Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Solstice census

Winter Solstice (in Antarctica) has come and gone, and the Potters' Penguin Project colony has grown to a whopping 804 penguins! The Project has two more deadlines: October 15, 2016, when we hope to pass the 1,500-penguin mark, and December 15, 2016, when we'll conduct our final colony census. We expect to exhibit at Claymakers in Durham, NC, in early 2017. Check back for info about other exhibit spaces as plans develop.

Image via the Potters' Penguin Project
Image via

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cats as time sinks

A tiny piece broke off the potentiometer in the pedal for my pottery wheel. Neither super glue nor epoxy have fixed it, so I'm wheel-less for the next few days, until I can get a new part. In the meantime, here is a video of Findus trying to decide whether he'd rather destroy a paper bag or wrestle with Schroeder.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Potters' Penguin Project update

We're just ten days away from the Potters' Penguin Project's initial deadline. To clarify: we will continue our penguin drive into the fall. The June 21 deadline exists so that we can assess how close we are to reaching our goal of >1500, and to help with soliciting exhibition spaces (it's easier to make a compelling argument that we can complete the project when we have penguins in hand, and oh!--the photo ops!). Reports of pending penguins suggest we'll be at least halfway to our goal by the 21st. Thanks to all who have participated so far (currently 43 participants documented by name, along with several anonymouses--anonymice?--plus a class of 4th graders and multiple middle-school art classes documented by teacher name).

As I've never organized anything like this before, my project-documenting skills have improved as penguins have accumulated. Please see our Facebook page for photos, videos, and regular updates.

Here are some photos from penguin census day (318 penguins on May 20).

After unpacking all the penguins then in my possession, photographing them on a bedsheet on my parlor grand piano, and repacking them all, I realized 1500 penguins were going to take up a lot more space than I had initially calculated, and it would be beneficial to document them as they arrived. Out came the Flotone grayscale graduated background and the fancy 55-watt 5000-5500K light bulb with the tripod and light diffuser, and voila: formal penguin portraits. A selection is below. The variety in penguin design has been a delight to see.

Mary Sjogren

Rogers Herr Middle School art students

Rogers Herr Middle School

Pam Wardell

Hannah Suckle and Grace Anker

Cathy Cindrich

Lisa Brown