Art of the Pot studio tour, part 3

The shelves at destination #3 on the Austin, TX pottery studio tour, Keith Kreeger’s house, displayed the work of 4 potters: the host, Deborah Schwartzkopf, Michael Kline, and Peter Karner. I am already familiar with Deb’s, Keith’s, and Michael’s pots. I got a crash course on Peter’s work, although I have heard my university ceramics professor Peter Beasecker speak highly of his pots.

Keith Kreeger’s monochrome pottery.

Mr. Kreeger’s simply elegant forms marry well with the linear decoration and un-fussy glaze. The quality of craftsmanship gets emphasized by features like the crisp handles. The addition of summery Tito’s vodka cocktails, complimentary Chilantro korean bbq tacos straight off the food truck, and Byrd Collective flower arrangements created a wonderfully pampered and enjoyable atmosphere to discuss, peruse, and acquire gorgeous hand-made pottery.

More of Keith Kreeger’s pots, including some brand new work decorated with colored slip banding.

I like the new work with colored slip decoration; it has a nice aesthetic relationship to the monochrome pieces.

Part of Deborah Schwartzkopf’s display of work.

The liquor cups are a recent development in Deborah Schwartzkopf’s studio, and I’m loving the more saturated and richer-hued glazes. I already have a well-developed appreciation of and familiarity with Deborah’s pots, and I had the opportunity to add one of her sauce boats and juicers to my collection in April 2011 at the Dallas Pottery Invitational. The first time I encountered Deb’s work was actually a cup I bought at the NCECA cup sale of 2006. The cup captured my attention, and a visit to the nearby galleries during the conference confirmed my interest. One of the galleriesĀ presented her work with pots and sculptures by other woman potters working with porcelain; Ladies in White, I believe the show was called. That first cup I found represented one of her paler, more primarily colored pots, and I still frequently reach for it in my cabinet.

Deb Schwartzkopf pitcher.

This red-orange satin glaze looks so luscious. The assembly of a pitcher like this requires numerous thrown and handbuilt parts. The handle is definitely an ergonomic success, feeling comfortable to grip with a snug fit for the fingers.

Michael Kline pots.

Wax-resist vine patterns twined across the stoneware pottery of Michael Kline. Mr. Kline’s work has an ambitious, solid quality with nicely resolved formal decisions. I loved the cut rim on the plate, and the generous swell of the bellies, especially on some of the larger pieces.

A large Michael Kline jar.

Aaron’s favorite of Michael’s work was a green-glazed vase with vine patterning and finger combed slip, which I agree looked beautiful. I picked this large jar, which has a gorgeous form, faintly Persian sensibility, and a stellar decorative relationship to the size of the pot and the curvature of the walls.

Peter Karner’s primary display table.

I did not have much familiarity with Peter Karner’s work before the tour, beyond the occasional positive reference when we discussed the current pottery world of artists during my time as a University student under Peter Beasecker’s tutelage. The layered glazes, ambitious forms, well-resolved aesthetic decisions, and excellent craftsmanship evident in Mr. Karner’s pots all appealed to me immensely.

My new Peter Karner teapot.

I found myself returning to this particular teapot repeatedly, despite my effort to strictly enforce a purchasing budget. For pottery only, I attempt to listen for that undercurrent of attraction, because invariably a piece I can’t walk away from will feed back into my own studio practice as a positive influence. Peter told me the story of this particular form; a friend’s daughter had a plastic Aladdin tea-set, probably sometime soon after the Disney version premiered, which he did not pay much mind to. Sometime afterward this teapot form evolved. Over a decade later upon returning to visit this friend, Peter saw the Aladdin tea set in the garage, and the plastic teapot was the same form as the teapot he’d been making! I guess that’s what you call an embedded memory.

Byrd Collective floral arrangement in a Kreeger pot.

The Byrd Collective produced some nice Mother’s Day-ready floral arrangements for the event.

Another lovely arrangement.

My favorite arrangement.

The 4th and final installment to follow. TTFN!

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