Tuesday, January 31, 2012

'atmospheric indiana'

mindy gave me an early christmas gift last year.  it was a tiny sketchbook, to be part of the art house co-op and the brooklyn arts library's traveling sketchbook show.  it was 32 empty pages of frustration.  it was a sweet gesture on her part, but when she gave it to me, we were in the middle of finishing everything up for the christmas season. i know she worried that i didn't want to do it.  i did want to do it.  i just couldn't think of anything i wanted to do.  i thought i should maybe turn it into a sculpture or make a pop-up book.  i couldn't decide if it should have a cohesive theme or just be random images.  should i blockprint in it?  i thought it could be a travel log (which it is to a certain degree).  i really didn't know what it could be.  i didn't make a mark in it.  by christmas we had resigned ourselves to the idea that it probably wouldn't get completed by the january 31st deadline, and certainly by the time we got back from new york, i'd give up on the idea of even remembering where the sketchbook was at.

a few days ago i decided i'd try to get it done.  what came out was a cohesive short story of the indiana sky in 32 spray painted backdrops and simple silhouetted images that i titled: 'atmospheric indiana.'  it is not unlike a travel log, but it's not a travel log.  it's an observation i guess.

i took the book apart and spray painted both sides of all 8 pages, then put the book back together with a needle and thread.  the pages all looked like the sky at different times of the day.  i started drawing images into the faded spray paint, recalling everything i drive through regularly.  i tried to mix 'traditional' icons, like the barn and the old windmill, with images of what is actually out there, like CFOs and traffic, all under hazy colorful skies.  the skies are beautiful, but those colors come from contamination in the air from the images in the foreground.  mindy's favorite was the fence row.  my favorite were the airplane contrails.

it was a lot of fun to do this project.  i'm happy that i finished it, and i'm happy with the finished piece.  it is simple and quiet, but maybe that can stand out amongst everyone trying to do something different and unexpected.  i know mindy is happy that i had fun with it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On using video...

last year we began using video in our art.  it all stemmed from getting an iPhone.  mindy got one first and had way too much fun playing around, then we invested in a flipcam (which was a piece of shit).  then i got an iphone.  then everything changed.  we started making short 'process' videos of some of my ceramics techniques, as little educational films, which forced us to become more involved in the editing process.  then we started playing with soundtrack.  then, after seeing the oscar nominated shorts last winter in NYC, we became interested in how film tells stories.

last winter was our first real experience with video.  we were snowed in under about 14" and drifts up to the windows and in rural indiana, you stay like that until the sun melts some of that shit away.  so to break cabin fever we got out the county fair toys and made little video clips of them.  we created little stark sets on the shelves, stairs, and pedestals in the house.  then used the iphone and the snap-shot camera to film everything.  we edited everything in iMovie and used garageband to create the soundtracks.  looped it all together and ended up w/ a 15 minute collection of short clips.

i make interactive works and filming them being interacted with and moving around and being more than static helps remove some of the preciousness of the work.  i watched alexander calder's 'circus' films when i was in grad school, then we saw them again in NYC at a retrospective show at the whitney a few years ago.  and it was eye-opening to see calder, some drunk old fella playing with the toys he'd created.  in the same way i felt that county fair should also have that element of 'play.'

Alexander Calder's Circus (Part 1). View Part 2 here.

this project led into making cartoons, and then led into shooting other video for other installations.  i used video as a main portion of my installation from last fall, post-industrial, to give a sense of space and distance in the piece.  we basically drove through the indiana countryside filming the horizon line, covering the different kinds of human habitats here, from the rural to the suburban to the city.

Post-Industrial, 2011.

people respond to moving images more than they respond to static images, the challenge is in keeping their attention.  most people who walk into an art gallery are not going to spend 5, 10, or 15+ minutes standing in a dark room trying to figure out what the artist is trying to say.  i find that video can be more effective by embedding it into a 'static' work.  so there's more to it than just the 'film.'  in most galleries and museums that show video, the 'video' is the work.  i use video in the same way i use everything else.  as an element that contributes to the whole.

detail from County Fair

county fair now features a talking 'carnie' at the food cart and a collection of animated and live-action shorts that help to grab the audience and pull them into the work.  give them something to interest them, but don't make it demand their attention.  i, instead, ask for their attention by making the video a simple element of the overall piece.  and with that, i can, more adequetly involve an audience with my ideas about art and life.

p.s. some more video shorts from county fair can be seen in this previous post.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

a treasury

An Etsy.com treasury inspired by this blog.

Speaking of Etsy, use the coupon code 'WINTERBLUES' to receive 15% off everything in the shop from now till February 7th!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

writer's block

it's raining grey and nasty in indiana and i haven't made anything in 6 weeks.  not a mug, not a painting, not a print, not anything.  i re-worked my county fair installation, but mostly that was just re-hashing ideas and re-configuring layout (not that that is easy or mindless).  and this is where i am at.  nothing on tap, nothing in mind, just nothing.  but then i believe that is how creativity works.  it ebbs and flows like the sea.  it breathes in and it breathes out.

i imagine that the majority of people do not understand this phenomenon.  most 'artists' even probably do not understand this.  we go to grad school in search of our voice, but end up getting caught up in creating an identifiable form, technique or idea.  then we spend the rest of our careers working within those fenced in borders we've put around ourselves, producing work that will support our lifestyles.  this is what the world expects from us: to be producers of art, like we are some machine that shits out beauty.  or at least buyable, recognizable, and finished relics of thought.

this is not art.  art exists in a realm of experimentation, everything else is production.  for example: my pottery is quite unique, and it took me several years of practice and trial and error to develop a form, image, technique that works.  that sells.  that is accessible to its audience.  but in making and re-making and re-making, the art becomes lost in production.  to crank out mug after mug or print after print, or anything in quantity simply takes the thought out of making.  it becomes mindless repetition, no different than pushing a button on a factory line (the only difference is that i own my factory).

so i haven't made anything in 6 weeks.  my stock is dropping at my co-op gallery, and my shelves are beginning to look a bit sad.  but i believe this down-time is an important part of creating.  closing oneself off from spewing forth 'art' and stepping back and breathing in for a bit.  observing, and struggling with vague ideas and images that must be worked into something meaningful.  the point for me is to avoid the one-dimensionality of artists who discover a marketable niche in their work.  of course, i want to be able to support myself with my art, and that typically means selling things the public already knows you make.  but for me that is secondary to thinking about new ideas and ways of affecting an audience.

most people refer to this as writer's block.  and the thing about writer's block is that you are not creating nothing.  you are making all kinds of things.  you are rarely, however, finishing anything.  you put down something vague in hopes of working out a complete idea, but it just doesn't happen.  my sketchbook is filled with scribbles and sketches, but they simply have no meaning at the moment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Soho Graffiti Album

we returned to Indiana from NYC last night.  it was a great 4 days.  above are several examples of the graffiti we found in soho.  we had planned to get to 5 pointz and williamsburg, but mindy's ankle was not in the mood for walking.  next time we'll go explore the other neighborhoods for some more good stuff.  there is so much there.  so much bad stuff, but there is a lot of good stuff too.  the piece carved into the concrete is a keith haring.  the only person we were looking for in soho that we didn't find was invader.  we've seen him before (i believe on lafayette st.) but we couldn't find him this year. so please enjoy our little walk through the graffiti of soho.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy New Year! Or rather, gong xi fa cai!!! Today we welcome the year of the water dragon. Mindy and I spent a good part of our day in Chinatown yesterday wandering around looking at ang pao and all the little toys, dresses and heng heng items to bring wealth and good fortune in the new year. We ate dim sum at oriental garden on elizabeth st. where we were seated at a large round table with another couple and an old woman and a young white boy who spoke impeccable Chinese. after dim sum we wandered up Bowery a bit after I stopped for a few moments to draw the entrance to the manhattan bridge.

We ended up at uniqlo and bought some great and affordable basics and then stopped in to muji for some notebooks I hope to turn into something i can sell.

Then we went to kee's chocolates on Thompson. We read many reviews about this place and since it is just a couple of blocks from where we were staying we decided that it would be our chocolate for the trip (mindy and I always try to find a local chocolate shop when we go places). Her speciality is a creme brûlée truffle. You had to eat it in one bite so the liquid creme center didn't run down your chest. Oh lord was it good. Once you break the dark chocolate shell the sweet creme pours into your mouth, then as you swallow it the bitter dark chocolate begins to melt playing nicely off the sweet. Delicious delicious delicious.

after chocolate we walked back to the apartment and watched the end of the first football game. Then we were growing hungry again and decided to walk up greenwich ave to the meatball shop for an easy dinner. We ordered similar dishes, mindy had root beer I had real beer and we sat in the window watching the people pass by on the street.

After dinner we walked to the IFC theater on 6th ave and bought tickets for the 10:10 The City Dark show. While we waited, we went to Grom for some gelato: yum yum. Then we walked back to the theater and went in and found our seats. The 20 seat theater was mostly empty, just two other couples. As the lights came down to start the show the couple to mindy's right became increasingly annoying, talking and playing with their phones with her head in his lap. The guy behind us kept kicking our chairs. What the hell!? We were apparently in douche bag theater. Either way the show was great and I recommend it to everyone. It is about how electric light effects not just the night sky but human biology and animal habitats and migration. In other words we need the dark and we are losing it to "progress."

After the show we walked back down bleeker st. to the apartment. I checked to see who won the NFC championship game. Too bad SF, I really wanted y'all to win. Then we began packing up our shit to come back to Indiana.

We fly back to Indiana in a few short hours after our little trip to NYC. We covered several museums, a soho graffiti scavenger hunt, some research, Chinese New Year, a bit of shopping and a whole lot of eating. we love NYC but are looking forward to being home and hanging out with our big gray and white cat.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snowy NYC

Saturday morning we woke up to glistening flecks of snow falling to the streets below. New York in the snow is quite magical. That is until about noon when everyone has taken their dogs out, trampled the white snow into a dirty mix of unmelted snow ice salt sand and general NYC dirt and soot. So while mindy was wiping the sleep from her eyes I walked in the quiet streets for some food. After breakfast we took the train uptown to the museum of art and design at columbus circle and to the Guggenheim. Mindy's ankle has been sore with a bit of tendinitis so we decided that a day of traversing the snow laden streets would probably not be the best idea in the world, so we tried to stay inside on solid ground as much as we could.

We started with MAD. They ended up having half of the museum floors closed for installation, so the price to get in was also cut in half, the work we saw was well worth the price. First we saw a show about the Japanese aesthetic, which was surprisingly inspiring. There were many different media in the show, but in particular some of the ceramic forms were screaming at me to investigate making some new shapes for printed surfaces, something more elegant and less about its useable function. An Akio Takamori piece featuring the inside of the figure's head was a favorite in the show.

We then went down stairs to a show entitled "the Korean eye," which featured many postmodern and post-postmodern works from korea. This show was very well put together in that it really gave a sense of Korea as a hip, electric, plastic, pretty and fad oriented place, but the art work was very strong and accessible from mechanical insides of fish to a mass of tiny smiling brightly colored molded foam figures traveling up the walls and around the staircase. One piece in particular was quite moving. A piece by lee leenam called "Ming and Chung dynasty paintings: cross over." The work featured 5 ancient Korean/Chinese scrolls side by side on 5 LED TVs. Over top of the images the artist had animated the changing seasons as thoughtfully and subtly as the scrolls themselves ending with winter falling into a moonlit night. We had to wait to view the work however, as the asshole docent stepped her group of morons right in front of our first attempt to interact with the work, sparking an apology from one of the tour participants. But it was well worth the wait.

Hong Young In, Procession, 2010
acrylic, embroidery, scenic fabric

We then trekked down a few blocks for our annual trip to hale and hearty for lunch, then hopped a cab to the gugg.

Arriving at the gugg we were greeted by a block-long line in a bitter cold wind, but it moved relatively quickly and we were inside in about 15 minutes or so. Once inside the place was so crowded it was hard to move around with out running into people, so I simply stiffened my shoulders and went where I wanted to go. I'm an asshole like that in overcrowded places. The show was Maurizio Cattelan, featuring his entire body of work hanging from ropes seemingly haphazardly in the rotunda. WOW. What a fun way to view a retrospective show. We started at the top. Mindy took the cramped elevator to the top. I took the twisting walkway, because there is no way in hell I'm packing myself into an already packed space. So I met her at the top in front of a horse's ass (part of the exhibit not a person). We made our way down the ramp and saw new things at every angle. It really was a genius way to look at all this work. Cattelan's cheeky humor and political satire were quite evident and despite the masses of morons in headphones listening to what someone wants you to think about art, we really enjoyed the work. I tried drawing some of the show in my sketchbook, but the gugg has such weird perspective and angles I ended up making mostly a mockery of it on the page. It was beginning to get dark when we left the museum, so we walked down to Lexington and hopped a train back to the west village.

We made reservations for a poorly yelp-reviewed place on bleeker called the mussel pot. This is why you can only half trust yelp reviews. The food was wonderful, but then mindy and I both love mussels. It was a bit pricy but we left full and happy. So, to anyone reading yelp reviews: mussel pot is good. Eat there.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

NYC Day 2

Day 2 in NYC was mindy day. First was a stop into Cutler salon for a cute new do, then noodle bar for lunch, then to the upper west side to meet with an independent curator who was a close friend of Norman Lewis.

Staying in the west village means I get to eat breakfast at my favorite fastest food in the city, bagels on the square on carmine and 6th ave. every time I eat here I get pissed at einsteins, because I can get 2 huge bagels slathered in DELICIOUS homemade cream cheese, and 2 large coffees for less than $10 including a tip. This is one of the few places in the city that the coffee doesn't taste like diesel fuel. At einsteins I get half of that for double the price and a third the quality. The people who work there are friendly and fast and I just love it.

While mindy was getting her hair cut I wandered all around soho looking for more graffiti and freezing my ass off in the process. Looking at all this stuff really makes me want to paint on these walls. A lot of the stuff out there is dogshit, tags and an inundation of stickers that no one even looks at. But then you look up and find katsu's paint hose sprayed 20 feet up the wall. Or a stencil of a machine gun with the words "art is my weapon." There is an early sine tag halfway up the wall of a parking lot on Wooster. The screwsacer and dash snow at the top of a wall on canal. it's amazing to see tags that you know have been there for a decade or two. Then the newer paste-ups that are billboard sized looking like some kind of advertisement for counter culture. And there is of course Shepard fairey everywhere.

After freezing and a new do, we went to have lunch at noodle bar on carmine. We found this little gem last year and for less than $30 we stuffed our faces with deliciousness.

Then we stopped back at the apartment for an hour or so before we hopped the 1 train to the upper west side to meet with Susan Stedman, who is an independent curator and a close friend of Norman Lewis (mindy's dissertation topic).

Her apartment is a sight to behold piled with books and art everywhere, something right out of the movies, the IFC kind of movies though. We sat and picked her brain on everything from art and culture to general living. She told us many wonderful stories of the Spiral Group artists and their successes and struggles in the art world. She was married to Indianapolis born and Herron educated artist, William Majors, who was a member of Spiral and a best friend and confidant of Lewis. We talked about their creating methods and interests and lives. After Majors death in 1982 she married the philosopher Alfred Prettyman and the two often host Sunday philosophy round table discussions in their loft. What a joy and an honor to get to meet with her. We stayed quite late into the evening laughing and telling stories, but still had to leave before Dr. Prettyman arrived home.

After we left her loft we walked up the block a bit and ate a late dinner at a Turkuaz, which you can guess is a Turkish restaurant. We were greeted by a belly dancer and a disgustingly touchy-feely couple at the table adjacent to ours. The food was underwhelming but not too overpriced and we left full. We hopped the train back to the west village and awaited the coming snowfall.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

NYC and the New Museum

We arrived in NYC this morning at around 8:30, after a night of maybe three hours of sleep. more like 2ish. The flight was empty, just a few investment banker types snoring in their suits with their iPhones in their ears. We touched down at laguardia, ferried to the terminal, hailed a cab, and made our way to the apartment we're renting for the weekend in the west village. We couldn't meet the owners until after noon, so we went to a bakery I stumbled into last year and ate breakfast and sat and chatted for an hour or so. We paid the tab, grabbed our bags and walked out into soho to find some graffiti.

We've been to all the major museums, many galleries, and alternative spaces in NYC over the past several years so this year we decided we wanted to see some of the street art. We created a scavenger hunt for some of our favorite artists, places, and styles. We're not the terribly adventurous types so we are staying at street level to look for stuff. More on that later though.

We met the people we are subletting from, got the key and the tour, and finally set our bags down. Then we rested only a bit before walking to Greenwich to have lunch at Mary's Fish Camp.

It was crowded as hell in that tiny place with loud music and hipster types running around and stuffed into a window row of tables. The server pulled out the table so I could sit down, then pulled out the chair so mindy could sit. There we sat elbow to elbow with 2 girls who seemed like imported new locals and an old couple of tourists. Mindy had a lobster roll and shoe string fries and I ate the oyster po boy and slaw. The lobster was super succulent and the fries were delicious. The po boy had a bit too much tobasco, but was wonderful nonetheless. We then hucked our way back to Bowery to check out the New Museum to see Carsten Holler's "experience."

Hahaha how fun! We knew a bit of what to expect from this show as we've read quite a bit about it. It is an art play land! They sawed through 2 floors of the space to install a slide that takes you from the 4th floor to the second, there is a mirror carousel, a psycho tank, and other playable pieces.

We started of course with the slide. We had to put on a "community use" helmet which freaked mindy out, but the novelty of playing overcame her fear of grossness. she went down first and only took 2 breaths from the top to the bottom. How do I know only 2 breaths? Because she let out 2 very shrill screams as she took the 5 second trip to the bottom. The docents and guards laughed with me, as I'm sure they've had screamers go down the slide before. Everyone was entertained. I rode next, but was much less entertaining. Mindy did set a trend however, as several of the followers screamed their way to the bottom as well. We landed on the 2nd floor where the majority of the rest of the interactive works were. Flashing fluorescent lights and neon reptiles greeted us and began their assault on anyone with epilepsy or a heart condition. Then we stuck our heads under the fish tank and perused through the other "do-this-task-and-get-this-response" games. Then we went down stairs and checked out a pair of $1500 "upside down goggles". walked or rather tried to walk with them but could not. It was so disorienting that I found myself stumbling with every step. So for the sake of not buying the upside down goggles, I carried them with me the rest of the show rather than wear them. Then we checked out the uninspiring paintings in the "experimental" space next door. Like I said uninspiring.

I found Holler's idea of interactive art quite akin to my own. He is a minimalist and that aesthetic helps his audience "experience" the work by not being confronted by something other than a proverbial play land. I am not a minimalist but the interactive nature of "play" achieves the same type of audience reaction. Something I think I learned from Holler's piece is that "play" is an aesthetic and interacting with one's audience can be achieved whether you are present or not. You can really get a sense of someone's personality and psychology by playing with the stupid little things he/she creates. And these days the most notable thing about art seems to be the person who makes it. The presence of absence, in that sense, is notable in that you can really interact with something/someone that is really missing. what a unique vision and an awesomely entertaining show. The show comes down on the 22nd, and I'm so thankful I got to play.

Now mindy and I are sitting around waiting for 9pm when we go eat at Molta Mario's restaurant just down the block from where we are staying.

on tap for spring

it's nearly a month into the new year and we've set up our first solo show of the season.  we always wonder what a new year will bring in the art world, because it's always such a crap-shoot.  you make something you pour your heart and soul into and you hope that people like it enough to buy it or at least be affected by it.  last year we had our most successful year in the art world, collecting several new solo shows and gallery representations, joining a co-op, doing well at a couple of well-respected art fairs, and continuing to spread ourselves out across the US and the world via etsy.com and social media.  that's part of the reason we started the blog--to give people who haven't gotten to meet us, who enjoy our art, a taste of who we are and why we do what we do.  and when i say we, i mean my wife and i are really a team at this.  i make the aesthetic decisions, she markets the work online, and helps keep enough of me in line to make enough pieces that people are interested in buying beyond my consistantly peculiar combinations of images.   mindy is also my sounding board for ideas and bullshit.  i think most artists who are experimental the way i am need someone or something to help them sort through the bullshit, because that's what it is: a wild bullshit idea that needs to be whittled into something accessible and meaningful.  and mindy does that for me.  she listens to whatever spouts from my mouth and backs it up or tears it down with her vast knowledge of philosophy and art.  and through that process of verbal trial and error we sift through a lot of ideas and rearrangements of ideas to develop an accessible vision of something that more than likely started out only semi-sensical.

on tap this spring we have a couple of stops for 'county fair' (one currently at elizabethtown) and i'd like to find one or 2 more yet.  i may perhaps "create" one or 2 more simply by setting up on a street corner somewhere.  i am painting a mural in downtown lafayette with a group of high school kids as part of the free-for-kids After School Arts Program at Tippecanoe Arts Federation.  we'll be painting the side of the building that houses Artists' Own, the local co-op i am a member of.  We will be participating in the Indiana Artisan Marketplace at the end of march.  and the main objective of the spring is to move the studio from portland, IN to lafayette, IN.

a portion of 'sprawl' is headed to mudfire studio in atl for a show this spring

mindy and i have been living in 2 houses on opposite sides of indiana for the past 2 years.  we've been driving back and forth and back and forth, and decided that we've had enough of it.  so we decided to open a studio space in lafayette.  we haven't found a suitable space just yet, but have a couple of leads, and are hoping to have it set up in the next month or so.  it will certainly be a challenge to complete everything by the spring and summer rush of fairs, shows, and schmoozings, but i think we can do it.  but for now, we're off to NYC to play and research and eat.  stay tuned kiddos....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

sneaky cat

Ahhhh ... our darling charmer of a cat ... he has a way of sneaking into our hearts, our bed and onto our pillows, empty yogurt cups, the linen closet, the kitchen cabinets, under the sink, and everywhere else he's generally not welcomed (at least not without supervision!) ... He likes to lay on top of everything that I'm working on and proudly flick his tail in my face. He knows I am not a morning person so he wakes up with Zach now and they have their own established routine. Maybe, as a result of that special bond they share, the cat's now sneaked himself onto several of Zach's pieces too! You can always recognize our cat by his big mane and fluffy, pompous tail!

Monday, January 16, 2012


8am: wake
make coffee
load the show into the van
9am: leave for kentucky
stop for gas
frost still settled on frigid trees
10am: indy
then fields forever
11am: bloomington
i'm hungry
i haven't eaten yet
12pm: stuck in traffic into louisville
3 interstates merging into a 3 lane bridge
genius civil engineering
1pm: almost to elizabethtown
frost still on shaded foothills
and searching for exit 91

...we arrived at elizabethtown community and technical college a bit after 1pm to install county fair.  i had planned to install on friday but then it snowed, so we opted for sunday instead.  we met the gallery director and unloaded the show.  the large cases are all on wheels now, so i rolled them out of the back of the van and right into the gallery.

the gallery space is HUGE.  the piece itself is quite large, coming in at over 7' tall and taking up a 12' x 12' chunk of floor, but this space dwarfs the piece.  the lights are set so that the piece is spotted in the center of the space.  

mindy set up the camera and began shooting installation shots and video, and i began assembling the show.  i opened the cases and hooked up the lighting and video.  i placed the ferris wheel, the carousel, and the fair queens.  i set up all the ducks, bottles, and other games.  then i placed all the animals in the barn and on the magnet board and plugged everything in.

my favorite thing about this installation is its 'street fair' set up.  everything is housed in the 2 cases and all the rest of the parts fit into one box, alongside the ferris wheel and carousel.  all of it carefully stuffs into the back of my van.  then it all unfolds and stacks into the show.  set up time: 45 minutes from unload to plugin.

turn the cranks to move the ferris wheel and the fair queens mobile
bottles game with ceramic baseballs
light boxes, a new addition to the installation!
the marching band gets a new crank and backdrop

we shot a few slides talked to the director a bit and packed up our one box and my drill and headed back to west lafayette.  

2:15pm: pack and leave elizabethtown
stop for a snack at wendy's
the frost gone from the foothills
3:15pm: out of louisville with no traffic issues
fields of nothing forever again
5pm: indy
exit at washington street 
eat early dinner at bosphorus cafe
shish kebab for me
stuffed cabbage for mindy
6pm darker
leaving indy with headlights
7pm home
hello cat couch
and a packers loss

the show is opens on tuesday and is up through february 9th with a closing reception and a short lecture on thursday, the 9th from 3-4pm...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

occasionally, you need a treat ...

It's hard to stick to a healthy eating regimen if all you're doing is denying yourself. Having a "No chips!", "No sweets!", "No fun!"- mentality is probably the fastest way to fail. You try to eat healthy, but sometimes you need a treat too ... Enter radiation s'mores!

If you like fancy schmancy s'mores, you'll want to check out the recipes in this book.
And for even s'more ideas ...

s'more cookies (via www.huffingtonpost.com)

s'mores oatmeal (via www.huffingtonpost.com)

s'mores pancakes (via www.healthyfoodforliving.com)

nutty banana s'mores (via www.sunset.com)

And my personal favorite, the s'mores chocolate bar! If you've always dreamt about customizing your own bar of chocolate, you need to visit Chocomize. The site is sweet and addictive and I love it!  

S'mores are bite-size happiness.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Share your ZMEDCeramics pictures!

Do you own a ZMEDCeramics original? We love receiving pictures of our work in your home! So please feel free to share photographs or leave us a note on our Facebook page.

Here are some pictures Matt R. shared:

custom salt cellar
Oribe bicycle-print mug

Thanks, Matt!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Baked Sesame Chicken Tenders

What happens when you crave some deep fried chicken but want to stick to your new year's resolutions? I think I have a satisfying answer (that also includes a quick and easy preparation) ...

Baked sesame chicken tenders! So good we ate it without any dipping sauces, and only with a side of steamed broccoli.

Here's the recipe:

1lb chicken tenders
1 egg
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
6 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp panko
olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick oil spray.
Combine egg, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a bowl; sesame seeds and panko in another.
Dip chicken tenders in sauce mixture and then coat with sesame seed and panko mixture.
Line chicken tenders on baking sheet and lightly spray the top of the chicken with a little more olive oil spray.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook another 4-5 minutes longer.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

team work

We've been busy. It's only eleven days into the new year and we're already finding ourselves a little drained. The reason? We've been working on finishing up the pieces for Zach's first solo exhibit of the year "County Fair," that he'll be installing in Elizabethtown, KY this Friday, the 13th.

Okay. To be fair, all I've had to do so far is help him sew some stuffed animals that are going in the box of fair prizes. But we are sewing novices who grossly underestimated how challenging this project turned out to be ...

Zach has been re-working several of the old fair pieces since early December. He's also revamped a lot of the display and made a couple of new additions to the entire installation. And, like a real county fair, this show will travel from Elizabethtown to Fort Wayne where it'll be on show at Artlink this summer (more details to follow).

In the meantime, here are some pictures to share ...

new! strength test!
barnyard animals
close up of the barnyard sheep and cows
close up of the carousel horses

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