Dreaming of Spring and Dallas Pottery Invitational 2013

Did I mention what a terrible blogger I am? I’m currently catching up so I can stay on top of the spring pottery events this year. Last April, as per usual, I volunteered to help run the checkout area at the Dallas Pottery Invitational. The core group of artists is always interspersed with a fresh group of invited visiting potters. For more info on this year’s invitational: Dallas Pottery Invitational.

The famous Artstream mobile gallery made it to the 2013 DPI.

The famous Artstream mobile gallery made it to the 2013 DPI.

First on the docket, we have some cheeky pots by Andrew Gilliatt. Hailing from Helena, MT and the Archie Bray Foundation, this excellent potter uses technology to his advantage. His slip-cast pots feature strong formal lines with precise glazing and often humorous repeating decals, such as in the case of the hot dog shaped unglazed areas filled with tiny dachshunds.

Some of Andrew Gilliatt's glazed and decal-encrusted ware.

Some of Andrew Gilliatt’s glazed and decal-encrusted ware.

They’re all great pieces, but I bought the horse head mug shown in the photo above. Equestriennes FTW!

More cheeky pots.

More cheeky pots. Said wiener dogs and wiener shapes appear on the large bowl in the upper right.

Next up, please enjoy the work of core group potter Lisa Orr. A self-proclaimed synaesthetic, the glazes reflect a sort of frenetic energy often accompanied by the mixup of concrete concepts and colors in her mind.

Slump molds and sprigs forms pots, enhanced with riotous glazes.

Slump molds and sprigs forms pots, enhanced with riotous glazes.

Daphne and Gary Hatcher of Pine Mills Pottery brought a boat-load of pretty pots as usual. Gary’s somehow more masculine ware favors the kind of scale and simplicity commonly associated with a male-friendly aesthetic.

Lovely work by half of the Hatcher duo.

Lovely work by half of the Hatcher duo.

I’m especially crazy about the altered vases with the large swirls, and the giant faceted bowl.

A detail of some round-bellied vases.

A detail of some round-bellied vases.

Daphne Hatcher utilizes more complex glazing techniques and different ornamental forms. Her technique of wax-resist glazing copper red on top of a black base was one of my favorite go-to glaze applications in my college days.

The floral motif pieces exhibit the afore mentioned copper red/shiny black glaze technique.

The floral motif pieces exhibit the afore mentioned copper red/shiny black glaze technique.

The pattern variations always attract me to her lively pots. Those quiet little round boxes may still be my favorite form in her repertoire.

A colony of adorable boxes among plates and platters.

A colony of adorable boxes among plates and platters.

For the wood-firing set I’m pleased to present the work of Liz Lurie. Between sumptuous dark clay bodies, slips, flashy shinos, and earthy forms she finds a magic combination of elements.

My erstwhile pottery professor's lovely wife makes incredible wood-fired ware.

My erstwhile pottery professor’s lovely wife makes incredible wood-fired ware.

Employing frogs to secure flowers upright, the baskets always attract my gaze. The bowl with large ear-shaped lugs has a gorgeous form and great visual lift.

Another view of Liz Lurie's ware.

Another view of Liz Lurie’s ware.

Once a Dallas area potter, now Amy Halko calls California home. Utilizing porcelain with inlaid slip and glaze decoration, her cone 6 pots exhibit a strong aesthetic vision. During her time as an adjunct and special student at SMU I grew familiar with her work and have several iterations of her ever-changing work in my collection.

An overview of the back portion of Halko’s pots.

Invitee Doug Peltzman followed up a demo session at the Utilitarian Clay Symposium by hauling a load of his incredible porcelain pots to Dallas. His slow and meticulous process made me feel a little less crestfallen about the drudgery of decorating ware in my own studio. Runny glazes designed to catch on the periodic horizontal ridges punctuated by inlaid black line drawings cover his thin-walled vessels.

Meticulous decorations adorn Doug Peltzman's exacting forms.

Meticulous decorations adorn Doug Peltzman’s exacting forms.

I buckled and brought a large jar home from his available assortment of pots. It now houses candy and cookies in a place of honor on my dinner table.

Following a totally different aesthetic path, Hiroe Hanazono adores simple forms, muted glaze hues, and such mundane objects as cafeteria trays for their compartmentalized function.

Soft colored porcelain vessels on Hiroe's table.

Soft colored porcelain vessels on Hiroe’s table.

Nesting smaller vessels in specifically designed indentions is such an ingenious solution.

Salt cellars with porcelain spoons.

Salt cellars with porcelain spoons.

Between thrown forms and hand-built ware small drawings appear on David Eichelberger‘s impressive pots. We celebrated his birthday here in Dallas during the invitational, hopefully staving off the homesickness for his lovely family somewhat.

Assortment of white pots.

Assortment of white pots.

The irregular lobed mugs have the sort of intimate size that keeps them flying off the table. Although I’m perpetually drawn to black pieces so I coveted the following vessels with their delicate hint of color punctuating the differing black surface textures.

Some of the black ware I loved so much.

Some of the black ware I loved so much.

Another recent participant at the UC Symposium, I was happy to see Kip O’Krongly and her concept-rich earthenware vessels. I couldn’t help but snag a bicycle dinner plate and ostrich bowl.

Re-visiting the awesome work of Kip O'Krongly.

Re-visiting the awesome work of Kip O’Krongly.

The carved yellow bird salt and pepper shakers are probably the most labor-intensive of her pieces.

An angry bird salt or pepper shaker.

An angry bird salt or pepper shaker.

Driven by the sometimes questionable relationship between large-scale agriculture and nature the pieces exhibit a precarious blend of hope for the future through returning to simpler lifestyles and resistance to such practices as using birds to detect poisonous gases, crop-dusting, and GMO foods.

A vignette of plates and cups.

A vignette of plates and cups.

The DPI always confronts me with an exciting new assortment of work so I can hardly wait for April to get here already! Stay tuned for my next installment, a recap of the Art of the Pot studio tour from last May.

Another spring treasure I'm waiting patiently for, local dewberries in a home-made cobbler. Cup by Liz Smith, plate by me.

Another spring treasure I’m waiting patiently for, local dewberries picked by my family in a home-made cobbler. Cup by Liz Smith and a small wood-fired plate from my college days.


Utilitarian Clay Recap: Part 1

I flew back into DFW last Sunday from the Utilitarian Clay symposium at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, TN. Held at 4 year intervals, this event marks a major event in the vessel-oriented clay community. My past professor Peter Beasecker and Bill Griffith spearheaded the event and coordinate it to this day. Between rotating morning and afternoon artist demonstrations by invited presenters, 6 independent exhibitions, numerous engaging attendees, tasty meals, and meaningful discussion I managed to snap a woefully inadequate amount of photos. I can’t begin to verbalize the excitement, influence, and significance of the experience; I recommend it highly. This was my 2nd go-around, since I attended in 2008 as well.

I don’t necessarily feel like I need to explain why I like these pieces, but I will touch on a few key highlights. The images and forms have a solid relationship, beautiful craftsmanship, and appear cohesive, all of which demonstrate the merit of this work. Kip O’Krongly was one of the symposium presenters, a wonderful choice for a last-minute addition.

Angry canary salt and pepper set.

These bad boys get carved by hand, an hours-long process. The result captures the morose expression of the canary left to die in the mines, a manifestation of the artist’s exploration of agricultural, livestock, and food-production based methods.

Part of Molly Hatch’s presented work.

Stellar design and classic U.S. pottery forms are a sort of trademark for Molly Hatch, who has also been brought on by Anthropologie to do design work. I wholeheartedly support the sheer awesome-ness of this development, but doubt I’ll ever be graced by such a situation, plus I’m still considering how I might react. At any rate I enjoy these pots quite a lot.

Shoko Teruyama platter, aerial view.

Although Shoko Teruyama could not attend as a presenter, some incredible pots remained on display during the symposium. The elaborate and strange images covering the pots demand some extended perusal, which I engaged in. Drawing on pots definitely falls into a category near and dear to my heart.

Some more elegant Teruyama pieces.

The faintly Egyptian qualities of the oblong vessel in the above right photo and the canopic-style jar on her home page have a sort of childhood-delight appeal for me. As a little bitty girl, my favorite version of Cinderella in picture-book format was The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Ruth Heller, based on an early recorded version of the story about a girl named Rhodopis. I admit to still being somewhat mesmerized by the graphic stylization of Egyptian art, which probably has a lot to do with my love of drawing in a frieze-like style to this day.

A massive flower brick.

A rainbow of gorgeous bowls by Monica Ripley.

Elegance and simplicity with gloriously textured loose slip decoration adorn many of presenter Monica Ripley’s pots. These bowls don’t boast that particular element, but the range of sexy hues inside of the vessels begged to be documented. I admit to already owning quite of few of Monica’s pots, and her salad plate is usually the one I reach for in the cabinet first.


A duet installation by Gwendolyn Yoppolo.

To emphasize the connectivity of the bi-lobed two person tea cup set, presenter Gwendolyn Yoppolo knitted all of the yarn elements. Experiencing the piece with James Connell had a delightful quality while at the same time causing me to confront a sort of discomfort with the intimacy of the piece. Interesting stuff. I already really love the crystalline glazes and silky smooth clay body in her mostly-handbuilt pots, too.

Sunshine Cobb jars.

Sunshine Cobb demonstrated her spontaneous yet sophisticated process, with some candy-coated finished pieces on display a stone’s throw from the studio door. Again a set of different and wholly superior work, with lovely little breaks in the slip exposing red clay and a glorious line of glaze halo.

That’s all for the first installment. I did still take a bunch of photos, so watch for continuing editions of the symposium recap.