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Say what you will about Facebook. Some people passionately argue for its ability to more easily connect friends and family in far-flung corners of our vast nation, others argue that it is full of narcissists that merely want to shout to the world, “look at me!” I can see both sides of the argument, but recently I have found it to be a great connection to my past.

In my artist statement, I have written about my time at Church Street Station’s Rosie O’Grady’s as a Can-Can Girl and how that experience left such a profound impression on me, that it became the genesis for my line of barware. As I move further and further away from my time at Church Street and the wonderful people I met during those five years (I left my second stint at Rosie’s in 2000), I have found myself questioning whether or not that experience should continue to inform the course of my work going forward.

Hurricane Chalices (left) influenced by the signature drink of Church Street Station, The Flaming Hurricane (right, on table).

Recently, though, a Facebook group was started connecting the Church Street Station “Goodtime Gang,” as Church Street employees were referred to. Over the course of the last couple weeks, flurries of memories and pictures have been posted from Goodtime Gang members who worked there in the 1970s through later members – like me – that worked there in the mid- to late-90s. What I have found is that the immense nostalgia I have held for those times in that place is not unique to me. From the first day I started, it felt like you were part of a very large family, one you would never stop being a part of. And, it seems, that generations of the Goodtime Gang agree.

Rosie O’Grady’s and Church Street Station may have officially closed in 2001, but those memories are woven into the fabric of who I am, and I live those memories through my pots. There is no denying that all potters inform their work through past experiences of some kind whether it be time with a relative, a relationship with nature, or in my case a very special relationship with an entertainment complex. 

So, I just wanted to say thanks to Facebook and the Goodtime Gang for reminding me not to deny the influence of my past. It is through using our experiences that potters bring a genuine life story into a three-dimensional realm that we can share with others.

 

“Gulf Coast Sunset” Hurricane Chalices by Jennifer Lachtara, are available for purchase on the Lach Arts’ Etsy site.

My drawing professor once said to us that we should be childlike when producing our art (not childish, that is something completely different).  By that, he meant we should approach our work from the mind-set we had before there was a right way or wrong way to make art, a time when childlike exuberance drove us to create and before we let a fear of failure cause self-censorship.

As someone who is trying to make a living selling artwork, sometimes this can be a tough proposition.  You start to look at your work more with an eye toward sales and really start to become more and more judgmental with your work, causing frustration and dampening your creative spirit.  But, if you can find a way to look at your work with fresh eyes, sometimes you find that you have become over-critical.  Sometimes, you just need to find your way back to that childlike joy that brought you to becoming an artist in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

For those of you that know my work, you are probably well aware that I don’t shy away from color.  I love colors.  I love to find new combinations of color that work together.  There are days I think I make pots just to have a 3-dimensional canvas to put color on.  But, lest you think my love of color is completely superficial, I should also mention I am deeply interested in the psychology of color.

Bisqueware chalices. ("Sunny Disposition" White Wine chalices in foreground)

Last week, I was spraying a set of “Sunny Disposition” White Wine Chalices when I realized that my favorite color, right now, is orange.  People that have known me for a little while may be saying to themselves, “but that wasn’t your favorite color last time I talked to you.”  Over the last couple of years, my favorite color was red; before that it was purple.  So, it got me thinking:  since colors can influence feelings and emotions, could it be that our feelings and emotions also influence our choice of favorite color?

Orange combines the strength and passion of red with the joy, energy, and happiness of yellow.  Right now, I feel driven to fully realize Lach Arts as a full time business, and at the same time I am feeling energized and happy about getting into the studio and making work.  My new favorite color certainly suits my current mood and situation.

So, leave me a note in the comments section.  I want to hear from all of you.  Have you ever found that your favorite color has changed?  Did that change seem to coincide with a change in your life or your outlook?  I really want to know…I’m a bit obsessed with color.

Carving a "Spring" votive

There seem to be two types of artists in this world – one that constantly creates because (s)he just feels compelled to and the other that needs a little bit of a kick in the keister to get into the studio.  I fall into the second category.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love going into the studio and making work and (especially) seeing the final project when it comes out of the kiln knowing, “I made that!”  However, it does take a particular project or deadline to keep me from finding house chores to do, bills to pay, my dog to play with, television to watch, etc.  I can be a prime example of Newton’s law of motion – bodies at rest tend to stay at rest until acted upon by a force.

When I was in college and being given assignments and projects to do, I just wished for the day that I could have my own studio and make what I wanted to make when I wanted to make it.  Funny what happens when you get smacked upside the head with the real world, isn’t it?  Read the rest of this entry »

Recently, Jason and I headed to Orlando to attend “Maximum Capacity” – a show featuring 32 artists from our alma mater, the University of Central Florida, who are about to receive their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees.  (As a side note:  This was a wonderful show and we are amazed at the stunning amount of talent just getting ready to emerge from UCF’s BFA Program.)  While at the show, we spoke with some of the upcoming graduates and faculty and were reminded that we all ask the same question when emerging from university art programs:  “Now what?” Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to the new blog about Lach Arts.  Basically, Jason and Jennifer will periodically write about our work, inspirations, and general musings about life as studio potters.  We hope you will stop by and see what we’re up to, and we hope to amuse you or give you a little something to think about.  Thanks for visiting the blog; we hope you stop in to visit often!

For more information, we invite you to stop by our website at www.lach-arts.com to see our portfolio and lists of upcomming events.

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