I've been working on some more "icons." The one pictured above is not fired yet. I like the idea of "useful" art. Icons are supposed to be a meaningful part of a household, helping to promote or protect in exchange for respect and/or devotion. If people perceive that an art object has a purpose, they may feel owning it would be less frivolous. Maybe. Anyway, I've always been drawn to medieval and renaissance icons and the power they seem to exert. They are meant to be a focal point and not just decoration. The large piece I'm working on made it through its first firing. I didn't put any underglaze on it prior to firing, so it is completely bare of color right now. It will take a lot of time to glaze. I don't do any preliminary sketches but instead try to hold the ideas in my head. I feel if I put things down on paper it makes it too permanent, but in my head I can constantly change elements without agonizing too much. The canvas bag fundraiser Kate and I embellished bags for is this coming Friday, the 13th. She will be out of town, but I plan to go. They haven't advertised it at all, so I'm not sure how well organized it will be. Saturday is Valentine's Day, my birthday, and second saturday in Sacramento. Local metal sculptor extraordinaire, Mark Oldland, will be showing new work at Pamela Skinner/Gwenna Howard Gallery. He has some interesting new things which include concrete. I hope he sells well. I won't be there because I'm taking my husband to see a Pink Floyd cover band called "House of Floyd" at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley. I'll be sure to go later in the month, though.