obsessed with weakness



Well, I fell in to a black hole there for a bit.  Lots going on, but not much mention of them on the blog.  I’ll start trying to catch up.

First thing first

Ta Da!!!

Jason Gordon Holley "shelter" 2012, Stoneware, cone 6, raku glaze, newsprint reduction, acrylic

Jason Gordon Holley
27” tall x 17″ wide (puddle of failure is variable)
Stoneware, cone 6, raku glaze, newsprint reduction, acrylic
Photo – Mark Bennett

This is my official entry to the emerging artist contest at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto.

I found something to do with all the failure that’s been piling up over the last couple of years.  Painting each ring by hand gave me plenty of time to think about all those fond memories…  I am very pleased with the ‘puddle of failure’.  This is the first time I’ve ever used colour, and there was no real time for a back up plan.  So I was a little edgy!

Hope you like it! (and vote for me!)

ps, no useful rings were intentionally harmed in the making of ‘puddle of failure’

pps, there is lots and lots of ‘failure’  still taking up space in the studio.  After all that painting… I think I’ll make some reclaim.

Profit Sharing

I may not have made any money in Toronto this weekend, but I certainly came home with some awesome things. Some were trades, some were purchases (gotta love the barter system!)

I thought I’d share these profits with you all.  Pardon the quick phone photography, my chopping block has never seen such publicity!


Mixed Media, paper, by Christine Kim.


I’m collecting unique drinking vessels, they are mostly ceramic, but I’m always looking for interesting glass. There was a lot in the show.
I can only tell you about two of them for sure –
Front left – Brad Copping – http://www.glassartcanada.ca/artist.php?id=32#portfolio
He blew this incredibly thin glass into a mold made using the broken edges of drywall. Great texture and shape.
Rear Left – Benjamin Kikkert – http://benjaminkikkert.com/
I have been lusting after one of his barnacle glasses in Jessica Butler’s kitchen for years. Thankfully Roz picked us up one.

Christopher Reid Flock - www.studioreid.com

Vessel by Christopher Reid Flock – http://www.studioreid.com

Silvia Taylor  http://www.glassartcanada.ca/artist.php?id=356   http://canadianartjunkie.com/2012/04/20/taylor-silvia-portfolio/

Gorgeous solid glass finials by Silvia Taylor.
This is another of Rosalind choices, and I can’t wait to see where they get to live.

Well, that was a learning experience

I’m back in Newfoundland after a long hot weekend at Toronto Outdoor Art. It has been a hectic time getting ready for such a big show in so little time, but I pulled it off.

The work on offer at this show was incredible. Crossing most disciplines of craft and visual art, there was a perfect blend of established and emerging artists. The quality and mix of work was very impressive. I even got to meet and chat with two of the other nominees for the Gardiner emerging artist competition.

That said, the running of the show was chaotic, at best. The site was under construction, there was new staff, and the rental equipment was slow to arrive. The more experienced volunteers and booth holders I talked to were all confused, and insisted that the show is generally better organized. So I think this was an anomaly, and things will be smooth in the future.

My booth was fairly out of the way. Maybe the construction on the square forced the organizers to put booths wherever they fit. Regardless, I had some great neighbors, and by Saturday morning four of the tents were rearranged and our space was much more accessible and looked way better.

The biggest challenge I faced, was the weather. I’ve experienced cold, foggy, rained out, August Folk festivals in Newfoundland. I have never wished for a festival to be called off due to excess sun and heat. My hottest day so far this summer may have been 25 degrees, but the wind is almost always off the ocean, and the fog often rolls in late in the afternoon. Imagine, how poorly equipped I was to deal with 50 degree heat. Well, high thirties, plus humidity, I heard lots of different numbers, all of them were too friggin hot. I think my brain melted on Friday. Now that I’m home I think I’ll go jump in the ocean to finally cool down.

I didn’t see the crowds I was expecting, but I did meet plenty of great enthusiastic people. I sold enough to cover my expenses (I think, there’s math to do yet), and I have many plans for next year. Including trying to get a booth in the shade!

I’m calling this one a learning experience.

In other exciting news Roz is considering a booth of her own at next years Toronto Outdoor Art
It’s 18 and windy in St John’s. Bright, sunny, and just warm enough.

Toronto Outdoor Art

Made it through the first day of Toronto Outdoor Art. We had a great morning… and then it warmed up. Word at the show was that, including humidity, it hit 50 degrees celsius. For the record, we might see 30, once in a Newfoundland summer, maybe. It was a long day.

My booth is a little out of the way. I didn’t get the traffic I was hoping for, but it was a case of quality vs quantity. I met a bunch of great people today.

So if you are in or near Toronto this weekend, drop by Nathan Philips square for a visit.

Rosalind and I are in – White 139.
See you there!


Failure and Frustration

Yesterday was a difficult day in the studio.

Once again I’m frantically working under a looming deadline, and I messed up.  I squeezed out 30 or 40 pounds of rings, and they were all the wrong size.  They even took a long time to dry, so by the time I noticed my mistake I had wasted the better part of two days.seriously annoying

Ultimately, it’s no big deal.  I have plenty of work ready, and plenty more ready for raku tomorrow.  I’m ready for this show.  Regardless I have a difficult time moving on from failures like this.  They mess with my confidence and can stall perfectly good ideas.

Physically these failures are starting to pile up.  There are bags and boxes scattered throughout my studio overflowing with failure.  Sometimes I look at them and have powerful memories.  The finished piece that crumbled out of my hands and smashed on the floor as I was moving it into the kiln.  The many times I over slept and my coiled rings went bone dry on me.  Mostly I just step around them and pretend they aren’t there.

It is long past time to deal with this problem, with all its many facets.

Thankfully, I think I have an idea.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition banner

It’s Official!

I will be in Toronto July 6, 7, and 8, showing and selling my claymaille at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.

I expected to hear if I was accepted to the show back in May.  When I didn’t hear anything I assumed that I wasn’t accepted.  Turns out that was a mistake.  I received an email last week that was clearly intended for booth holders at the event.  Apparently I’ve been accepted all along and just didn’t know it!

After a mad scramble, I have booked flights, hotel, booth furniture and taken stock of the art I have on hand.  I will have a busy week making a few more pieces, but It’s safe to say I’m ready for the show.  Thankfully, a life of procrastination has given me incredible skills for last minute panic.

If you’re in Toronto, drop by for a visit,

I’m in the White section, booth #139

See you there!


Back in the studio


These might just end up in the Gardiner Museum this September. Wish them luck!

After all the excitement from The Artist Project Toronto, I really needed a break.  I went to nceca in Seattle, spent some time in Vancouver and Victoria catching up with friends, and generally unwound.  Then there were a few projects that needed to be finished up (more on that later), and a potato garden that needed digging… Finally I started spending some quality time in my studio.

I’m well under way creating new work for the emerging artist show at the Gardiner.  I’m enjoying the process, and tweaking my concept.  I need a finished piece, complete with photography, and an artist statement, by July 13th.  I’ll keep you posted!




Scotia Bank Peoples Choice at The Artist Project Toronto!

Wow, a little stunned at the news from The Artist Project Toronto today.

There were a few ballot boxes scattered around the show.  People were invited to vote on their favorite artist from the show.  They finished adding up the votes the other day, and today it was announced that I was the 1st place winner!

I really didn’t think about winning, there was so much great art there.  Over 200 Artists.  So, Thank you to everyone who voted for me!  I’m flattered.

It’s great to see that the talented Erin Rothstein took 2nd place.  We were neighbors at the show, and shared hugs and high fives at some exciting sales.

I had a great time at the show, can’t wait for next year!

ps.  thank you! thank you! thank you!

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