Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome to America Creates Chrys Bonnay-Lewis

Welcome to America Creates Chrys Bonnay-Lewis

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Okay - so if you don't know already I have been accepted to American Creates online Gallery. I've posted all the classes I'm teaching this fall on their site and have provided a link to the on-line gallery here on the blog. Check them out - tons of great art on the site as well as many artist and collector resources.
I'll be out of town for a couple of days so explore American Creates while I'm gone and let me know what you think.

Coming Soon: Fall Gallery Openings I will be in this fall and reviews of some I'm not

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Timothy Adam Designs

Timothy Adam Designs

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The "Death" of Cooking and the Functional Artist

I am a recipient of the 2009 NCECA (National Counsel On the Education of Ceramic Art) Regina Brown Undergraduate Student Fellowship. I was awarded this fellowship to aid in my research to write a thesis on the future of functional pottery. Many of you know that I am a clay artist and work mostly with utilitarian forms. I am also a senior and ceramic major at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit Michigan and a community education teacher. Below are excerpts taken from my essay to NCECA requesting their support for my fellowship project.

“…The question of the destiny of wheel thrown forms is far from academic. My fascination with ceramics was born on a potter’s wheel almost a decade ago. Having raised my family, I returned to school after these many years to increase my knowledge and skill as a potter, and to educate myself fully as a ceramist. I am now a year from graduating with a BFA in ceramics, and yet, after all of my explorations into the other areas of ceramics, I still find that wheel throwing offers me a more meaningful language with which to engage my ideas.
My ultimate goal, aside from practicing as an artist, is to be an educator and pass along my knowledge, experience and love of the craft. In that capacity, I am approached constantly by students that share my devotion to wheel throwing, but are concerned about their future and place in the art world should they decide to pursue this aspect of ceramic art? I feel it is incumbent upon me to have some sort of answer…”

I have spent the summer interviewing, emailing, and researching ceramic artists and academics, gallery owners, potters, studio artists, crafts persons, etc. for my thesis essay: “The Future of Function”. But yesterday, while reading “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch”, by MICHAEL POLLAN Published: July 29, 2009 in The New York Times, I was alerted to a new possibility and concern.

According to Pollan, people are not cooking anymore, at least not in the “traditional sense”. Pollan implies that American cooking consists of popping an instant food of some kind into the microwave and then plopping onto the couch to watch a cooking show! Of course Pollan touches on many topics relating to American culture and how it has changed since WWII. Among other things he suggests that advertisers for big food companies have altered our definition of cooking as well as our taste buds. He further states that the loss of “scratch cooking” is the beginning of the demise of our humanity.

Now, here I am doing research on whether a potter who makes functional pieces can make a living at it, and Pollan suggests that people have stopped cooking – which means presumably that they are also not using cooking utensils, like, say, handmade pottery.

I’m wondering is Mr. Pollan right? Do you cook? What is cooking to you? Are cooking and “scratch cooking” the same? Are we at the beginning of the loss of humanity for all of our not cooking?

And important to me and makers of functional pottery:

Do you spend money on handmade pottery to celebrate food?

Do you have a favorite cup, bowl, and baking dish? Is it handmade? Is it a good design? Is it sentimental? Why is it your favorite?

Please take a moment to comment on or answer one (or all) of these questions. Your input is important to what I hope will be valuable information to functional artists and designers everywhere.
Furthermore, if you are so inclined, I am open to suggestions, comments as well as referrals on who else might have interesting insight into this topic.
I look forward to any comments!!!
Thanks so much,
Chrys Bonnay-Lewis

Monday, August 17, 2009

The up side to the bad economy - It’s not all wildflowers...

This recession is causing everyone to reassess their priorities and make an effort to become more self sufficient, and that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I spent the morning talking to a neighbor who, until a few days ago, owned and operated her own small business, drove huge gas guzzling cars and didn’t go any where with out her Bluetooth and other status symbols. Unfortunately, she was forced to file for bankruptcy in an effort to escape the overwhelming expenses of her faltering small business. Now, I don’t want to suggest that it was good that my neighbor’s small business went belly-up. But, up until this moment my neighbor had blamed the lazy, unproductive, undesirable unions, liberals, and greedy welfare mothers for the entire nation’s ills. Today she was humbled by the new knowledge that even good people who work hard, go to church, and don’t lean on the government for “bailouts” can be forced into bankruptcy, and even become unemployed.

She is a product of the, “more and bigger mentality” that has been passed on for several generations among Americans. Many have defined their self worth by this motto for years - my neighbor among them. The good side of the current faltering economy is that it will force many to reconsider the “keeping up with the Joneses will make me happier” idea and “the welfare roles are filled with lazy unproductive Americans” mentalities. I am not suggesting that my neighbor’s bad fortune was good for her or the community. However, I am saying that up until now her “good Christian” values have not been tested. Perhaps now that she is no longer the “elite business owner,” she will come to grips with basic human values.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Up-Side to Bad Economy

Each week I will explore a positive change brought on by today’s faltering economy.
Welcome to my 3rd installment: Why we need Wildflowers

Native Wildflowers have many benefits and they should be grown and aloud to spread to ensure future health and well being of future generations. By one estimate, 25 percent of Michigan's plants will be extinct by 2050, as the result of loss of habitat due to development and invasion by aggressive non-native plants. This estimate does not include the possible effects of global warming.

Butterfly Weed or Orange Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa L. Protected Wildflower - PLEASE DO

Flowering plants actually reduce global warming because they produce breathable oxygen by utilizing the carbon dioxide created by plants and animals as they respire. Allowing these roadside meadows to thrive would improve the environment. Once established, native plants do not need pesticides, fertilizers, or watering. Not only is this good for the environment, it saves time and money. A native landscape does not need to be mowed like a conventional lawn. This reduces the demand for non-renewable resources and improves the water and air quality. The periodic burning (or mowing when burning is not practical) required for maintenance of a prairie landscape mimics the natural prairie cycle and is much better for the environment. Landscaping with native wildflowers and grasses helps return the area to a healthy ecosystem. Diverse varieties of birds, butterflies and animals, are attracted to the native plants, thus enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The beauty of native wildflowers and grasses creates a sense of place, both at home and work. The native plants increase our connection to nature, help educate our neighbors, and provide a beautiful, peaceful place to relax.

Michigan Lily Lilium superbum L.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Up-side to the bad economy.

Welcome to my second installment of my new series.
Each week I will explore a positive change brought on by today’s faltering economy.

Meadows born from economizing and green policies - not mowing. #2

Throughout Michigan, the state and local governments have tightened their budgets by not mowing along roadsides and at some state and local parks. The result is a lovely, every changing landscape of radiant wildflowers and grasses, bringing a natural rainbow of color to our lives. The following are some that are currently blooming in mid and lower Michigan.

More Obscure Wildflowers -

Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa L. A member of the mint family Wild Bergamot is found in meadows. The flower has single clusters of tubular pink to lilac colored individual flowers that make a flower heat at the tip of the stem. Each flower has a tuft of long hair at its tip. The leaves are in pairs, and are short-stalked, longer than broad, and widest below the midpoint, smooth to slightly hairy; margins are toothed. Stems are also smooth to softly hairy shaped square in a cross section. (4-sided).

Racemed Milkwort Polygala polygama, Walt. Found in dry woods, meadows. Flowers are pink to rose-purple with loose spikes at the ends of the stems. Each flower has a central tube and two spreading wings. The plant has several simple leaves that alternate and are longer then wide. One root carries many smooth steams that are usually upright but the outer stems may recline.

Spotted Knapweed
or Spotted Star Thistle – Centaurea maculosa, Lam.
Found in meadows and along roadsides in the heat of summer till fall. About 1-4 ft. tall the blossoms are shaggy and resemble Bachelor’s Button of the cultivated garden to which it is related. Color is usually pink but may range from white to purple. Flowers are at the tips of the stems. The Central part of the blossom consists of many individual, tubular flowers; the under part of the flower head is overlapping spiny, black-tipped bracts. The stems leaves are few, deeply cut into narrow segments, and are rough to the touch and grayish green in color.

Cow ParsnipHeracleum Lanatum Michx. Mistakenly referred to as Queen Anne’s Lace. Cow Parsnip can be found along roadsides and meadows in the heat of summer. Flowers are flat-topped clusters of white flowers forming very large blossoms up to 8 in. across. Petals are deeply notched at the tip, and form larger clusters on the outer edges of the flower than those on the inside. The leaves are large commonly up to 12-18 in across, and are compound with 3 coarsely toothed leaflets. The leaves are hairy on the underside with stems that are ridged, woolly and hollow.

Please feel free to comment and post pictures of your wildflowers and any in sites you may have to the Up-side to the down economy.

Next installment: Why wildflowers are important to our Eco-system and more positive observations of the "Up-side to the bad economy."

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Up-side to the bad economy.

Welcome to my new series.
Each week I will explore a positive change brought on by today’s faltering economy – enjoy my first installment!

Meadows born from economizing and green policies - not mowing.

Throughout Michigan, the state and local governments have tightened their budgets by not mowing along roadsides and at some state and local parks. The result is a lovely, every changing landscape of radiant wildflowers and grasses, bringing a natural rainbow of color to our lives. The following are some that are currently blooming in mid and lower Michigan.

Familiar favorites –

Day Lily Hemerocallis Fulva L. Bright yellowish-orange, the petals have prominent darker colored streaks (veins) and turn to a yellow color at their base. Rarely is there more than one blossom open at one time and this lasts for just a day. The flower stalk is leafless. Blooming; Now – Aug.

Black-eyed Susan or Coneflower Rudbeckia hirta L. Large conspicuous flowers with yellow to yellow-orange “petals” that are often darker color near their base. Central disk is brown, sometimes purplish, rarely yellow, and is domed. Leaves are longer than they are broad, very hairy, erect, and stout. Blooming; Now – Sept.

Joe-Pye Weed or Spotted Joe-Pye Weed. Eupatorium maculatum L. Found in bogs, swales, and on stream banks. Flower has flat topped clusters of pink to purple flowers with 8 – 20 or more individual blossoms in each flower head. Leaves are in whorls of 4-5, long, narrow, pointed at both ends, prominently veined, and with saw-tooth margins. Stem is usually blotched with purplish areas. Blooming; Now – mid. Sept.

Common St. John’s-Wort. Hypericum perforatum, L. Found in meadows, the flowers are yellow, numerous, about 1 in. across, 5 petals, and many prominent busy stamens for the center. Many black dots occur along the margins of the petals (a hand lens is useful to see these). The leaves are in pairs and opposite each other, stalk-less and toothless. Tiny, translucent dots on leaves may be seen by holding a leaf up to the light. Blooming; now – Aug.

The result is a beautiful array of wildflowers native to Michigan, popping up around the state. Many potters speak of how the natural world or nature has inspired their work, but then limit themselves to earth tones. The brilliant but subtle colors of wildflowers are the natural world’s jewels and they are what inspire the colors for my pots!

Next installment; more obscure wildflowers and other benefits of the down economy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My porcelain cups are featured in this lovely treasury!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Trax Gallery

Haven't had a chance to blog the last couple of days. I've been working on my final memoir for my on line class and compiling information and research for a paper I'm writing for NCECA.

I am a recipient of the 2009 Regina Brown Undergraduate Student Fellowship awarded by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. I was awarded this fellowship to aid in my research on the "Future of Function" (working title) - more specifically, potters using the wheel. Part of my research is contacting and asking working potters, ceramic artist, and "experts" a serious of questions. I am lucky as I have had wonderful teachers and professionals that have put me in contact with some fabulous artists.
One of my favorites is Sandy Simon, she is a potter, and gallery owner. She sells her work and represents several notable contemporary functional ceramic artist working today, in her gallery Trax, located in Berkeley, California. Trax has an online presents as well.

Sandy's work is wheel thrown and expressive reminding me of something other than its
intended function. It serves its function with tons of personality. An example of this would be her covered casserole dishes that resemble sailor hats.
The online experience is wonderful at Trax, when visiting the site I am only frustrated that I cannot feel the pots!!! Maybe some day...

Monday, July 20, 2009

More Detailed Raku Info...

Raku is a process for firing pottery, developed in 16th century Japan. The Japanese tea masters for its unique and timeless beauty prized Raku pottery. In the ancient Raku tradition, the Gwinups's fire their pots in a small kiln one at a time. With a practiced eye, they determine when the pots have reached the desired temperature and the glazes have melted. The Raku pots are then removed from the kiln while still red hot and placed in a pit of sawdust and covered so that the combustibles cannot burn freely. The chemical reaction between the burning sawdust and the molten glaze creates beautiful and unpredictable effects on the surface of the pottery. Metallic luster’s and dark crackle effects are the hallmarks of Raku. Each piece, born of earth, water, and fire is a unique creation, never to be duplicated.

In order to complete the firing process, the Raku pottery must remain in the kiln till the temperature reaches approximately 1800°F (about 982°C). At this point the glaze will be molten. The pottery is then removed from the kiln using specially designed Raku tongs. While the piece is still hot and glowing, it is placed inside a metal can full of combustible materials. I use organic materials, leaves, sawdust, straw, dried wet land grasses. etc. The heat emitted from the pottery causes these materials to catch on fire.

After the materials inside the metal can catch on fire, a lid is placed over the can and the pottery is sealed inside. The Raku pottery is capable of withstanding these high temperatures and the fire within the can because it is made from a special type of clay that is capable of withstanding thermal shock. Traditional pottery clays, on the other hand, would crack from the drastic temperature changes Raku pottery undergoes.

As the fire consumes the oxygen within the can, it also draws the oxygen out of the pottery and its glaze. This process is called post fire reduction. It is the post fire reduction stage that creates the unique look of Raku pottery. The resulting patterns and colors are unpredictable, as they are created through the natural process of oxygen removal.

After the pots remains in the sealed metal can for about 20 minutes, they are removed and placed in a can of water or cooled with a hose. This stops the reduction process and freezes the patterns that were created during the post fire reduction stage. The amount of time a piece should remain in the cooling water largely depends on the piece and its size.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The following is an explanation of the Raku Process by Paul Soldner (father of American Raku), also take a moment to ck out the video's I posted that you might find helpful. Please post questions and comments. Within the next week I'll post more Raku information so keep checking back often.

by Paul Soldner

Firing of raku is basic and simple. The bisqued pots are decorated in the usual manner with stains, engobes, resists, or textural treatments. They are then glazed with low melting glazes such as lead, borax, or frit bases.

Water added to the pot in the glazing process must be driven off by thorough drying over the exterior of a hot kiln before proceeding with the firing.

The pot is seized with long-handled tongs and thrust directly into the preheated red hot kiln. It is allowed to remain there until the glaze melts, as observed through the peephole. Time required for this melt may vary from a few minutes to an hour or more according to the kiln temperature, thickness of glaze, type of glaze, and the thickness of the vessel walls.

After firing, subtlety of color may be produced by subsequent reduction smoking of the pot. The red hot pot is placed in a covered vessel containing combustible materials. The pot may also be dropped directly into cold water for the purpose of creating an oxidized effect or to freeze the molten state of the glaze. If the pot is quite large, it is safer to cool it more slowly in a tight container which may or may not contain smoke producing materials.

Raku firing offers the potter many advantages over other firing techniques. Some of these are simplicity, low fire reduction, the resultant somewhat insulated body, and spontaneous effects. Very important is the potter's attitude and involvement in the firing cycle. The intimacy and immediacy are never more deeply felt in any other ceramic process.

Any kiln will do. It is only necessary to obtain a moderate heat (about 1600 to 2000 F.). The kiln should open and close fast so that pottery can be withdrawn without too much heat loss.

Friday, July 17, 2009

1000 Markets

1000 Markets

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Serving up - Mr. Frischman

Silk-screened under-glaze image of my father when he was in the Army!

I may use the memoir genre in my ceramic work. I'm thinking about "Family Dinner". A complete dinnerware set (including condiment vessels, salt & pepper etc...) that would display my ancestors as well as elements from my childhood. Maybe a harvest gold wall paper pattern and SURPRISE - Mom's portrait inside a lidded casserole? Any thoughts????

My next post will be ****all about RAKU !!!! Stay tuned and become a follower - PLEASE

Red Fuzz

Here it is...My first essay in the memoir genre, enjoy!

I have a black and white photographic portrait of my sister Lisa and me when I was 5 years of age and she 3. I am always struck by the way my right arm is intertwined with her left arm. It looks as if I am leading a blind person. Looking at this picture brings back a flood of emotion that I am sure I did not understand at such a young age. Despite my youth, I was somehow aware of the responsibility bestowed upon me by the evolution of my family’s structure. I am the oldest, the one who shoulders the responsibility, and the peacemaker, the loom upon which all is woven, much like my arm is interwoven with my sister’s in the photograph. When I study the picture now, I see worry in my eyes - it’s as if I am holding on to my sister’s arm to make sure she doesn’t fall out of the picture frame.
I do not remember this picture being taken, however it echoes the first vivid memory I have as the eldest child charged with the care of our delicate family. I was eleven - a skinny, long haired girl on the verge of becoming what today would be called a tween. We lived in a middle class neighborhood typical of the sixties. Our house, a split-level with the front of the house divided into two rooms and a living room that no one ever sat in (except for a portrait) and the kitchen. The front door and the stairways were what divided the house with one stairway going up to the bedrooms and one going down to the family room. On this particular day on an otherwise pleasant weekend, my sister and I were summoned to our harvest gold kitchen. We sat at the kitchen table in our designated seats, mine directly across from the window that looked out onto the cul-de- sac, a literal dead-end. My sister’s seat faced me as she sat framed by the window. To her right sat the portable TV on an unfolded aluminum TV tray. Lisa’s position always gave her an advantage when changing channels and choosing what shows we would watch while in the kitchen. On this particular day I remember being disappointed that my sister would not change the channel from Gilligan’s Island to Rita Bell’s Prize Movie, but decided that an argument with her over a TV channel would be foolish, and possibly dangerous. After all, it was my father that had summoned us to the table, and when he arrived, it was certain that the television would be turned off.
First my mother entered the kitchen. She appeared almost magically from the family room amidst a cloud of cigarette smoke. Trailing behind her was our silent, devoted Germen Shepard, Caesar. That dog followed her everywhere. In her mid thirties, my mother was a very attractive woman. Tall with dark skin, hair and eyes she was, as they said, trim but “full figured” with long legs. She wore a sleeveless blouse and white slim Bermuda shorts that made her legs look tan and lean. Barefoot, she moved about the kitchen in a nervous manor, cleaning and chain smoking. The fact that my mother was cleaning was my first clue that something was amiss - she was not exactly known to be a fastidious housekeeper. In fact I don’t ever remember a time when the dish strainer was not on the counter or there were not dirty dishes in the sink. But today she was not only washing the dishes but also drying them, stacking them neatly in the dark overhead cabinets.
The theme song to Gilligan’s Island played on the television as my father entered the room. The dog crouched down and with his hips tucked under his hind end he snuck down the stairs to the living room and disappeared. My father said, predictably, “turn that damn thing off” as he took his place at the table. Before this day I cannot remember ever having any other emotion than fear towards my father. I’m sure I loved him but he ruled by intimidation. With only a glance of his deep dark eyes he could stop me in my tracks. He was a big man – overweight, about six feet, but good looking nonetheless. His presence loomed large and his demeanor always demanded attention. Discipline amounted to what today would be considered child abuse. He only told us once and after his first request if we did not immediately comply, out came the belt. On this day however, I could see that my father was different he sat silently for a moment, just watching my mother as she gathered and presented him with his cigarettes, lighter, ashtray and poured him a cup of coffee. “Thank you, Diane” said my father as she joined us at the table. Never before had I remembered my father thanking my mother - what was going on here? Usually he barked and she jumped.
We all sat there for what seemed like forever before he finally spoke. “Your mother and I have something very important to discuss with you girls.” My father paused and gazed at my mother and then turned his glace to me. “Well we …we have decided to separate.” WHAT? What was I hearing? My parents had never even had a fight that I had seen. “This has nothing to do with you girls.” Wait a minute, I thought, how could my parents splitting up not have something to do with us? My head started to pound and as I looked at my sister she began to cry. “Your mother and I just don’t love each other any more.” “We both still love you girls and that will never change,” my mother chimed in. I didn’t dare say it, but I was thinking how do you just stop loving someone? Why can you stop loving each other but know that you will never stop loving us? Does that mean anyone at any time can decide that they don’t love one another - it just stops somehow? What does this mean? My father continued “I’ll be packing my bags today and moving to an apartment complex not far from here.” My mother pushed back her chair and reached past the television to comfort my sister. Clouds of thick cigarette smoke filled the space above the table - it seemed to fill my lungs as well as the space and I felt as though I was going to suffocate. I asked to be excused from the table. “I’m going to visit Grandma today, would you like to go with me?” my mother asked ignoring my request. “Does this mean you are getting a divorce?” I demanded. My mother asked me again, “Would you like to go to Grandma’s?“ “No, no, no” I screamed as I shoved the chair and myself from the table. I thought for sure I had set myself up for a session with the belt, but my father, rather shockingly, sat frozen. I caught his desperately sad gaze as I stormed out of the kitchen and up the stairs to my bedroom. I slammed my bedroom door shut, almost intentionally setting myself up for a beating. Never before had I walked away from the table without being excused. Not to mention the screaming or what my father would have termed “back-talk”. “Back-talk” was an absolutely certain way to meet up with the belt.
I threw myself upon my bed as I sobbed uncontrollably. I could not stop crying - my mind would not stop. What did this all mean? Had I done something wrong? I could feel the red fuzzy balls of lint from my faux fur bed spread sticking to my wet face – it was irritating and I began to hyperventilate. Anxieties filled my body as I shook with the fear of punishment and the unknown.
I did not hear my father enter the room. His warm hands lifted my head out from the sea of red fuzz - he looked deep into my eyes as he reached for his waist. Oh no, I thought, here it comes… the beating of a lifetime. I was absolutely sure he was reaching for his belt, but instead it was his handkerchief, soft against my face as he wiped away the tears and lint, impregnated with the oddly comforting aroma of stale tobacco. Then he wrapped his big arms around my body and held on to me so tightly. My face was buried in the warm fat of his belly. My body succumbed. I stopped shaking and began to relax into the comfort of my father’s embrace. It was at this moment that I fell victim to the warmth of my father’s unexpected and overwhelming love. He just held me for a while, and then we sat on the end of the bed side by side in silence. I studied him and I remember thinking how normal, gentle and vulnerable he was. He looked not at all like the man I was afraid of for so long. He noticed my stare and began to weep. “Honey, please ask your mother to forgive me, please,” he repeated. And again, “please ask your mother to forgive me. Please forgive me.” He pleaded with me and covered his eyes with his large hands and continued to sob. I was in shock - my father was human. Never before had I seen a grown man cry, least of all my father.
It was at this moment that I became aware of my responsibility as the peacemaker, the family picture frame, the loom from which all is woven - much like my arm is interwoven with my sister’s in the portrait. I’m still holding on, patching, weaving, and keeping the four of us from pulling each other’s threads too hard, and trying to keep everything within the frame. Of course I am looking back with broken and mended shoulders, a wiser heart, and sturdier spine, but I am older and weary, and would very much like to put the burden down…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My New Blog

Welcome to my new blog. I am a Mother, Wife, Grandmother, Teacher, Student, Ceramic Artist and writer.
The writer part is new, I've spent most of this summer engaged in a online memoir class and I'm loving the genre. My professor informed me that I have a book in me - and she wants it to come out. I am considering her suggestion, which startled me a little as I never gave much thought to writing. But this memoir thing has so many pieces to it - the writing can be therapeutic. Memoirs have an actual structure that makes sense to, with real rules and everything. One thing about the memoir, it certainly offers up one hell of an opportunity for self-aggrandizement and deep deep topics. That puffing up thing, though, has a certain seductive attraction. My professors confidence in me is motivating. I'm truly enjoying the class, and I was hoping there would be a way to stay in touch with her when the class is over - she's a wonderful poet. I would love to continue working on a longer memoir, particularly if she wouldn't mind staying involved. Currently, I am working and doing research on the future of Functional Ceramics and The traditional Potter for NCECA (National Council for the Education of Ceramic Art) but when I'm finished with the thesis I should have more time to devote to the memoir.
The first essay I wrote was about my relationship with my father and the day that it changed. My classmates and professor loved the essay, should I post it here?
Gentle critiques and feedback are what I need - can my blog be the place to solicit responses to my essays?
Is that appropriate?