Breathe …is there anything more important?


Blogging from “the Bray” 2

Busy day with lots of demos.

Beth Cavener Stichter creating sculptures expressing the human spirit dressed in animal bodies. If you go to Beth's website, where she details her work procedures,  you will see how hard this woman works. She is a great example of the axiom 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. To hollow out a piece it takes 3-5 weeks. Typically she hollows a piece to 1/4 inch thickness; so she essentially makes the sculpture twice - once from the outside and again on the inside and I haven't even mentioned making the armature, cutting it apart, putting it together, etc., etc.

Beth Cavener Stichter

Beth wears stripped socks. I asked her about this and she said she does this when she gives a presentation so she doesn't take herself too seriously.

Tip Toland analyzing the idiosyncrasies of the face.

Tip Toland

Below Robert Brady demonstrating slap centering. What a great way to focus aggressive energy.

Robert Brady

The following are phrases from my notes:

  • Things being in control and out of control.
  • Spastic mental process.
  • Form = intuitive
  • Surface = experience through the eyes
  • Mastery is not a result of repetition but a result of awareness.
  • Nichrome wire
  • Elmer's glue with alumina to line touching edges of lids so they don't fuse.
  • Process is circular.
  • Notice what you notice.
  • Curves and straight lines recharge each other.
  • Loose pots and pots with gesture and intentionality.
  • Unconscious incompetence-conscious incompetence-conscious competence-unconscious competence.
  • From Sandy Simon, TRAX Ceramics Gallery, "Eighty percent of sales come from the internet store."

I bought 300 lbs of glaze making materials from the Archie Bray Clay store. Just out of curiosity, I asked them if they kept MSDS data sheets on hand. They said that they treated all powdered substances as being hazardous and used a respirator while handling everything but if I wanted a good source for MSDS sheets to go online to Laguna Clay Company.

Still my favorite thing to do here; wandering around discovering gems tucked here and there in all the alleys and corners. This place is a bit like a maze with surprises at every turn.

Pavement Mandala



Wheels, coins, frisbees, manhole covers, DVD's, and buttons, are round.

Balls, BB's, planets, bubbles, and marbles are spherical.

Why are these such special shapes? And why are these things round or spherical?

Why are bubbles spherical? A sphere most efficiently balances the air pressure between the two sides of the soap film. Planets are spherical because the gravitational force compresses matter into a shape that is evenly distributed.

And, why are manhole covers round? There are many answers to this question but the one I like the most is that a round cover is the only shape that will not fall through a round hole. Every other shape could drop into it's diagonal. (Images of manhole cover rubbings here: Christiansen Designs.)

Other facts about circles:

  • Cylindrical containers can hold more volume than square or hexagonal containers made with the same amount of material.
  • Round plates hold more food.
  • A round pizza uses less dough to fill the largest space.
  • A round table gives diners more space for more dishes, as well as, a sense of equality.


Also round - the mandala pictured below from

Buddho Telescope

Source for part of this information: A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe, Michael Schneider


Eternal Glimpse

After doing battle with "perfect is the enemy of done," I am launching my new site with a new domain name -


The name just jumped into my head one day. I like the apparent contradiction of terms; eternal meaning timeless and glimpse meaning a happening that takes place in an instant. Occasionally we are fortunate enough to get a glimpse of enlightenment.

This site will showcase mandalas - tools for balancing chi, focusing attention, calming the spirit.

I created them over a few years. They were inspired by spiritual longing, curiosity, winter depression, sadness, and joy.

May they bring peace and happiness to all beings and perhaps the glimpse will become a lasting gaze.

Feng Shui Element - Fire


Feng Shui Mandalas

YouTube Preview Image

A better version of this video  is located here:


Fire-up your life

C:Documents and SettingsGEE1My DocumentsElementsFire.dwg Wa

"Fire," copyright JWBokman 2007 all rights reserved

"Fire is an immediate and compelling reminder of impermanence." The Science of Enlightenment," Shinzen Young

This world . . . ever was, and is, and shall be, ever-living Fire, in measures being kindled and in measure going out. This world is eternal fire that wells up and subsides, advances and recedes, scatters and gathers. Heraclitus

Heraclitus was not talking about fire in the literal sense but about impermanence.