discipline and creative concentration




it is hard to understand the amount of discipline to both sell and produce your art in a commercial surroundings and whether the constant flip-flop between sales and client following can inhibit the concentration levels in your work. i am finding that in my first month of residency in a quieter studio , something that I now miss, it was easier to create and concentrate on my creative process and production of my work, in the second month of my residency, in a studio with more foot traffic and more sales i suffer with having to have a more disciplined level of concentration when working on my creative production. with a series of continuous interruptions stop and go btw customer’s questions and feeling like a monkey in a circus and perform for the visiting audience. stricter discipline in concentration has helped me to overcome when to focus and when to stop and follow sales. i think that this a problem of many artists as the come to grips with selling our work in a work/sell environment. multi-tasking has become the norm for many creative people who work in this style of environment and even though it is a challenge and quite different to a space with less foot traffic, it is important to discipline one self to pick and choose when to turn on or off the creative juices, in order to make a sale. the decision depends on the individual.  there are times to close your studio door to deter you from distractions and customers who are really determined and attracted to your work will enter your space nonetheless. this has been my experience so far during my second month of my residency. creative focus is something that has to be learned slowly, learning to zone out all around you, in order to concentrate on your creative process and learn to zone in when necessary. eventually, you will learn that there are various grade of concentration and not only one level.  those who like to observe the artist at work will understand the skill of your work and will either observe and admire  or admire then buy…..

new day new studio

a new studio set-up and space brings a whole new set of disciplines and new challenges to my visiting artist residency at the torpedo factory for the summer of 2014. i have set up in studio #32 thanks to the gracious help of my studio host,tatyana, who cleared a part of her studio space so that i will be able to work in the space for the months of july and august. thanks also to my fellow artists at the TF who let me borrow their tools and gave me the input to my primary installation for my ceramics in the new location. today i will be blogging at home and taking a much needed rest. but after that,it will be business as usual.(below) a picture of part of my new installation

you can find me in the studio(#32) from wednesdays-sundays from 11pm-6pm.


Visiting Artist Program (June 2014)

Visiting Artist Program  (June 2014)
THIRD FLOOR studio # 329
the torpedo factory art center
105 North Union Street
Alexandria,Virginia 22314

hours : wednesday – sunday 10.30am-5.30 pm
CLOSED: mondays and tuesdays

small underglazed vases in black and white in various design illustrations

black & white underglazed vases





















the place where we create

studio 329_2



it has almost been a month in my first month of residency as a VISITING ARTIST at the Torpedo Factory in a studio on the 3rd floor, and i am sad to say that i just become accustomed to the space and the light with my creative flow finally taking off in studio #329 and shortly  i will transfer to another studio#32 on the first floor for the following months of july and august….. i will miss the tranquility of the minimal space and the peace and quiet to create and draw and sometimes do nothing but rearrange my tiny installation of ceramics and supplies.  moving to the first floor will increase the foot traffic and a different flow of creative energy will be interesting to see how another space will effect my concentration on work and question if the creative juices continue to flow. Much has gone on during the past month, getting acquainted with fellow artists Visiting and non….. yet i feel that the change of space will bring a new  set of challenges and stimulation to continue or alter my work  based on the interaction with the visiting public :a mixture of curious artists at heart and random and curious characters depending on the time or day. i want extend an invitation to all those friends who have yet to make a trip to the Torpedo Factory to visit me in my new studio space # 32 on the first floor across from the Target Gallery. I have a few installations planned to stimulate the mind and maybe shock the crowds of curious onlookers……… hope to see you there


Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 North Union Street

studio # 32 first floor


Wednesday to Sunday from 11- 6pm





drawing in motion…..a different direction


it has been sometime since my last blog entry at the end of last year.  my focus was on a couple of projects and a competition for a visiting artist programs….if all goes well with the jury I might have some good news to share in the not too distant future.

after the holiday sales and season, i needed a break to to the usual ceramic process and pointed myself towards another creative direction: illustration. it began as a series of sketches called” drawings in motion” drawings done while using public transport like the bus or metro…..logging the mileage from start to finish of each drawing as to time to compose a drawing by the distance travelled.   it is an interesting exercise in control where you can note the lack to a tight illustration due to a sudden movement or motion that is incontrollable…. the illustrated series is dedicated to a series of steampunk animals in battle gear with hidden meanings nestled between the fine lines of ink. i do this while others are lost in their smart phones as i continue to observe them and draw…..

(Below) you can see some single sketches of the series which is still a work in progress. but just a glimpse to give you an idea of my creative process. from these sketches i will re-elaborate to transform them onto a new series of decorative ceramics in some manner. right now i am not sure how the illustrations will effect the shapes or forms when painted on ceramics but i have some ideas which i am still toying around with. i’ll keep you all posted as soon as things evolve……..


packaging and reducing your carbon footprint



sometime when i have finished my ceramic work and am preparing for a show of small objects, i start to search for old boxes to recycle which i can source from friends and family to make custom fitting boxes for my wares. some might think that it is a waste of time, but personally i prefer to re-use and re-purpose cardboard boxes to make custom, low tech packaging for my ceramics in order to store them properly and moving them to and fro from shows. it reduces my carbon footprint for things that otherwise would go into to the landfill.  think about it. making patterns for custom boxes is relatively simple. allow about an inch to width,length and height then cut, score and tape together.

carbon footprint blog

(above ) a picture of part of the display of my first show in the US since returning stateside, where i use the packaging to form different cardboard pedestals for my work in order to create more separate space so customers or potential buyers could concentrate on each piece while searching for the right piece to buy.  the show went well, although tiring to set up and sell. i made some new acquaintances and was able to greet some of my friends and fellow potters. as an artist community, we all need to support each other regardless the medium or style….mutual creative input help the artistic network to grow stronger as a community by providing handmade poetic pieces for this industrial world.

the last italian raku firing

smoking the extracted raku pieces int the courtyard of Altrove's B&B

sometimes, it’s better to start at the end, let me explain…..it is quite difficult to look at these pictures after some time and realize that they document my last raku firing in Italy, where,i fired all my commissioned pieces, then sold my raku kiln and supplies and MOVED back to the US for a new start…..life is complicated sometimes and we need to find the inner courage to pick-up, cut our losses and move on…. hard as it may seem, moving back to the states has given me new opportunities, new friends and a new set of acquaintances and most importantly , a new found force behind my creative spirit.

large covered raku box(WT) black&black with tribal design

above,  is one of the many boxes from a series, both thrown and hand built, part commission and part for my first US show. the exhibition will take place at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery in alexandria between december 20th (friday) at 6pm until, the 22nd (sunday).  i will present part of my italian production and new things in a different technique which i have been working on since my return to the US. it will be interesting to see what people and new acquaintances think of my artistic efforts.

playing with fire

a raku platter (diameter 14″) with circles design as it smokes after extraction from the kiln and the crackling effect is induced due to the thermic change of temperature. the platter was fired in the Italian countryside near milan,italy at my friend’s B&B “altrove” which in italian means “elsewhere”. a quiet and tranquil place in the midst of the italian wine country to work and create in peace……