Art of the Pot Studio Tour 2013, Part 1

The always awesome Art of the Pot in Austin, TX is coming up this Mother’s Day weekend in May 2014. Leading up to the next studio tour I have a whole slew of photos from last year’s event, so I’m going to split them up into two installments.

Ryan McKerley pots.

Ryan McKerley pots.

We usually start at Ryan McKerley‘s studio. He’s such an awesome potter and a wonderful person to boot. I have fired my pots in his kiln a few times, which definitely numbers among the highlights in terms of my experiences in the pottery community.

One Ryan's large jars with the trademark Pac Man knob.

One Ryan’s large jars with the trademark Pac Man knob.

Soda firing is my favorite firing method and Ryan’s surfaces are akin to what I strive for in my own work.

Flower brick by Joan Bruneau.

Flower brick by Joan Bruneau.

A few invited artists share each host studio. Joan Bruneau of Novia Scotia presented her gorgeous terra cotta pots alongside Ryan McKerley, Chris Campbell, and Bryan Hopkins.

Lovely plates by Joan Bruneau.

Lovely plates by Joan Bruneau.

The brilliant glaze colors coupled with the rich red clay body makes for a highly covetable pot.


Chris Campbell pots.

Ryan McKerley shares his studio with fellow host Chris Campbell, who wood fires his dark stoneware clay pots.

Porcelain ware by Bryan Hopkins.

Porcelain ware by Bryan Hopkins.

Thin, translucent porcelain abounds in Bryan Hopkins‘ work, often textured with carving and mundane objects like wood planks or diamond-patterned steel sheets.

Saying farewell to the mural on Ryan's studio exterior for another year.

Saying farewell to the mural on Ryan’s studio exterior for another year.

Onto the next studio!

A different studio happening concurrently in the building housing Keith Kreeger's studio.

A different studio tour happening concurrently in the building housing Keith Kreeger’s studio.

Photographers, painters, and other 3-D artists presented work in the other studios adjacent to the next AotP host potter.

The entrance to Keith's studio.

The entrance to Keith’s studio.

An array of pots from all of the presenting artists within decorate the table.

Keith Kreeger pots.

Keith Kreeger pots.

Host artist Keith Kreeger produces minimal, sometimes softly colored, functional pottery.

Some of the more colorful Kreeger pots.

Some of the more colorful Kreeger pots.

There’s always something new in Keith’s array of pots, so I look forward to seeing the latest and greatest each time I enter his studio.


Another assortment of pots from the potters in Keith’s studio.

I love to see different work shown alongside each other, the variety makes for a strong and visually appealing presentation. Decal encrusted pots by invited artist Dan Anderson appear at top left and bottom right.

Courtney Murphy pots.

Courtney Murphy pots.

I loved the clean forms augmented with brightly colored surfaces from invited potter Courtney Murphy.

Especially this cream and sugar set!

Especially this cream and sugar set!

The arched line of raw clay on the sugar jar made me swoon. Two more studios to come, stay tuned for photos!


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 galleries┬ápresented 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!