HEMPEL STUDIOS Year in Review- 2022

While it’s not a hilarious review like Dave Barry likes to write at the end of each year, I break my year down month-by-month and remember the highlights.

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A Few Ways to Embrace Coziness this Winter

The ways to embrace coziness are simple. Soft fabrics, fluffy blankets, dim lighting, candles, fireplace, warm tea, books, soft music, a warmth of spirit, and no electronics. Use this season to connect with yourself, with loved ones, and embrace the darkness.

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Art and Life: 4 Ways to Make Advent Special

Art is not the individual objects that I make in my studio, but it is the whole of life. I cannot remove myself from being an artist at home, neither do I cease being a mom when I am working in clay. How do I infuse a little bit of art and meaning in to my every life? How do I make my studio life a bit cozier? What are ways that I merge my different vocations into one person, one life?

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Waiting for the Light

…ritual without meaning is dead and meaningless. But ritual coupled with meaning is liturgy. Lighting candles during the darkest time of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) can infuse this time with meaning and significance.

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3 Things I’m Thinking About This November

This November has me thinking about a lot of things that on the surface don’t seem to have much in common. What does my birthday, All Saints Day, the Election, and Charles Dickens have in common?

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They Are All Long Shots

“They are all long shots.” Those words reverberated in my bones. All of it, all these risks we take, they are all long shots. If you keep pulling back that bow, one of these times you are going to hit the target. The thing about trying and missing is that you are going to get better.

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A Year of Claire McCardell

“Frederick is a place where history is made, and today we are doing it again by honoring a woman who changed the way women dress,” she [Hempel Irani] said.

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Installing Marble Sculptures, Part III

They picked up the marble sculpture and plaster carver’s model from the US Customs inspection office in New York, trucked it down to Potomac, placed the stone and finished the job by dinner time. These big events tend to build in your mind and then they happen. Just like that, they happen on an ordinary day. A Thursday, for example.

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A Little About Materials: Plastilina

The clay that I use in the studio is not the same as the water-based clay that most people encounter in a ceramics studio. You’ve likely heard the terms ball clay, porcelain, or terracotta. The clay that I use is an oil-based clay and cannot be placed in a kiln. It’s made from dehydrated ball clay, oil and wax. When it gets hot, it melts. The benefit of this clay, called Plastilina or Plasticine, is that it never hardens completely, nor does it dry out.

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