NCECA conference 2013: Part 1

I recently returned from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference, which was held in Houston, TX this year. As a native Texan I made sure to attend. I watched and experienced a number of inspiring and significant presentations, demos, and gallery exhibits from which I managed to photograph sporadically. The following should fall primarily into the eye candy category: enjoy!

Opposite side.

My donation/entry to the cup sale.

My donation/entry to the cup sale.

Opposite side.

 

Every year hundreds of potters donate cups to be sold for scholarship funding, with a select few juried into the Cups of Merit category. My cup is grolleg porcelain, thrown on the wheel, altered, darted, stamped, slip-trailed, and finally ornamented with sprig molds.

 

 

Upside down equine.

Upside down equine.

 

 

And finally, the bottom.

The bottom.

 

I always strive to apply visual interest all over my pieces. The salt firing barely touched inside the foot ring, which exhibits a smooth, faintly shiny texture. The brightness of the blue slip goes pastel along with the speckling and fuming in the glaze overall. I quite liked this cup and I hope whomever it ended up with feels an attachment to it.

 

The above images partially serve as a visual record for myself, since I usually forget to photograph pots before they get disseminated into the world. I also added a couple of fresh pieces from other potters to my collection from various sources (18 Hands Gallery, Red Lodge Clay Center, NCECA cup sale) at the conference after a reasonably long hiatus from buying pots.

A. Blair Clemo medium sized bowl.

A. Blair Clemo medium sized bowl.

I try to spread my patronage out amongst the bevy of talent available in the world of ceramics. This texturally varied wheel-thrown and press-molded bowl is my first addition of Blair’s work, with one of his signature patterns and gorgeous bronze glaze around the flared rim.

Finally, I scored a Sue Tirrell horse plate.

Finally, I scored a Sue Tirrell horse plate.

If you don’t know already, I have sort of a horse obsession. Not just the subject matter but the beautiful colors, technique, and line quality justified this addition to our carefully curated plate collection. In reality the pots we use in our kitchen most often are the plates so this lunch-sized gem promises to serve us well.

A birthday present for hubby.

A birthday present for hubby.

A wheel thrown earthenware cup by Adam Posnak jumped out at me, and after returning to it daily for 2 days I knew it was meant for my husband. The skulls, lunar vs. solar, and masonic iconography definitely fall in line with my mister Aaron’s spiritual practice plus the cup just sings with earthy beauty.

Freshen Up cat mug by Chandra DeBuse.

Freshen Up cat mug by Chandra DeBuse.

A wrinkly orange kitty, bright colors, and humor attracted me to this piece from a sweet and wonderful potter. The text “Freshen Up” inscribed on the handle makes me want to brush my teeth and drink orange juice from it just to be perverse. Also, I do brush my cats’ teeth, which seems pretty strange to me as a general rule.

Brooke Noble's sizable Buck Up mug.

Brooke Noble’s sizable Buck Up mug.

I admit to already having a tumbler by Ms. Noble, with vertical lozenges of varying pattern and equine silhouettes, but I couldn’t pass up this antlered face. I found two of my favorites from the handful of re-visits during submission in the cup sale early Friday morning: a cohort and I had lined up an hour early hoping to find at least some of the ones we had our eye on. It’s a beefy mug featuring a buck and bulls-eye on this side with a smaller spotted fawn on the reverse and the text “Buck Up” on the bottom. Definitely a super-sleepy morning kind of vessel suitable for a serious dose of caffeine.

My final NCECA purchase, a Nicole Aquillano house mug.

My final NCECA purchase, a Nicole Aquillano house mug.

Part of the beauty of this mug shows clearly in the photo, but one angle cannot encompass the stairwell inscribed within or the house silhouette on the opposite side. The entire porcelain vessel glows with translucence and I find myself surprised that it took me so long to discover this stellar artist. I first saw a plate of her’s with a house drawing on Crimson Laurel Gallery’s website and without any prompting immediately understood and felt an attraction to the work. As I was checking out at the cup sale one of the wrappers informed me that one of her submissions won a Cups of Merit award, which hardly surprises me.

Next time I’ll begin rattling off gallery and demonstration images. I also need to backtrack and cover my gallery show from February. Sorry I’ve been out of the loop with blog posts lately: I’ve been distracted by the NCECA trip and trying to get my bricks in a row for the soda kiln! More on all of that to come, so stay tuned.