My Sculpture Class

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International ceramic and bronze sculptor Lorri Acott blogs on creativity, sculpture and artistic inspiriation.

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sculpting class in April

Posted by mysculptureclass on March 8, 2010 at 10:23 AM Comments comments (0)

I am so excited about the sculpting class that I am doing April 2-4 in Sedona, AZ!  The people are wonderful, the location is stunning, and the students are always fabulous!  It has become my favorite place to teach workshops!  I always love teaching the 3 day workshop because students begin on Friday with wet clay, and on Sunday we are firing their finished sculptures to take home.  They are always so excited and inspired about what they are able to accomplish in only three days!  For more info about the workshop, click here...and stay tuned for the paperclay workshop in Tuscany in September of 2011!

International paperclay symposium!

Posted by mysculptureclass on February 22, 2010 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (2)

I had the most amazing experience a few weeks ago...I was a speaker and participant at the international Paperclay Symposium in Laguna Beach!

When I told my teaching colleague that I was invited to speak at the international paperclay symposium in Laguna Beach on February and 7, he laughed. He was surprised that there was enough interest in paperclay to have a symposium, much less an international one.

Within the long history of ceramics, the use of paperclay to create art or functional ware is in its infancy. Experiments in using paperclay to create three dimensional art began in the 70’s. More widespread use of paperclay did not begin until the 90’s and later as Rosette Gault and Graham Hay began to write, teach, and educate others. They found that this gave clay almost magical properties: The ability to add wet clay to dry, dry to dry, and even wet clay to bisque. It created pieces that were shockingly strong when green and allowed works to be fired more quickly and even left raw. The beginning of the paperclay movement is due, almost exclusively to the dedication that these two have had in experimenting, writing, and teaching about this medium.

The Paperclay Today symposium was truly international. Artists arrived from Australia, Wales, Italy, England, Montreal, and of course from all over US. Held in Laguna Beach California, the setting and enthusiasm of the organizer Linda Saville brought all of us here to connect, share, and to be inspired.

I fire my sculptures with large metal spikes embedded in them to strengthen the elongated thin legs. That’s why I use paperclay. In attending this conference, I was amazed at all the other ways this medium can be used to create fine art. For some paperclay is a way to create cutting edge contemporary art installations, for others it is a way to create the thinnest, most delicate and fine porcelain work that I have ever seen. For all us, it is a way to overcome the limitations of regular clay and to allow our own creativity while maintaining the relationship with the medium that we all love best: clay.

Paperclay is under-represented in the world of ceramics. Perhaps it is because of the love for the rich functional tradition of ceramics. Or maybe it is because those who have been trained in traditional ceramics are all too familiar with the disasters that occur when one does not understand what can and cannot be done with clay. Paperclay opens the door to new ways of looking at and thinking about clay. It does not take away from the function or the history; it just adds more possibilities for all of us.

The Paperclay Today Symposium was just a beginning. From lengthy conversations during the symposium, I know that this core group of Paperclay artists is ready to join Rosette and Graham to bring this wonderful medium to the attention of art collectors, artists, museums and galleries around the world. After what I saw last weekend, there is no doubt: it really is time. You can see images form the symposium here.

joyous 2010, #10 Remember I am happiest when creating, so create!

Posted by mysculptureclass on January 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM Comments comments (2)

This one may be the hardest of them all, especially when I am in a slump. I hear artists give all kinds of reasons as to why they don't work in the studio.  "My spouse doesn't support me", "I have a full time job"" i have kids". ..

 

I have to admit, lately I have been having a hard time sculpting as often as is good for me (every day or close to it).  Instead I have been putting energy into my full time teaching job and  keeping my 9th grade students focused for 100 minutes at a time, supporting my daughter in her college search and search for money to pay for it, and developing this new clay that doesn't need to be fired and fixing the problems I run into with it. When so much of energy is going to so many things, it is especially hard.

 

The truth is, none of those are the thing that I am here to do.  I am here to sculpt.  I am here to create, and in doing that, I am here to inspire others to do what they are here to do.  I asked a question to a writer a few years ago who was lamenting that she was not writing and that she did not have time.  My question to her, and often to myself is this:  Why is it that we have time to do everything except that which we were here to do?  Do it...it will bring you joy.

Joyous 2010,#9 Laugh often

Posted by mysculptureclass on January 13, 2010 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Laughter is an amazing healer...physically, emotionally, spiritually.  It allows us to open ourselves, to release stress, to take ourselves less seriously and to be in the moment.  When I am really laughing, I am not thinking about anything else.....not worrying about other things.  I am just in that moment.  The people I enjoy being with are the people who really know how to laugh, and I like myself a whole lot better when I can laugh at myself and at circumstances.  This year I will laugh often.

 

For a joyous 2010 #8

Posted by mysculptureclass on January 11, 2010 at 8:51 AM Comments comments (0)

Always assume the best in others.  I know some people see me as pollyanna...too much focus on the positive, not enough on "reality" but   my life is better because I focus on the good in people.  As a teacher, when I focus on the good in my students I get much more good from them.  As a person, I have always been inspired by the people who saw the best in me.  I never wanted to let them down by being less than they believed I was. 

 

My daily life is better when I look for the good in people; when I assume that someone who is rude is having a bad day and can respond in kindness.  This doesn't mean being foolish or being unsafe, It just means recognizing the humanity is others. It means treating others with respect and kindness no matter what they look like or who they are.

 

Often people assume that I look at people this way because I have never seen bad  people, that I have been sheltered, that I have never had anything bad happen to me in my life.  Without sharing details, I can tell you with certainty that this is not true.  People who know me well know that I have lived and grown through a great deal of personal and family pain. I taught students with severe social/emotional disorders and I even worked in a psychiatric hospital for four years.


Assuming the  is how I choose to live.  It is one thing that makes my life joyful and beautiful, and that's the kind of life I choose.

For a joyous 2010

Posted by mysculptureclass on January 9, 2010 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

7. Allow myself to feel how I feel without judgment. Feelings are just feelings. They can give me insights into myself, but in and of themselves they are not bad or good.  They just are. The ones that feel good, I want to enjoy, pay attention to, appreicate, and bask in.  The ones that don't feel good, I want to recognize, aknowlege and allow to move on.  All without judgement.  They just are.

Creative 2010

Posted by mysculptureclass on January 7, 2010 at 9:29 AM Comments comments (3)

6 Play freely in my art without censorship

 

Self censorship is perhaps the greatest creativity killer.  When I stop exploring and start trying to create work that will sell my creativity suffers.  Sometimes I explore playfully, sometimes deeply or ruefully or even heartbreakingly in my art.; but the key is to keep exploring without censoring.  Of course, when I decide what to give to the galleries to sell self censorship is important, but not when creating.  Sometimes my best pieces come from work that I was tempted to censor, sometimes the work I was tempted to censor is unsellable.  It doesn't matter.  The truth is that the work comes from deep within my soul and needs to be made.  It is only after that that the judgement can begin.

Creative 2010

Posted by mysculptureclass on January 7, 2010 at 9:29 AM Comments comments (0)

6 Play freely in my art without censorship

 

Self censorship is perhaps the greatest creativity killer.  When I stop exploring and start trying to create work that will sell my creativity suffers.  Sometimes I explore playfully, sometimes deeply or ruefully or even heartbreakingly in my art.; but the key is to keep exploring without censoring.  Of course, when I decide what to give to the galleries to sell self censorship is important, but not when creating.  Sometimes my best pieces come from work that I was tempted to censor, sometimes the work I was tempted to censor is unsellable.  It doesn't matter.  The truth is that the work comes from deep within my soul and needs to be made.  It is only after that that the judgement can begin.

Ideas for a joyous 2010

Posted by mysculptureclass on January 6, 2010 at 10:59 AM Comments comments (1)

5.  Bring joy whenever and wherever possible.

 

This one is deceptively simple. It is so easy to smile at someone, hold open a door, tell someone "thank-you", let a car in in front of you. Wherever I go I try to bring joy. Of course I have my bad days, and grumpy moods, but as a matter of course, I try to bring joy. The most wonderful part of this is the joy that it brings back to me.

 

The trick for me is to remember this...especially when I am having a difficult day. Any ideas?

A joyous 2010 #4

Posted by mysculptureclass on January 5, 2010 at 10:29 AM Comments comments (0)

4.When I feel guily about something, change it and let it go.

 

Guilt can serve a purpose, but most often it is a wasted emotion.  It serves to tell us that we made a decision that was against our true beliefs or against who we really are.  That in itself serves a wonderful purpose.  It tells us we are off track, and that we need to take a second look at what we are doing.

 

The problem comes when guilt cycles again and again with no introspection and not change in behavior.  This type of guilt is debilitating and serves no positive purpose.  My resolution this year is to let go of guilt quickly.  I was to use it to keep me on track in being who I am here to be.  I want to feel it, recognize what it is saying to me, make the adjustments that I need to make, and let it go. If it is result of old thinking or holding myself to unreasonable standards (see #2), then I need to conciously let that go as well.  It requires energy to look at where it's coming from, but nowhere near the energy toll that it takes as it continues to cycle over and over again in my psyche.


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