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.

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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.

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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!

11 Fresh Etsy Shop Listings!

I’m gearing up for all those Christmas shoppers who want to support independent craftsmen and shop handmade! In the interest of making as many options available as possible I’m going to be listing most of my inventory over the next few weeks. Check out what’s already up on Alazan Ceramics on Etsy¬†and I’ll let you know as I add more.

Here’s a teaser photo of my pottery display from the most recent Fall Sale & Show.

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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.

NCECA Conference 2013: Finale

Spring always keeps me busier than I expect, so in the interest in covering a lot of ground here’s the remainder of my photos from the most recent NCECA conference in Houston, TX. Almost all of them hail from the Santa Fe Clay La Mesa show, except for the last photo from a demonstration.

Bonnie Seeman cup and saucer.

Bonnie Seeman cup and saucer.

A gorgeous place setting by the popular potter Molly Hatch.

A gorgeous place setting by the popular potter Molly Hatch.

Bird plates by Donna Polseno.

Bird plates by Donna Polseno.

Lisa Clague sculptural cup.

Lisa Clague expressive sculptural cup.

Leanne McClurg handbuilt dishes.

Leanne McClurg handbuilt dishes.

 

Sculptural bird cup, also by Ms. McClurg.

Sculptural bird cup, also by Ms. McClurg.

 

Liz Quackenbush cobalt and gold luster plate.

Liz Quackenbush cobalt and gold luster plate.

 

Matt Hyleck simply patterned place setting.

Matt Hyleck simply patterned place setting.

Sam Chung slipcast dishes with artfully aligned rim coloration.

Sam Chung slipcast dishes with artfully aligned rim coloration.

 

Peter Beasecker porcelain string series plates.

Peter Beasecker porcelain string series plates.

 

Gwendolyn Yoppolo 2-person serving set with microcrystalline glazes.

Gwendolyn Yoppolo 2-person serving set with microcrystalline glazes.

 

Sunshine Cobb handbuilt earthenware basket with sandblasted glaze.

Sunshine Cobb handbuilt earthenware basket with sandblasted glaze.

 

David Crane beautifully glazed nested square plates.

David Crane beautifully glazed nested square plates.

 

Kristen Kieffer stamped and patterned place setting.

Kristen Kieffer stamped and patterned place setting.

 

Myungjin Kim place setting with beautiful black sgraffito drawings.

Myungjin Kim place setting with beautiful black sgraffito drawings.

 

Brenda Lichman large soda fired serving bowl.

Brenda Lichman large soda fired serving bowl.

 

Steven Godfrey bird-topped salt cellar jar.

Steven Godfrey bird-topped salt cellar jar.

 

Jake Allee cut and reassembled vase from a live demo.

Jake Allee cut and reassembled vase from a live demo.

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!

 

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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Trophy Completion Report

Well, the results came in on Tuesday, when James cracked the kiln to unload. They turned out just like I planned, for the most part. I did have 2 that touched another kiln shelf as they shrank in the gas firing, and 2 with cracking problems. I should be able to dremel, re-touch with glaze, and re-fire the 2 with touched rims, hope not to have to re-make those. Regarding the cracked pieces, 1 has a minor compression crack in the rim, the other has an impressive crack along the foot ring and outside wall curvature. That ship would sink, so to speak. I ought to re-make both, so I probably will. The re-makes will slow down my completion date, but that won’t cause any problems because they’re not due until September. They’re a time hog to decorate, though.

Ohata kaki glaze and tripod porcelain foot ring.

I wax resisted the rim and entire foot ring before applying glaze, to keep visual unity in the bowls from top to bottom. I am thoroughly happy with the glaze results, as both were reliable from piece to piece. Even the damaged bowls had flawless results.

A view to highlight the precisely flared rim.

The bowl interior features the logo of both regional Peruvian Paso horse clubs who host a regional Texas-based Peruvian Paso horse show. I carved sprig molds of all the capital letters and the relief Peruvian Paso horse in motion, then slip-trailed the rest. Helpful tip: make sure you carve all sprig molds in reverse, so they read the correct direction once you lift them out of the mold and flip them over. Of course, the current year and show title adorn the flared rim of each trophy bowl. I look forward to seeing how the successful recipients react to their prizes this fall.

Art of the Pot studio tour, part 4 (The End)

The final studio on the tour resides in the hilly neighborhoods off of 2244 Bee Caves. Claudia Reese opened up her studio to display her own pots with the work of Lauren Smith, Naomi Cleary, and Meredith Host. Aaron and I munched on m&m’s with red wine from the snack table near the entrance, perusing the last group of talented potters’ art for the day.

Claudia Reese pots.

Always patterned beautifully, Ms. Reese’s current work did not disappoint. The square vessel has extremely nice visual texture, I think.

A good variety of sizes from Claudia Reese.

Meredith Host’s pots had a similar feel to Claudia’s in terms of decoration, although I feel like Meredith presented more refinement of form where Claudia’s seem earthier.

Meredith Host’s patterned pottery.

Meredith Host works in an attractive color palette. The stippled floral designs blend well with the solid or banded patterns. The decoration style also puts me in mind of Kristin Kieffer, the queen of pattern-building through stamping.

A close-up of two Meredith Host vases & a plate.

The Japanese textile sensibility evident in the floral images definitely attracts me. The crisp edges and surfaces of the pots imply a certain practical use-ability and present an immaculate canvas for the decoration.

Naomi Cleary dishware.

Naomi Cleary mixes tight and loose pattern with slip texture, running glazes, and bold shiny color. I found the division of space in the individual pot’s imagery well-executed. The simply decorated yellow and red plate was a favorite of mine, in fact.

A table full of Naomi Cleary pots.

What can I say? Here are some more great pots. The simplicity of the drawings put me in mind of Paul Klee paintings.

Part of Lauren Smith’s display.

Lauren Smith’s work was high on the list of pots I wanted to be more familiar with. I met Lauren once before in Dallas last year, sans pots unfortunately, but I enjoyed recalling our brief introduction and catching up a bit while looking over her display. I was impressed by the color and texture choices, the pillowy forms, and the feminine yet solid details. Something pleasing and viscerally charming starts happening when I handle her pots.

The final AotP studio tour 2012 photo, of Lauren Smith’s work.

I picked a medium sized batter bowl, which will perfectly accommodate my usual quantity of muffin batter or cookie dough. I looked longingly at the large jar photographed above, and the pitcher shown partially at the right margin. All in all, a great group of work to end the day on. Aaron and I set out to return to Dallas for a graduation party, before returning home in the wee hours for some well-deserved sleep. I’ve visited Austin for the Art of the Pot studio tour for several years now, and I’ll do it all over again next Mother’s Day weekend, too. I highly recommend a visit to the Texas capitol to see the killer pottery to any and all, for next year/beyond.

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!

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