"It's not a way of making a living, it's a way of making a life." Paulus Berensohn

"To Spring From the Hand" is a new film on DVD about the life and work of Paulus Berensohn.  I just viewed the trailer. The little bit I saw brought tears to my eyes... Paulus has always felt like a kindred spirit ever since my friend Jo Jeffers introduced me to his book "Finding One's Way In Clay" in the late 60's after I had finished my masters in painting at the University of Michigan. This book, in the words of Paulus, "bit me in the ass!".  It was so fresh and so full of meaning, process, and poetry that "Finding One's Way in Clay" became my "guiding star" led me right down the path to "clay".  It also became my "bible" for teaching.  Paulus was my mentor some 20 plus years before I met him. While living in Anchorage, Alaska, I decided to attend a concentration in clay at Penland.  Paulus talked to my group about his time in Australia with the Aborigines. I was so awestruck and shy, I said very little but just observed and listened... It was many years later before I got to know him a bit while having lunch with our mutual friend Kitty Couch.  Finally, when Jenny Mendes and I taught "Cross Pollination" at Penland, Paulus joined us. It seemed like we got to know one another as if by osmosis because the 3 of us shared a corner of downstairs clay for 2 glorious weeks. The whole room abounded with Paulus energy that lit the studio up with a quiet and soft glow....How very fortunate we all were to share that experience... I will always have a vision of Paulus greeting the sun each morning with head and hands raised.

Thank you Paulus for all that you have given us.....

I just ordered my copy of "Spring From the Hand" and can hardly wait for it to arrive.  I cannot recommend it highly enough so check it out!  wwwspringfromthehand.

Paulus, the teacher and mentor...

Paulus, the teacher and mentor...

 Downstairs clay during "Cross Pollination", the workshop Jenny Mendes and I taught at Penland in 2004. Can you see that glow?

 Downstairs clay during "Cross Pollination", the workshop Jenny Mendes and I taught at Penland in 2004.

Can you see that glow?

Every pinch pot is not only imprinted with the maker's finger and hand prints but the piece holds the energy and the essence of the maker.

Every pinch pot is not only imprinted with the maker's finger and hand prints but the piece holds the energy and the essence of the maker.

The pride and joy of my garden this summer!

The original black eyed Susans were a gift from my friend Ginny Tate, a friend, colleague and fellow gardener.  Now they are all over my yard but this is the best year ever!  The gold finches are going to absolutely be thrilled this fall as their seeds are one of the gold finch favorites.

Wanda, our mail person loves them!  Our mailbox is just to the right.

Wanda, our mail person loves them!  Our mailbox is just to the right.

All the conditions must have been perfect because they are in their full glory this summer!

All the conditions must have been perfect because they are in their full glory this summer!

A great quote by an artist whose work I admire greatly. . .

Constantin Brancusi

  Brancusi. Ro: "Sunt imbecili cei care spun despre lucrările mele că ar fi abstracte; ceea ce ei numesc abstract este cel mai pur realism, deoarece realitatea nu este reprezentată de forma exterioară, ci de ideea din spatele ei, de esenţa lucrurilor(Brâncuşi). En: "They are imbeciles who call my work abstract. That which they call abstract is the most realistic, because what is real is not the exterior but the idea, the essence of things." (Constantin Brancusi)

 

Brancusi. Ro: "Sunt imbecili cei care spun despre lucrările mele că ar fi abstracte; ceea ce ei numesc abstract este cel mai pur realism, deoarece realitatea nu este reprezentată de forma exterioară, ci de ideea din spatele ei, de esenţa lucrurilor(Brâncuşi). En: "They are imbeciles who call my work abstract. That which they call abstract is the most realistic, because what is real is not the exterior but the idea, the essence of things." (Constantin Brancusi)

A garden visitor who came and has stayed. . .

This little guy or gal lives on my red hibiscus plant full time!  For weeks now I check several times a day and I can always find him on this one plant.  I love it that he chows down on the bugs that like my hibiscus! 

It is the first time I have been looking at an insect and realized it was actually looking back with its triangular head and big eyes.  Hope he sticks around as I am becoming rather attached....

It is the first time I have been looking at an insect and realized it was actually looking back with its triangular head and big eyes.  Hope he sticks around as I am becoming rather attached....

A visit to the Greenville County Museum of Art

Familiarizing myself with both the institution where my work is going, the people that work in the space and the actual site where the work will be shown, is all part of my preparation for a show or for a commissioned piece.  

I have always loved this Richard Hunt sculpture that greets one at the entrance of the museum.  

I have always loved this Richard Hunt sculpture that greets one at the entrance of the museum.  

Behind the glass inset, on the bottom level of the Museum, is the gallery space where my work will be on display. One of the things that has always drawn me to the architecture of the Greenville Museum is the way the concrete building material has been used.  The texture from the wooden forms imprinted in the concrete walls appears to record the building process. What you see outside as a surface, is what you see inside.  Somehow, it connects the inside space with the outside surface of the building in a way that twists our perception of what is outside and what is inside... I also enjoy the quiet yet dramatic use of unusual angles.  What I said about the architecture of the museum can also be said about the beautiful exhibition space at the base of the stairs, Lower Gallery 1, where my work will be installed. The ceiling is as high as the museum is tall  The suspended lighting adds a touch of drama. Then there is the most unique feature of this space. The open landings at the center of the museum allow for the viewer to see the work while looking down from the open balconies above the space... The museum staff has been supportive, informative and enthusiastic.   So it is back to the studio to forge ahead creating the final pieces for consideration for the show that will complete a cohesive body of work that also makes use of the special qualities of the space where they will be displayed... 

Behind the glass inset, on the bottom level of the Museum, is the gallery space where my work will be on display.

One of the things that has always drawn me to the architecture of the Greenville Museum is the way the concrete building material has been used.  The texture from the wooden forms imprinted in the concrete walls appears to record the building process. What you see outside as a surface, is what you see inside.  Somehow, it connects the inside space with the outside surface of the building in a way that twists our perception of what is outside and what is inside... I also enjoy the quiet yet dramatic use of unusual angles.

 What I said about the architecture of the museum can also be said about the beautiful exhibition space at the base of the stairs, Lower Gallery 1, where my work will be installed. The ceiling is as high as the museum is tall  The suspended lighting adds a touch of drama. Then there is the most unique feature of this space. The open landings at the center of the museum allow for the viewer to see the work while looking down from the open balconies above the space...

The museum staff has been supportive, informative and enthusiastic.  

So it is back to the studio to forge ahead creating the final pieces for consideration for the show that will complete a cohesive body of work that also makes use of the special qualities of the space where they will be displayed... 

This is the perfect time to say THANK YOU to someone special.

Thank you Ian for your support, your friendship and for creating my beautiful web site that I have enjoyed all these years!!!!!!!  www.aliceballard.com

Ian Borsook and his photographer wife Alice came to visit my studio many years ago while visiting our friend, Anne Barr, here in Greenville, SC.  It was one of those instant "likes" that developed into long-distance friendship.  Ian was pretty insistent, if I remember correctly, that he could do a much better job on my web site than the one I had at the time.  Well, he was absolutely right!  Over the years, I have had and continue to have constant complements on this elegant site.  It has been a great source of pride for me and a marvelous tool for sharing my work and advancing my career.  I will never be able to thank him enough for this generous gift but this is a stab at it.  

I want very much to keep this site in place to provide a broader look at my work over the years but would also like to add this new site/blog with Squarespace.  My son Ryan Munn felt it was time for me to start being more actively involved in the benefits of social media and the age of technology.  If you read the first blog post, you know all about the process we went through to get to this point.  The resulting blog and site on Squarespace allows me to manage current and up coming events in a timely fashion.  It is also a better way for me to manage the inventory of work.

In the future, you will be able to find a link for www.aliceballard.com  in the left hand column under links.  I hope you will visit this site to enjoy what Ian created for me and for my work.  In addition he created a beautiful site for my husband Roger Dalrymple www.rogerdalrymple.com . We will forever be grateful to Ian for our elegant, thoughtful and professionally done web sites and hope to see them often in the future on their visits to South Carolina.

With warmest regards and special thanks to Ian and Alice for their friendship and support...