Conure, Sunny Bun Bun - and feed them piƱon.

For more information, please email Berly at

Birdie's Mittens

Look at this! My beautiful friend Birdie is wearing the beautiful Anemoi mittens I just finished for her. Beauty wearing beauty. So satisfying.

Birdie is the awesome Diva of Vegas. She sings chicken songs, plays the Indian flute, the banjo and guitar, and is a writer extraordinaire. Check out her links to her blog and her fabulous magazine Gallinas.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finally! a knitting post!

this is a scarf I'm making for my pig sister, PK.  I couldn't get photoshop to get the color right, but this is close.  It's a baby alpaca yarn, chunky, knit on US 10's.

here's the pattern (adapted from somewhere, I forget where) for anyone interested:

cast on 52 stiches.

ROW 1:  K16,  P4,  K4,  P4,  K4,  P4,  K16

ROW 2:  K10,   P6,  C4B,  P4,  C4B,  P4,  C4B,  P6,  K10

ROW 3:  K16,   P4,  K4,  P4,  K4,  P4,  K16

 ROW 4:  K10,  P5,  T3B,  T4F,  T4B,  T4F,  T4B,  T3F,  P5  K10

ROW 5:  K15,  P2,  K3,  P4,  K4,  P4,  K3,  P2,  K15

ROW 6:  K10,  P4,  T3B,  P3,  C4F,  P4,  C4B,  P3,  T3F,  P4,  K10

ROW 7:  K14,  P2,  K4,  P4,  K4,  P4,  K4,  P2,  K14

ROW 8:  K10,  P4,  K2,  P3,  T3B,  T4F,  T4B,  T3F,  P3,  K2,  P4,  K10

ROW 9:  K14,  P2,  K3,  P2,  K3,  P4,  K3,  P2,  K3,  P2,  K14

ROW 10:  K10,  P4,  K2,  P3,  K2,  P3,  C4B,  P3,  K2,  P3,  K2,  P4,  K10

ROW 11:  K14,  P2,  K3,  P2,  K3,  P4,  K3,  P2,  K3,  P2,  K14

ROW 12:  K10,  P4,  K2,  P3,  T3F,  T4B,  T4F,  T3B,  P3,  K2,  P4,  K10

ROW 13:  K14,  P2,   K4,  P4,  K4,  P4,  K4,  P2,  K14

ROW 14:  K10,  P4,  T3F,  P3,  C4F,  P4,  C4B,  P3,  T3B,  P4,  K10

ROW 15:  K15 ,P2,  K3,  P4,  K4,  P4,  K3,  P2,  K15

ROW 16:  K10,  P5,  T3F,  T4B,  T4F,  T4B,  T4F,  T3B,  P5,  K10

keep repeating these 16 as written until the length you want, cast off in pattern.


C4F : slip two stitches onto CN - FRONT.  K2 from left needle, K2 from CN

C4B : slip two stitches onto CN - BACK. K2 from left needle, K2 from CN

T3B :  Slip ONE stitch onto CN - BACK.  K2 from left needle,     P1 from CN

T3F : Slip TWO stitches onto CN - FRONT.  P1 from left needle, K2 from CN

T4B : Slip TWO stitches onto CN - BACK.  K2 from left needle, P2 from CN

T4F : Slip TWO stitches onto CN - FRONT.  P2 from left needle, K2 from CN

So, La de da!  knitting again.  Yippee

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


This is the chick our girls hatched last month.  They tried and tried and finally one made it through the freezing weather, the changes in location, the fretting and worrying of the humans.

Urkle was named by our friend Birdie.  He/she is keeping me company in the office while feathers grow out.  I think this bird will be quite lovely.

Happy New Year!

Is it the year of the chicken????