Utilitarian Clay Symposium Recap: The Conclusion

I am just going to present the remainder of my photos from the Symposium for your viewing pleasure. Most of these were taken in the Past Presenters exhibition, with a few final-day studio photos. Next on the agenda I’ll post about my experience at the Forrest Lesch-Middelton demo in Plano, TX last weekend. But for now, please enjoy the following photos!

A teapot by Mark Shapiro and an Aysha Peltz jar. I am the proud owner of this jar, which I don’t expect in the mail until mid-November.

A place setting by William Broullard. I found the design of this set particularly beautiful.

Check out this gorgeous Suze Lindsey candelabra.

Free-form pots come so easily to Nick Joerling, or so it seems. This incredible ceramic object was easily 2-3′ in length.

Two pitchers with totally unique surface treatments. Cynthia Bringle (if memory serves) incised her buff surface while Sarah Jaeger employed color and pattern.

One of Ellen Shankin’s glorious teapots.

Another acquisition for my budding collection, a Diane Rosenmiller berry bowl.

An elaborate, highly decorated jar by Michael Corney.

Atmospheric fired Bernadette Curran cup with a sake set by Ayumi Horie, incised through white slip to create drawings.

The Peter Beasecker heavy slab plate comes from a line of work called “string series.” I studied under Peter in college at SMU. I definitely like the adjacent nested vessels, but I can’t recall the artist and my margin cut off the label. ¬†:/

Lorna Meaden watering pot with a large Linda Sikora jar in the background.

A. Blair Clemo plaster molds for pressing sprigs from which to handbuild vessels.

Some leather hard partial and complete demo pots on Blair Clemo’s table.

Leather hard Shawn Spangler pouring pot.

Greenware assortment of cups by Shawn Spangler.

Monica Ripley, about to demo her method of slip manipulation for her cut-rim plates.

A tureen body form by Blair Clemo, probably sprinkled with corn starch to inhibit sticking between lid and flange.

At the Saturday night party, my good friend and fellow SMU alum Brooks and I had to get a photo to commemorate the occasion. I found this silk dress at Buffalo Exchange, and as soon as I saw the blue and white Chinese pottery print I knew it would look perfect for the event. I had a fabulous time at the Symposium, and my studio work is still reeling from a fresh and much more ambitious approach.

Salt Fired Pots in September

I got my most recent batch pushed through a cone 10 reduction salt firing at the Guild. It’s primarily more ambitious pieces and prototypes, but the nice high temperature at shut-off and good quantity of salting gave me pretty successful results overall. I think the Some Bright Green did a bit too much running, but otherwise warping and cracking didn’t plague the pots. This is an ideal situation considering I use grolleg porcelain which tends to take any opportunity to warp and/or crack.

A successful teapot, with a well-fitting lid fresh from the kiln.

The colors and textures evident in the glazes are a bit different than the palette I am accustomed to. A few re-fired bowls got some unbelievable color and crystal variation, for example. The halo and richness of hue in the teapot shown above represent the overall results well. I am happy with the blue slip decoration, both inlaid and trailed, including the few pots with sufficient glaze fluxing to make the slip bleed and run.

Part of the newest batch.

The next event I know of that I’m bringing pots to will be the Fall Sale & Show at the Craft Guild of Dallas, which arrives in early November. I plan to get some more pieces completed by then. The finished pots in my studio are beginning to overflow, however, so we’ll see.

I’m Still Here…

Albeit not posting much lately, I am progressing in the studio. I am just wrapping up the making stage for a 2/3 electric kiln load or so along with two trophy bowl re-makes. I poured more labor than usual into some especially complex forms and several decorative processes including sprig molds, slip trailing, and inlaid slip. I’m currently drying a batch of zoomorphic ewers, new and improved teapots, butter dish prototypes, fully decked out gestural vases, etc. These newest pieces reflect a measure of an increasingly ornamental, palace-ware aesthetic. Here’s a teaser photo of some dry greenware pots.

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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¬†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!

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.

Teapots: Bane of Sanity, to a Degree

From the time of my sophomore year in college, I have heard about the complexity and difficulty inherent in executing a successful teapot. “Phaw,” I scoffed, “the parts aren’t so hard to throw, and I’m good at centering. No biggie.” Right? I was so wrong.

Problem 1: Numerous assembled parts can become heavy. Tons-of-bricks-teapot + tea = unpleasant to lift.

Problem 2: Visual continuity of separately conceived parts (body, lid, spout, handle) is a difficult aesthetic process.

Problem 3: Warping of the body due to spout and handle pulling on the body during firing, trapping the lid forever.

Problems 4, 5: Glaze sealing the holes allowing fluid passage into the spout or glaze sealing the lid in place.

Problem 6: Successful glaze outcome. I have been progressing in this area concurrently.

And etc. I have been puttering on making teapots properly since I began the thrown pottery life, about 7 years now. I’m certainly not the best potter ever, so this duration may seem excessive, but I refused to put a teapot out there that did not satisfy my checklist for what I consider to be a successful teapot execution:

Proper overall weight, thin walls, good aesthetic relationship of all assembled/trimmed parts, nice pouring arc from spout, clean pouring cutoff, snug lid fit, and nice glaze job.

White stoneware teapot salt fired to cone 10, glazed with Ryan's Green-black. All parts thrown on the wheel except for the pulled handle.

 

I accidentally met all of these criteria while making a teapot for fun from a spare bag of white stoneware. It’s not absolutely perfect, and there are improvements to be made in future teapots, but this is a good prototype to lead the way.

 

Here's the other side of the same piece. Salt firing causes a lovely directional variation, and this glaze is quite responsive.