In the beginning

Ceramic art at the Lviv National Academy of Art

Use your words. That recording plays over in my head, like a mantra or a chant. Finding the words in the midst of experiencing new things has become a challenge. How can I express thoughts and emotions that are actively still forming.

Today I went to the Lviv National Academy of Arts for the first time. The seed of this trip was planted decades ago. It took years for me to have the courage to even speak about such a crazy idea. An extended stay in Ukraine to immerse myself in Ceramic Art, a childish dream. Yet, here I am.

The active part of pursuing my idea began in February of last year. I must thank all my friends and family who supported me and continue to support me. Oksana, who was able to point me in the right direction. Irene, who tirelessly helped me plow through the language barrier, translating my request to the Academy. Cathy and Diane, who have helped me keep moving forward for the last 20 years. Last but not least my family. Especially, my husband and daughter who understand my need to create.

I continue to be overwhelmed and in awe of all the new things I am seeing and doing.  Here is a visual sample of my day. From taking the tram to cooking 4 chicken breast on a hot plate.

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Banksy?

The photo above is from the Tram station in Lviv where my journey began.  The director of the ceramic department kindly met me at my apartment and escorted me to the Academy.

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From the outside you would never guess how much it is overflowing with creativity and ceramic art. Here is a sample.

Below are photos of the kiln room. They have both electric and gas kilns

These photos below are of what they call “chamotte”. It appears to be a type of heavily grogged clay, which provides extra strength and less cracks for large sculptural pieces.

This photo below is of my wonderful tour guide and ceramic artist Natalka. She also introduced me to something else new to me “Molochnaya”. It is a milk glaze, and ancient technology of milk burning. The piece she is holding and the one next to it are both products of this process.

 Tomorrow I will return with a packed lunch and begin creating.

Here is one of the four chicken I cooked on this hot plate. The room still smells like chicken.

 

 

 

 

About Babs

I'm a narrative sculptor navigating her way through the ever-changing currents in what feels like an art ocean. Whether appreciating the calm rhythm of calls for art and exhibiting, or waiting to catch a big wave of inspiration to take me to the top. I just love being in the water. Formerly a pickle packer, theater major, crisis counselor and occupational therapist with a BA in Communications and a BS in Occupational Therapy, only to discover I've always been an artist. My work grows from a strong connection to people and a passion for discovering the beauty in ordinary things. I sculpt figuratively in clay, utilizing the female form and women’s themes. Frequently my inspiration is drawn from childhood memories and my own short poems. Like each of us as humans every work is uniquely influenced by the past and present and has a narrative.
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