Monthly Archives: February 2014

Musical Instruments, orders, silks

Udu by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Sue has been invited to have a show in a new gallery at SUNY Potsdam.  She will be showing the musical instruments that she has been working on over the years.  More about that to come.

This is an udu that is ready for a pitfire.  It has been burnished with terra sigillata, which is a watered down clay, called a slip, very muddy, very refined and applied with a brush and then burnished by hand.

Sue has many orders this time of year to fulfill…..clients getting ready for the summer season, here are a load of mugs going out.  Every kiln has orders in it these days.

Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Here are some shibori silk scarves ready for the steamer that I have been working on.  Our gallery will have many new silk scarf designs and also many of the old favorites available for this summer.

From the beginning

We’ve been in business 30 years this year.  It could have been last year, but that was our 30th wedding anniversary and I don’t think we merged our two businesses into one that first year.  So we’re saying this is our 30th year.

I got to thinking about it because I was cleaning up my studio, I’m moving from silk painting to oil painting now…..and I found this photo that fell out of somewhere….
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York
It’s me at a craft show in 1983 or 84.  I have corner spot so that is good.  I see my first etchings, Sue’s early pottery and my 35 years old self.  We did as many craft shows during the summer months as possible and then on autumn weekends and at Holiday time there were a couple.  It was a great way to get the word out about our work and begin to create customers and friends that are still with us 30 years later.

But our goal was always to have a gallery on the road.
handworkSo we got our very first loan for $500 from the Bank of Lake Placid and built our little gallery, 10′ x 12′ and called ourselves Handwork Studio & Gallery.  There was no failed restaurant across the street from us yet, and Sue’s brothers’ business next store was still going strong at that time.  Route 86 looked more like a sleepy country road than it does now.  We were only open three days a week.
2_23_1985_handworksignOur friend Smurtha who was a sign painter at the time then created a nicer sign for us.  We kept this name until a craft store opened up in Wilmington about 6 miles down the road and they called themselves, Handiwork.  Can you imagine!  They bought and re-sold local crafts, while we actually made the work, but it was a good thing for us.  Customers told us that we should have our names outside because that is what they are looking for when they come down the road for the first time.  So we became Young’s Studio & Gallery.  In 1995 we opened the larger gallery that we have now.

Business, Sue’s new work, silk

It’s Presidents Weekend and business is slow.  Probably from the weather keeping people from reaching their second homes or vacationing up this way.  January was a very good month, but not from sales in the gallery.  We’ve diversified our income, because business off the road is so far off from what it was 10 years ago. (and the funny thing is……the road is the same distance from the gallery as it was ten years ago)  It was our goal once to have 90% of our income coming from the gallery and we reached that, never thinking the economy was going to tank.  So we now have income coming from wholesale, other galleries, shows, special orders and web hosting.

Sue was interviewed for the Lake Placid News this morning, just a local piece, but it will produce some free advertising.  Sue is also going to be in an Alumni Show at the new Art Gallery at SUNY Potsdam.  She will be displaying her rock teapots among some other work of hers.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkThese teapots are hand made from lumps of clay, she has a white and beige stoneware wedged together.  By continually pinching the clay until she can close it into a complete form.  Sue made five of these teapots with accompanying stoneware rocks for display purposes.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkSue created a color palette of clay for herself this winter.  These are over 200 test tiles that she’ll use as a reference when she begins to work in colored clay very shortly.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkLast year broke the mug record for amount of mugs Sue made.  She is getting a head start this year on mugs for our gallery.  She has several different businesses that buy her mugs of different sizes wholesale.  The bowls I see in the photo I believe will be knitting bowls, you put the yarn in the bowl and thread it through the opening for when you are knitting, the skein will then stay in the bowl.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Shibori (Shiborizome) is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing it.  Some of these methods are known in the West as tie-dye.

These are silk scarves I’ve been doing a Shibori technique on.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkUsing an old good size wine bottle I tape a cord to the bottle and begin winding it around the bottle capturing the silk as I do so.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkAfter several times around the bottle you push the cords down into a compression bunch at the bottom.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkThen apply your dyes.  Wait till it dries to unwrap.  The fabric is like an accordion when you take it off the bottle and these Shibori designs have to be ironed first before I heat set them with steam.

A Year Gets Going

I’m so disappointed in posting only five entries for the last year.  I’m making it a goal to return to many postings with information about what we are doing and how we do it.

I’m the primary caregiver for my 96 year old Mom for the past three years,  it takes more and more work every year.  Last year I was learning to emotionally cope with what is going on and to plan my creative time.

I’ve recalled a method for artistic creative recovery for myself, that I’ve used several times over my artistic career.  It’s a book titled, The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.  I recalled some of the techniques that have worked for me in the past.  The most important one is to put aside time just for yourself.  I wasn’t doing that, I was so wrapped up in taking care of my Mom that I just lost my creative direction.

But Mom is doing very well, she lives on her own, she’s in a wheelchair and on oxygen, but can still walk and stand for short periods.  In six months she’ll be 97, and we’ve made a very nice situation for her.  She wants to stay in her house for as long as possible.  We prepare the meals and do the cleaning and get her anything that she needs.

So basically I’ve arranged a schedule for myself, that gets me into my studio most afternoons.  Even if I don’t do anything, I just sit there with a pad and pencil……ready.

I’ve been doing silk painting.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkI’ve set my studio up for painting on silk.  The sunflowers on the stretcher with no background yet are going to be framed.  I’ve also been doing silk scarves.  I did them years ago and then Sue did them for a number of years, but she’s too busy for them now, so I took it on.  Already fulfilled a commission on a dragonfly scarf.  I’m making lots of new work for the summer.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

I’ve labeled on the dye jars and dye containers so I can easily move around the colors.  I also made a test silk with a square for every color.  I’m getting antsy to get into other things, so I’ll probably only do another week or two of painting on silk.  I’ll post more images of the silks soon.

As for Sue……

This coming March and April she will be giving a 6 week class in Upper Jay at the Library.  The class was limited to 10 and it filled up immediately.  I’ve been watching some of the projects she is putting together and these students (all over 55) are in for a special treat.  Sue has learned so much over the years and she’s very good at putting it together in a way that people can learn and participate.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

I really like this new green look on the white stoneware.  The pitcher on the right has some wonderful texture to it……the tumblers were very popular last year and Sue has made some hand formed goblet cups that sit on a thrown stem.  They look organic and almost like she grew them…….maybe we should display them in the garden.

With the way business is and with the way the government leaves the future uncertain, it has required Sue to do a lot of wholesale business.  Last year was a record making year for pottery.  One potter couldn’t possibly make any more pottery and stay healthy.  Sue has several really good accounts that sell many different items of hers, and they are always calling for more.

But Sue has also done a lot of experimenting this winter so far.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Above are small plates, about 4X6″.  The designs on them is a new technique that Sue is perfecting and that I’m getting anxious to try myself.  This is one of the projects that the class will be doing.  Sue prints a design out on the printer and then using a colored slip she applies that over the image and because of the nature of the print, the slip is repelled from part of the image and accepted by the other part.  Then you just put the paper on your clay, slightly wet it and press it on.

In other posts coming very shortly I’ll showcase some of the interesting work that Sue is doing with colored clays.

Thanks for reading.