Craft Guild of Dallas Show & Sale

This past weekend one of my regular twice annual events with the Graft Guild of Dallas elapsed. I got some valuable feedback and an opportunity to see a selection of the new work in a display setting. The slightly warm white and surface texture of the glazed ware pleases me. I’m plunging ahead towards cake stands, more lidded vessels, and place settings galore, etc.

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Here is an assortment of what I have made already for the show in early December.

Here is an assortment of what I have made already for the show in early December.

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Poetry in Ceramic: a Joint Ceramic Show & Sale from Amy Henson and Allee Etheridge

This December from the 5th through the 7th a fellow Dallas area functional potter and I are hosting a 2-person show in Allee’s beautiful home in Carrollton, TX. The Friday night reception will feature tasty bites and beverages along with a little bonus: free cups to the first 50 attendees!

Front and back of our show postcard. Please send me your physical address to receive a mailed copy!

Front and back of our show postcard. Send us your physical address at poetryinceramic@gmail.com to receive a mailed copy! Photos by S.K. Plagens and design work by Haus of Murray, plus the drawing was freehand by me, so no copyright infringement please. 🙂

I am also bringing a huge presentation of my new work, all slab built white earthenware oxidation fired to cone 04 with underglaze drawings. I have been working in low-fire for a number of reasons: slab building has so much more formal flexibility than what I was able to get from throwing, attempting to bring cost of production and sale price to equivalency, and it’s just making me one happy potter lady! The image iconography is similar to the porcelain pots but executed in underglaze line drawings instead of sprigs or slip trailing. For the time being, anyway. Check out the new work or at least a sample of what will be available come December.

Four piece place setting.

Four piece place setting.

Pitcher.

Pitcher.

Cream & Sugar.

Cream & Sugar.

Butter Dish, large enough for a cheese log too.

Butter Dish, large enough for a cheese log too.

Margaret Bohls Workshop Recap

The Craft Guild of Dallas typically hosts 2 visiting artist workshops annually in the clay department. This year the first visiting artist workshop featured porcelain slab building with Margaret Bohls, who teaches at the University of Nebraska Lincoln alongside Eddie Dominguez and Pete Pinnell. I have been darting a lot of my thrown pots and trying to troubleshoot hand-building for such forms as oblong butter dishes and irregular shaped trays so I jumped at the chance to learn some practical techniques regarding how to execute said forms.

Some of Margaret's paper templates.

Some of Margaret’s paper templates.

To regularize her forms and maintain clean, straight seam-lines Margaret employs the use of paper templates based on squares or cylinders. Shown above are mostly bowl patterns. These are square-based with curved edges, and she usually drapes them over round slumps then adds a folded-over slab rim and flattened jelly roll for the foot ring.

2 days worth of demo pots.

2 days worth of demo pots.

Everything you see above was created with darted slabs, except for the vase which utilizes leather hard slabs joined together. The pitcher spout has a squared off v-shape template, while the teapot spout template resembles a whale tale, as Margaret pointed out. The handles are created by rolling slabs up like a jelly roll, then slapping them on a work surface that is slightly moistened to flatten to the desired handle shape. Note: flatten with the seam-line up or you’ll smoosh the seam out of existence! They are surprisingly beautiful whether as a lug handle on a tray or more stretched out on a taller form. The back center bowl features the jelly roll handle as a foot ring, instead. Margaret credits Lana Wilson with showing her the jelly roll handle technique originally.

For darted slab pots all edge and lip treatments must be done on the flat slab before assembly when it’s about 1/2-way between freshly rolled out and leather hard. Be careful to rib both sides of the slab often during working them and you may wish to stretch and thin the slab prior to cutting out the template. Shape the lip before cutting out the darts or cracks will form in the corners as you manipulate it. Seams are created by overlapping the edges so thin and smooth the edges of the darts accordingly. Scoring and slipping is recommended, followed by carefully pressing the seams together until well-stuck without running your finger over the edges themselves. You can go back in with a sponge and fingernail combo to clean up the seam when it’s closer to leather hard, so don’t worry about little imperfections or you might overwork or damage the edge. Margaret typically cuts out the base after the walls are assembled by simply tracing around the base of the pot on a slab, then carefully pressing the edges up onto the wall with long, smoothing thumb strokes.

Working with a textured slab to create what Margaret calls bumpy ware.

Working with a textured slab to create what Margaret calls bumpy ware.

To create the grid pattern, Margaret carves plaster them presses freshly rolled out slabs into the texture, being careful to smooth the backside to compress it and minimize cracking. She then lays it face-down on foam to raise the areas between grid lines, and as you can see doesn’t touch areas that get cut out as darts. After darting and assembling all pieces, plus adding pulled handles for decoration and feet, rims, coils, and sprig molds, this form becomes something like this:

A bumpy ware vase from the artist's website.

A bumpy ware vase from the artist’s website.

The lattice base is usually constructed with earthenware. She also fires the vase on wasters so the feet don’t get caught on the kiln shelf as the vessel shrinks, which would warp the whole form.

My trial pots from the 1st day, re-using the same template for all 3.

My trial pots from the 1st day, re-using the same template for all 3.

I churned out three pieces between demos on the first day, from a paper template I generate with three darts instead of four. One of the darts is tied into the full length seam-line as well. Due to uneven drying rates in the clay lab, two of these cracked insanely but here they are for posterity. I like the process and for some reason I’m able to really cover some ground working with slabs. Other than the fact that porcelain is really finicky about cracking and the method creates a lot of waste I really enjoyed the process.

A bottle vase with handle. The handle dried first despite being covered with a small piece of additional plastic around the handle.

A bottle vase with handle. Despite being covered with a small piece of additional plastic around the handle, a massive crack rendered it unsalvageable.

On the second day I made an oblong rounded rectangular tray with surface texture and handles on each end. It cracked also, but I patched it and wrapped it carefully so we’ll see what happens. At least I can snap a reference photo before destruction if it fails. I also constructed a medium-sized square bowl with an added jelly roll foot ring. So far no issues with that one.

My demo pots from the third and final day.

My demo pots from the third and final day.

On the third day she demonstrated the foam texture method so I constructed this tall canister jar. I also hammered out a giant butter dish with a press mold of my own design, both textures based on a Japanese kimono textile pattern. The lid flange for the jar is on the bottom part, which according to Margaret helps keep the walls from warping since the top of the lid usually keeps that part from shifting.

Butter dish aerial view.

Butter dish aerial view.

Although I was tempted to trace Margaret’s templates, all of my pots came from paper pieces I cut myself based on her techniques. I used bisque and leather tooling stamps to create most of the textures other than those on the walls of the jar.

I added three of her gorgeous black slab-built pots to my collection.

I added three of her gorgeous black slab-built pots to my collection.

At lunch on the first day of the workshop demo participants pulled numbers and selected pots via lottery. I went more overboard than usual with this haul, but each piece spoke to me and I love the sumptuous black glaze. I can’t believe it’s not reduction! (pun intended) But yes, these are fired in oxidation. I already acquired one of her square slab-built dinner plates from AoTP last year, also.

Here's another view of the pitcher, yum!

Here’s another view of the pitcher, yum!

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and learned a ton of new techniques to bring into my home studio. Thanks, Margaret Bohls!

Harbor Artisan Market, etc.

Hey pottery fans, sorry about the long hiatus! I am officially back on the show circuit, and my next event was just added for this coming Saturday, Sept. 21st. I will be displaying primarily pottery with some jewelry for sale at the inaugural Harbor Artisan Market and Art Festival at the Harbor in Rockwall, TX. The hours extend from 10 am – 6 pm and this event is running in conjunction with a regatta. In addition to up to 50 artists there is plenty of free on-site parking, eateries, shops, a Cinemark movie theater, and a lovely view of Lake Ray Hubbard. The event will likely be bustling (they had ~3,500 attendees last year) so plan accordingly. Hope to see you there!

For more details: Events & News at The Harbor Rockwall

Also, save the date for my next established event, Nov. 1 – 3 for the Fall Sale & Show at The Craft Guild of Dallas in Addison TX. Link here: Craft Guild events and homepage

P.S. The reason my production has temporarily slowed down is to allow me to focus on building my gas-combusting kiln. Here’s a photo of the 8′ x 10′ concrete pad I will be building it on, shortly after completion!

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Next on the agenda? Pickup the remainder of the necessary firebrick from the Houston area in Oct-Nov.

Photos from The Spring Show & Sale at The Craft Guild of Dallas

Firing back up to temperature after salting.

Firing back up to temperature after salting.

A solution of roughly 6.5 lbs of salt dissolved in nearly boiling water was sprayed into the kiln in increments, primarily through the rear ports located above the burner ports shown.

Just after opening the door, before unloading.

Just after opening the door, before unloading.

Almost all of the large pieces warped and/or cracked, and the higher than usual quantity of salt combined with a better volatilization from the water solution resulted in some both gorgeous and repugnant glaze effects. Yet another mixed bag. Thanks a lot lot, porcelain! (said with both sarcasm and appreciation)

TCG table setup after the Friday night reception.

TCG table setup after the Friday night reception.

I wore a Sugarhill Boutique horse batik dress from ModCloth with a Cynthia Rowley blazer from TJ Maxx, mint tights from Anthropologie, and All Black eel/fish skin kitten heels to work the Friday night reception.

A close-up of the pots on display, minus back-stock and what's chilling in the Gallery.

A close-up of the pots on display, minus back-stock and what’s chilling in the Gallery.

I also have some things in the Gallery space at the front of the building and about 1/2 again as many pots holed up for re-stock and/or future events. I’ll be on hand again Sunday 5/5/2013 from 2-5 pm if you want to see something that’s not on display.

A close-up of some of the pots.

A close-up of some of the pots.

A final close-up featuring a dragon jewelry dish, necklaces, and assorted functional pots.

A final close-up featuring a dragon jewelry dish, necklaces, and assorted functional pots.

My work will remain on display through Sunday, so make plans to attend if you’re able! Hours tomorrow run from 10-6 and Sunday from 11-5. TTFN!

 

Upcoming Gallery Exhibition: Wine & Art Show

My work will be on display and available for sale in the Sophy Sam Gallery for the Wine and Art Show on Saturday, February 9th, 2013 from 2 – 7 PM. I am thrilled to be setting up my own work in a traditional gallery again; it brings me back to my university critique days. The pots will also be available for sale during the event, of course. My dear friend Amy Riley will be presenting her awesome linocut prints as well as numerous other local artists showing painting, jewelry, etc. Tickets may be purchased online or on site at a cost of $30 which includes wine, food, and live music with free parking on the street. I hope to see some familiar faces and make new human connections, as always.

Venue website and ticket purchases: Wine and Art Show

As for me, I’m in a making phase so the greenware pots are piling up. Work, work, work! Until next time…

The Craft Guild of Dallas Show & Sale: This Weekend!

I set up my table at the Craft Guild in Addison today. I feel pretty solid about the group of work presently in my inventory: the pots represent my current level of proficiency pretty accurately, are a pretty diverse selection of forms, and I see definite evidence of my aesthetic and symbolic evolution.

Here’s the group of work, ready for some thoughtful and discerning collectors to pass by.

The reception runs from 7-10 pm tomorrow (Friday, 5/4/12) night, 11 am-8 pm Saturday, and 11 am-5 pm Sunday. I am slated to work the Friday night reception and Sunday from 2-5, so come by during those timeframes to catch me in person. The pots will be available all weekend; those that don’t find new homes, that is. Stop in if you’re able; the Craft Guild is easier to find about 2 blocks down Montfort off of Beltline, just fyi. Look for the suite with Visit Addison in the windows from Montfort, the Craft Guild is intermingled with the visitor’s center. I would love to show you the pottery, give you the rundown on all of the other talented craftsmen and/or artists set up throughout the studios at the event, or simply talk shop about my studio practice.

Here I am with the table, tired and happy. What a big day with a few more to come.

Here’s the postcard image, front and back side, with some of the particulars.

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