Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Five Dinosaurs Riding in Cars

I just finished these dinosaur illustrations for my library job -- they'll be used on the flannelboard during Story Time to accompany Nancy Stewart's song "Dinosaurs in Cars."



At the beginning of the song, each dinosaur drives its own car. One by one, they each get a flat tire.


The last dinosaur decides to put on her spare tire and go back for her friends. I modeled her car after the Euclid Beach rocket car (seen around town in the Cleveland area).


The brontosaurus is my favorite! I will call her "Bronte." The stegosaurus on a Vespa is a close second.


In case you've never heard it, here's the "Dinosaurs in Cars" song, performed by Nancy Stewart and charmingly animated by Calvin Williams. It's pretty catchy!


Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Orange Crusher (best frenemies)

This plate is based on my sister's cats and their best frenemy, The Orange Crusher.

Jerry (top) and Jesse (right) are littermates adopted from the APL.

The Orange Crusher is a freshwater angelfish. He was about the size of a 50-cent coin when he was first purchased.

Sadly, The Orange Crusher is no longer with us. But the kitties are just fine and finding new ways to cause trouble. Some process work for the plate is below:

The painted plate, just before firing. I use Amaco Velvet Underglazes.

A sketch of the plate composition.
Marker rendering of Jerry.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dahlia with Bees

From the latest firing -- here's the plate before and after. The diameter is a little over 9 inches. I'm using Amaco Velvet Series underglazes on Miller white stoneware. The glaze is Laguna Clear Bright, and the plate was fired to cone 6.






Saturday, June 16, 2018

Warm Ups

Just a couple of watercolors as I get back into painting. I tried out some pearlescent watercolors, although they're difficult to see in the photos.

"Goldie"

"Poppa Fish" - I've read that with pumpkinseeds (an Ohio sunfish), the male guards the eggs and fry.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Libraries Rock!



I recently finished this animated summer reading promo for my library. Many children lose some progress during the long summer break, and reading for fun has been shown to counteract this decline. The purpose of this video is to generate excitement for the summer reading program. It should encourage kids (and their parents) to register for the program and start reading.

"Sharkie" the shark is a new character that I developed for this program. He’s funny and lives in the moment, and he’s pretty excited about the prizes he can win by reading whatever he likes. He has a lisp because his three rows of teeth interfere with speaking.  Sharkie's voice actor was terrific, and bringing the character to life was a lot of fun!


Here's an early test of Sharkie speaking. The poem is "Fire and Ice," by Robert Frost. I do not know who is narrating, but his voice is wonderful.



The scenes in the video are all real places. The action begins at Maplewood Pool in Stow, Ohio:



The video ends with Sharkie finding his turtle friend (Spike) at the Stow-Munroe Falls Library. Spike is the library's real pet turtle and mascot. She has a friendly nature, and she's very popular with visitors of all ages.




The video is comprised of vector drawings I created in Illustrator and then animated with After Effects. I was on a tight deadline, so this was all achieved with simple transformations and puppet warps.

For anyone interested in early process work, here is the script and story board for the project. I hope you enjoy the video!




Saturday, April 21, 2018

Redesigned website

I've been hard at work redesigning my website - please take a look at skirchgessner.com

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Taking a break

So... I'm taking a pottery break for a while. I've been busy learning web design and web development, which actually isn't all that different from functional ceramics.
I'll be back in the studio in January! Visit my website at skirchgessner.com if you're curious to see what else I've been up to. Here's a taste of my knitting...