Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Entering into the Bliss

This Autumn I will be having my second child and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to take a maternity leave this Fall term to focus on my own pottery and spend more time with my family before new baby comes. As busy as I am with a 2 year old, I have been making my work into habit (thank you nap time!) and been very productive getting ready for the Fall Festival as well as the South Corvallis Art Walk. There is a real freedom in allowing myself to simply be an artist through motherhood and I see this as such an important time in my life. My clay work has helped me maintain my individuality and identity during a time where caring for my family has been such a huge part of my life. It's easy to get lost in laundry and dishes and lose sight of the things that make you uniquely you as you transition not motherhood. I am so grateful for my home studio that is accessible and welcoming any time I feel the creative urge as well as supportive family who respects me as an artist.  My hope is to build up an inventory before baby comes that will allow me to take advantage of opportunities to show/ sell my work in 2015. I am not sure when I will be entering the teaching world again, however, feel free to contact me after the new year as I am happy to consider teaching private lessons and small groups at my home studio until I am ready to offer classes again out in the community. 


 During puppet week at the Corvallis Arts Center students worked with myself and teaching artist Chris Neely to create a fabulous puppet show from scratch. Students created rod puppets, finger puppets, masks, and created props and backdrops. The result was a fabulous puppet show!

Trillium Family Services CFH Project 2014

Details of some of the tiles before installation
 I just completed a tile project at the Children's Farm Home that has been in the works since the beginning of 2014. The intention of the project was to create a tile mural to be displayed at the Farm Home showing both images that represent the history of the farm home as well as the farm home today. Farm home residents helped to design the layout of the project and even designed and hand drew many of the images. I gathered some old historical photographs of the farm home and printed them for us to use. The process of making the tiles was in a classroom setting. Residents were taught the basics of making tiles from scratch, hand carving them and using a process called "mishima" or slip inlay to add the black outline of the drawing. We decided to keep the mural black and white so that the details of the drawings would stand out and to keep the tiles more consistent. Project organizer Martha Shimeall and myself then arranged the tiles and adhered them to a board, grouted them in and the facilities team built a frame for the mural out of recycled wood from the floor boards from one of the farm home's old buildings. I painted the frame and added text around the frame that represents the seven commitments of a Trauma Informed Care Model that is being implemented through the agency right now.

Non- violence
Emotional Intelligence
Social Learning
Open Communication
Social Responsibility
Growth and Change
Finished Project complete with frame and mounted overlooking the gardens

The tile mural now hangs outside overlooking the garden behind the old school historic building in a public area used by visiting families, residents, staff and visitors. This project was funded through a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Benton County Cultural Coalition.

Diana Ryan adhering the tiles to mounting board