Archive for the ‘ Home ’ Category

Lots of pots…

This is a gallery of different pieces of pottery that interest me very much. There are some that are done by potters that I know myself. The examples range from more eastern styles, like Japanese pottery, Chinese pottery, and Western pottery from America and Europe that can include variations of the eastern styles.



Wood Fired Vase done by Chris Campbell (I know him). Very rustic looking as you can very well see, this technique of wood firing was adopted from the Japanese



This is another wood-fired piece done by Josh Copus (I know him), and this piece has a white glaze over it



On the complete opposite side of things, here is a crystalline piece done by Ernest Miller (I know him), and this is made from porcelain and is very refined and controlled in the firing technique, like I said completely different from wood fired wares



This is a jar done by Ryan Mckerley (I work for him), it was soda-fired (meaning that during the kiln firing, a baking soda-water mix was sprayed on the pieces) and it was also carved, this is sort of in between the wood fired wares and the Crystalline pieces



Small vase done by Simon Leach (who I... know), and it is very influenced by Japanese pottery (since his grandfather studied with the most famous Japanese potter), but the influence is shown in the bamboo looking white area that was most likely painted on with liquid clay or slip



This is an original piece of Japanese Raku, and it was most likely used in some sort of tea ceremonyAnd this is a piece of western raku, below I will explain what the difference between Traditional Japanese raku and Western raku is



This is a piece of Raku pottery that I made (I definetely know this guy)


A very long time ago, in Japan raku firing was invented and the pieces that were fired in this technique were used in Japanese tea ceremony. The traditional technique involved firing the piece to a relatively low temperature (resulting in a very porous piece), and when the pieces are still very hot, they’re removed from the kiln and either put in water to cool very quickly, or left out in the air to cool. Usually the glazes were made with lead, but soon when the royalty drinking tea out of these lead-based cups were getting sick, they decided to stop using lead based glazes. Now western raku is not much different except that when you pull it out of the kiln, you place the ware in a container full of combustible material (like paper, hay, etc…) and it catches on fire and then you close the container and the flame burns out all of the oxygen and the container fills up with smoke that turns the clay black. Also nowadays, we don’t drink or eat with raku pieces due to there porosity.

here’s a raku joke…







The only thing this guy understands is; flame+some wood+bricks placed wherever= amazing pottery


~ Joel

Altered Reality

An increasingly common form of art around the internet is Photo Manipulation. Little by little, this form of art has evolved. Some people have become so insanely good at it that faked images look realistic.


Anablephobia ~ The Fear of Looking Up

An image I photoshoped, titled "Anablephobia ~ The Fear of Looking Up."


There was a time when image manipulation (or a sad attempt at it) was done in a program such as MS Paint. And example of one of these can be found by clicking on This Blue Underlined Text. The programs got better, and before long we had Photoshop! The only problem with a program such as Photoshop is that it costs money, and around $1000 of it. More recently, free alternatives have come out. GIMP and Aviary are examples of free downloadable and online programs that serve the same purpose as expensive software such as Photoshop. With these fancy programs, the MS Paint image linked to previously can be turned into this: Click the Blue Underlined Text.

Book Elemental
“Book Elemental” was made using only the following 3 images: 1 2 3

Although photo manipulation isn’t a skill that one can make a living off of, it can be a lot of fun. Although it can be used to fool people (if you’re good at it), the more common thing to do is enter a contest. Worth 1000 is a site that hosts contests, with Bragging Rights as a reward for winning.


It came out of nowhere!

It is very easy to mess up a manipulation. In this one, for example, the mouse hole looks very 2D.


Although Worth 1000 hosts photo manipulation contests (known as ‘Effects’ on their site), they also host contests for Photography, Illustration, Multimedia, and Writing. For those of you who are any good at making logos, they also host contests for that (except that those contests have prize money involved, because the logos are being designed for actual companies).


The Many Monas

The Mona Lisa is probably the most famous painting in the world. It was painted in the 16th century in oil on a popular panel by Leonardo da Vinci, as a part of the Renaissance era in Italy. The painting is currently owned by the French Government and is on display in the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

Below is a gallery of different versions of the Mona Lisa:


The Original Mona Lisa

Lego Mona Lisa

Fat Mona Lisa

The X-Box Addict

Britney Mona Lisa

Alien Mona Lisa

Emo Mona Lisa

Mutant Mona Lisa

Chicken Mona Lisa

Yoda Lisa

My personal favorite is the Fat Mona Lisa. Tell us in the comments which one you like the most.


Agave isn’t just a plant anymore…

As you’re driving south on East 183 highway or Ed Bluestein Blvd. you’re likely to see something quite colorful on the horizon. These little bright boxes are the Agave Homes in East Austin. This perfectly situated subdivision that is only minutes away from downtown Austin has some of the coolest cribs in town. These houses feature bright colors and they are all have a sleek ultra-modern look. Each house has polished concrete floors on the first floor and bamboo flooring on the second. You can look at Agave’s website for more detailed information about these cool houses. Agave also features 12 award winning architects from the Austin area. They are all made with green materials like the new tankless water heaters that constantly supply an unlimited supply of hot water.  With houses like this costing quite a bit of money elsewhere, you may be led to think these houses would cost a pretty penny, but with houses starting at only around two hundred thousand, they are cheaper then the average house in the Austin area. So these are definitely a good deal for what they’re made of.

One of the many Agave homes


The Parthenon: A Giant Puzzle

The ancient Greeks built the Parthenon in less than a decade. The modern restorers, the Acropolis Restoration Service, have been working for 30 years. As they restore the old ruins to their former glory, they discover that even with modern technologies and techniques, they end up turning towards the ancient way of doing things.


The Parthenon, standing among the ruins of the Acropolis


The Parthenon is a part of a Grecian Acropolis. Acropolis means “upper city”, and Greek towns were built around these collections of buildings. The Acropolis was a place where the inhabitants would go during an invasion. Many sacred buildings were also located in the Acropolis. The Parthenon was one of these sacred buildings. It was dedicated to the goddess of Wisdom: Athena. Within the ancient building stood a sculpture of the goddess for which the surrounding city was named,  made of gold and ivory.


A reconstructed version of the statue that used to stand within the Parthenon.


The Parthenon is full of subtle curves and precise measurements. The columns have a slight curve that is invisible to the eye, and yet makes the building nicer to look at. The measurements are all equal, for a standard measuring system was used even though the masons came from different places. The golden ratio, a proportion that was thought to create beauty, appears almost anywhere there is a rectangle. All of these details would have required the constant supervision of the architect, and even then something could have been missed. The answer to how this was accomplished was found in the unfinished Temple of Apollo, located in southwestern Turkey. Throughout the ruins of the temple, scratched into the walls and the floors, were scaled down reference drawings and floor plans: an architects blueprint.

The secrets of the Parthenon, and the other buildings that were made during the golden age, are slowly being revealed. If you wish to learn more on the subject, there is an interesting article in the Smithsonian that might be of help: Unlocking Mysteries of the Parthenon.


The Colosseum


The Colosseum at Night


Originally, this great roman structure was called the Flavian Amphitheater, the largest amphitheater the roman empire ever built. The building was once able to hold 50,000 people who observed a wide number of events. These spectacles ranged from gladiatorial contests to mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and several classical dramas. At the start of the medieval age, it was no longer used for entertainment purposes. After a while, it was used for housing, a fortress, a quarry, and once as a Christian shrine.

Construction began around 72 AD, under the rule of Emperor Vespasian, and the third story of the building was completed by his death at age 79. The structure was finally completed and was inaugurated by Vespasian’s son, Titus in 80 AD. Under his rule, around 9,000 wild animals were killed during the inaugural games. The Colosseum has been remodeled many more times by Vespasian’s descendants.


Part of what is left of the Hypogeum


One feature to notice is the Hypogeum (literally meaning “underground”). It was an intricate underground tunnel system that was directly below the arena. The Hypogeum was used as an area where animals or gladiators would gather before a competition or battle. There were also several tunnels that would lead outside the Colosseum in which animals were brought through from nearby stables and gladiator’s barracks at Ludus Magnus that were also connect to the tunnels. There were also other tunnels for the emperors to enter through so that they wouldn’t have to pass through any crowds. Little is left of the original arena, although the Hypogeum is still clearly visible.

If you take a quick glance at the Colosseum you will immediately notice that it is torn in some places. The Colosseum has undergone several devastating blows throughout the ages. In the year 217 AD, the Colosseum was ruined in a terrible fire that engulfed the upper wooden levels of the interior.  Also, several earthquakes that have hit the area, as well as stone robbers who didn’t appreciate the great work of architecture are the leading cause for the destruction seen today.


Inside the Colosseum. Below, you can see the Hypogeum.


So, have you guys ever visited the Colosseum or ever wanted to? What do you think about the building, architecturally? Tell us in the comments! If you are interested in learning more about the Colosseum, visit this Colosseum Fact Sheet to learn more.


Lots of Dots

Pointillism is a technique of art that uses points, each with a single color, to create an image. The technique was first developed by Georges Seurat in 1886, as a branch of impressionism. The technique was first ridiculed by art critics at the time. In fact, it was the very critics that coined the term as a way to make fun of the artist that used the style.


This is an example of pointillism. You can see that her features are composed of little black dots.


Another fascinating thing is the fact that Pointillism only uses Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow, and Key (black). The technique of using these colors are also found in printers, as well as  television & computer monitors. The medium by which pointillism is made are usually oil paints, although anything else can be used in its place. Although, other materials are discouraged because they may run or bleed, whereas oils are preferred because of their thickness.


Eating take-out in the dining room


Tell us in the comments if you like this style of art or if you like another style of art and I will probably do an article on it. If you are interested in purchasing pointillistic paintings, feel free to go to Photo Art Reproduction’s pointillistic art gallery.


Tricking the Eye

Stereograms are 3D images hidden inside a 2D picture.  The 3D image can be seen by either crossing your eyes or looking through the image. It isn’t easy to see them, so don’t be disappointed if all you can make out is a splash of color. There are many stereogram galleries scattered across the web, but bellow are a few examples.



Its supposed to be a Bee, although I think it looks more like a fly




It looks like a triangle with an airplane in it.



There are two stereograms in this one, separated by the silhouette.




Not as seizure inducing at the others, but it still works.




Can you see the swimming shark?



Texas Clay Festival

Coming soon is the Texas Clay Festival held in Gruene, TX (pronounced green). Here potters, pottery lovers, and even just art lovers can enjoy seeing some of the best pottery found in Texas. Every year Buck Pottery (a local pottery business) hosts the event in a large grass field right outside their gallery. At the festival, visitors can look through pieces made by the best potters in Texas, watch demonstrations from these potters on how they make some of their work, and most fun of all watch live Raku firing demonstrations. Raku is a technique where a piece is fired until it is red-hot, then the piece is removed while red-hot and put into a container full of paper, straw, or wood shavings and they catch on fire. It really is a sight to see. The Texas Clay Festival is on Saturday October 23 and Sunday the 24, don’t miss it!