Untitled - Ceramic Arts Daily
September 1996
Ruth C. Butler................................................................................. Editor
KimNagorski................................................................... Assistant Editor
Tess Galvin...................................................................... Assistant Editor
Lisa Politz.................................................................... Editorial Assistant
Randy Wax............................................................................. Art Director
Mary R. Hopldns...................................................Circulation Manager
Mary E. May...........................................Assistant Circulation Manager
Connie Belcher......................................................... Advertising Manager
Spencer L. Davis................................................. Publishing Consultant
Mark Mecklenborg................................................................... Publisher
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Ceramics Monthly (ISSN 0009-0328) is published monthly, except July and
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Copyright © 1996
The American Ceramic Society
All rights reserved
September 1996
Feature Articles
Martin Hearne....................................................................................... 37
Independent Makers ............................................................................ 40
Marsha McCarthy
Drawings on Clay by Jocelyn Frechette .............................................................. 43
Barry Bostwick: Student Potter by Glenn Daly........................................... 46
Reproduction of a Goddess
Marsha McCarthy Connecticut artist
A Study of Late Bronze Age Ceramics by Ted Saupe........................................... 50
Marsha McCarthy frames each handbuilt
tile or vessel with an incised phrase, saying
Michael Jenson by Thomas Harding .............................................................. 53
or poetry, then covers the remaining surface
Cathy Kiffney ........................................................................................ 58
with complex drawings; see page 43.
Bridging Reality by David Wible................................................................. 59
Avoiding Common Problems A little
Invisible Gesture by Paul Rozman................................................................ 61
knowledge can go a long way in preventing
tt, Influence and Culture by Marvin Sweet ............................................... 65
problems; turn to page 106 for 16 tips on
materials, forming processes and firing.
CCAD’s Mural Wa by Kaname Takada ......................................................... 67
Ceramics Kentucky ............................................................................... 71
Anthropomorphic Attitudes by Marilyn Stiles.............................................. 73
Nordic Ode
New Works by Les Manning by Allan J. Koester................................................. 77
Using Soluble Colorants at Stoneware Temperatures by Kurt Wild.......... 79
Avoiding Common Problems by JeffZamek.............................................. 106
Up Front
Barry Bostwick: Student Potter For the
past 6 years, actor Barry Bostwick has com­
mitted 25 hours a week to studying and
producing pottery. While Hollywood pro­
vides him a living, pottery attracts him on
many levels, including the fact that he
maintains control over his creative efforts—
in acting, his “best moment” could end up
on a cutting-room floor; turn to page 46.
The cover Montana potter Michael Jenson
decorating functional ware; four years ago,
he decided to expand his business by open­
ing his own gallery, viewing it as a chance to
“ensure my family’s future as well as allow
me to continue working in clay”; see page
53. Photo: Michael Hartung
September 1996
NEA’s American Canvas........................ 14
Wood-Fired Pottery Invitational .. 14
New Visions in Clay................................. 16
Nancy Selvin ............................................. 16
Potters’ Directories................................... 16
Robin Johnson ......................................... 16
Naomi Lindenfeld ................................... 16
Soup ’N Bowl by Tasha Olive ................... 18
Yiannes ...................................................... 18
Wood Firing from a
Student’s Perspective
by Diane A. Hartman ............................. 18
Eric Nelsen by Peter Held ......................... 22
Pennsylvania Clay and
the California Fire .............................. 24
Ceramics in San Diego ........................... 24
Dorothy Dunitz ....................................... 24
Letters ......................................................... 8
Video ........................................................... 26
New Books ................................................ 28
Call for Entries
International Exhibitions ....................... 83
United States Exhibitions ........................83
Regional Exhibitions .............................. 83
Fairs, Festivals and Sales ........................ 84
Suggestions ................................................ 88
Conferences ............................................. 90
Solo Exhibitions ..................................... 90
Group Ceramics Exhibitions ................. 92
Ceramics in Multimedia Exhibitions .... 94
Fairs, Festivals and Sales ........................ 96
Workshops ............................................... 96
International Events ............................ 100
Questions ................................................. 108
Classified Advertising ............................ 114
The Art of Critique
by Rick Malmgren ................................. 116
Index to Advertisers .............................. 120
Refusing to Give Up
I just finished reading Sara Baker’s article
in the May 1996 issue and had to respond.
Thanks, Sara! I believe I enjoyed your
article so much because it all sounds so famil­
iar. It is a pleasure to hear words of encour­
agement from another potter who has
decided not to give up and has found that it
is slowly, but surely, working out.
This spring I was at the “bookstore job”
phase, but decided not to, and am now
taking the steps to get into one of the na­
tional wholesale shows.
Without a doubt, the people around you
who believe in you are your most valuable
asset: family, spouse and fellow craftspeople.
And the fine points of display and marketing
are always worth the time and effort, and not
necessarily less creative than the work you
love to make.
But refusing to give up through the tough
times is what it ultimately takes to be profes­
sional. I’m glad you didn’t give up, Sara, and
thanks for telling me I shouldn’t, either.
Mark Rossier, Boulder, Colo.
Paid His Dues
It is possible to achieve goals in life. Many
times starting on the bottom is the only way
to make it to the top. Unfortunately, I have
experienced rock bottom more than I want
to remember. This is why I built my own art
studio and house. To work for myself is
something I have wanted to do since earning
a B.F.A. in 1983. For the past 12 years, I had
to eat crow in the American corporate world.
I’ve paid my dues and now it’s time to get
serious in ceramics.
CM has encouraged me to go forward.
David Bradley, Hearne, Tex.
Wish List
Thanks for publishing such an informa­
tive and entertaining magazine. It’s one of
the few publications that I read everything
from front to back—I even read all the new
advertisements—and I would like to give
some feedback.
I realize that color pages cost a little more
in printing; however, it’s very difficult to tell
what color a glaze is when it is published in
black and white. The black-and-white photos
do work really well showing different proce­
dures and it really helps to reveal what the
artists’ studios in the background look like.
Share your thoughts with other readers. All letters
must be signed, but names will be withheld on
request. Mail to The Editor, Ceramics Monthly,
Post Office Box 6102, Westerville, Ohio 430866102; fax to (614) 891-8960; or e-mail
[email protected] org
I also really enjoy the articles about build­
ing your own equipment, even though they
are few and far between. I would like to see
more, please. Maybe such articles could be
about extruders, wheels, wedging tables, slab
rollers, spray booths, assorted hand tools, etc.
Last, but not least, it would be nice to
have an e-mail address for CM.
Jim Stamper, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
E-mail messages may now be directed to the
following addresses:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Please note, CM also has a new postal
address, and telephone and fax numbers. An­
nouncements, submissions, subscription orders,
etc., should be addressed to Ceramics Monthly,
Post Office Box 6102, Westerville, Ohio
43086-6102. Telephone (614) 523-1660; or
fax (614) 891-8960.—Ed
Ferguson Kudos
Regarding “Ken Ferguson’s Legacy” in
the JunelJulylAugust 1996 issue:
I was a 23-year-old struggling potter who
had just been rejected by every graduate
program that I had applied to. I needed
guidance. I didn’t know how to improve my
pots. I got lucky and found my way to Ken
Ferguson’s classroom. He demanded his
students be in the studio at 8:00 in the morn­
ing. Gosh, did we work! The energy and
enthusiasm Ken shared were overwhelming.
His passion for life and teaching contin­
ues to influence me to this day.
Chris Staley, State College, Pa.
Exciting Smoke Results
Thanks so much for the article in the
April 1996 issue by Jane Perryman regarding
her work and the smoke-firing process.
I was always intrigued by smoke firing
and the use of primitive techniques and
methods, especially those of the preColumbian period. My past experience with
smoke firings, however, always involved a
firing lasting over several days.
With the article as a guide, I fired some
pieces in sawdust, newspaper, kindling and a
little dried seaweed, using the slip and mask­
ing tape decorative techniques. I fired one
piece over an 8-hour period, and the other
over a 4-hour period in a Smokey Joe Weber
barbecue grill with the lid on. I toyed with
both the bottom and top vents to control the
smoke during the process. The results were
quite satisfying and exciting to me, especially
the decorative patterns that the masking tape
and slip had left on the pieces.
Please keep encouraging artists to share
not only their work, but their techniques and
Lisa Westheimer, New York City
Telling It Like It Is
In response to “A Potter’s Statement” in
the June/July!August issue Letters
section....Go, Billy Bob. You’re a national
treasure in my book! Thanks for a good
chuckle and telling it like it is.
Dale Lomas, Rowley, Mass.
Another Potter’s Statement
Yeeh Haw! Billy Bob!
Vesta Romine, Ligonier, Ind.
Uplifting and Informative
More “How-To”
Regarding the JunelJulylAugust 1996
issue: The article on Ken Ferguson was espe­
cially uplifting for me.
Most of all, the Suggestions seemed to be
much longer than usual. I found myself
saying over and over again, “how clever” or
“good show.”
Sharing and communication—isn’t that
what we all strive for?
Connie McCarty, Eaton, Ohio
I have been receiving this fine magazine
for two years and am enjoying it thor­
oughly—some months more than others, a
phenomenon I am sure I share with many.
I particularly enjoyed and learned from
the article “A Raku How-To: Gloss Crackle
Glazing” by John Ramer Sherrill that ap­
peared in CM’s May 1996 issue. Couldn’t
we, pretty please, have more “how-to” ar­
Also, thanks for having put me on to the
workshop I attended this summer with Pietro
Maddelena in Certaldo, Italy.
Irene Martinelli, Netherlands Antilles
Radon Relief
After reading Lynn Hugo’s letter in the
April ’96 CM, I had my basement tested for
radon and was shocked at the 15.5 rating.
Although I wear a mask while mixing glazes
and sweeping, the dust is always there. Now
I’m receiving estimates to have my house
mitigated and I anticipate it will cost quite a
bit. But the money will be well spent because
my health will be preserved (I’m getting a full
physical) and I’ll be able to continue to work
with clay. I’d like to thank Lynn for sharing
her situation so that others could be alerted,
and I wish her a full recovery.
Althea Vail, Blackwood, N.J.
Translation Dilution
I was intrigued by the letter from Bob
Neher, Walla Walla, Washington (April ’96),
regarding press production. If it brings in an
income, it’s as legitimate as throwing 2000
stoppers or 300 planters a day. Perhaps the
point should be made that processes that lead
to multiple, then mass production, are at the
far end of that creative spectrum of artist,
designer, craftsperson and manufacturer. It is
important to understand that in translation
from original concept to the myriad items
that accumulate on shop shelves, there is a
dilution that takes the concept from being an
audacious prototype to becoming a mun­
dane, even banal product.
Perhaps Bob Neher would provide clarifi­
cation of the “usual 12 steps required to
finish high-quality pottery.” Industrially, and
I speak from experience of making precision
grinding gear wheels, sintering magnets for
computer memories and supervising the
inspection of nuclear reactor shielding, qual­
ity seems to be defined as the absence of
defects, flaws and blemishes on one hand and
conformity to industrially agreed standards
established by international convention on
the other, moderated by industrial and craft
conventions and conformity to the param­
eters, limits and tolerances given by the
original designer.
Ivor Lewis, Redhill, South Australia
A New Perspective
I really enjoy reading Ceramics Monthly
each month (it is my partner’s copy that I
read) and I always look forward to the next
issue. I have been quite amused reading the
differing points of view in the Letters column
concerning “what is” and “what is not” art,
or whether a piece of work should or should
not be judged, etc. I would like to say that I
have recently stumbled upon a very interest­
ing book that addresses this very same topic. I
say “interesting” because it is written by a
potter. The book is Earthbridge Crossing: A
Sunny Approach to Philosophy, Quantum
Physics, Spiritual Awareness and the Evolution
of Human Consciousness: A Mythological
Fantasy Tale, by Sydne Heather Schinkel.
In Chapter 10, and again in Chapter 14,
the author humorously portrays exactly the
type of situation I have been following within
the pages of Ceramics Monthly. (There is also
an interesting description of throwing on
pages 47 and 48.) The story is fun to read
and contains many references to art, and
some very interesting conversations by the
book’s characters, which may help to shed
some light on what all these disagreements
have been about. I found it very enlightening,
as it gave me a new perspective about art, and
why there are so many disagreements and
differing points of view.
I found this book in the Phoenix Library,
but my librarian told me you can order it
through the interlibrary loan department of
any library. It is worth reading, even if only
to clear up this issue once and for all.
Cathy Long, Phoenix
Traces of Spirit
Where does master end and pupil begin?
Does he that taught me remain to teach those
I teach? Like fingerprints, to everything we
touch clings traces of our energy. After we
part, how much of our spirit, also, remains?
Recently, a profound event forced me to
In a ceramics class of 35 eighth-grade
students nearing pandemonium, I heard
Kerry call, “Miss Kresge.” She was perched at
an electric wheel. “I want to throw on the
Earthenware zipped past my ear, sticking
to the wall.
“Oh, Kerry, I can’t oversee your progress
now. How about after school today?”
I mended a crack for another student as
Kerry responded. “No, I want to make a
bowl right now. You don’t have to stand
“Kerry, if you don’t mind working with­
out me, center and open it first. I’ll be back
when you’re ready to pull.”
Circling the room, I guided students’
handbuilt projects and tried to catch the
culprits who were flinging clay.
“Miss Kresge, what do I do now?” cried
I’d forgotten her. Regretfully, I glanced
across the room. She had already thrown a
nice 5-inch bowl. Despite protests from
others waiting for help, I walked over to
show her how to trim the bottom.
A class tool proved too short to follow the
September 1996
graceful lines of her pot, so I did something I
never do in class where utensils are often
abused: I grabbed one of mine.
“Kerry, this tool is treasured. It belonged
to my professor, Dr. Donald MacKenzie, at
the College of Wooster. When he died, his
wife gave it to me. Please bring it back to me
when you’re done.” Wishing I had time to
coach her, I demonstrated trimming, then
rushed away to direct clean-up, table by table,
before the period ended.
“Look, Miss Kresge.”
I swung around. There, before Kerry, sat
a great bowl, trimmed better than most
“Class,” I announced, “I’ve been guilty of
ignoring her most of the period. It turns out
Kerry didn’t need me after all. Look at that
pot! Look at that perfect trim she did all by
Without hesitation, Kerry replied, “Oh,
Miss Kresge, I didn’t do it alone. Your
teacher was standing right beside me.”
Dr. Mac taught me clay. Dr. Mac encour­
aged me to discover my heart. Apparently, he
still is.
Karen Kresge, Rockville, Md.
Great Covers
Great cover photos of artists in their
studios! I learn more from seeing how other
ceramics artists arrange their studios than
reading the articles.
Lynn Wilkes Armstrong, Dallas
Tapping In
In response to Kevin Hluch’s JunelJulyl
August letter:
The taproot is in our heart.
A. Goldberg, W. Charleston, Vt.
Fanning the Flames
Thanks for continuing to publish contro­
versial ideas. Inflammatory pieces do ignite
feelings—the foundation on which art is
made possible. Agree or disagree, hate it or
love it, the flames are fanned.
Kelli Hayde, Newport Beach, Calif.
Alexandrov Kudos
Thanlcs for featuring an artist such as
Simona Alexandrov (cover article, May
1996). I am a student at Cera Mix in
Waltham, Massachusetts, where she teaches.
After five years experience with another local
studio that offered classes in addition to
focusing on glazing technique, variation and
function—contempo-baroque majolica is a
breath of fresh air.
Simona Alexandrov reaches for perfection
in every element of each piece, teaching
students to explore areas that often are ig-
Please turn to page 110
Up Front
NEA’s American Canvas
With the dwindling of federal financial support, the National
Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is currently looking for ways in
which communities can procure funding for local art programs.
The privately funded American Canvas survey marks the start
of this search.
The project was launched in Columbus, Ohio, last summer;
subsequent meetings took place in Los Angeles; Salt Lake City;
and Rock Hill, South Carolina/Charlotte, North Carolina. In
each city, community and regional representatives from govern­
ment, business and the arts were invited to participate in public
forums discussing a particular topic, such as how the arts
promote civic responsibility and the role of the arts in commu­
nity economic development and growth. The final two stops are
San Antonio, Texas, October 1-2; and Miami, October 17-18.
A national meeting of the American Canvas committee—
100 leaders from all sectors of society—will convene in Wash­
ington, D.C., in January 1997. The group will analyze the
information gathered at the community forums, identify what
can work, then recommend strategies to their own organiza­
tions. An Action Plan of recommendations addressing the needs
of various types of communities will then be published and
distributed in the spring.
“Very little in contemporary life brings us together as a
community—worship at church or temple, family gatherings,
sports,” noted NEA chair Jane Alexander in her opening re­
marks at the Columbus forum. “Art has a way of bringing us
together as a community and touching the emotional side of
our lives....But we are at a crossroads....The public commitment
to culture is being questioned at the federal level and in many
states. We worry that artists and arts organizations will suffer as
a consequence. The question before us all is: what is the value of
artists and arts organizations to their communities? If they are
valued, how does the community intend to sustain them, year
in, year out, and into the next century?
“The purpose of American Canvas is to bring together, first
at the local level, and then at a national meeting, people from all
sectors of society who understand how the arts transform
communities and how communities can save the arts,” she
continued. “From todays discussions, through the forums to
the final report, we hope to inspire communities to get behind
this national effort. We hope to bring together new voices, new
partners, and new resources to do for the arts what the conser­
vation movement has done for the natural beauty and amenities
of our communities, and our country.”
Artists who are interested in sharing their ideas or sugges­
tions can send them to American Canvas Advisory Committee,
c/o NEA, Washington, D.C. 20506, or log on the NEA’s World
Wide Web site at arts.endow.gov
Wood-Fired Pottery Invitational
A “Wood-Fired Pottery Exhibition” was presented through
June 9 at Target Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia. Curator Sheila
You are invited to send news and photos about people, places or
events of interest. We will be pleased to consider them for publica­
tion in this column. Mail submissions to Up Front, Ceramics
Monthly, Post Office Box 6102, Westerville, Ohio 43086-6102.
Will Ruggles and Douglas Rankin wheel-thrown stoneware
pitcher, approximately 10 inches in height, wood fired, $60;
at Target Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia.
Bill Van Gilder faceted stoneware jar, 7 inches in height,
decorated with slips, wood fired, $60.
Hoffman, a Washington, D.C., potter, teacher, critic and
collector, selected works by Wayne Branum, Stillwater, Minne­
sota; Linda Christianson, Lindstrom, Minnesota; Randy
Johnston, River Falls, Wisconsin; Mark Pharis, Roberts, Wis­
consin; Will Ruggles and Douglass Rankin, Bakersville, North
September 1996
Up Front
Carolina; Byron Temple, Louisville, Kentucky; and Bill Van
Gilder, Gapland, Maryland. All share similar artistic attitudes
and trace their aesthetic roots to Bernard Leach and the woodfired ware produced at his pottery in St. Ives, England.
New Visions in Clay
“New Visions in Clay,” an invitational exhibition featuring
artists selected for their experimental use of materials and firing
methods, was on view recently at the Mendocino Art Center in
California. Mark Boguski, Berkeley, California; Nikki Jackson,
Mark Boguski’s “Untitled,” 26 inches in height, earthenware,
fired to Cone 04; at Mendocino (California) Art Center.
New Orleans, Louisiana; Gina Lawson, Claremont, California;
Paul Meyers, Ridgecrest, California; Brad Miller, Woody Creek,
Colorado; Ben Parks, Tuscarora, Nevada; and Conrad Snider,
Omaha, Nebraska, were selected by curator and art center
ceramics director Kent Rothman.
Boguslci s enclosed forms, such as the one shown above,
represent a feeling of trapped volume. His pieces remain unti­
tled to invite the viewers own interpretations.
nia. Entries from her journals, sketchbooks and glaze notebooks
made during the past 25 years are reflected in this series of
“These recent still-life constructions reveal a long history of
tests, glaze recipes and clay bodies, which comprise the physical
act of making work,” Selvin explained. “While I continue to
explore the concept of form and function, the compositions
now include bits and pieces of notes, reflections, sketches and
external influences, which make up my life as a ceramics artist.”
Potters’ Directories
Two new directories, “Who’s Who in Contemporary Ceramic
Arts: A Comprehensive Bio-Bibliographical Guide to AustriaGermany-Switzerland” and “Contemporary Indian Potters/
Ceramic Artists Directory 1996-97,” were released last spring.
Increasingly popular, such directories not only make contact
information about artists-potters available to the public, but
they also facilitate communication between artists.
The India directory features 1-page listings (in alphabetical
order) for 65 potters; each listing includes an address, biographi­
cal information, an artist’s statement and, for most, photographs
of the potter and representative work(s). In addition, the guide
contains information on galleries, schools and journals. For
information on obtaining a copy, write Devi Prasad, 52
Godavari Apartments, Alaknanda, New Delhi 110019, India.
The more formal “Who’s Who in Contemporary Ceramic
Arts” has entries for over 2000 Austrian, German and Swiss
artists. Each entry includes information on the artist’s studies,
type of work, memberships, exhibitions and bibliographical
citations. To order a copy, send DM 398 (approximately
US$275) to Joachim Waldrich Verlag, Belgradstrasse 9, 80796
Miinchen, Germany.
Robin Johnson
Vessels, both decorative and functional, by Connecticut artist
Robin Johnson were on view through July 14 at Gallery 12 in
Nancy Selvin
“Journals/Metamorphosis,” an exhibition of ceramic and mixedmedia constructions by Berkeley artist Nancy Selvin, was on
view through May 20 at the Works Gallery in Sonoma, Califor­
Robin Johnson’s "Inner Shell,” 7 inches in height, anagamafired stoneware; at Gallery 12, Guilford, Connecticut.
Guilford, Connecticut. Some were coated with ash glazes and
fired in a gas kiln, while others were fired for eight days in an
anagama. Maintaining “a close affinity to nature in form and
surface” is important to her work, says Johnson.
Naomi Lindenfeld
Detail of Nancy Selvin’s “From the Studio #2”
construction, earthenware and slate, raku fired; at the
Works Gallery, Sonoma, California.
“Color in Motion,” an exhibition of handbuilt colored porce­
lain by New Hampshire artist Naomi Lindenfeld, was on view
through June 30 at the Vermont Clay Studio in Montpelier.
Inspired by her love of dance and the imagery that surrounds
September 1996
Up Front
By the end of the day, over $26,000 was turned over to the
art center’s finance committee. The event was not only a success
in helping to raise funds for a new wing of the museum, but
also in bringing public attention to the Potter’s Guild and the
work of its members.
A retrospective exhibition of 45 clay and mixed-media sculp­
tures by New York City artist Yiannes was presented recently at
the Pierides Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece.
Although he emigrated to the United States many years ago,
Athens-born Yiannes “has never forgotten his roots, his cultural
homeland,” observes American Ceramics magazine editor
Ronald Kuchta in the accompanying catalog. “His idiom may
be thoroughly American...but the inevitable pull of his original
identity never leaves him. It also marks his works. His sensibil­
ity, taste, social concerns and his nostalgic association with the
earth of Greece are reflected in his clay and multimedia art over
the past 25 years.
“Yiannes always makes us think, as well as feel and enjoy his
superbly crafted art,” Kuchta continues. “He makes us smile at
Naomi Lindenfeld’s “Platter with Sculpted Edge,”
12 inches in diameter, handbuilt colored porcelain;
at the Vermont Clay Studio, Montpelier.
her in rural Vermont, Lindenfeld strives “to express the
rhythms and textures of movement” through her work. For
example, by “carving into layered colored clay, rings of color
reminiscent of ripples of water or wood grain appear.”
Lindenfeld begins with slabs of oxide-stained porcelain
layered into a block. “A slice is taken from the block, carved
into and rolled flat,” she explains. “This results in a multi­
dimensional effect. Other surface designs are achieved by
manipulating the layered block with various tools.”
The flattened slabs are used to construct various forms,
which are rounded on all edges with a wooden paddle, soften­
ing their appearance. When dry, the unglazed pieces are single
fired to 2400°F.
Soup ’N Bowl
by Tasha Olive
Take approximately 50 clay artists and the need for a new art
education center, and you have the making of a highly success­
ful fund-raising event. Held earlier this year at the Roswell
Museum and Art Center in Roswell, New Mexico (population
45,000, almost 200 miles southeast of Albuquerque and Santa
Fe), “Soup ’N Bowl” was the brainchild of members of the
Pecos Valley Potter’s Guild.
In all, over 1100 bowls were made specifically for the
benefit by guild members. A pre-bowl party was held the
weekend before the event to allow the public to watch bowls
being thrown and trimmed, and even to decorate some bowls
with underglaze. The finished bowls were then displayed
alongside 72 silent-auction pieces, mostly large bowls, platters
and soup tureens donated by guild members and notable clay
artists from across the country.
Although Soup ’N Bowl was scheduled to begin at 11:30
A.M., a line had already formed at 10:30. When the doors
opened, patrons studied the various bowls, making their
choices carefully. For the price of $20, each received not only a
highly individualized bowl, but also a serving of gourmet soup,
bread and tea.
Yiannes with “Still Life with Amphora and Fish,”
19½ inches in height.
first, then frown, then think twice, often about the same
work—a trait of his talent as an artist with an exceptional
philosophical sensibility. Indeed, he is an artist who employs
metaphors consistent with his humanistic concerns and indis­
pensable cultural heritage.”
Wood Firing from a Student’s Perspective
by Diane A. Hartman
It’s two days after the firing; the kiln is barely cool enough to
consider dismantling the door, so we clean the yard waiting for
a glimpse of our pots. Were the 33 hours of stoking worth it?
Were the days of prep time (gathering wood, breaking pallets,
hammering down nails) something we would do again? Was
this a one-time experience or something to change our attitude
toward clay? At the very least, we knew we would never look at
a wood-fired pot and think “nice glaze.” Our experience had
taught us that wood-fired glazes are earned, not made.
It all started the first day of summer session when Linda
Speranza, the instructor at Mesa (Arizona) Community College,
said to the class, “I think I can rent the wood-fire kiln at Mesa
Arts Center for a firing this summer. Are you interested?” I had
read snatches about wood firing and had seen numerous illus-
September 1996
Up Front
trations of wood-fired pots with interesting variegated surfaces. I
gave an enthusiastic “Terrific!” It was a commitment to an
unbelievable experience.
Mesa Arts Center did not fire its kiln in the summer because
it was too hot. Given Arizona’s soaring triple-digit thermometer
readings (average July high: 105°F), this was not an unreason­
able attitude. But we looked at the arts center’s bow to reason as
our opportunity. The size of the summer-session class made it
possible for each student to put about 10 pieces in the kiln—
enough to give each a vested interest in the firing. We had 5½
weeks to produce our 10 offerings and prepare the other vital
component—the wood.
We needed two cords of wood, which would come from
pallets. The pallets had one overriding positive characteristic—
they were free from sympathetic businesses. They were also “pre­
split”—the small upper slats were perfect for converting wood
to Btu’s and pushing the temperature higher.
The class met four days a week. In the beginning, one day
was dedicated to pallet hunting/processing. We really appreci­
ated the companies that would load our pickup with their
forklifts. After all, it was an afternoon class and the temperature
was always over 100°. Forget anything you have heard about
“dry heat.” Just because your perspiration dries instantly doesn’t
mean working in it is reasonable.
I am not athletic; my favorite sport in my youth was croquet.
Olcay, I indulged in frisbee, but the sole purpose was accuracy.
After an hour or two busting pallets, I experienced the thrill that
I imagine people get pumping iron. Between the heat and the
sweat was a sense of power, invincibility.
Pallet busting needs this kind of glorification, because it is
repetitive, boring and hard work. The top and bottom slats had
to be released from the upright 2x4s by prying, then the prized
top pieces were piled separately from the 2x4s and the nails
pounded down. The 2x4s were useful early in the firing when a
steady, gradually warming fire was desirable.
In the meantime, there were pots to make. Most of us had
not worked with porcelain before. We soon learned that it is a
beast unto itself. It’s very seductive to the touch, smooth and
supple, but then I discovered that resistance is its nature. When
I pushed, it pushed back, thwarting the usual shaping pulls. So I
coaxed and pulled and cursed, wheedling a shape out of it, then
the second challenge began—drying.
One member of the class babied her pots with ten days of
tenting, venting the air twice a day. Feeling safe, she removed
the plastic and seven pieces rewarded her with cracks. Much to
her consternation, the cracks were random, not in the expected
stress points. On the other hand, everyone quickly learned that
not tenting was certain doom, as thin tops dried much more
rapidly than surface-contacting bottoms.
As we struggled with the clay, we also struggled with shapes
that would be compatible with ash deposits. A series of slides
showed wood-fired pots with wide shoulders and broad textures
that seemed to catch the ash, holding it in place until the high
temperatures late in the firing melded the ash and clay surface
to form the glaze. The whiteness of the porcelain showed off the
ash better than the other clays.
Mesa Arts Center also shared the recipes for Kurt Weiser’s
Shino Slip, which was particularly amenable to attracting ash, as
well as his Shino Glaze. The slip supplied darker, textured areas
against the usual porcelain blush.
Kurt Weiser’s Shino Slip
(Cone 10)
Soda Ash..................................................................
Kona F-4 Feldspar...................................................
Nepheline Syenite....................................................
Helmer Kaolin..........................................................
Kentucky Ball Clay (OM 4)......................................
Kurt Weiser’s Carbon-Trap Shino Glaze
(Cone 10)
Soda Ash................................................................................... 4%
Spodumene..................................................................... 15
Kona F-4 Feldspar.......................................................... 11
Nepheline Syenite .......................................................... 45
Edgar Plastic Kaolin ....................................................... 10
Kentucky Ball Clay (OM 4).............................................. 15
Although we had been processing pallets for weeks, we were
still short of the required two cords. During the last week,
though, Linda made a terrific contact—a pallet-building
company that actually threw away pallets in the broken condi­
tion we were laboring so intensively to produce. All we had to
do was pound down the nails.
The week before the firing, we were also absorbed in getting
the kiln clean and ready. The shelves needed to be scraped of
their old protective coating of alumina/kaolin and any accumu­
lated ash. I found the grinding more taxing than all the pound­
ing and prying. The heat of the Arizona sun contributed to the
nagging feeling that these pots better be worth all this effort.
The cleaning project gave us our first sustained look at the
lain. The firebox was on the right, with the kiln proper located
four cement-block steps above the patio. It seemed improbable
that a continuous flame could start in the firebox, lick its way
through the chamber and exit through the floor-level flue
opposite the firebox/fire wall, then extend 5 feet above the top
of the chimney.
The time for loading the kiln had finally arrived. We were
told this would take four hours. True to form, with our learning
curve, it took seven. Each piece placed in the Idln had to be
stilted on wads of alumina/kaolin, or risk the potential of being
glazed to the shelf. All lids required similar treatment. Days
later, we would learn a neat wad is a desirable wad, but in the
heat—a wad was a wad.
The interior of a wood-fired kiln is like real estate. The key
is location, location, location. Depending on where the pot is
placed in the kiln, its chances of success (catching the right
amount of ash and attaining melding temperature) are im­
proved. Seasoned wood firers take advantage of the idiosyncra­
sies of their kilns to improve their success rates. Our ignorance
of this particular kiln made divvying up space easy—each
person’s pieces were scattered throughout the kiln to share the
(hoped-for) wealth. A more experienced crew might not have
been so agreeable. The final placement in the kiln was the cone
packs. I have never seen so many cones soldiered beside each
other—five cones per line, three lines deep.
Loading the kiln ended with the bricldng of the door; no
simple swinging the door shut here. Transferring the bricks from
the patterned stack on the floor to the doorway proved more
difficult than expected, and should have been a clue as to just
how tired we were after only seven hours.
Firing day finally dawned—cloudy! It would still reach 103°,
but the clouds were an answer to everyone’s prayers. We all had
dfl ^mL..
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¾¾^^¾^, •’ ¾^. .'V^^k
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Whether you want to sell wholesale, retail
“ ~
or a combination of both, ACC Craft Fairs
.____ _
^ Al ,
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Application Deadlines
offer the best opportunity to reach your ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------market. The eight juried events in our
February 18-23
September 15, 1996
1997 season range from small retail
shows in carefully selected “hot” markets
to some of the largest and most heavily
March 14-16
September 15, 1996
attended wholesale and wholesale/retail
April 10-13
September 15, 1996
craft fairs in the country. In 1997 ACC
Craft Fairs will present the work of over ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3,000 exhibitors to some 12,000 whole- WEST SPRINGFIELD June 19-22
September 15, 1996
sale buyers and more than 100,000 retail
customers. Request an application package for a chance to give us your “best
June 29-July 1
September 15, 1996
shots” in the form of five slides of your
September 15, 1996
finest work. Competition for booth space
can be fierce, but the potential rewards ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------are great. Call 800/836-3470 today.
May 6, 1997
To request an application package contact
American Craft Council
American Craft EntGrpriSGS
21 South Eltings
Corner Road, Highland, NY 12528
> »
Phone 800/836-3470 Fax 914/883-6130
September 1996
December 11-14
May 6, 1997
‘Separate application for either
or both Tampa Bay and Charlotte will be available February 1997.
... , .
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„ Arv_ «
\Nork shown here
is representative of the quality of work exhibited at all ACC Craft
Up Front
born. The exhaustion extended not only to our muscles, but to
our minds as well. Then, Jeff Reich from the arts center volun­
teered his help. Two and a half hours later, with Cone 9 down
and Cone 10 softening, we called it quits. Were we successful?
We would not know for two days. Frankly, we were too tired to
care. Time seemed to stand still or even go backwards. It was the
longest drive home I’d ever experienced.
A dunk—clothes, dirt and all—in the family pool did not
relieve the exhaustion. I worked at each breath. When nausea
hit me, I finally decided my body was incapable of providing its
own relief. I would never be a marathon runner, but I had just
hit “the wall.” The local emergency care personnel informed me
I had depleted my body of salt; I was “a quart low.” One quart
of saline later, time had returned to its usual sequencing. The
feeling of stupidity would last a lot longer.
Two days later, I approached the kiln opening with mixed
feelings. Were these pots really worth it? As each pot, kissed
differently by the ash and fire, emerged on eager, gloved hands,
the sense that this was an effect attainable no other way began
to sink in. The glaze had become a perfect complement to the
form. These pots were beautiful.
But were they worth the effort? Would I ever join a wood
firing again? Well, the arts center does offer an eight-week
signed up for 2 to 3 shifts on our 30-hour schedule. The first
day’s shifts leisurely learned the basics—keeping an accurate log
and tossing the wood into the firebox without hitting the back
wall. We quicldy learned to watch a chinked hole partway up
the side for its regular breathing. The kiln was beginning to take
on life. When I left at 7 P.M., the crew was into the routine of
stoke, stir and record. We’d been at it for 11 hours and Cone 08
was down on the bottom set of cones.
When I returned at 4 A.M., the whole scene appeared
different. The kiln was now a dragon, breathing fire from door
to smokestack. I was met with soot-blackened students. I got
the feeling I was looked at as fresh meat. It was my turn to tend
the despot. I was taught to churn the wood by sticking a 30inch iron through the air ports and jiggling. (The elbow-length
raku gloves were an absolute necessity.) The idea was to keep
exposing the unburned side of the wood so it would burn more
quickly and release more heat. Cone 8 was bending on my
arrival. Given the progress through the night, three cones
seemed very doable in the next nine hours.
We were now stoking every two minutes. The flame from
the smokestack dictated our activity. Of course, it did not send
clear-cut orders. Smoke/no flame either meant, “I’m out of
Eric Nelsen
wood!” or “You’ve given me too much wood; I’m choking!” The
by Peter Held
learning curve to accurately interpret the message was about one
Vashon, Washington, clay artist Eric Nelsen recently exhibited
hour per shift. Little did we know how those learning hours
his latest series of anagama-fired sculptures at Margo Jacobsen
would add to the total firing time.
Gallery in Portland, Oregon. “Pyromancer: Divination by Fire”
One job got everyone’s vote as the nastiest: removing excess
showcased 14 stoneware and porcelain slip-cast and assembled
ash. About every half hour (later, more frequently), a student
objects. The exhibition’s title alludes to Nelsen’s interest in the
would suit up in borrowed sweat pants, shirt, shoes, elbowtransformative potential of the work, on both the creator, the
length raku gloves and face shield. After removing the glowing
work and the audience.
bricks that plugged the ash-pit access, a 6-inch, angle-iron
In the past 20 years, Nelsen’s passion for wood firing has
shovel with a 7-foot handle was used to rake the 2300°F coals
remained undiminished. “Using this method to produce one’s
into a waiting washtub. To reach the far end of the firebox, the
work requires a willingness to devote oneself to a rigorous
student had to lean over intensely hot ashes.
process, and to work with the fire with a creative awareness of its
We toiled on. During one three-hour shift, the morning class
power and magic,” he explained. “This mania for process is on
of beginning students supplemented our “experienced” efforts.
Each job was broken down
into smaller components as
everyone contributed. The
spirit of teamwork was
Finally, hour 27 arrived;
we began our last anticipated
shift. We were back to our
core of original students. A
concerted effort would soon
bring this to an end. We
were “experienced,” but we
were also tired, hot and very
dirty. We discovered those
cones were tricky. We had
about three wishful sightings
of bent cones before it really
became a fact. We learned
not to trust our own re­
ports—we had too much
vested in ending the drudg­
ery to be visually accurate.
Three hours later, Cone 9
Eric Nelsen’s “Triptych with Heads and Gourds,” 17 inches in height,
handbuilt porcelain; at Margo Jacobsen Gallery in Portland, Oregon.
was still being very stub­
September 1996
Up Front
the level of a religious experience for me, an obsession eclipsed
only by the studio time required to make the work.”
Nelsen became acquainted with this intensive process during
the mid 1970s, while serving an apprenticeship in Bizen, Japan,
with master potter Kaneshige Michiaki. His first attempts were
modeled after the pots associated with the tea ceremony, but
Nelsen was eventually forced to face the limitations of an
American potter emulating the traditions of Asian ceramics.
Gradually, his work retained a reflective composition, while
becoming more autobiographical, finally encompassing his own
Nelsen’s figurative arrangements synthesize his interests in
the ancient cultures of Europe, the Near East and Asia. They are
also informed by seemingly disparate influences like the Italian
Metaphysical School of Carra and De Chirico. With his latest
work, he continues to explore narration and personal symbolism
appropriated from a wide spectrum of art historical references.
Shown on page 22, “Triptych with Heads and Gourds” is an
arrangement of three busts. Open at the top, each piece is filled
to the brim with archetypal objects; making “the mind as an
open vessel” metaphor particularly meaningful. The hands are
stretched heavenward, gesturing in supplication. Fusing activity
with repose, the work incorporates metaphysical speculation
with the language of contemporary modernist thought.
Pennsylvania Clay and the California Fire
An exhibition featuring sculpture and vessels by Pennsylvania
and California ceramists was presented recently at Artzon
Cooperative Art Gallery in Orefield, Pennsylvania. Among the
Keiko Doi’s "Teapot 2,” 5 inches in height; at Gallery
Alexander, La Jolla, California.
Juror Byron Temple selected 34 pieces, 4 of which were minia­
ture teapots made by Keiko Doi, who began working with clay
in 1986 after moving to the United States from Japan.
Thrown from porcelain or stoneware, the teapots are temmoku glazed and fired to Cone 6, then decorated with china
paints and fired to Cone 018. Finally, luster is applied and the
works are glaze fired a third time to Cone 019.
Dorothy Dunitz
Two ceramic pieces by Michigan artist Dorothy Dunitz were
recently acquired by the Detroit Institute of Arts. All of Dunitz’s
Johanna Hansen’s “Memorial to the Neighborhood,”
14 inches in height, handbuilt, accented with underglazes;
at Artzon Cooperative Art Gallery, Orefield, Pennsylvania.
sculptures on view was “Memorial to the Neighborhood” by
Johanna Hansen, Lakeside, California.
“I create art that deals with human condition,” Hansen
commented. “I have chosen clay because clay takes form,
records impression and accepts color with ease. In addition, clay
is fragile. So is my subject matter.”
Ceramics in San Diego
A juried exhibition of works by members of Ceramic Artists of
San Diego was on view recently at Gallery Alexander in La Jolla.
Dorothy Dunitz’s “Plate,” 9 inches in diameter, single-fired
glazed porcelain; at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
works are inspired by the earth. Frequently, she creates glaze
combinations that allude to landscape images, such as lava
flowing over the earth or snow in Alpine crevices.
of each piece.” Approximately 30 minutes.
Available as VHS videocassette. $39.95. Joe
Molinaro, Post Office Box 21883, Lexington,
Kentucky 40502.
Jatun Molino
Joyce KozloflF
A Pottery Village in the Upper Amazon
Public Art Works
“Public work has been satisfying to me in
Located in the Ecuadorian rain forest,
that it’s given me an opportunity to do things
Jatun Molino is home to the Quichua Indi­
ans, whose daily activities include hunting, I could never have done in the studio, to think
fishing and making such traditional objects as about problems I never could have thought
baskets, dug-out canoes and pottery [see the about in the studio, and to reach a much
May 1995 CM]. As is the custom, only the larger audience,” observes New York City
women of this isolated village make pottery. artist Joyce KozlofFin this video guide to her
“The kind of objects produced by the Quichua work, which traces the production of a tile
range from a variety of animal and human installation for the library at the State Univer­
forms in vessel and nonvessel configurations,” sity of Mankato in Minnesota, while also
the narrator of this nicely filmed video notes. looking at past public works.
The Mankato installation, “Around the
While all make vessels for domestic use,
several potters also work collectively to pro­ World on the 44th Parallel,” includes 12
murals depicting sections of maps from cities
duce items for sale and trade.
The women begin the production process across the world, all on the 44th parallel. The
by hacldng a path through the undergrowth, process began with watercolor sketches of
then digging wet clay from a nearby creek bed actual city maps; then, after bisquing and
with their hands. Stones and other debris are majolica glazing the tiles, KozlofF and her
cleaned from the clay by squeezing it through assistants used specially designed crayons and
their hands for hours. They then create thin- liquid resist to draw the streets. Each city map
walled vessels and animal figures by coiling was then embellished, according to its own
and pinching. Because of the high humidity, character, with low-fire glazes: “I wove im­
it is usually necessary to work on several forms ages and motifs about the culture associated
at a time—allowing a few to set up while with that city,” KozlofF explains.
KozlofFs first public art project was for the
working on another.
When the pieces are dry, a red clay slip is Harvard Square Subway Station in Massa­
applied overall with a scrap of cloth, then chusetts in 1979. Since then, she has worked
intricate designs are painted with fine brushes on seven transit stations. Her ideas for each
made from just one or two strands of human piece came from the site itself, as well as the
hair. “These brushes...enable them to people visiting it. “I try to think of a piece that
paint...the intricate network of lines that will connect with the audience that uses that
visually describe forms and symbols in a space on a daily basis,” she states. 45 minutes.
Available as VHS videocassette. $50, indi­
purely abstract fashion. This work is ex­
viduals; $125, institutions. Hermine Freed
tremely tedious and takes long hours to ac­
Video Productions, 60 Gramercy Park, New
The painted patterns are inspired by the York, New York 10010.
potters’ surroundings—animals and insects
are quite common. Their works “still reflect Approaching Large-Scale Porcelain
In this primarily visual (i.e., nonverbal)
the commonness of their lives while main­
taining the personal characteristics that make video, New York artist Jolyon Hofsted dem­
onstrates the throwing and altering of largethem unique.”
Finished ware is fired individually over an scale vessel forms. Slamming a 25-pound
open pit. Each piece is placed upside down in block of clay (fresh from the supplier’s bag)
a large clay basin with a 6-inch-diameter hole down onto the wheel head, he comments,
in the bottom; the pot is then covered with “You don’t really wedge this—just bang it
wood ash for insulation, and a fire built up into a lump.”
When throwing, Hofsted strives for a
around it. After 35-40 minutes, the pot and
basin are removed from the fire, and the basin loose, spontaneous quality. “I want fluidity—
turned upside down on the ground. The hot I want it almost like there’s somebody in there
pot is then placed right side up on the basin trying to get out,” he explains. After complet­
and rubbed with a piece of hardened tree sap ing several forms on the wheel, Hofsted joins
and alters them further to create his largeto seal the surface.
“There is no ego behind their work,” the scale pieces. Approximately 30 minutes. Avail­
narrator points out. Their pottery “is a reflec­ able as VHS videocassette. $20, includes
tion of their own community, which is why postage in United States. Jolyon Hofsted, Post
it is common to see them share in the making Office Box 66, Shady, New York 12409.
September 1996
New Books
blessing is required to ensure that the crop Minnetrista Cultural Foundation, Inc., 1200
North Minnetrista Parkway, P. O. Box 1527,
will be healthy.”
Three final chapters detail the production Muncie, Indiana 47308-1527.
of such sculptures in three specific areas of the
country. 232 pages, including bibliography The Bowles Collection of 18th-Century
and glossary. 203 color and 4 black-and- English and French Porcelain
Gifts of Earth
Terracottas and Clay Sculptures of India white photographs. $75. Distributed by Uni­
by Simon Spero
versity of Washington Press, Post Office Box
by Stephen P. Huyler
Well-illustrated, this booWcatalog is an
50096, Seattle, Washington 98145-5096.
overview of the Constance and Henry Bowles
“More potters live and work in India than
Collection of 18th-century porcelain (con­
in any other country or land mass of compa­
The Bethel Pike Pottery
centrating on the period 1740 to 1775),
rable size in the world, ” observes the author of
which is now in the permanent collection of
this nicely illustrated survey. “Unique as a The First Thirty Years
the California Palace of the Legion of Honor.
separate, endogamous group of vessel makers by Ned H. Griner
An introduction by Constance Bowles
Published in conjunction with the exhi­
and sculptors, these
craftsmen still produce bition of the same name, this book/catalog Peabody explains the couple’s collecting hab­
traditional products traces the history of Indiana’s Bethel Pike its, and her hopes for this new gallery at the
whose forms and func­ Pottery, established in 1966 by potters David Legion: “Over the years, I have come to feel
Cayton, Alan Patrick and John Peterson. that porcelain collecting is my subject,” she
tions are virtually in­
distinguishable from With little money, the three set up in Cayton’s says. “I only wish that in every way the
basement with one old wooden potter’s wheel, pleasure that has been mine in spending
those of their prede­
a couple tons of clay, some chemicals for hours, days and years in the presence of this
craftsmanship and art­
ethnologist glazes and a kiln they built from scratch.
istry can be felt by oth­
When it was determined that a second
who has studied In­
ers. Our hope is that
dian folk art for the past 23 years, Huyler wheel was needed, “one was improvised from
in this new gallery we
compares the lifestyles and craft techniques an old manhole cover (for the fly wheel), a
can create, and com­
of potters in 23 Indian states, focusing on sprocket ofT a discarded bicycle, some uni­
municate, something
their functions as creators of sacred vessels versal joints, and 25 or 30 feet of 2x4 lum­
of what thrilled us
and sculptures. Yet it is “the production of ber,” recalls Griner, a colleague and former
from the start of our
household pottery [that] is the principal source professor of the three. “The manhole cover
was screwed to a block of cherry wood on one
of a potter’s income.
Accompanying each photo is a brief de­
“This earthenware, considered pure in its end, and on the other the bicycle sprocket was
newly fired state, is regarded as easily and attached as the throwing head. It was make­ scription of the piece—its design/decoration
and any marks—and other examples of such
readily polluted,” Huyler explains. “Much as shift, but it worked.”
Less than a year into the operation, Cayton work. The author also provides historical
Westerners think that ‘germs’ adhere to dirty
tableware, Indians think that a single use left the business and the remaining two part­ information on each of the makers repre­
contaminates the clay vessels from which ners moved to a new location. In 1971, they sented in the collection—Chelsea, Bow,
they eat. For them, this pollution cannot be began selling their work at wholesale shows, Longton Hall, Worcester and Chantilly.
Founded in 1745 by Nicholas Sprimont,
washed off; once used, terra-cotta bowls, cups and sales began to increase. “Life at the
pottery was hard work, hard work that they a silversmith, many of the Chelsea porcelain
and plates are discarded.”
Only men are allowed to throw on the enjoyed,” Griner notes. “After all, they were forms were inspired by his work in silver.
potter’s wheel; it is considered taboo for a their own bosses, and that was important.... “The asymmetrical curves of the marine and
At the pottery, they shell motifs of much of his earliest porcelain
woman to even touch it. Generally, though,
determined their own echo the silver dishes, saltcellars and sauce­
it is the women who decorate the pots with
schedules and were boats conceived during the same period,”
slip—glazes are not indigenous to India.
not confined to hours notes Spero. “Indeed, even those porcelain
“Whether applied before or after firing, simple
shapes that have no obvious silver counter­
established by some­
colors (white, red, yellow and black) are
part convey in their linear vitality a sense of
one else.”
used..., although some women substitute
In 1974, Peterson caprice and overall sophistication that is quite
bright and sometimes even gaudy commer­
left to start his own alien to the functional associations of domes­
cial paints.
pottery. Today, only tic porcelain.”
“At least once a year, each pottery family
Founded in 1751, Worcester is the only
worships its tools in a special celebration.”
The ceremony begins with the family gather­ working at Bethel Pike Pottery. “During porcelain factory—of more than a dozen—
ing all the tools in one place, then “the these 30 years, potting has been his sole established in the first years of the industry
women in the potter’s family, often his daugh­ livelihood. It would be easy to attribute the that is still operating today. According to
ters, decorate every implement with designs success to hard work and some luck, but more Spero, three factors contributing to its success
important, [it] stems from the fact that the were the fairly low cost, the resistance of its
hand-painted with rice-flour paste.”
Terra-cotta pottery and sculpture are used potters had the ability to create pottery that is clay body and glaze to hot liquids, and the
in most ceremonies and rituals, mainly as functional and at the same time aesthetically concentration on useful domestic pottery.
“To these commercial virtues should be added
gifts for the gods. “For example, in the fields a work of art.” 108 pages, including an ap­
an acute awareness and understanding of
outside a small village in the Gangetic Plain, pendix on techniques, methods and materi­
abstract votive terra cottas are given to the als; clay bodies; and glaze recipes. 22 color changing fashions and styles, augmented by
local god Di-Baba, who is worshiped by and 47 black-and-white photographs; 5 an unmatched ability to assimilate and ab­
farmers at each seasonal phase....The god’s sketches of potters’ marlts. $21.95, softcover. sorb designs from Oriental and Continental
September 1996
New Books
book,” explains the author. “It is unrealistic retire to their studios in order to create with­
to claim that a certain set of steps—or any one out a thought of where to show and sell their
method, for that matter—will work for art,” he says. “Some discover that teaching art
sources.” 214 pages, including glossary, bib­ everyone....Instead, this book examines dif­
itself brings them local attention, which may
liography, index of patterns and general in­
ferent ways that artists have used to bring eventually be translated into a sale at some
dex. 199 color photographs. $39.95, their work before potential buyers; individual point in the future.” An artist in Colorado,
hardcover; $24.95, softcover. University of readers may pick the methods that make for instance, holds demonstrations at area
Washington Press, Post Office Box 50096, Se­
sense for them.”
libraries and clubs.
attle, Washington 98145-5096.
In addition to discussing the exhibiting “‘What you’re doing
and selling of work—types of exhibition is advertising yourself,’
The Business of Being an Artist
spaces, slide quality, marketing plans, etc.— she said. ‘You can’t be
by Daniel Grant
Grant also looks at contracts with dealers, a hermit out here.’”
“This book aims to describe the art mar­ selling art directly to corporations, and pur­
ket and the possible approaches that artists suing a career “in the sticks. Few artists living through slide regis­
may take for success,” but it “is not a how-to in outlying areas find that they can simply tries, business cards,
mailing lists, cata­
logs—is covered in the
following chapter.
Grant also argues against the necessity for
entry fees in juried competitions: “No one
would expect a dancer or actor to pay in order
to audition for a part; nor would a writer be
asked to send a publisher a check along with
the manuscript. The visual arts, however, are
“Artists can be effective in eliminating
these fees by discussing their objections to
them with show sponsors and, failing to find
success there, organizing others to protest the
policy,” he believes.
The next few chapters describe careers
related to the arts, the benefits of art school
and materials used in the studio. Handling
the pressures of a career in the arts is exam­
ined, along with how artists are perceived.
Grants and commissions (including pub­
lic percent-for-art projects) are covered in the
final chapter. “In general, four main points
need to be made in an application, whether it
be for a foundation or governmental agency,”
he explains. “The first is to clearly define the
nature of the art project and its importance,
as well as indicate that it is doable. Documen­
tary material, such as a drawing of the project
or a maquette, helps reveal what the artwork
will actually look like.
“The second is noting the experience and
qualifications of the person, team or organi­
zation planning to accomplish the project.
Reviews or other notices of past work of this
type are useful.
“Third, it is important to note that other
factors (such as facilities in which to produce
the project, the support of colleagues or an
institution, the availability of materials...),
which ensure the project will be successfully
realized, are in place.
“Finally, the project should be of the sort
that the foundation or arts agency to which
one is applying has shown a decided prefer­
ence. That final point needs to be discovered
through research....Potential sponsors who
have clearly indicated an interest in projects
September 1996
New Books
ety of the age—ranging from cheap and
cheerful to the height of luxury—it is possible
to build a varied collection, even on a limited
that assist the educational process in public budget,” she comments, though advising
schools, for instance, may be more interested collectors to “always buy the best you can
in an arts-in-the-schools idea.” 271 pages, afford.”
Each listing provides a brief description of
including bibliography and index. $18.95,
softcover. Allworth Press, 10 East 23rd Street, the artist or factory and the work, plus an
estimated price for the piece. 80 pages, in­
New York, New York 10010.
cluding glossary and index. 124 color and 16
Art Deco Ceramics
black-and-white photographs. $12.95. Little,
by Jane Hay
Brown and Company, 1271 Avenue of the
Of interest to collectors, this guide from Americas, New York, New York 10020.
the Christie’s Collectibles series presents ex­
amples of work by artists and factories from Teapots
the art deco period, by Paul Tippett
Also from the Christie’s Collectibles se­
including designs by
Clarice Cliff, Moor- ries, this guide provides examples of teapots
croft, Poole Pottery made in China, Japan, France, Germany and
and Louis Wain. England. Although tea drinking originated
Prevalent from the in China, “an obsession developed in Europe
1925 Paris Exhibition with all things Chinese, and from the end of
until the beginning of the 17th century, tea was shipped from
World War II, art deco China,” notes Tippett. “The ships that
“was a new look that brought the tea also carried the porcelain
swept the world, tak­ teapots, teabowls, and saucers that were
ing many forms and deemed to be essential to the sophisticated
subject to many influ­ enjoyment of tea drinking.”
When European potters began maldng
ences,” notes Hay.
“Since art deco ceramics are relatively tea wares, “they looked to Chinese and Japa­
inexpensive and reflect the tremendous vari­ nese porcelain models for the source of inspi­
ration for their own designs,” Tippett ob­
serves. Building on these traditions, Euro­
pean potters “developed their own idea of
what constituted a good teapot and how it
should be decorated.”
In addition to a price estimate, each listing
contains a brief description of the teapot’s
physical features and
its historical context.
For example, the en­
try for a Chinese por­
celain teapot that dates
from approximately
1750, notes that “it
appears quite Euro­
pean. Indeed, the
round shape probably
derives from a Euro­
pean silver original,
and the teapot is deco­
rated with a coat of
arms....The noble family to which this teapot
belonged would have sent a sketch of their
coat of arms to China—probably to Can­
ton—where Chinese decorators would have
copied it carefully onto a tea service or, pos­
sibly, an entire dinner service.” 80 pages,
including glossary and index. 96 color and 6
black-and-white photographs. $12.95. Little,
Brown and Company, 1271 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, New York 10020.
“Life Drawing,” 10 inches in height, earthenware, with oxides, slips and
wax, by Martin Hearne, Bradford, Great Britain.
Martin Hearne
“Inside Out,” an exhibition featuring
ceramic sculpture by British artist Mar­
tin Hearne, was presented recently at
Hardware Gallery in London. Over the
past ten years, Hearne s work has evolved
from highly decorative vessels to hu­
man figures. He usually starts by mak­
ing “a quick sketch of a figure directly
September 1996
observed or occasionally drawn from
memory. I think of these figures as char­
acters in a story or actors in a home
movie who express their stories through
body language.
“Initially, I draw the main volumes
and forms of the figure in a simplified
way, similar in manner to those life-
drawing exercises where the figure is
reduced to cylinders and blocks in a
basic balance of shapes that show the
volumetric order. Through drawing the
individual volumes in this way, my ex­
perience of the figure is resolved in as
direct a style as possible, one that ani­
mates the figure with energy and is all
the more dynamic for
not being anatomically
these sculptures as
lences for figures,”
which have “all the
more storytelling con­
viction if proportion
and perspective are not
rendered with mea­
sured accuracy.”
While he does not
use his drawings “as
blueprints, the disci­
pline of seeing the volu­
metric order through
the drawings is essen­
tial to the evolution of
my work and informs
the shaping of the clay.
“How a drawing or
two-dimensional image
can be translated into
the round is a constant
problem, as any direct
adherence to the out­
line is sure to be the
visual equivalent of a
bad literary transla­
tion,” Hearne ob­
serves. “To help over­
come this transition, I
use my own body as a
reference by adopting
the same posture (or as
near as possible) to that
of the figure in the
“The sculpture is
then built up of tubes
formed by thin slabs of clay. Once the
work is started, I try to do without
reference to the drawing, relying on my
memory to select the essentials and con­
centrate on the expressive qualities of
my adopted pose and how the clay feels.
Constantly referring to my own body
as a guide gives me a sense of being
within’ the figure. By taking part in this
way and imagining myself in the work,
I can convey the feeling that each com­
ponent volume contains an inner life, a
life held in check by a skin of clay. The
thin slabs form a series of jointed vessels
Icarus,” approximately 30 inches in height,
handbuilt earthenware.
where the inside is no longer accessible,
but where this inner life is represented
by the tension of the outer skin.
“There can be no outside skin with­
out the inside volume: they are one and
the same. As the main volumes are added
together and the figure is built up, I
regularly check each profile by rotating
the figure on a stand; these profiles are
the outer evidence of the sculptures in­
terior mass. Any point of the surface of
the clay is, in effect, the extremity of the
volume; it is a point more or less large
that projects toward the viewer, and hol­
lows in this volume are
not indentations but
just lesser projections.
“The technique of
using soft slabs allows
the material qualities of
the clay to incorporate
this idea of projecting
an inner volume. As
when the clay is folded
into a vessel form or
cylinder to represent a
part of the body (e.g.,
the torso), tools or
fingers can be inserted
to project this outward
thrust of muscle, bone
and energy. These vol­
umes are then added
together by gluing with
slip to create an articu­
lated figure.
“I do not deny the
evidence of this build­
up, leaving the joins
and surface markings
visible. The clay must
have a life of its own if
it is to convey life in a
figure and not just ape
the illusion of flesh and
muscle. Leaving the
signs of construction
not only helps to ani­
mate the surface, it also
is important in main­
taining a forward mo­
mentum in the making
of each sculpture. Try­
ing to get things right
the first time is desir­
able, although this is
not always possible, as often there are
revisions and in some extreme cases com­
plete rebuilds of an almost finished fig­
ure. What I think of as the most
successful works are invariably the ones
that have in them the energy and rhythm
of sure-handed progression; the success­
ful sculptures are made all in one go. I
try to be as open as possible with my
techniques and if it doesn’t distract from
the form I leave this working of the clay
exposed. My figures may be actors in a
story, but just as importantly they tell
the story of their own making.” ▲
“Young Contender,” approximately 30 inches in height, built from tubes
formed by earthenware slabs, by Martin Hearne.
September 1996
Independent Makers
“Independent Makers,” an exhibition
featuring ten women ceramists who are
not affiliated with an institution or uni­
versity, was presented recently at Ohio
University’s Seigfred Gallery in Athens.
Organized by associate professor Chuck
McWeeny, the show included vessels
and sculpture by Tre Arenz, Austin,
Texas; Gail Busch, Corpus Christi,
Texas; Linda Christianson, Lindstrom,
Minnesota; Marian Haigh, Austin,
Texas; Susan Harris, Logan, Utah; Anne
Hirondelle, Port Townsend, Washing­
ton; Sarah Jaeger, Helena, Montana;
Linda Lighton, Kansas City, Missouri;
Donna Polseno, Floyd, Virginia; and
Angelica Pozo, Cleveland.
“Professional women artists experi­
ence difficulties through their multiple,
often divergent, roles and face pressures
that men seldom encounter,” notes par­
ticipant Susan Harris in the accompa­
nying catalog. “For instance, the decision
to enter motherhood can be agonizing
for women artists for whom art making
is more than a full-time occupation.
But artists who make this choice de­
scribe the experience as both a source of
enrichment with positive effect on their
work and a catalyst for change.”
“Gastropod Ding,” approximately 14 inches in height, black stoneware
with gold leaf, by Susan Harris, Logan, Utah.
Most of the participants in “Inde­
pendent Makers” also made the con­
scious decision to work outside aca­
demia. “With one exception,” Harris
writes, “all chose to be makers rather
than teachers. However, several do teach
from time to time in some limited ca­
pacity, either presenting workshops or
acting as part-time or guest instructors.
“The predominant effect of working
outside academia for these artists is free­
dom; creating without the time demands
associated with academia seems to sup­
port greater spontaneity.”
Those who have had experience
teaching recognize “the struggle required
Left: “Striped Vase,” 8 inches in height,
stoneware, by Linda Christianson,
Lindstrom, Minnesota.
“Neptune Teapot,” approximately 7 inches in height, low-fire whiteware,
by Marian Haigh, Austin, Texas.
September 1996
to find enough studio time to produce
quality work. They believe this active
participation in the making of art is
necessary to be an effective teacher, but
is exasperatingly difficult to achieve un­
der the time constraints involved in
teaching, committee assignments, re­
search and paperwork.”
On the down side, “the vital stimu­
lation from the exchange of ideas that
“Woman Holding Vase,” approximately
26 inches high, earthenware, by Donna
Polseno, Floyd, Virginia.
occurs in an academic setting is either
missing or, at best, difficult to sustain
when one works alone.
“Without exception, the artists in
‘Independent Makers’ are constantly
aware of the gradual metamorphosis tak­
ing place in their work. The general
consensus is,” Harris reports, “that evo­
lution rather than revolution character­
izes this change.” ▲
“Prickly Seed Reliquary,” approximately 26 inches in height,
handbuilt earthenware with low-fire glazes, by Angelica Pozo,
Cleveland, Ohio.
Marsha McCarthy
Drawings on Clay
by Jocelyn Frechette
Handbuilt earthenware plaque, 13½ inches in height, incised when bone dry,
accented with underglaze, by Marsha McCarthy, Weston, Massachusetts.
“I don’t know how I’ll make this a ca­
reer, but this is what I’m going to be
doing,” Marsha McCarthy declared in
1991. Almost everyone who has experi­
enced the rush of creating a tangible
object from a conceived idea (and hav­
ing it actually come out as planned) has
had the same thought: to make a living
at doing what is so completely and in­
tensely satisfying.
McCarthy’s studio is in her Con­
necticut mountaintop home, in a room
September 1996
that’s more like a living room than a
workspace. The floor is covered by an
old Oriental rug and a wall’s-length of
orchids and scented houseplants. Bool^s
on the earth, on mythology, on gods
and goddesses, and animals are neatly
stacked and within easy reach. There is
no drawing table because McCarthy
never sketches; she goes directly to the
clay with the drawings already firmly in
mind. There is a desk, but she never
uses it, except as a foundation for a
small city of listing skyscrapers of ig­
nored paperwork.
Her work area is a batik-covered
overstuffed chair. Its back and hers are
to the window so the light shines in
over her shoulder. One of five cats is
usually on her lap. (The others are stalk­
ing the contents of two fish tanks—one
for the “vicious fish,” the other holds
the “good, pretty little fish.”) A large
ottoman, on top of which is a piece of
thick foam, serves as a worktable.
“Totem Pole,” 40 inches in height, handbuilt earthenware, incised when bone dry,
bisqued, underglazed, low fired, dyed and waxed.
Hunched over a bone-dry vessel or
tile, McCarthy uses an engraver’s stylus
to etch the surface. She’s been doing
this since seven this morning. It’s ten
now and she is so engrossed in her work,
she hasn’t even showered yet. At one
point, she did wander down to the
kitchen for a cup of coffee, but then
promptly forgot about it, so now it’s
stone cold and completely undrinkable.
Her work is going well, so there’s a
good chance she will stay in this
hunched-over position until at least eight
tonight. There’s an equally good chance
she won’t work tomorrow. Having ex­
hausted herself physically and creatively,
she’ll refresh herself by planting some
new perennials in her garden or by
mucking out her horse’s stall.
Clay is canvas for McCarthy. She
prepares her canvas by handbuilding
tiles or vessels in shapes that are round
and full. “I decided early on to handbuild pieces because I like the irregular­
ity—the flaws.”
She finds handbuilding more medi­
tative than working on the wheel, but it
is also very time consuming and she is
always impatient to get to the drawing.
“These days,” she says, “my work is less
about technique and more about ideas:
ideas about our individual and collec­
tive experiences along the road, ideas
from the past and the present, from
folklore and contemporary philosophy.”
Each work starts with a phrase, a
saying or some poetry that has elicited
an emotion in her—which usually
means it will have the same effect on a
potential customer. She etches the phrase
in as a border and fills in the rest of the
surface with complex drawings of plants,
animals, figures and patterns that whirl
and intertwine. The drawings have en­
ergy and movement, yet remain serene
and distinct.
People often have emotional, some­
times surprisingly strong, responses to
McCarthy’s work. She recalls, “In Balti­
more, one woman had to sit down. A
tile she had read had made her think of
her father who, at the time, was very ill.
I was very touched by her.”
The combination of images and
words was a natural progression. Mc­
Carthy graduated from the Museum
School of Bostons Museum of Fine Arts
as a painter. Unable to support herself
by painting, she applied to advertising
agencies for graphics designer positions.
She was good. She liked words as much
as images and created concepts that
worked. So a major Boston agency hired
her to a position previously held by
men: art director. And she had the quite
dubious distinction, she remembers, of
being introduced to her staff as the
agency’s “first art director with breasts.”
Over the years, she won lots of awards,
but eventually burned out.
McCarthy then moved to Connecti­
cut and, looking for a new and better
creative outlet, signed up for a course at
Wesleyan Potters. “Maybe because of
my earlier career in advertising it seemed
perfectly natural to draw images and Incised earthenware plate, 18 inches in diameter,
with underglaze, natural dyes and bowling alley paste wax.
words on my pots before firing. The
results were truly exciting to me—at
least in part because the drawing pro­
cess stressed the unfired clay and my
tantly agreed, only because she knew
pots were literally blowing up in the
that limited editions would give her the
kiln. Talk about irregularities and flaws,”
time—a platter takes two weeks to in­
she jokes. She consulted with anyone
cise, a jug takes ten—and financial re­
who might have answers about her pro­
sources to work on one-of-a-kind pieces
cess, until she got it right.
and new designs.
Satisfied with her technique and tech­
Now, she has stopped doing many
nological understanding, she decided to
other associated mundane tasks. She no
make a living from her claywork. She
longer takes time to do the paperwork,
invested her savings, supplemented that
the correspondence, the billing and the
with family “loans,” and began the
selling. These are performed by a staff
daunting and frequently dispiriting task
of six who work in her basement (also
of getting into shows.
known as, fondly, “The Dungeon”). As
The successes she met just about
a matter of fact, she’s stopped going to
broke her business. Overwhelmed with McCarthy’s worktable is an overstuffed
the basement. “It’s hard for me to let
ottoman—frequently shared by one of
orders, frustrated by the monotony of her five cats.
any piece go. When I’m down there, I
constantly reproducing the same piece
immediately start irrationally picking on
and longing to have more time to create
people. So they tell me to stay upstairs.”
new work, she took a vacation with kiln.” Fortunately, Raibley saw the
And stay she does! Happily. Form­
friends to regroup.
work’s potential and offered to be ing clay, patting the cats, incising draw­
Any one of her phrases about fate McCarthy’s “manager.”
ings, feeding the fish. “What I do...it’s
would prove true because one of the
Raibley talked her into—and this all about the joy of working with clay.
friends who joined McCarthy was took a lot of talking—producing some What could be more wonderful?”
Rebecca Raibley, who had just left a limited editions. (Once the piece is
computer position. Says Raibley, finished, a mold is made of the original. The author Jocelyn Frechette is a New
“McCarthy was about ready to self-de- After the slip-cast edition is sold, the Hampshire—based writer who put her
struct, just like her early pieces in the
mold is destroyed.) McCarthy reluc­
“hands in clay just once and made a mess. ”
September 1996
Barry Bostwick: Student Potter
by Glenn Daly
Barry Bostwick throwing a teabowl
at the wheel in his Beverly Hills studio,
^Extricating himself from the cramped
cab of a battered ’59 El Camino, he
waves to the other students displaying
their ware in the MOA parking lot on
Melrose in West Hollywood. He is wear­
ing a Panama hat cocked low over one
eye, a tan and khaki polo, olive-drab
shorts and scuffed leather sandals. He
looks like someone just back from a
“guys only” weekend of bass fishing, or
a beach bum scanning the shore for
driftwood. He doesn’t look anything like
the father of his country, a role he played
in the Peabody Award-winning miniseries, “George Washington”; nor, even,
young punk Danny Zuko, a part he
created in the original Broadway pro­
duction of Grease; and surely not middleAmerican dork Brad Majors, Susan
Sarandon’s boyfriend in the cult classic
Rocky Horror Picture Show. When Barry
Bostwick dresses down, he doesn’t even
look like Barry Bostwick.
He also doesn’t seem the type to com­
mit 25 hours a week to learning and
Water jar with brass lid, 4¾ inches in
height, Cone 10 reduction fired.
practicing the art of pottery. Yet, for the
last six years, that’s what he’s done, and
how he came to it is as poignant a story
as any he’s acted.
“I was at N.Y.U. [New York Univer­
sity] School of the Arts working on my
master’s, and this agent came by and
saw me in a student production...actu­
ally, a circus project where I was doing
trapeze work and clowning and jug­
gling routines. His name was Bob
LeMonde and he became my first agent
in New York, right out of college; later,
he became my personal manager. He
was the person who ushered me into
show business and kept me in it for the
first 20-something years.
“Bob contracted AIDS about eight
years ago. In the last year of his life, he
got involved in ceramics, because he
wanted to do something that was cre­
ative and something that he could do at
home. He bought a wheel and had a
private teacher come over to his house.
He made wonderful little pots. When
he passed away, he left me one of his
favorite pots, his wheel and all his tools.
“He knew that I was taking sculpt­
ing classes at that time, and in fact had
been considering an art major in high
school before catching the acting bug.
So, with his passing the mantle to me, if
you will, I went into pottery full force.
Whenever I sit down at the wheel, I’m
always reminded of him, and I honor
him and his gift to me.”
Bostwick began by taking classes at
MOA, a school that is part of the MOA
Foundation, which, through its many
centers around the world, promotes ap­
preciation of the Japanese arts. “My first
teacher, Keikichi Sato, ...started my ex­
ploration into, and my passion for, the
traditional Japanese shapes and colors.
When Sato returned to Japan a year
and a half later, he was replaced by
another Japanese teacher, Yumi Kiyoshi,
from the Otis College of Art and De­
sign. She’s brought to the job a blend of
the traditional Japanese aesthetics and a
graduate student’s risk-taking abandon.
“The ceramics training at this school
is very free-form,” Bostwick says. “People
are allowed to go in the direction that
inspires them, so long as they’re
grounded in the proper techniques.
They don’t try to push you in any spe­
cific creative direction, but totally sup­
port you in finding your own style.
Waste-water bowl with crackle glaze,
3½ inches high, raku fired.
September 1996
“Many schools charge firing fees by
the square inch, so a student isn’t en­
couraged to work large, or make mul­
tiple pieces. This school is not the
cheapest in town, but you can make an
unlimited number of pieces, with no
limits on size, either. It just totally frees
you up. Yumi says, ‘If you want to make
a teabowl, make 50 teabowls. If you
want to make a cup, make 100 cups,
and throw 80 of them away; it doesn’t
make any difference.’ It’s been the best
training for me to sit and throw a hun­
dred of something.”
Whenever he’s not rehearsing or on
location, Bostwick can usually be found
working in his home studio or, at his
second home, the MOA studio. Last
semester he threw a ton of clay.
“Each semester I try to throw only
one type of clay. I try to explore its
boundaries, with all the glazes and slips
that we use, and I try to push its limits.
I’m enjoying this time of exploration
and discovery.
“I’m drawn to the glazes that are
particularly Japanese in name and
color—the Shinos, hagi, temmoku,
Oribes and assorted ash glazes that I’ve
either formulated or stolen from articles
in Ceramics Monthly. I prefer quiet col­
ors and textures, and I avoid the spec­
tacular. The struggle for me is keeping
my work simple, straightforward and
elegant,” Bostwick notes.
“In the last few years, I’ve focused on
researching and reinterpreting the clas­
sic tea-ceremony vessels: water jars, tea
caddies, waste-water bowls and both
summer and winter teabowls.” Using
the studio’s large gas kilns, firing at Cone
10 reduction, and his own electric and
raku kilns at his home, he tries to recre­
ate the traditional colors and textures.
“I subscribe to the notion of the Japa­
nese aesthetic of wabi sabihe says.
“It’s a definition of beauty, or what is
beautiful in the mind and eye of Japa­
nese and, particularly, of Buddhist cul­
ture. I copied something out of a book
that I’ve put over my wheel, and when­
ever I get too fussy or too careful or I’m
going down an avenue that just doesn’t
feel right, it’s usually because I’m not
following one of these seven precepts:”
Tea caddie with brass lid, 3½ inches in height, wheel-thrown
stoneware with Cone 10 reduction glaze.
The Zen Spirit in Pottery
Sense of Age
Subtle Depth
Freedom from Convention
or Attachment
Bostwick uses this Zen spirit as an
artistic guidepost. “When I started out,
I bought all these books and I’d copy
the greats: Leach, Hamada, and many
early Japanese raku potters. I would try
to reproduce their shapes and glazes,
but I found myself going in my own
direction after about a year. Every time
I tried to throw something perfectly
round, I’d end up hitting it to make it
asymmetrical. I have this inner demon
that coaxes me to throw off center.
“I probably take too many risks as a
student. About one out of every five
pieces looks the way I envisioned it.
The other ones cave in, are too heavy
or, like most students, I mess them up
in the glazing.
His Cone 10 reduction pots are fired in the gas kilns at the
MOA studio, but Bostwick does raku firing in his backyard.
“My personal style has definitely been
influenced by the Japanese aesthetic—
the simplicity, ritual, shape, color, natu­
ralness. I also think it speaks to a certain
spiritual path that I walk and the east­
ern religions that I study. I’ve meditated
every day for about 20 years now.”
Barry designed and helped build the
Japanese-influenced home he and his
wife, Sherri Ellen, live in. They were
married in a tea house in the Bay Area,
with a Japanese tea ceremony as part of
the wedding celebration. He and Sherri
Ellen, a student potter also, made all
the teabowls that were used in their tea
ceremony, then presented them as keep­
sakes to each of their 50 wedding guests.
Pottery’s allure is deep and attracts
him on many levels. “I’m a very curious
person,” Bostwick says. “I need to know
all my options at all times, and the
options are endless when it comes to
ceramics. I’m also a detail person, so as
uncomfortable as it is for me to deal
with the spontaneity of clay, I see it as a
necessity to bring balance in my life—a
yin to my yang.”
Beyond that is a concern endemic to
most acting professionals, a concern that
September 1996
elicits a passionate response. “I work in
a business that I don’t have any control
over,” he says. “Acting is one of those
jobs that you’re not really sure how you
got it, but you do it, then somebody
else messes with your work. Somebody
cuts out that moment (your best mo­
ment, of course), or in the end, the
film’s never released. What attracts me
to pottery is: what I make is what I see.
I have complete and total control over
it...up to the point the kiln gods take
over,” he says, with a chuckle. “But I
still feel like it’s my work. What I do for
a living, that’s not my work.”
There are, of course, some benefits
to being an actor, too. Paid travel, and
the cultural opportunities it affords, is
one of them. “I was in London recently,”
Bostwick says, “and all I could think
about was going to the Victoria and
Albert Museum; it has an incredible
pottery collection. There was a special
exhibit on Japanese studio crafts and I
spent hours in there. Wherever in the
world I go, the first questions I ask are:
Are there any potters?’ ‘What’s at the
museums here?”’
He is also an avid attender of arts
and crafts fairs, taking in as many as ten
a year. “I see what other potters are
doing. I see what’s selling, the imagery,
the use of materials. It’s interesting to
go from a jeweler to a potter, or from a
sculptor to a potter. You see a wash of
creativity, of materials and themes.
“I find art shows stimulating in terms
of what other materials I can use with
my pottery. I always think collage.’ My
style gravitates toward adding something
beyond the pot, nonceramic. In the past,
I used found items for knobs on the lids
of my covered jars. Now, I’m construct­
ing lids from brass and bronze pieces
that I discovered in a Japanese antique
warehouse, combining glazed elements
with metal to form tops on water jars
and tea caddies.”
He donates a number of his better
pieces to celebrity auctions for various
charities, but, at present, only sells his
ware to fund his daywork. With two
student sales a year at MOA, and two
Japanese specialty antique stores that
carry his tea-ceremony utensils, he has a
hard time keeping up with the demand.
Asked if he draws buyers because
he’s an actor, he says, “Oh, I probably
do...some of them. But as I progress, I
find more and more are attracted just to
the style and tone of the work.” How­
ever, the celebrity-chaser syndrome con­
cerned him enough to consider not
signing his ware. He says, “You read
and hear about the tradition of potters
who don’t sign their work—the fact that
it’s being used is the real sense of achieve­
ment for them. But I’m afraid I’m not
that selfless, yet. This is the only thing
that I have that I can put my signature
on and say, ‘This is totally mine.’”
It’s unlikely that you’ll find Bostwick
competing for booth space at art shows,
though. “I’m a student potter,” he says,
“and will be for at least the next 15
years. Then I might be good enough
and confident enough to have estab­
lished an unshakable personal style.”
Asked if he might eventually forsake
grease paint for glaze, he says, “Are you
saying that you see the end of my acting
career soon?” He feigns indignation,
then adds with a chuckle, “Actors never
retire. They just die on stage.” A
Reproduction of a Goddess
A Study of Late Bronze Age Ceramics
by Ted Saupe
^lecent excavations at Vronda near
Kavousi in East Crete, Greece, have un­
covered a Minoan settlement (12th cen­
tury B.C.) with a shrine belonging to
the cult of the goddess with upraised
hands. This goddess, a deity of nature
whose power covers the sky, earth and
underworld, is regularly represented by
a clay statue. Such statues vary in size
from approximately 4 to 32 inches.
Many of them wear tiaras displaying
their cult symbols—horns of consecra­
tion, snakes, birds, poppy bulbs, pal­
ettes. A few have snakes twining around
their arms and bodies.
The shrine at Vronda is located at
the edge of the settlement near a potter s
kiln. In the shrine itself were the torsos
of two goddesses and five nearly com­
plete snake tubes, a particular type of
stand for holding kalathoi (offering
bowls) and plaques. Scattered to the
south and southwest of the shrine was
an extensive deposit of over 4000 bro­
ken fragments of these cult artifacts.
The fragmentary condition of the
Vronda goddesses provided a great op­
portunity to observe the construction
details on the interior as well as the
exterior of the statues. A study of the
fragments begun in the summer of 1991
was completed by making a statue to
test the conclusions.
Although there is some variety in the
details, notably the hair, ears and the
clay itself, the construction technique
was essentially the same for all the god­
desses. Basically, they were assembled
from two pots thrown on the wheel.
The larger pot was shaped into the cy­
lindrical skirt and the torso, while the
smaller became the neck and the head.
Arms, breasts, noses, eyebrows, ears and
tiaras were made separately and added.
Both the body and the head sections
were thrown on the slow wheel. Where Modern reproduction of a Minoan goddess, 26 inches in height,
the evidence survives, it shows that the wheel thrown and handbuilt.
body was pulled all the way to the shoul­
ders in one throw. Rings formed by the
The torso and head were thrown as open
cylinders, then joined.
A triangular piece of clay was attached to form
the nose of the goddess.
September 1996
potter s fingers during the throwing pro­
cess are clear on the interior surfaces of
the statues, particularly on the cylindri­
cal skirts, but the exterior surfaces have
been smoothed with a rib. The rib could
have been a suitably shaped stone or a
flat piece of wood. The edge was held
against the statue as it was turned on
the slow wheel until the desired surface
was obtained. This not only smoothed
but compressed the clay, removing the
excess water and strengthening the wall
of the statue. Marks made by the rib
appear on some of the statues.
Most of the goddesses have a beveled
base, which increases the stability of the
statue. The torso was thrown as an open
cylinder, then compressed into an ellip­
tical shape while the clay was semisoft.
The waist was compressed into an oval
with its longest measurement running
from back to front; the chest and back
were flattened as the top of the pot was
pulled together on each side to form
the shoulders. The neck area was left
open. Breasts made from small conical
pellets of clay were added. Some statues
have a bridging strip of clay between
the front and back torso, which was
slotted on each side to strengthen the
join. A triangular piece of clay filled the
space between the strip, torso and neck.
The upper rim of the torso was
squeezed to form a support for the up­
per arm. The forearm was attached to
the end of this at a right angle, forming
the elbow. A number of broken arms
and hands, providing interior evidence
for their construction, have been found.
Both upper and lower sections of arms
were rolled over wooden sticks or twigs.
Upper arms were fitted over the squeezed
ends of the torso. Lower arms were fitted
over ends of upper arms perpendicu­
larly to form an elbow.
The hand was modeled like a pocket
with an opening for the fingers and
thumb. The fingers were solid cylinders
rolled and placed side by side in a row
in the pocket; the thumb was separated
the width of a finger. The opposite side
of the pocket was wrapped around the
end of the arm, forming the wrist. It is
often possible to tell whether a hand is
right or left because the palm is flatter.
The neck and head were thrown to­
gether upside down with the top of the
head as the base. The upper part of the
cylinder was compressed to form the
neck. Compression marks are visible on
the interior surface of every neck. The
details of the face were formed either by
pushing outward from the inside of the
cylinder, or adding extra clay. The chin
was shaped from the inside (pushed out)
with the addition of extra clay, but the
mouth was a simple slit incised by a
wooden chisel-like tool. The nose was a
triangular piece of added clay, some­
times with nostrils incised with a flat,
blunt-ended tool, but the eyes were
pushed out from behind. In no case
was clay added to form the eyes. On the
other hand, the eyebrows and ears were
always modeled and attached. The eye­
brows were formed by adding an arched
coil of clay and smoothing it down.
Most of the ears were shaped simply
with a coil of clay around a pierced
hole; sometimes, however, there was
more shaping and the coil continued
far enough to indicate the lobe.
The neck was applied to the top of
the torso covering the hole at the center
and smoothed down all sides. Hair was
added by attaching coils of clay from
the top of the head to the waist, form­
ing long tresses. These tresses were some­
times incised to look like braids,
sometimes impressed like pie-crust deco­
ration with thumb or pinched with
fingers, and sometimes flattened and
left plain.
The top of the head was left open.
Most of the heads were strengthened by
adding a coil of clay around the interior
of the rim. On top of this was fitted a
tiara. Although no tiara is totally pre-
The eyes were made by pushing
outward from the inside.
Back view of the replica, showing
tresses incised to look like braids.
served, details from several provided the
evidence needed for reconstruction:
Strips of clay were laid side by side across
the open head. These were usually
pierced along each edge with a semicir­
cular hole, which matched a similar hole
in the next strip. Their purpose is un­
certain. A bird sits at the back of the
center strip of the tiara on two examples.
Palettes arise from the middle of each
side and the front of existing tiaras.
The goddesses were probably made
in the summer, as the weather is consis­
tently hot and dry then. The sections
could have been thrown in the morn­
ing, then assembled in the early after­
noon. There was quite a bit of modeling
and carving after the clay had begun to
set. The arms of goddesses were propped
up for the final drying; marks from the
props can still be seen under the el­
bows. Final drying would take two to
three days, depending on the weather.
The firing would start in the morn­
ing, using kindling for three to four
hours of slow low heat with the tem­
perature rising to 400°-500°F. This
would drive out all the moisture so that
it would be safe to raise the heat more
quickly by moving up the stoking pace
and increasing the size and weight of
the wood pieces. There would be four
to five hours during which temperature
would go up 200°F an hour to 1500°F.
Then the firing chamber and flue would
be sealed and the kiln would be allowed
to cool at least 24 hours.
Variations in color and size would
depend on how even the heat was dur­
ing firing. On the reproduction god­
dess, one arm shrank a bit and the color
was darker at the top, which was closer
to the heat. This would explain some of
the differences in color on the Bronze
Age figures, which has caused some sur­
prises in matching the shards.
The author Clay artist Ted Saupe teaches
at the University of Georgia, Athens.
Michael Jenson
by Thomas Harding
Rflontana potter Michael Jenson of­
ten treats visitors to his gallery to a tour
of his studio. He usually points to some
aspect of the view out the studio win­
dow, which faces north across Whitefish River. Flowing just a hundred feet
below the flat of the rear yard, the river
separates his property from the once
larger Burlington Northern rail yard.
Next to the tracks stands the still-operating engine roundhouse, a large brick
September 1996
structure typical of a 1900 railroad. In
the distance, above the roundhouse roof
line, rise the slopes of Big Mountain—
Northwest Montanas destination ski
area. His studio window also offers a
view of seasonal moods, beautiful in all
Above: Plate, 7 inches in diameter,
wheel-thrown porcelain, with rutile
crystalline glaze, salt fired, NFS, by
Michael Jenson, Whitefish, Montana,
the forms, from leaden clouds blanket­
ing winter snowslopes to cerulean blue
skies doming the summer verdure.
Entering Jenson’s studio, one quickly
gathers that this is a working potters
room—clean (as such places go), but
strewn with tools of the trade, plasticwrapped clay, maybe some greenware
fresh off the wheel or bisqueware ready
to be glazed. High shelves hold favorite
pots, both his and other artists’.
Stoneware pitcher with celadon glaze, 11 inches in height,
wheel thrown, wood fired, $90.
Jenson mixes his own clays, but keeps
the dust of that operation at a separate
location, outside his home across town.
His slab roller and pug mill are in the
basement of the studio-gallery. The shop
seems spacious, but the windows de­
liver much of the effect—the studio
area is only a few hundred square feet.
Whitefish Gallery & Jenson Studios
is the latest step in a progression of
workspaces that began in a gravel-floored
garage over 20 years ago. Jenson com­
pleted a bachelor s degree in psychology
at the University of Montana in 1972;
while there, he was introduced to clay
in a pottery class taught by Rudy Autio.
After graduation and a short officertraining stint in the Army, he returned
to Whitefish and supported himself as a
railway switchman. But clay had cap­
tured his interest. He practiced throw­
ing in his spare hours away from rail­
way work; then, during an economic
slowdown while he was laid off, Jenson
took up clay full time.
In 1975, a local art center invited
him to build a studio in their basement
and offer ceramics classes. Working with
a minute budget, he constructed this
first studio and an exterior kiln from
scratch. He continued as the centers
resident potter until 1978, when he left
to build his first personal, professional
studio. Over the years, he has redefined
the workspace, as his skills and ability
matured. Change is something he ac­
cepts and encourages.
He met David Shaner in the 1970s
and a deep friendship soon developed
between the two: Shaner the mentor,
the guide to a younger, but kindred,
soul. The two constructed a wood-burning kiln near Shaner s studio and fired it
together for nearly 14 years, until a grass
wildfire destroyed it. Today, they are
building a replacement kiln with some
modifications, planning to wood fire
again this year.
Mike Jenson would be a success if
only his ceramics career were consid­
ered. But it should also be mentioned
that he once ran a spice business, which
“River Rock Plate,” 16 inches square, commercial black clay pressed in mold taken
from mud-rippled sedimentary rock in Glacier National Park, salt fired, $120.
September 1996
Below: Jenson’s studio seems spacious
thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows,
which face north across Whitefish River
to the ski slopes of Big Mountain.
Dinner plate, 11 inches in diameter,
porcelain, with wax-resisted glaze
pattern, $50.
“Capped Jar,” 17 inches in height, Helmer-based clay body,
with hand-applied Shino slip, wood fired, $850.
Bud vase, 5 inches in height, porcelain with copper red
glaze, high fired in reduction. $20.
“Jar with Lugs,” 15 inches in height, wheel-thrown Helmer
stoneware, with wood ash deposits, $450.
“Two Shino Plate,” 16 inches in diameter, wheel-thrown white stoneware, with
reduction-fired Shino and purple Shino glazes, NFS.
he successfully expanded and sold; has
acquired and managed several rental
properties; has acted as construction co­
ordinator for a high-end Whitefish de­
velopment and subdivision; has served
three terms as an elected trustee for
Flathead Valley Community College;
and has served on the local community
theater board and the local planning
board. Currently, he is on the board of
directors for the Winter Sports Corpo­
ration—the company that operates the
Big Mountain Ski Resort he sees out his
studio window.
The dream of operating a studiogallery was realized four years ago, after
Jenson served as a resident artist at Ari­
zona State University in Tempe. When
the 1920s house was put on the market,
he immediately recognized its potential
as a gallery and studio. “There were
several motivations,” he explains. “A
shortage of galleries in our area was one.
Second, I was tired of the difficulties
September 1996
experienced dealing with galleries at a
distance; i.e., shipping, losses, getting
paid. Third, and probably most impor­
tant, my generation of working clay
artists has begun to realize we have very
little in the way of retirement. Most of
us probably do not intend to stop work­
ing; however, few are going to produce
the volume of work they did in their
younger years, nor are we going to be
among the one-half of one percent that
Recognizing the sales potential of its
location, Jenson remodeled a 1920s
house as a studio/gallery.
achieve financial success solely on the
appreciation of prices for their work.
“Not willing to leave the outcome to
chance, I am trying to take steps to
ensure my family’s future as well as al­
low me to continue working in clay. I
am not sure it is enough or that it will
be successful, but for me I have no
doubt that it is a step in the right direc­
tion. I intend to be making pots for a
long time to come, and the new busi­
ness (the gallery) and the real estate
involved will help me achieve that goal.”
Today, the gallery shows the works
of 25 artists in various media, but re­
mains focused on clay.
“Those who work with clay under­
stand its captivating spell and the per­
sonal growth associated with it,”
acknowledges Jenson. “There is prob­
ably no greater preparation and guide
for life than making pots, for it is a
process of continuous challenge and
constant change.” ▲
Cathy Kiffney
Uecorative platters, jars and shoes by
North Carolina clay artist Cathy Kiffney
were on view through May 30 at Cra­
ven Allen Gallery in Durham, North
Carolina. Slab and/or coil built from a
red earthenware body, the forms were
carved, then brushed with colored slips
when leather hard. After the bisque fir­
ing, commercial glazes were applied and
the works fired to 1944°F.
“My work is a continuing investiga­
tion, using such forms as vase, urn, plat­
ter and animal in ways that inquire into
the assumptions of our perception of
pottery concepts and function,” Kiffney
The fanciful shoes, which are some­
times mounted on clay “rocks” or “pil­
lows,” were inspired by the 19th-century
practice of exchanging ceramic shoes as
gifts. “My challenge is to raise new ques­
tions to the old answers within the deco­
rative ceramic tradition by using an old
form and exaggerating aspects of its de­
sign or using the unexpected surface
color or texture, ” Kiffney explained. A
“Night Blossom,” 17 inches in height,
slab- and coil-built earthenware, with
colored slips and commercial low-fire
glazes, by Cathy Kiffney, Chapel Hill,
North Carolina.
“Platter with Carved Animal Vase,”
18 inches in diameter, earthenware,
with brushed slips and glazes.
“Little Buster Black,” 12 inches
long, handbuilt earthenware,
with low-fire slips and glazes.
Bridge sculpture, 12 feet in length, high-fired stoneware
by Ah Leon, Taipei, Taiwan.
Bridging Reality
by David Wible
In the main room of Garth Clark Gal­
lery in New York City stands what ap­
pears to be a wooden bridge. Twelve
feet long and roughly waist high, weath­
ered and dilapidated perhaps beyond
repair, it gives pause to anyone who
knows this to be a ceramic arts gallery.
September 1996
The bridges details hint at a time
long ago when the now aged wood was
fresh cut: the hatchet marks on the handhewn posts and crossbeams, the cres­
cent dents left by the hammer that nailed
the planks down. Years of wear show,
however. One of the bridge s main posts
is completely gone, presumably rotted
and swept away by the same current
that eroded the bottom portions of some
of the remaining posts.
As for the planks that form the walk­
ing surface of the bridge, weather and
time have treated each of them differ­
ently. Some of them are missing, with
bent and fractured remnants the only
traces left. The surviving planks, vary­
ing in size and type of wood, line up in
rough parallel to form a coherent but
undulating walkway.
Some of these boards sag, tired of
resisting gravity. Others have warped
and rebelled against the nails that barely
hold them in place. Each reflects subtle
variations of hue, from muted oranges
and siennas to hints of purple and green,
residues from an alchemy of weather
and wood.
Ironies emerge. On the one hand,
looking at this bridge evokes so much
that is physically absent here: the stream
of water that has eroded the posts be­
low, the carpenters tools that have left
their marks, the last unhappy footstep
that snapped the missing planks, the
dangerous act itself of crossing over. But
the same gaze that elicits all this will not
reveal what actually is here: clay. The
entire bridge, down to the rusted pro­
truding nails, is made of high-fired
stoneware. So, what first appears to be
the competent but routine work of a
carpenter diffident about details is, in
fact, the virtuoso work of a clay artist
obsessed with them.
The artist is Ah Leon. In the West,
he is best known for his playful teapot
variations inspired by the Yixing tradi­
tion. One of these, a trompe l’oeil branch
teapot, is now in the permanent collec­
tion of New Yorks Metropolitan Mu­
seum of Art.
In Taiwan, where an Ah Leon signa­
ture on a modestly sized functional tea­
pot can put the price over US$3000,
his pieces are sought after and used by
collectors and tea connoisseurs alike.
With his ingenious innovations in ma­
terial and design, he has influenced the
face of Taiwan’s institution of Chinese
tea drinking probably more than any
single contemporary artist.
While the bridge marks a departure
for Ah Leon, his characteristic playful­
ness remains. It somehow makes sense
in retrospect that the hand that earlier
gave us a teapot in the form of a rail­
road tie would create a wooden bridge
of clay. Both trompe l’oeil works gently
flummox the viewer into a double take.
But the bridge is more than sheer play,
and as trompe l’oeil is, does more than
simply “trick the eye.”
The bridge subject itself resonates.
In a gallery often devoted to vessels, a
bridge in a sense turns the container
inside out. Vessels impose boundaries;
bridges cross them. And in the world
outside of galleries, bridges are not neu­
tral things. We know them by their
purpose. Bridges bridge. They span
bounded space and make it possible to
cross over. It’s hard to resist the visual
metaphor for all sorts of bridging that
span human experience.
Despite the familiarity and resonance
of the image of a bridge, Ah Leon has
created such an idiosyncratic and com­
pelling instance that we have to rearrange
our stereotypes to make mental elbowroom for it. A sterile prototype this is
not. For one thing, Ah Leon’s bridge is
broken. Nearly a fifth of it is gone, and
he has lavished on the rest of it such
neglect and disrepair that it resists any
easy fit with a metaphor and refuses to
serve as a mere symbol.
America has seen other variations on
trompe l’oeil that are not so resistant to
the role of emblem. Andy Warhol’s Brillo
boxes, for example, act simply as an
abbreviation for an idea—say, the fatu­
ity of the whole notion of “originals” in
the age of mass production. Warhol
would have been the first to admit that
a face-to-face look at his boxes is beside
the point. What Ah Leon has done, on
the other hand, can’t be distilled. In
fact, he has created a quiet, compelling
argument for the value of the original:
his physical piece demands a physical
“No ideas but in things,” wrote Wil­
liam Carlos Williams. And while, in the
territories of art and craft, disembodied
ideas still clutter the border debates, Ah
Leon has built something incarnate, a
bridge that, by some trick of its incar­
nation, both makes the crossing seem
treacherous and the border obsolete.
The author An avocationalpotter, David
Wible teaches undergraduate- and gradu­
ate-level classes in linguistics at Providence
University in Taiwan.
Even the rusted nails of Ah Leon’s trompe I’oeil sculpture are
made of high-fired stoneware.
Invisible Gesture
by Paul Rozman
Majolica-glazed coffeepot, 10 inches in height, 1996,
by Paul Rozman, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
^\long with the expressive nature of
the material and ideas of form and
utility, there is an overwhelming pres­
ence in the pots I admire most. This
presence speaks of human experience,
regardless of time and space. I call it
invisible gesture because it is not mani­
fested in a physical way but speaks
directly to our guts, regardless of cul­
tural barriers.
Contemporary pottery production
September 1996
is not strictly inspired by market de­
mand or by a dominant aesthetic. But
this new-found freedom can be a dis­
advantage in the absence of main­
stream criticism.
The challenge for me is to develop
criteria that are not necessarily uni­
versal but dare to be individual and
relevant to my own experiences. My
intent is to understand and to find
meaning in what I do. This is why I
choose to think of criticism as ceram­
ics appreciation.
Functional pottery involves ideas
and concepts, including form paint­
ing and/or form decoration, but it
also deals with an aesthetic of use, a
unique opportunity to experience art
in the most intimate way. When the
user takes hold of a coffeepot’s handle,
the mundane becomes a sensual en­
gagement, protecting the user against
Shallow bowl, 15 inches in diameter, wheel thrown, with
majolica glaze, fired to Cone 2 in oxidation, 1995.
indifference. I introduce subtle hints
of the forming process on knobs for
the same reason. This interaction be­
tween the user and the pot, through
sensual awareness, constitutes but one
aspect of the potters art.
Another aspect of functional pot­
tery is its potential to offer process,
form and function as an idea of beauty.
The universal reaction to a natural
splendor is to gaze in awe. The results
of ceramic processes are beautiful be­
cause of fidelity to natural phenom­
ena. Through study of historical
examples, I see variety and cultural
differences in this relationship with
nature. In my majolica work, I use
images of familiar animals (moose,
cow, chicken, fish, white owls and
frogs) integrated with stylized back­
ground patterns of water, trees, leaves
or simple color fields. The majolica
technique lends itself readily to this
kind of approach to surface. It is pos­
sible to have a full range of depth
from the white glaze to transparent
washes of color to opaque saturated
colors. Regardless of color saturation,
the painted surface melts into the glaze
and therefore takes on its character.
This makes it possible to have rich
surfaces without interfering with the
utilitarian purpose of the forms.
Wheel-thrown platter, 14 inches in diameter, majolica glazed,
fired to Cone 2, 1996.
Slip-cast cups,
3 inches in height,
with brushed
pigments over
Rozman Majolica
Base Glaze, 1996.
September 1996
Rozman Majolica Base Glaze
(Cone 2-4)
Frit 3124 (Ferro)......................... 40
Kona F-4 Feldspar..................... 15
Nepheline Syenite....................... 15
Edgar Plastic Kaolin.................. 12
Add: Superpax............................. 12%
CMC Gum Solution... 10 %
The gum solution is a mixture of 15
grams CMC gum in 1 liter water.
Rozman Stoney Matt Base Glaze
(Cone 2-4)
Whiting......................................... 20%
Frit 3124 (Ferro)......................... 20
Nepheline Syenite...................... 30
Edgar Plastic Kaolin.................. 15
Flint............................................... 15
For a yellow variation, add 5% rutile;
for blue-green, add 0.3% cobalt car­
bonate and 2% copper carbonate.
Rozman Throwing Body
(Cone 2-4)
Wollastonite............................................... 3%
Matt-glazed bowl with iron brushwork, 12 inches in diameter,
by Paul Rozman, 1996.
Nepheline Syenite.............................. 14
Ball Clay.............................................. 25
Hawthorne Fire or Cedar
Heights Goldart........................... 25
Cedar Heights Redart....................... 25
Flint............................................................. .8
The notion that functional pottery pottery is that this apparent conflict
is too limiting for expressive needs is is welcomed. In fact, I will go further
a strange one to me. Unfortunately, to say, not only are these opposites
our culture has adopted the belief that fused in pottery, but I see this as an
Rozman White Casting Slip
integral part common to the pots I
function is synonymous with conve­
(Cone 2-4)
nience. This notion is so prevalent in admire most.
It is a given that art pottery in­
modern design that often we confuse
Nepheline Syenite................. 30.00
the two. A Styrofoam cup is perfectly volves ability, intellect and emotion.
Edgar Plastic Kaolin............ 23.00
Functional pottery, by its nature, re­
satisfactory when the concern is con­
Kentucky Ball
venience alone. This solution, though, quires a level of ability (process and
Clay (OM 4)..................... 22.00
is so one-dimensional that the only technique) to fulfill concept and sub­
Flint......................................... 20.00
pleasure I get out of using it is when I ject matter (which are solidly rooted
in life experiences). The soul comes
throw it in the garbage. It is neverthe­
Add: Barium
less an aesthetic of convenience, from our traditions and first-hand ex­
periences. The degree to which all
simple-minded and restrictive.
Soda Ash....................
An important component of the these human qualities are involved and
Sodium Silicate..........
human experience is the opposite pull expressed in an individual manner
Start by adding 38% water, then add
of intellect and emotion. One of the makes the difference between utensil
more if required.
and art object. ▲
major attractions I have to functional
Art, Influence and Culture
by Marvin Sweet
Yu can tell a lot about people by the
choices they make. For an artist, there
are no more important choices than
those of the art and artists one chooses
to be influenced by, and in particular,
the mentor toward whom one gravi­
tates. Sometimes these choices are con­
science; sometimes they are intuitive;
and sometimes we are imposed upon.
When I suggest being imposed upon,
I am thinking about living environment,
family and points in time. I grew up in
Newark, New Jersey, during the 1950s.
At that time, Newark was composed of
friendly neighborhoods. These were gen­
erally racial or ethnic enclaves of
hardworking families, in well-maintained two-, three- or four-family homes.
I was raised by parents whose values
were forged in the Great Depression,
then tempered by World War II. My
grandparents, who lived in the same
house with us, retold tearful, painful
accounts of the Holocaust. My older
cousins were part of the Beat Genera­
tion and were Freedom Riders.
When I was 10 years old, the inno­
cence ended. I was confronted with and
impacted by the assassinations of Presi­
dent Kennedy, then Martin Luther King
and Bobby Kennedy. There were race
riots and lootings in Newark in 1967.
There were student strikes and protests
against our government s action in Viet­
nam. Young people were questioning
our national leaders. That was unheard
of, unthinkable.
In 1970,1 left my urban New Jersey
home to attend college in rural New
Hampshire. I graduated, thinking that
I would become a school teacher. But
in 1975, after moving to Boston, I was
“found by clay.” I spent the next five
years as a “self-taught” potter, making
functional ware. By 1980, believing my
daywork would benefit from formal
training, I made the decision to enroll
in the Master of Fine Arts program at
the Program in Artisanry, Boston Uni­
versity. That is where I had the good
fortune to study with Rick Hirsch (now
a faculty artist at the Rochester Institute
of Technology School for American
Craftsmen), and I got to know fellow
student Toshio Ohi. These two have
September 1996
“Guardian of Memory,” 26 inches in height, handbuilt, surfaced with low-fire glazes,
accented with wood addition.
been the driving forces behind my aes­
thetic appreciation and artistic attitudes.
Rick Hirschs knowledge of art, art­
ists and techniques spans all periods
and cultures, historic to contemporary,
and is reflected in the level of his artistic
and professional achievements. He dis­
seminates this knowledge with enthusi­
asm, insight, humor and aesthetic
sensibility. His work and work ethic
have always served me well as a model.
Toshio was also a graduate student,
arriving a year after me. I had come to
study with Rick because I simply needed
all the help I could get. Toshio, on the
other hand, was looking to bring fresh
ideas and attitudes to traditional Japan.
He is the eleventh generation of the
“Tea Bowl,” 3 inches in height, wheel thrown, raku fired,
by Marvin Sweet, Merrimac, Massachusetts.
Ohi family of Kanazawa to make uten­
sils for the tea ceremony. His family is
directly linked to the 400-year-old tra­
dition of the Urasenke Tea Society and
the Raku family—the first generation
of the Ohi family was an apprentice to
the fourth generation Raku. Leaving
Kyoto for Kanazawa, under the guid­
ance of the tea master Sen-so (greatgrandson of Sen-Rikyu), the Ohi potters
signed their work Raku for the next
four generations. The Raku and Ohi
families are considered “brother kilns.”
In 1986, with these two as my guides,
I traveled throughout Japan to study
the Zen gardens and temples, the tea
houses and their gardens. We practiced
the tea ceremony in Tokyo and Kyoto,
visited the Raku family, and made pots
combining American and traditional
raku firing techniques. The ideals of
simplicity, rusticity and humility are a
part of the tea aesthetic. I learned that
when I make a teabowl I should at­
tempt to bring those feelings to the
simple bowl shape. If I can do that,
then perhaps I have a chance to transfer
that sensibility to the other forms I make.
After my return, I began to incorpo­
rate my formal training and this em­
pirical research into my work. I began
to make vessels that reflected the Japa­
nese affinity with nature, along with the
use of chance, inherent in the raku firing
process. Zen tenets of frugality and
economy of means suggest trying to do
more with less.
In America, the general belief is that
bigger is better. The sweeping panorama
is what gets our attention. Because of
the unbounded magnificence of our
landscape, we have come to marvel at
the vastness of nature: the Hudson River
Valley, Yosemite National Park or the
Grand Canyon. In Japan, an island na­
tion, there is a greater intimacy and
awareness of the details of nature. Per­
haps that is why the Japanese have such
a deep understanding, love and appre­
ciation for ceramic art.
Art creates culture, even as it is a
product of its culture. My vessels are
informed by the Japanese aesthetic sen­
sibility, but there are references from
many diverse sources. Among those that
I have felt a particularly strong kinship
with are Cycladic art and Hans Coper,
African sculpture and Constantin
Brancusi, Chinese ceramics (especially
neolithic and Yixing), Isamu Noguchi,
Jean Arp and Mark Rothko. Art has its
own language, composed of a visual
vocabulary. Those who cannot under­
stand or appreciate abstract concepts in
art lack the ability of really seeing and
reading it. When understood, forms be­
gin to make sense, become clear, be­
come real. One’s work becomes a
thoughts and the clay. The idea is not to
make art from art, but to use the visual
vocabulary of the language of art, with
an eye toward nature. Brancusi, for ex­
ample, devoted himself to the distilla­
tion of nature into its essences, pure
form of primal origins.
In 1993, I moved from Boston to a
rural Massachusetts setting. It is much
easier to make the transition from ur­
ban to rural, I believe, than the other
way around. The new environment has
affected my work. I had been inter­
twining the vessel with the human form,
but now the reference is to animal. Ei­
ther way, they are analogous to the ves­
sel form, by way of their compositional
components; i.e., foot, body, shoulder,
neck, lip.
The visual suggestion of my vessel
forms is one of ritual. Religion and art,
both with their spiritual and ritualistic
aspects, are two areas where human­
kind have always applied their imagina­
tion. The spiritual need seems to be a
search for the meaning of existence. It is
a way of bringing order to chaos, mean­
ing where there was none. Ritual per­
petuates it.
For me, it is a visual investigation of
forms, in conjunction with the things
around me. That is why I find raku
firing so appealing. Raku is about fra­
gility and danger. There is personal dan­
ger from the intense heat and flame.
And there is danger in the elemental
forces of heat, fire and water conspiring
to crack the clay. Each time a piece is
removed from the kiln, it can be lost.
Like life itself, it is here, then gone. But
this firing technique is in total harmony
with my forms, my ideals, my apprecia­
tion of the ephemeral in nature.
The author Marvin Sweet teaches at
Bradford College in Bradford Massachusetts.
“Wa” is installed on the west wall of the Joseph V. Canzani Center
at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio.
CCAD’s Mural Wa
by Kaname Takada
“Wa,” a 672-square-foot ceramic mural
I produced with the help of student
assistants, was installed on the west wall
of the Joseph V. Canzani Center at the
Columbus College of Art and Design
(CCAD). Opened in 1993, the building
is the focal point of the campus in Co­
lumbus, Ohio. It houses an 8000square-foot exhibition hall, a library and
a 400-seat auditorium. The idea of em­
bellishing the facade with a mural was
initiated by then-president Joseph Can­
zani and vice president Mary Kinney.
They worked with the architects to des­
ignate space on the blueprints.
I had several aesthetic concerns in
mind when designing the mural. Firstly,
September 1996
I wanted the design to have a strong
aesthetic and visual presence, but, at the
same time, the building and the mural
had to complement each other. I also
wanted the design to present different
impressions, depending on where the
viewer stood. I chose I6x9-inch tiles as
the basic design element because 15
tiles would make up a 4-foot square.
The mural consists of 42 squares or
630 tiles. Their thicknesses range from
about ¾ inch to about 2 inches. Juxta­
posing different thicknesses yielded a
fragmentation effect. The closer the
viewer stands to the building, the greater
the fragmentation and three dimension­
ality of the mural s surface. On the other
hand, the farther away the viewer stands,
the flatter the mural appears.
Because of their uneven thicknesses
and the added rings, the tiles cast chang­
ing shadows depending on the time of
day, years and, of course, the weather.
The effect is more three dimensional
when the sun is high, around noon. In
the morning, when the whole west side
of the building is in shadow, or in the
late afternoon, when the sun shines from
the west, the mural looks more or less
two dimensional.
Working with modules solved sev­
eral problems. My studio measures only
27x13 feet, and I had no access to any
other space large enough to accommo-
Space was limited, so only 15 tiles could be hand pressed
at a time; the clay was left inside the molds but under plastic
to set up overnight.
L-shaped, extruded elements were
attached to some of the tile surfaces
to form sections of rings.
The only available space to lay out
the fired tiles prior to installation was
on the roof.
When dry, the tiles were brushed with slips (here, by student
assistant Tom Miller) and single fired to Cone 6.
Each tile was secured in place by a metal bracket, which had been anchored
with screws to the concrete blocks. Construction adhesive (applied here by
student assistant David Holiday) and caulking were used for additional security.
date the whole mural at the same time.
Though two more assistants were added
later, I had only a part-time assistant
when the project was started. With lim­
ited work space and personnel, the pro­
duction period had to be lengthy—with
about 30—45 tiles made each week.
Working with modules, which lasted
eight months, made the production pro­
cess smoother. Also, choosing a simple
geometric shape made it easier for us to
produce large numbers of tiles that were
consistent in size and quality.
After the clay shrinkage was calcu­
lated, the two original tiles (mirror im­
ages of one another) were produced in
plaster. Then eight press molds were
September 1996
made from each plaster original. A sheet
of newspaper was placed on top of the
originals before pouring the plaster.
Water from the mold plaster made the
paper wrinkle, thus adding texture to
the press molds. It took about a week
for the molds to dry—inside the glassblowing studio where the air is consis­
tently hot, but not hot enough to
damage the plaster.
Fifteen tiles were pressed at a time.
The clay was left inside the molds but
under plastic overnight. Before the tiles
were removed the next morning, grooves
were excised from the back of each to
reduce the weight. Also, a slot for a
metal bracket was cut into the back of
each tile before removal from the mold.
Then, L-shaped slabs (extruded through
a custom-made die) were attached to
some of the tile surfaces to form sec­
tions of rings.
My studio would accommodate only
75 tiles at a time, so whenever the tiles
took longer to dry, production had to
stop. Once the tiles became bone dry,
colored slips were applied with brushes.
The tiles were then single fired to Cone
6 in an updraft gas kiln. About 35 tiles
were fired in each firing. The size of the
tiles (16x9 inches) made them easy to
load on our 12x24-inch shelves. After
the firing, the tiles were taken to the
roof of the ceramics studio, since we
acters that can be used to pronounce it,
there are two that can be translated as
“Rings” or “Circles,” with obvious ref­
erence to the repeated design. If I were
to use the Japanese character, the mean­
ing would be “Peace” and/or “Unity.”
At the initial design stage, though, the
title for the mural was the Chinese char­
acter for circles. The more the work
progressed, the more obvious it became
that the mural could not have been
successfully completed without the help
and cooperation of many people.
did not have any other place to store
them. Some were left outside for more
than a year.
The installation process lasted a
month and a half. Each tile was secured
in place by a metal bracket, which was
screwed into the concrete blocks. By
securing the tiles individually, the weight
of the mural could be spread equally
over the wall.
The title evolved as we worked on
the project. There are two different
meanings. Because Japanese is a pho­
netically simple language, there are many
words that have the same sounds but
different meanings. “Wa” is not an ex­
ception. Among the many Chinese char­
The author Kaname Takada has been a
ceramics instructor at the Columbus Col­
lege of Art and Design since 1992.
Student assistant Davis Trusewicz
hanging the tiles from brackets.
The brackets were made from 18-gauge
galvanized sheet metal.
The mural consists of 630 tiles and took a month
and a half to install.
Ceramics Kentucky
“Ceramics Kentucky,” an exhibition of
works by 20 invited artists, opened at
Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery at Murray
State University, then traveled to West­
ern Kentucky University in Bowling
Green, the Kentucky Art and Craft Gal­
lery in Louisville, and Doris Ulmann
Galleries of Berea College. “The long
tradition of ceramic production in
Kentucky’s history, due to the abun­
dance of natural clays, river access and
westward movement, has nurtured the
growth and variety of artists,” noted
curator Albert Sperath, director of the
University Art Galleries at Murray State
University, in the accompanying cata­
log. “It was that very abundance of art­
ists that made the selection process
“About halfway through the studio
visits I realized I was going to have to
decide whether to include many indi­
viduals with only one piece each, or
fewer artists with more pieces by each
one,” he continued. “I opted for the
latter approach, but wished for the space
to show more.”
When selecting artists, Sperath asked
himself two questions: “Does the work
add something new (challenging tradi­
tion) and/or does it capture the essence
of the tradition (seeking perfection)?”
He declared the state of ceramics art
in Kentucky to be “healthy and vibrant.
Recently, I thought the national inter­
est in craft was beginning to wane, es­
pecially after the Year of American Craft
(1993) ended. My investigation showed
that not to be true. From the smallest
craft gallery to the production potter,
all report that there is still an active
interest in buying the handmade item,
and competition is fierce. Most of the
production potters scramble to meet
the expectations of the general public in
areas such as color, form and price. A
few who have established national repu­
tations can replicate their ‘line’ with
minimal regard for trends and do some
speculative work. Those with other
means of income can do speculative
work with little regard for sales poten­
tial. The show is about equally repre­
sented with art from all camps.” A
“Cup Form,” 14 inches in height,
glazed porcelain, thrown and
assembled, fired to Cone 8,
by Joseph Molinaro, Richmond.
“Seeing Both Sides,” 6 inches in height, slab-built porcelain,
with underglazes, lusters and acrylic paint, by Diane Kruer,
Fort Thomas.
“Leather Lined Box,” 5 inches in height, handbuilt terra cotta,
with leather, by Gordon Andrus, Hardin.
September 1996
“Teapot with Tubal Ligation,” 12 inches wide, wood-fired, salt-glazed stoneware,
by Stephen Michael Driver, Owensboro.
"tmpire vase,” zz inches in neignt,
glazed stoneware, thrown and
assembled, by Michelle Coakes,
Bowling Green.
“Chechnya” teapot, 15 inches wide, porcelain with stains and 22K gold,
by Sergei Isupov, Louisville.
Anthropomorphic Attitudes
by Marilyn Stiles
W^y favorite place to be is the “back
room” studio of our converted chicken
barn home. Its located down a mile of
dirt road in a stand of eucalyptus trees.
The studio windows look out over a
valley within the Golden Gate National
Recreational Area. When there’s fog
along the northern California coast, the
valley is shrouded in mist for most of
the day.
My husband and I moved here after
we were married in 1965. I had just
returned from two years in Ayacucho,
Peru, for the Peace Corps. Our assign­
ment was to work with local craftspeo­
ple to develop co-ops to revitalize the
economic viability of their work. It was
an exhilarating, challenging, mind-ex­
panding experience that meant absorb­
ing a new culture, a new language and
new aesthetics. Some critics were afraid
we’d impose our tastes on the native
craftspeople. Impossible! We were the
ones changed forever.
One of my first opportunities to work
with clay was at the studio of a fellow
volunteer who was attempting to de­
sign a wood-burning kiln that would
operate efficiently at 9000 feet altitude.
He eventually discovered the potters
were doing the best they could possibly
do with the materials they had. Tech­
nology is relative.
On returning to the U.S., I found
that my teaching degree in elementaryschool art didn’t apply in California.
After months of searching, I stumbled
onto a job at the Open Studio at the
University of California in Berkeley,
where my love affair with clay really
began. I was only a step ahead of most
of the students. It was a very stimulat­
ing environment, relaxed with lots of
experimentation. I worked there until
our son was born.
It had always been our goal to work
at home and raise our children in the
country. With a new baby and the ex­
perience gained at U.C., Berkeley, the
time had come to establish my own
studio. The arrival of our second son
completed our family. I feel very fortu­
nate to have been able to work at home
during their childhood years, to be able
September 1996
“Take Out Lizard,” 10 inches in height, handbuilt white stoneware,
by Marilyn Stiles, Mill Valley, California.
to leave the work, to think about it
while taking care of my family and to
return to it whenever possible.
Some of my anthropomorphic sculp­
tures simply reflect what is happening
in daily life. An encounter with an un­
welcome rodent resident resulted in a
“Pack Rat” sculpture. For the past few
years, gray foxes have been coming to
our back deck. I would love to capture a
suggestion of their delicacy and beauty
in clay. Just like nature, this involve­
ment is varied, ever-changing and never
boring. I particularly enjoy putting ani­
mals, mostly frogs and lizards, in unex­
pected situations that express human
attitudes. My favorite response to this
work is laughter, especially from chil­
dren, because I know it’s spontaneous
and genuine.
When asked “Why lizards and frogs?”
I recall the thumbnail-sized toads that
we saw on forest trails while camping in
the Adirondacks, and of watching frogs
and lizards in their secret hiding places
near the creek behind my uncle’s house.
One day, I saw a giant Pacific salamander
slowly struggling up the road in the
“Dancing Pigs,” 16 inches in height, white stoneware, pinched, coiled
and slab built, with Cone 6 semimatt glaze.
Even limited editions are handbuilt
dust. I guessed it was trying to make it
to the creek because they are usually
found in damp areas (like our spring
box). I decided to assist, and rolled the
salamander onto a paper bag. It looked
at me with large dark eyes, waved its
short limbs and opened its pink mouth.
I was immediately struck by how much
it resembled a developing human fetus
and thought perhaps that was a clue to
our fascination with them, having to do
with our own evolutionary development
and mythology. Frogs, I’m told, are the
guardians of the underworld, even pos­
sibly our subconscious.
Each of my sculptures is handbuilt,
using the tried-and-true pinch, coil and
slab techniques. I use anything at hand
for texture, from a rock I picked up on
the beach 30 years ago that is perfect for
the bumpy texture on the frog s back, to
eucalyptus bark gathered outside our
back door. I started with a rolling pin
and a cloth-covered board, but now use
a slab roller daily.
Years ago, I hit upon a Cone 6 semi­
matt glaze that works very well with the
white stoneware clay I use. It has a lu­
minous quality that puts the animals
into another, subtler dimension—more
metaphor than portrait. I add copper,
cobalt and iron oxides for color varia­
tion and often use colored slips under­
neath. The glaze is applied by dipping
or spraying, sometimes with an overspray of underglaze or commercial stain.
Certain pieces I do as limited edi­
tions; they are the most commercially
successful and have become my “bread
For uniformity, the amount of clay used Lizards and frogs are among
for the various parts is weighed.
Stiles’ favorite subjects.
“Frogs Frolic,” 24 inches in height, white stoneware fountain,
with semimatt glaze, fired to Cone 6.
September 1996
Stiles enjoys creating animal sculptures
that express human attitudes.
“Saturday Nite Bath,” 12 inches in height, handbuilt
stoneware with semimatt glaze.
“Zen Lizard,” 10 inches in height, white stoneware,
with Cone 6 glaze.
and butter” items. Each piece is indi­
vidually made, but I weigh the basic
parts so that the size can be somewhat
uniform for wholesale orders going to
Its a struggle to balance earning an
income with maintaining artistic inter­
est and excitement. Ideally, I suppose
we would only respond to what inspires
us at the moment, but realistically, I’m
not inspired every moment, and I also
enjoy the discipline of producing mul­
tiples for wholesale. Its important to
take time to try new techniques and
invent new methods. Clay is a wonder­
fully plastic material that responds dif­
ferently in every persons hands, close to
thought and emotion in its immediacy.
For the past 18 years, we’ve divided
our time between Mill Valley, Califor­
nia, and Friday Harbor, Washington,
on San Juan Island. My husband built a
house in the style of our California
chicken barn mostly from recycled wood
and windows but larger in every di­
mension. Consequently, my studio there
is also larger and lighter.
Each summer, I try to take time to
experiment with some new techniques,
mostly raku. My subject matter also
changes in response to the wonderful
bird and marine life there.
Working with clay is a marvelous
creative dance that’s never boring. I can’t
imagine ever wanting to sit it out. A
Nordic Ode
New Works by Les Manning
by Allan J. Koester
Les Mannings physical and spiritual
grounding in the mountainscape was
clearly reflected in an exhibition spon­
sored by the Walter Phillips Gallery of
Banff, Alberta, at an off-site exhibition
in Calgary as part of the annual “Artwalk” festival. On display were 22 pieces
(20 bowls and vessels up to 12 inches in
height and 2 plates approximately 14
inches wide). Each incorporated at least
three types of clay as well as porcelain
layered, then thrown on a potter’s wheel,
manipulated and finally glazed with a
traditional celadon.
A former artist-in-residence at the
Banff School for the Arts, Manning
headed the schools ceramics department
from 1974 to 1994. Now residing in
Ontario, he was born and raised in ru­
ral central Alberta, and lived and worked
in the Rocl^y Mountains throughout
his tenure at the Banff Centre. He de­
scribes himself as a winter person, who
grew up with snow and came to know
the mountains not only as vast breath­
taking expanses and rock but also as
spiritual monoliths. Through his claywork, Manning has captured the es­
sence, the spirit of this landscape. Under
the spell of his reductionism, the Rocky
Mountains (the “Stonehenge of the
gods”) are brought to the viewer, not as
“Grotto,” approximately 8 inches in height, laminated stoneware and porcelain,
mythologized antagonists, but as spiri­
thrown and altered, sandblasted postfire, by Les Manning, Ontario, Canada.
tual brethren.
Using traditional form (plate or ves­
sel) as an anchor or foundation, Man­
Glazed in celadon to hint at the gray­
to move beyond technique to a kinship
ning constructed his “clayscapes” almost ing blues and greens reminiscent of with the clay. He had three goals in
as involuntary expressions, as extensions mountain vistas, they do not portray mind when setting out to produce these
of self and mountain, the distinction the mountains’ angularity and rigidity, works: 1. to create a body of work that
between the two blurring. The fore­
but are strangely organic, undulating was uniquely personal; 2. to express a
ground is made of coarser, dark clays shapes. One is reminded of the lifelike kind of “Canadianism”; and 3. to move
layered intuitively in a diagonal orienta­
Inuit “Inukshuk” figures standing on beyond traditional ceramic forms to a
tion invariably topped with porcelain, Canada’s northern shores as directional new level of aesthetic expression.
finely finished to indicate snowy atmo­
markers or perhaps messengers from the
Manning achieved a distinct personal
spherics. The forms are quite literally spirit world. Inukshuk (pronounced in- style technically through a reduction in
bent out of shape. Portions are cut away ook-shook and meaning “in the image the influence of the potter’s wheel and
to suggest mountain mass, or moved of man”) are lifelike rock piles, sugges­
aesthetically by presenting the moun­
out of symmetry as metaphors of wind­
tive of the ancient dolmens of Europe.
tain range (one of the most popular
blown snowscapes. As a result, shadow
Within the technical and aesthetic images in Canadian artistic expression)
moves in and out of the form, changing confines of ceramic tradition, Manning’s in the round. The massiveness of the
with the direction of the lighting and works are clearly “ugly pots.” But he did mountain landscape has been sliced in
the position of the viewer.
not set out to make pots. His intent was
space and time. Through a kind of chi-
September 1996
“Ice Cold,” approximately 10 inches in height, laminated stoneware and porcelain,
thrown and altered, celadon glazed, sandblasted postfire.
“Winter Delight,” approximately 9 inches
high, stoneware and porcelain, celadon
glazed, sandblasted, by Les Manning.
merical alchemy, Manning delivers the
essence of the place, a flash of the high
country, sliced into the clay and inti­
mately manipulated into its final shape.
The mountains truth emanates from
all sides and is never constant. Vistas
change as shadows lighten and new ones
appear. Manning does not deliver a lit­
eral reading but an open-ended one that
will surely resonate with any “Nordic”
It is clear that Manning sees “Canadianism” as rooted in the vastness and
geographic awesomeness of Canadas
physical space. The Canadian landscape
is very often portrayed as antagonist in
Canadian artist expression, as a willful,
untamed, icy snowscape. There is much
about this view that captures the imagi­
nation of Canadians. To be Canadian is
to know snow and freezing tempera­
tures, to know winter s contrariness and
to act accordingly. Surely, snowcapped
mountains, a kind of permanent win­
ter, represent this view most vividly.
Canadian mythology contains many
stories of winters upper hand in the
battle to possess the land. Man has
learned to respect its willfulness or per­
ish. Canadians see the land as a free
spirit. It can be measured, territorial­
ized, but not possessed. Unpossessed, it
is unknowable. Manning chooses not
to present us with this archaic view,
suggesting instead that the land need
not be possessed to be understood, that
it need not be tamed to be befriended.
He has learned to drink in the spirit of
his mountainous surroundings and is
not haunted by the natural world.
Rather than a sense of foreboding, he
offers a sense of kinship.
Finally, Manning has taken his craft
to a new plane of personal expression.
Form does not follow function. In fact,
function is no more than reminiscent
and “vessel” has become “figure” in his
work. It should be noted, though, that
Manning has not abandoned his craft,
and continues to see himself as a vessel
maker. He is simply using his tradi­
tional and well-honed potter sensibili­
ties in new ways that suit his artistic
search for personal expression. At the
same time, Manning is conscious of not
allowing the potter s wheel to dominate
the art making. For him, the artist and
the wheel must work together in an
aesthetic as well as a technical synergy.
The result is a more intuitive, visceral
container—not in the traditional sense,
but as containers of spiritual vistas,
points of contact between our everyday,
perhaps less than satisfactory, conscious
reality and the world of the spirit; the
“other” side. ▲
Using Soluble Colorants
at Stoneware Temperatures
by Kurt Wild
I have been working with
fito horizontal lines. A den­
soluble colorants, or soluble
tal tool or single-edge razor
salts as chemists call them,
blade works best for me. (I
off and on for years, but have
always smooth down or bur­
not found many other pot­
nish the surface after trim­
ters familiar with their use. I
ming the pot so that the
blade doesn’t hit grog and
soluble colorants from Karl
bounce around at this stage.)
Martzs column “The Lively
Following the horizontal
Art of Earthenware” in Ce­
banding, I place the pot in
ramics Monthly. The specific
the center of a banding wheel
column that caught my at­
that has been marked off, pie
tention appeared in the Janu­
fashion, into sixths and
ary 1960 issue and was
eighths. This allows me to
subtitled “Soluble Colorants:
mark equal divisions on the
Quick, Versatile...”
unfired glaze surface with a
Martz noted that “soluble
fine-tipped felt marker. Us­
colorants make it surprisingly
ing those marks as guides, I
easy to use many colors—all
sgraffito the outlines of vari­
with the same jar of glaze
ous ellipses, circles or shapes
slip.” When I read that, I
selected intuitively from my
knew at once I had to try
collection of templates. Af­
them. I wanted to make pots
ter the design elements are
decorated in a number of
outlined, some areas are
carefully defined color areas
scraped free of glaze with
without the problems in­
dental tools. I like the play
volved in meticulously brush­
of colored glaze areas against
ing on one or more glazes
the toasty brown of unglazed
next to each other. I had tried
iron-rich stoneware.
decorating by brushing ox­
The next step is to stain
ides and carbonates on the
the outlined areas with
unfired glaze coating, but they
soluble salts. I rarely brush
did not provide results that
on the salt, but merely touch
pleased me. Since the soluble
the glaze with a loaded brush.
colorants (copper sulfate, co­
The color bleeds evenly
balt sulfate, etc.) are simply
within the outlined area. The
“Olive Green Cylinder,” 6 inches in height, stoneware with the
another form of common
beauty of this is that the
Speckled Weak Pea Soup variation of UNWW Glaze, $40.
high-temperature glaze color­
soluble colorant will bleed
ants, such as copper carbon­
only as far as there is glaze.
ate, cobalt oxide, etc., I reasoned that lines” and to “precisely outline a defi­
This produces a specifically defined color
Martzs suggestions for earthenware nite color area.” Therein was the perfect area. By using different salt solutions on
might be equally suitable for stoneware. solution. I found I could control de­
different areas of the surface, a multi­
Subsequent experiments with soluble signs by first sgraffitoing outlines of pre­
colored design is achieved. Some of the
colorants on stoneware glazes resulted cise shapes into the base glaze. I originally solutions seem to disappear into the
in more uniform colors, and they did this freehand, but later began using glaze upon application, so I have added
seemed easier to apply than oxides or flexible drafting templates as guides.
different shades of food coloring to each
I begin by pouring glaze on the in­
of the solutions in order to tell them
One problem with using salt solu­
sides and spraying the outsides of the apart as well as to see where they’ve
tions was that they bled upon applica­
pots. Occasionally, I’ll dip small pieces. been applied.
tion, much like painting with ink on a Next, I secure the pot to the potters
My favorite base glazes are semimatt
blotter. Martz had suggested “sgraffito wheel. While the wheel revolves, I sgraf­
when fired to Cone 10 in reduction:
September 1996
“Blue/Green Bowl,” 10 inches in diameter, with the Blue-Green
variation of FBGN Glaze, $60, by Kurt Wild, River Falls, Wisconsin
Glaze FBGN
(Cone 10, reduction)
Dolomite................................... 20 grams
Cornwall Stone......................... 60
Edgar Plastic Kaolin................ 20
100 grams
UNWW Glaze
(Cone 10, reduction)
Talc............................................. 11 grams
Whiting...................................... 12
Wollastonite.............................. 8
Cornwall Stone......................... 49
Edgar Plastic Kaolin................ 24
Flint............................................ ..... 7
111 grams
Color variations of either of the pre­
ceding glazes are mixed with the follow­
ing additions:
Pale Green:
Mason Stain 6219 .....................1.50 grams
From a mixture of 3 parts
(by weight) Cobalt
Carbonate plus 2 parts
Chromium Oxide.................0.45 gram
Soft Blue:
From a mixture of 2 parts
(by weight) Cobalt
Carbonate plus 1 part
Chromium Oxide.................0.45 gram
Strong Blue
Pastel Blue:
From a mixture of 2 parts
(by weight) Cobalt
Carbonate plus 1 part
Chromium Oxide............ 0.45
Wollastonite........................... 5.00
Cobalt Sulfate............................ 50 grams
Mason Stain 6379 ................. 5.00
Speckled Weak Pea Soup:
Red Iron Oxide..................... 1.50
Granular Manganese
Dioxide.............................. 0.50
Copper Sulfate..............................15 grams
Iron Sulfate.................................25 grams
Soluble salt solutions are prepared
by simply adding the sulfate to water.
Warm water seems to work best. I stir
the mixture well, then let it sit over­
night. The next day, it is poured through
a 250-mesh sieve or an old T-shirt. Any
undissolved particles that remain are
thrown away, as these sulfate mixtures
produce a nearly saturated solution any­
way. Keep in mind that colors resulting
from any soluble salt solution will vary,
depending on the nature of the glaze
upon which it is applied.
Martzs article suggests a number of
specific soluble salt solutions, sugges­
tions for developing intermediate col­
ors and other thoughts on their use, but
here are the solutions I use most; each is
mixed with 100 milliliters warm water:
Cobalt Sulfate................................ 6 grams
Copper Sulfate..............................30 grams
For the following colorants, chro­
mium salts are added as a liquid, which
is measured in milliliters:
Chromium Trichloride............. 17 mis.
Cobalt Sulfate................................ 25 grams
Soft Blue
Chromium Trichloride............. 6 mis.
Cobalt Sulfate............................... 16 grams
Manganese Sulfate........................ 50 grams
Chromium Trichloride.............33 mis.
Basic safety precautions should be
taken whenever using soluble materials.
I never spray, and always avoid skin
contact when mixing and brushing.
The author Kurt Wild recently retired
after teaching 33 years for the University
of Wisconsin, and now maintains a stu­
dio in River Falls, Wisconsin.
September 1996
North Second Street, Philadelphia 19106; or, for 28, 1997), open to works no larger than 36 inches
in any direction and weighing no more than 30
information only, telephone (215) 925-3453.
pounds. Juried from up to 5 slides of 5 works.
October 1 entry deadline
Application Deadline for Exhibitions,
Pensacola, Florida “Woman 2 Woman 2” (De­ Jurors: Juan Granados and Sara Waters, Texas
Fairs, Festivals and Sales
cember 2-January 4, 1997), open to female artistsTech faculty. Entry fee: $20. For prospectus,
working in any medium. Juried from slides. Fee:contact the Department of Art, Texas Tech Uni­
$30 for 3 entries. Juror: Kay Canipe, painter/bestversity, Box 42081, Lubbock 79409-2081; or
of show winner in first “Woman 2 Woman” telephone (806) 742-3825, or fax (806) 742exhibition. Send two SASEs to SOHO Gallery, 23 1971. Or contact Kathy Whiteside, gallery direc­
International Exhibitions
tor, (806) 742-1947.
Palafox Place, Pensacola 32501; or telephone (904)
September 20 entry deadline
January 10, 1997, entry deadline
Las Vegas, Nevada “1997 NCECA Clay Na­
Cambridge, Massachusetts “Off the Floor: The
Chicago, Illinois “Miniature Furniture Com­
tional” (February 21-April 11,1997). Juried from petition” (October 31—November 1, at SOFA Art of the Tile” (May 1-June 15, 1997). Juried
up to 2 slides per entry; up to 2 entries. Jurors: 1996), open to works no larger than 12x12x12
from 1 actual piece and 5 slides or photos. For
Robin Hopper, Mark Masuoka and Donna Nicho­
inches. Juried from actual works. Entry fee: $20. prospectus, send SASE to Cambridge Artists Coop­
las. Entry fee: $20; no charge for NCECA mem­ For prospectus, send SASE to CFDA, do Tom
erative, Attention: Tile Show, 59A Church Street,
bers. Prospectus automatically sent to members.Robinson, 742 W. Buena, Chicago 60613.
Cambridge 02138; or telephone (617) 868-4434.
Contact Regina Brown, NCECA Executive Secre­October 8 entry deadline
January 15, 1997, entry deadline
tary, Post Office Box 158, Bandon, Oregon 97411;
Guilford, Connecticut “CERAMICS ’97” (mid
Mesa, Arizona “19th Annual Vahki” (January
or telephone (800) 99-NCECA (Pacific Coast time).
May-June 1997), open to functional or nonfunc­
October 15 entry deadline
tional work. Juried from slides (with SASE) of up to
Warrensburg, Missouri “Greater Midwest In­ up to 4 slides. Entry fee: $20. Contact Galeria 3 works. Jurors: William Daley and Wayne HigMesa,
ternational XII” (January 27-February 23,1997).
by. Entry fee: $20. Contact CERAMICS ’97,
Juried from up to 2 slides per entry. Juror: Dana Mesa 85211-1466; or telephone (602) 644-2056. Guilford Handcraft Center, Box 589, Guilford
Self, associate curator, Kemper Museum of Con­
06437; or telephone (203) 453-5947.
Wayne, Pennsylvania “Craft Forms ’96” (De­
temporary Art and Design, Kansas City, Mis­
January 17, 1997, entry deadline
souri. Fee: $20 for up to 3 entries; $25 for 4-5.
Galesburg, Illinois “31st GALEX National Ex­
Awards: $ 1600. For prospectus, send # 10 SASE bying in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood or mixed hibition/Competition” (March 15-April 5,1997).
October 5 to Morgan Dean Gallatin, Gallery media. Juried from up to 3 slides per work; up toJuried from slides. Juror: Stephen Doherty, edi­
Director, Central Missouri State University, Art 3 works. Jurors: Sharon Church and Lizbeth tor, American Artist. Entry fee: $20 for up to 4
Center Gallery, Warrensburg 64093; or telephoneStewart, associate professors, University of the works. Awards: $2000. For prospectus, send SASE
Arts. Fee: $20 for up to 3 entries. Awards: over to Galesburg Civic Art Center, 114 East Main,
(816) 543-4498.
$2000. For application, send SASE to Wayne Art Galesburg 61401; or telephone (309) 342-7415.
December 1 entry deadline
Center, 413 Maplewood Avenue, Wayne 19087; January 18, 1997, entry deadline
Auckland, New Zealand “Fletcher Challenge
Ceramics Award 1997” (May 1997). Juried from or telephone (610) 688-3553.
Chicago, Illinois, and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
slides. For application, contact Fletcher Chal­ October 21 entry deadline
“Eighth Annual Teapots, Fun, Funky and Func­
San Diego, California Artwork for the San
lenge, P.O. Box 33-1425, Takapuna, Auckland;
tional” (February 23-May 10, 1997). Juried from
Diego International Airport Lindbergh Field (per­
or fax 64-9-4458831.
slides. For prospectus, send business-size SASE to
manent), open to artists’ proposals for both exte­A. Houberbocken, Inc., Post Office Box 196,
rior and interior works. For application proce­ Cudahy, Wisconsin 53110.
United States Exhibitions
dures, contact Port of San Diego, Public Art January 21, 1997, entry deadline
Program, Box 488, San Diego 92112; or tele­
September 13 entry deadline
Mesa, Arizona “Vaguely Familiar” (April 29Tempe, Arizona “In Other Words” (Novem­ phone (619) 686-6465, e-mail http://www.san.orgMay 31, 1997), open to abstract art in all media.
ber 8-January 12, 1997), open to works that
Juried from up to 4 slides. Entry fee: $20. Contact
include some form of type, language and/or words. Montpelier, Vermont “Emerging Artists Exhi­ Galeria Mesa, 155 N. Center, P. O. Box 1466,
(Works must be able to fit through a standard 30-bition” (February 1-28, 1997), open to clay art­ Mesa 85211-1466; or telephone (602) 644-2056.
inch door.) Juried from up to 3 slides per entry. ists who have exhibited work less than 6 times inFebruary 11, 1997, entry deadline
Fee: $20 for up to 5 entries. Awards: $1000. For galleries and/or educational settings. Juried from Mesa, Arizona “Global Warning” (June 106 slides with SASE. Entry fee: $10. Contact the
prospectus, send self-addressed mailing label and
July 12, 1997), open to works in any media
Vermont Clay Studio, 24 Main Street, Montpe­
32<£ stamp to Tempe Arts Center, P. O. Box 549,
addressing environmental issues. Juried from up
Tempe 85280-0549; telephone (602) 968-0888. lier 05602; or telephone (802) 223-4220.
to 4 slides. Entry fee: $20. Contact Galeria Mesa,
November 4 entry deadline
September 15 entry deadline
155 North Center, Post Office Box 1466, Mesa
Portland, Oregon “Candlesticks and Candela85211-1466;
or telephone (602) 644-2056.
bras” (November 7-30) and/or “Mosaic Objects”(January 19-February 7, 1997, then traveling 2
(December 5-28). Juried from slides and resume.years), open to artists using ceramic materials,
Regional Exhibitions
For further information, send SASE to BonaKeane including glass and enamel. Juried from slides.
September 13 entry deadline
Decorative Arts, 205 Southwest Pine Street, Port­Jurors: William Carlson, Anna Calluori Holcombe,
John Neely. Fee: $20 for up to 3 entries. Purchase Lubbock, Texas “ 11 th Annual December Com­
land 97204; or telephone (503) 224-1161.
awards plus inclusion in Ross C. Purdy Museumpetition” (November 18-December 31), open to
September 27 entry deadline
of Ceramics, American Ceramic Society. Contactartists residing in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Eugene, Oregon “Le Petit IV Small Format
Competition” (November-December). Juried A Centennial Celebration, c/o Joe Zeller, Univer­Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma or Texas.
Juried from slides. Entry fee: $15 for 3 works; $5
from slides. Entry fee: $6. Awards: $2200. For sity of Kansas, 300 Art and Design Bldg., Lawrence
prospectus, send SASE to Alder Gallery, 55W 66045; telephone (913) 864-4401, fax (913) 864- each additional entry. Juror: Frances Colpitt, arts
4404, e-mail [email protected]
critic/associate professor, University ofTexas, San
Broadway, Eugene 97401; or telephone (541)
December 1 entry deadline
Antonio. For prospectus, send SASE to Attention:
Lubbock, Texas “Metals, Etc.: National Jew­ DEC Competition, Lubbock Fine Arts Center,
September 30 entry deadline
elry and Metals Competition” (March 3-April 2600 Avenue P, Lubbock79405; telephone (806)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania “Salt & Pepper:
Shake &: Grind” (February 1997, then traveling 18, 1997, then traveling). Juried from slides. 767-2686 or fax (806) 767-0732.
to NCECA). Juried from slides. No entry fee. ForJurors: Jamie Bennett, professor of art, State Uni­September 28 entry deadline
versity of New York, NewPaltz; and Joanne Rapp, Saint Louis, Missouri “New Works: Four Art­
application, send SASE to the Clay Studio, 139
owner, Joanne Rapp Gallery/The Hand and the ists” (December 2-January 5, 1997), open to
Regional exhibitions must be open to more than one Spirit, Scottsdale, Arizona. Fee: $20 for up to 3 artists residing in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas,
state. Send announcements of juried exhibitions, fairs, entries; $5 extra for 4th and 5th entries. Awards: Missouri or Oklahoma. Juried from up to 10
festivals and sales at least four months before the $1500 cash. For prospectus, send SASE to Attn: slides. Juror: Dean Sobel, curator of contempo­
Metals, Etc., Lubbock Fine Arts Center, 2600 rary art, Milwaukee Art Museum. Entry fee: $25;
event's entry deadline (add one month for listings in
July and two months for those in August) to Call for Avenue P, Lubbock 79405; or telephone (806) Art Saint Louis members, $20. For entry form,
767-2686, fax (806) 767-0732.
send #10 SASE to New Works: Four Artists, Art
Entries, Ceramics Monthly, P. O. Box 6102,
Westerville, Ohio 43086-6102. Fax (614) 891- January 1, 1997, entry deadline
Saint Louis, 917 Locust Street, #300, Saint Louis
Lubbock, Texas “Clay on the Wall” (March 7—63101-1413; or telephone (314) 241-4810.
8960; e-mail [email protected]
Call for Entries
September 1996
Call for Entries
Juried from slides or photos. Send SASE to Central
Queens Y, 67-09 108 St., Forest Hills 11375; or
telephone (718) 268-5011, ext. 233.
September 30 entry deadline
Gaithersburg, Maryland “Sugarloaf Art Fair”
(April 11-13, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, includ­
January 6, 1997, entry deadline
Lexington, Massachusetts “The State of Clay” ing 1 of booth. Booth fee: $350—$450; no com­
(March 2—29, 1997), open to current and former mission. For application, send 3 loose first-class
residents of Massachusetts. Juried from a maxi­ stamps to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Or­
mum of 3 slides. Entry fee: $20. Juror: Chris chard Ridge Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg 20878;
Bertoni, artist/design instructor, Rhode Island or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Timonium, Maryland “Sugarloaf Art Fair”
School of Design. For prospectus, send SASE to
Ceramics Guild, Lexington Arts and Crafts Soci­(April 25-27, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, includ­
ety, 130 Waltham Street, Lexington 02173; or ing 1 of booth. Booth fee: $425; no commission.
For application, send 3 loose first-class stamps to
telephone (617) 862-9696.
Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Orchard Ridge
Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878;
Fairs, Festivals and Sales
or telephone (800) 210-9900.
September 7 entry deadline
Novi, Michigan “Sugarloaf Art Fair” (April
Setauket, New York “Gallery North’s 31st
18-20, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, including 1 of
Annual Outdoor Art Show” (September 21-22). booth. Booth fee: $400; no commission. For
Juried from photos or slides. Booth fee: $65 for a application, send 3 loose first-class stamps to
5x12-foot space; $75 for a 10x10. Contact Gal­
Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Orchard Ridge
lery North, 90 North Country Road, Setauket Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878;
or telephone (800) 210-9900.
11733; or telephone (516) 751-2676.
Somerset, New Jersey “Sugarloaf Art Fair” (May
September 13 entry deadline
16-18, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, including 1 of
San Francisco, California “Contemporary
Crafts Market” (March 14-16,1997). Juried from booth. Booth fee: $375; no commission. For
5 slides or photos. Entry fee: $15 (includes entry application, send 3 loose first-class stamps to
to one other spring fair). Booth fee: $310-$777. Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Orchard Ridge
Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878;
Send SASE to Roy Helms &C Associates, 1142
Auahi St., Ste. 2820, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814; or or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania “Sugarloaf Art
telephone (808) 422-7362, fax (808) 423-1688.
Fair” (March 21-23, 1997). Juried from 5 slides,
Santa Monica, California “Contemporary
Crafts Market” (May 3-5, 1997). Juried from 5 including 1 of booth. Booth fee: $425; no com­
slides or photos. Entry fee: $15 (includes entry tomission. For application, send 3 loose first-class
stamps to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Or­
one other spring fair). Booth fee: $310—$915.
Send SASE to Roy Helms &C Associates, 1142 chard Ridge Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg,
Auahi St., Ste. 2820, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814; or Maryland 20878; or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Manassas, Virginia “Sugarloaf Art Fair” (May
telephone (808) 422-7362, fax (808) 423-1688.
2-4, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, including 1 of
September 15 entry deadline
booth. Booth fee: $325—400; no commission. For
San Francisco, California “ACC Craft Fair”
application, send 3 loose first-class stamps to
(August 6—10,1997, wholesale/retail). Juried from
5 slides. Entry fee: $20. For application, contact Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Orchard Ridge
Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878;
American Craft Enterprises, 21 South Eltings
Comer Road, Highland, New York 12528; or or telephone (800) 210-9900.
October 15 entry deadline
telephone (800) 836-3470, fax (914) 883-6130.
Washington, D.C. “Smithsonian Craft Show”
Atlanta, Georgia “ACC Craft Fair” (March
14-16, 1997, retail). Juried from 5 slides. Entry (April 24-27, 1997). Juried from slides of 5
fee: $20. Contact American Craft Enterprises, 21 works. Entry fee: $25. Contact the Smithsonian
S. Eltings Corner Rd., Highland, New York 12528;
Women’s Committee, (202) 357-4000.
telephone (800) 836-3470, fax (914) 883-6130.
November 1 entry deadline
Baltimore, Maryland"ACC Craft Fair” (Feb­
University Park, Pennsylvania “Holiday Orna­
ruary 18-23, 1997, wholesale/retail). Juried from ment Juried Sale and Exhibition” (November 225 slides. Entry fee: $20. For application, contact 24), open to works less than ½ pound. Juried from
American Craft Enterprises, 21 South Eltings actual works. Entry fee: $10 for up to 10 orna­
Corner Road, Highland, New York 12528; or ments. 40% commission. Award: commission to
telephone (800) 836-3470, fax (914) 883-6130.
create the “Special Limited Edition Ornament”
West Springfield, Massachusetts “ACC Craft
for 1997. For entry form, send SASE to True
Fair” (June 19-22, 1997, retail). Juried from 5
Fisher, Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art,
slides. Entry fee: $20. For application, contact Penn State University, University Park 16802American Craft Enterprises, 21 South Eltings 2507; or telephone (814) 865-7672.
Corner Road, Highland, New York 12528; or November 11 entry deadline
telephone (800) 836-3470, fax (914) 883-6130.
Indio, California'''' 11 th Annual Southwest Arts
Saint Paul, Minnesota" ACC Craft Fair” (April Festival” (February 1-2, 1997). Juried from slides
10-13, 1997, wholesale/retail). Juried from 5
or photos. Entry fee: $15. Booth fee: $135, in­
slides. Entry fee: $20. For application, contact cludes city permit/license and insurance liability.
American Craft Enterprises, 21 South Eltings Contact the Indio Chamber of Commerce, 82Corner Road, Highland, New York 12528; or 503 Highway 111, Indio 92201; or telephone
telephone (800) 836-3470, fax (914) 883-6130.
(619) 347-0676.
Columbus, Ohio “ACC Craft Fair” (June 29- December 15 entry deadline
July 1, 1997, wholesale). Juried from 5 slides.
Blacksburg, Virginia “26th Annual Brush
Entry fee: $20. Contact American Craft Enter­ Mountain Arts and Crafts Fair” (April 4-6,1997).
prises, 21 South Eltings Comer Road, Highland,Juried from slides or photos. For application, send
New York 12528; or telephone (800) 836-3470, SASE to Brush Mountain Arts and Crafts Fair,
fax (914) 883-6130.
Voluntary Action Center, Post Office Box 565,
September 20 entry deadline
Blacksburg 24063-0565.
Forest Hills, New York “Fourth Annual Cen­ January 10, 1997, entry deadline
tral Queens Y Holiday Craft Fair” (December 1). San Mateo, California “Sugarloaf Art Fair”
September 1996
Call for Entries
(November 7-9, 1997). Juried from 5 slides,
including 1 of booth. Booth fee: $375; no com­
mission. For application, send 3 loose first-class
stamps to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Or­
chard Ridge Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg,
Maryland 20878; or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Atlanta, Georgia “Sugarloaf Art Fair” (No­
vember 28-30, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, in­
cluding 1 of booth. Booth fee: $400; no commis­
sion. For application, send 3 loose first-class stamps
to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Orchard Ridge
Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878;
or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Gaithersburg, Maryland “Sugarloaf Art Fair”
(November 20-23, 1997, or December 12-14,
1997). Juried from 5 slides, including 1 of booth.
Booth fees vary; no commission. For application,
send 3 loose first-class stamps to Sugarloaf Moun­
tain Works, 200 Orchard Ridge Drive, Suite 215,
Gaithersburg 20878; telephone (800) 210-9900.
Timonium, Maryland “Sugarloaf Art Fair”
(October 3-5,1997). Juried from 5 slides, includ­
ing 1 of booth. Booth fee: $450; no commission.
For application, send 3 loose first-class stamps to
Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Orchard Ridge
Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878;
or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Novi, Michigan “Sugarloaf Art Fair” (October
24-26, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, including 1 of
booth. Booth fee: $425; no commission. Send 3
first-class stamps to Sugarloaf Mountain Works,
200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 215, Gaithersburg,
Maryland 20878; or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Somerset, New Jersey “Sugarloaf Art Fair” (Sep­
tember 26-28, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, in­
cluding 1 of booth. Booth fee: $375; no commis­
sion. For application, send 3 loose first-class stamps
to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Orchard Ridge
Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878;
or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania “Sugarloaf Art
Fair” (October 31-November 2, 1997). Juried
from 5 slides, including 1 of booth. Booth fee:
$425; no commission. For application, send 3
first-class stamps to Sugarloaf Mountain Works,
200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 215, Gaithersburg,
Maryland 20878; or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Manassas, Virginia “Sugarloaf Art Fair” (Sep­
tember 5-7, 1997). Juried from 5 slides, includ­
ing 1 of booth. Booth fee: $350-$450; no com­
mission. For application, send 3 loose first-class
stamps to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, 200 Or­
chard Ridge Drive, Suite 215, Gaithersburg,
Maryland 20878; or telephone (800) 210-9900.
January 14, 1997, entry deadline
Columbus, Ohio “Columbus Arts Festival”
(June 5-8,1997). Juried from slides. For prospec­
tus, contact Columbus Arts Festival, 55 E. State
St., Columbus 43215; telephone (614) 224-2606.
February 1, 1997, entry deadline
Frederick, Maryland “23rd Annual Frederick
Craft Fair” (May 16-18, 1997). Juried from 5
slides of work and 1 of booth (plus resume for new
exhibitors). Entry fee: $10. Booth fee: $320$400. No commission. Contact National Crafts
Ltd., 4845 Rumler Rd., Chambersburg, Pennsyl­
vania 17201; or telephone (717) 369-4810.
Gaithersburg, Maryland “22nd Annual Na­
tional Craft Fair” (October 17-19, 1997). Juried
from 5 slides of work and 1 of booth (plus resume
for new exhibitors). Entry fee: $10. Booth fee:
$350-$450. No commission. Contact National
Crafts Ltd., 4845 Rumler Rd., Chambersburg,
Pennsylvania 17201; telephone (717) 369-4810.
template large enough for your finger to fit
through; this will make it easy to lower and
From Readers
raise the template without marring the plate.
With the template lowered to the rim
surface, the points of the shape can be quickly
marked. Then use a metal-edged ruler lined
up point to point and cut away excess clay
Diehard Extrusion Dies
Polycarbonate glass, commonly known as with a harp (an old cheese cutter works well).
bulletproof glass, is the best material I have The cut edges can then be smoothed with a
found for extrusion dies. Available at most sponge and/or chamois.—Dwain Naragon,
hardware stores, it is incredibly strong and Wes fold, III.
much easier to work than metal or Plexi­
glas.—Todd Wahlstroniy Shrewsbury, Mass. Glue Botde Slip Trailers
Wood-glue bottles make great slip trail­
ers. Not only is the container a nice shape to
Avoiding Borax Clumps
To keep borax from clumping in your hold, but the tip is elongated and flat, making
glaze (you know those little rocks that will for nice slip application.—MonaArritt, Hun­
never go through a sieve), pass the borax tington, W.Va.
through a 100-mesh screen before you weigh
it. Then dry mix it with the rest of the Custom Bowl Chuck
Potters who produce nesting bowls may
ingredients before adding the water.—David
want to throw a chuck with stairstepping
Hooker, Kent, Ohio
inner flanges matching the diameters of the
various bowl sizes. Then it’s a simple matter
Rim-Cutting Templates
Cardboard from the back of yellow legal to center the chuck once and drop in a bowl
so that the rim rests on the corresponding
pads works well for variously shaped tem­
plates (octagonal, hexagonal, pentagonal, etc.) flange.—Andrew Francis, Kent, Ohio
to follow when cutting the rims of plates.
Start off by delineating the desired shape Soft Raku Landings
Line the container you use to quench raku
(with the aid of a protractor), then cut out the
template. Also cut a hole in the middle of the ware with upholstery foam. It will keep those
delicate pots from breaking against the sides
of the container.—Earline Allen, Hunting­
ton, W.Va.
Studio Sink Spray Attachment
A spray nozzle is a convenient feature to
have on your studio sink. If you have a utility
sink with pipe threading on the end of the
faucet, it is possible to add a sprayer hose and
nozzle at little cost.
Simply purchase a garden hose “Y” fitting
at your local garden center, then attach it to
the end of the faucet. Next, screw a washing
machine hose onto one end of the Y fitting.
Then, screw a trigger-type nozzle onto the
end of the hose. The shut-ofT valves on the Y
fitting will allow the faucet to be used as either
a sprayer or a conventional tap.—Paul Koch,
Morris, N. Y
Bagged Clay Storage
After a new bag of clay is open, throw the
tie away. To store, twist the top of the bag
closed, then turn it upside down. Worlds
especially well in low-humidity areas.—Glen
Blakley, Saint George, Utah
Resist Additive
Add liquid hand soap (Jergens works well)
to thin old wax resist. Smells good, too.—
Diane Heart, Brewster, Mass.
September 1996
California, Los Angeles through September 21
Richard McColl, “Ephemeral Control”; at Artissimo, 7378 Beverly Boulevard.
Events to Attend—Conferences,
California, Rancho Palos Verdes through Septem­
ExhibitionsWorkshops, Fairs
ber 28 Darlene Nguyen-Ely, multimedia sculp­
ture; at Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 West
Crestridge Road.
California, San Francisco October 1—31 Robert
Brady; at Braunstein/Quay Gallery, 250 Sutter St.
Colorado, Greeley October 15-30 Matt West,
California, Santa Barbara October 16-19 “Tiles “The Lively Teapot”; at Mariani Gallery, Guggen­
heim Hall, University of Northern Colorado.
of Santa Barbara: Exploring a Mediterranean Fan­
tasy” will include slide lectures by Richard Keith,Connecticut, New London September 27—Janu­
ary 23, 1997 Mark Einhorn, raku vessels; at the
Mary Kennedy, Shel Neymarkand Sue Werschkul;
tile-making workshops (see Workshops listing) New London Art Society Gallery, 147 State Street.
and demonstrations; tile auction/sale; plus tours.D.C., Washington September 15—January 1,1997
Magdalene Odundo, “Ceramic Gestures”; at the
For registration form, contact Tile Heritage, P. O.
Box 1850, Healdsburg, California 95448; or tele­ National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian
Institution, 950 Independence Ave., SW.
phone (707) 431-8453, fax (707) 431-8455.
Florida, Boca Raton January 17-19, 7.95?7“ FloridaMaryland, Baltimore October 4-26 Doug Bald­
Craftsmen Annual Statewide Conference” will win, “Duck Art History Revised”; at Baltimore
Clayworks, 5706 Smith Avenue.
include keynote speech by Michael Monroe, curaMassachusetts, Worcester through September 14
tor-in-chief, Peter Joseph Gallery, New York City;
plus workshops by Adrian Arleo, “Coil Building Julia Vera, sculpture; at the Atrium Gallery,
Figurative Sculpture in Clay”; Val Cushing, Worcester Center for Crafts, 25 Sagamore Road.
“Wheel-Thrown, Altered and Constructed Michigan, Ferndale September 12—October 19
Forms”; Charley Freiberg, “Photographing YourJean-Pierre Larocque sculpture; at Revolution,
Work”; and Helen Lawrence, “Surfing the 23257 Woodward Avenue.
Internet.” Also includes lectures and exhibitions.Michigan, Pontiac September 6-28Tom Phardel,
Registration deadline: December 19. For bro­ clay and metal sculpture. October 4-26 John
chure, send large SASE to Florida Craftsmen, 501 Chalke, clay sculpture; at Shaw Guido Gallery, 7
North Saginaw Street.
Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.
Maryland, Baltimore September 20—22 “Craft New Mexico, Albuquerque October 27 Mia
Business Institute: How to Design Your Career Blocker, stoneware vessels; at Merriman Gallery,
Path” will include presentations on product de­ 2011-C Mountain Road, Northwest.
velopment, wholesaling/retailing, effective dis­ New York, New York through September 30Delia
play design, etc. Contact the Rosen Group, 3000 Robinson, “Wonderful Whistles”; at the Cathe­
Chestnut Avenue, Suite 300, Baltimore 21211; or dral of Saint John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam
telephone (800) 43-CRAFT, fax (410) 889-1320. Avenue.
Nevada, Las Vegas April2-5, 1997“Guilty Plea­ September 10—28 Koie Ryoji; at Gallery Dai Ichi
sures,” National Council on Education for the Arts, the New York Gallery Building, 24 West
Ceramic Arts annual conference. Contact Regina57th Street.
Brown, Executive Secretary, NCECA, Post OfficeNew York, Port Chester October 5—29 Priscilla
Box 1677, Bandon, Oregon 97411; or telephone Hollingsworth; at Clay Art Center, 40 Beech St.
North Carolina, Charlotte October 1-31 Mark
(800) 99-NCECA.
Tennessee, Gatlinburg September 18—21 “Utili­ Shapiro wood-fired ceramics; Michael Jones, “Se­
tarian Clay II: Celebrate the Object” will includerious Fun/Frivolous Notation in Functional Stone­
keynote speech by Henry Glassie, author, The ware”; at Gallery W. D. O., Suite 610 at Atherton
Spirit of Folk Art; demonstrations and lectures by Mill, 2000 South Boulevard.
16 functional clay artists; and exhibitions. Fee: North Carolina, Wilson October 6—30 Lynn
$235; students, $215. On-campus housing avail­ Smiser Bowers functional porcelain, “The Secret
able: $40-$ 168. Limited registration. Contact Life of Pots”; at the North Star/Anderson Gallery,
Arrowmont, P. O. Box 567, Gatlinburg 37738; or 307 West Green Street.
Ohio, Cincinnati through October 4 Brenda
telephone (423) 436-5860, Monday-Saturday.
Vermont, Bennington February 5—9, i^7“North Richardson, “Picasso, Fauve and Folk Tiles”; at
Country Studio Conference 1997” will include the YWCA Women’s Art Gallery, 898 Walnut St.
workshops with Akio Takamori and Randy Oregon, Ashland October 5-31 Jim Romberg,
Johnston. For registration, contact NCSC, Post raku; at Hanson Howard Gallery, 82 N. Main St.
Office Box 875, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755.Oregon, Portland October3—November2T\\omas Orr; at BonaKeane, 205 Southwest Pine Street.
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia October 4—27 Anita
Solo Exhibitions
Belew. Judy Moonelis; at the Clay Studio, 139
Arizona, Scottsdale October 1-31 Gary Erickson; North Second Street.
at Joanne Rapp Gallery/The Hand and the Spirit,Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh through September 25
Cindi Morrison, “Transgression/Evolution.” Sep­
4222 North Marshall Way.
Arizona, Sun City October 29-November 24 Jeff tember 6—October 30 Rimas VisGirda, new works.
Schmuki, monoprint transfer work; at Sun Cities September 27-October 30 Frances Riecken, “Ex­
ploring Form and Function: Pottery”; at the Clay
Art Museum, 17425 North 115th Avenue.
Arkansas, Little Rock October 6-November 17 Place, 5416 Walnut Street.
Bennett Bean, “Leaning into the Wind”; at the South Carolina, Hartsville through September 27
Decorative Arts Museum, Seventh and Rock. Leah Hardy, clay relief sculptures; at Cecelia Coker
Bell Gallery, Coker College.
Send announcements of conferences, exhibitions, ju­ Texas, Houston September 1-30 Aletha Rector
ried fairs, workshops and other events at least two
animal sculptures; at Urban Artifacts Gallery,
months before the month of opening (add one month 5507-d FM 1960 West.
for listings in July; two months for those in August) to Wisconsin, La Crosse September 6-October 31
Calendar, Ceramics Monthly, P. O. Box 6102, West­ Thomas Kerrigan, “Clay and Constructions”; at
erville, Ohio 43086-6102. Fax (614) 891-8960; e- the Nordstrom Art Gallery, 107 N. Fourth St.
mail [email protected] org
Wisconsin, West Bend through September 15
September 1996
ics Connection,” works by Marvin Sweet plus
Immer Cook, Ana Crowley, Andrew Denney,
Paul Mathisen and Erin Lee O’Sullivan; at Essex
Art Center, 56 Island Street.
Mitch Lyons, “Clay Monoprints”; at the West Michigan, Detroit September 1—January 1, 1997
Bend Gallery of Fine Arts, 300 South Sixth Ave. “Michigan Potters’ Association Exhibition,” works
Wyoming, Casper September30-0ctober2^Matt by Carolyn Dulin, Jamie Fine, John Glick, Paul
West, “Shake Your Money Maker”; at GoodsteinKotula, Elizabeth Lurie, Daleen Menning, Larry
Gallery, Visual Arts Building, Casper College, Oughton, Thomas Phardel, Joan Rosenberg, John
Stephenson, Susanne Stephenson and Joseph
125 College Drive.
Wyoming, Powell October 1—31 Matt West sculp­Zajac; at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200
ture, “Script”; at Northwest Gallery, Northwest Woodward Avenue.
Michigan, Royal Oak September 28-October 26
College, 231 West Sixth.
Wyoming, Riverton October 21-November 15 “Steeped in Tradition,” annual teapot exhibition;
Matt West sculpture, “Big Snowy, Big Sugar, Bigat Ariana Gallery, 119 South Main Street.
Fun”; at Peck Arts Center, Central Wyoming Minnesota, Saint Paul September 6-November 1
“Clay, Wood and Fire,” with works by Dan Ander­
College, 2660 Peck Avenue.
son, Rob Barnard, Joy Brown, Catharine Hiersoux,
Chuck Hindes, Karen Karnes, Peg Malloy, John
Group Ceramics Exhibitions
Neely, David Shaner and guest curator Randy
Alabama, Florence September 9—October 18 Johnston; at Northern Clay Center, 2375 Univer­
“Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts 1996 sity Avenue, West.
Monarch National Ceramic Competition”; at New Jersey, Newark through Spring 1997
Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 East “The Printed Pot: Transfer-Printed Ceramics,
1750-1990”; at the Newark Museum, 49 Wash­
Tuscaloosa Street.
Alabama, Mobile September 15-November 3 ington Street.
“Revolution in Clay: The Marer Collection of New York, New York September 10—October 19
Contemporary Ceramics”; at Mobile Museum of“Japan Ceramic Society Award Winners”; at Gal­
lery Dai Ichi Arts, New York Gallery Building, 24
Art, 4850 Museum Drive.
Alaska, Homer October 4-31 Ceramics by Brad West 57th Street.
McLemore and Peter Olson; at Bunnell Street September 12-October /^Ceramics by John Chalke
and Jacquelyn Rice; at Nancy Margolis Gallery,
Gallery, 106 West Bunnell Street, Suite A.
Arizona, Scottsdale October 3—31 Clayworks by 560 Broadway, Suite 302.
Amara Geffen, Avra Leodas, Marc Leuthold and New York, Nyack September 7-29 “Contempo­
Tony Marsh; at Joanne Rapp Gallery/The Handrary Clay: Three Friends,” works by Neil Patterson,
and the Spirit, 4222 North Marshall Way.
Sandi Pierantozzi and Harriet Ross; at the Klay
California, Richmond September 21—October 31 Gallery, 65 South Broadway.
“Teapot Tango”; at the Florence Ludins-Katz North Carolina, Asheville September 20—Novem­
ber 10 “Wood-fired Clay: Ancient Techniques,
Memorial Gallery (NIAD), 551 23rd Street.
California, Tustin September 7—October 19 “A
Modern Interpretations”; at Blue Spiral 1, 38
Survey of Contemporary Ceramics,” exhibition Biltmore Avenue.
of works by over 30 artists; at Tustin RenaissanceNorth Carolina, Charlotte through October 27
Gallery, 300 El Camino Real.
“Selections from the Chasanoff Collection.”
D.C., Washington through early 1997“Japanese
through February 9, 1997 “Meissen Porcelain
Ceramics from Seto and Mino”; at the Freer
1710-1756”; at Mint Museum of Art, 2730
Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
Randolph Road.
Florida, Saint Petersburg September 6-October North Carolina, Raleigh through October 10"Ce­
19 “The Phillip Ward Memorial Ceramics Exhi­ ramics Israel”; at Charlotte V. Brown Visual Arts
bition”; at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery, 501
Center, North Carolina State University.
Ohio, Cleveland through September 8 “Ten Years
Central Avenue.
Illinois, Champaign September 20—November 3 of Fire: Teapots,” benefit exhibition celebrating
“American Art Tiles: 1875-1995”; at Krannert tenth anniversary of Watershed Center for the
Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana- Ceramic Arts in Maine; at Art at the Powerhouse,
Champaign, 500 East Peabody Drive.
2000 Sycamore, Powerhouse Flats Nautica Com­
Indiana, Indianapolis September 20—October 26 plex, Third Floor.
Exhibition of sculptures depicting mythological Oklahoma,
Norman September 7-October 13
tures, birds and female torsos by Dana Major Isupov
“Platters, Functional and Decorative”; at the
and Sergei Isupov; at Artifacts, 6327 Guilford Ave.
Firehouse Art Center, 444 South Flood.
Indiana, Muncie through September 8 “The BethelPennsylvania, Elkins Park October 5-November9
Pike Pottery: The First 30 Years”; at the Minnetrista
“Body Builders,” figurative clayworks; at Gallery
Cultural Center, 1200 North Minnetrista Parkway.500, Church and Old York roads.
Iowa, Iowa City through October 4 “Ceramics Pennsylvania, New Wilmington October 7—No­
Invitational: Martye Allen and Friends”; at Iowa vember 1 Installation sculpture by Priscilla
Artisans Gallery, 117 East College Street.
Hollingsworth and figurative sculpture by Cheryl
Louisiana, New Orleans September22-November Tall; at Westminster College Fine Art Gallery.
17 “Imperial Russian Porcelain from the Ray­ Texas, Denton through September 27 “Ceramics
mond F. Piper Collection”; at the New Orleans USA 1996”; at University of North Texas Gallery.
Museum of Art, City Park, 1 Collins Diboll Vermont, Montpelier through September30“VerCircle.
mont Clay Studio Faculty Show.” through October
Maryland, Baltimore September 6—28 “Surface + 31 “The Figure in Clay”; at the Vermont Clay
Form,” functional vessels; at Baltimore Clayworks,
Studio, 24 Main Street.
5706 Smith Avenue.
Virginia, Alexandria through September 23 “Clay
Massachusetts, Ipswich September 7—29 “The Does It All”; at Scope Gallery, Torpedo Factory
Bountiful Bake In,” baking and serving dishes. Art Center, 105 North Union Street.
October 1—November 15 “Studio Pottery”; at Oc- Washington, Seattle through September 29“Ten
mulgee Pottery and Gallery, 317 High Street- Years of Fire: Go Figure,” benefit exhibition cel­
ebrating tenth anniversary of Watershed Center
Route 1A.
Massachusetts, Lawrence September 17—Novem­ for the Ceramic Arts in Maine; at the Northwest
ber 1 “One + Five: The Bradford College Ceram­Craft Center, Seattle Center.
September 1996
Minnesota, Bloomington through October5Twoperson exhibition with ceramic sculpture by
Charles Johnson; at Bloomington Art Center,
10206 Penn Avenue, South.
through March 2, 1997“Vietnamese Ceramics: A Missouri, Saint Louis September 20—November 2
Separate Tradition”; at Seattle Asian Art Mu­ “Viewpoints: Art as Message”; at Craft Alliance,
seum, 1400 East Prospect, Volunteer Park.
6640 Delmar Boulevard.
Wisconsin, Fish Creek through October 26 “Ce­ Montana, Browning through September 30“ 13th
ramic Sounds Exhibit,” clay drums, flutes, speaker
Annual Summer Sales Exhibit”; at the Museum of
enclosures, etc.; at Potters Wheel Gallery, 3906 the Plains Indian.
Gibralter Road.
Montana, Helena through October 27“ANA 25”;
World Wide Web through December 31 “Fourth at Holter Museum of Art, 12 E. Lawrence St.
Annual Strictly Functional Pottery National”; at New Jersey, Trenton October 5-January 5, 1997
“New Jersey Arts Annual: Crafts”; at the New
Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street.
New York, Albany through September 6 “Ways
Ceramics in Multimedia Exhibitions
We Collect: From the Collections,” includes early
Alabama, Birmingham through September L2Two-New York ceramics; at the New York State Mu­
person exhibition with architectural ceramics by seum, Madison Avenue.
Michael Magato; at Maralyn Wilson Gallery, 2010New York, New York through October 13 “Break­
ing Barriers: Recent American Craft,” with ce­
Cahaba Road.
Alabama, Huntsville September 8—November 17 ramics by Ke Francis, Viola Frey, Michael Lucero
“The Red Clay Survey”; at the Huntsville Mu­ and James Tanner; at the American Craft Mu­
seum, 40 W. 53rd St.
seum of Art, 700 Monroe Street, Southwest.
Arizona, Tucson September 14—November 2“An­ New York, Port Chester September 7—29 Twonual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead),” withperson exhibition with clay sculpture by Liz
clayworks by Michael Corney, Johanna Hansen Surbeck Biddle; at Clay Art Center, 40 Beech St.
New York, Rochester through November 3 “55th
and Susie Ketchum; at Obsidian Gallery, St. Philips
Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition”; at the Me­
Plaza, 4340 N. Campbell Ave., Ste. 90.
morial Art Gallery, 500 University Avenue.
California, Burbank September 8-26 “21st An­
nual Multimedia Show”; at Creative Arts Center North Carolina, Asheville through September 14
“Loving the Land: Exploring Southern Regional­
Gallery, 1100 West Clark Avenue.
California, Downey September 12-October 27 ism.” September 20-November 70“Fall Color VI”;
“All California-All Media”; at the Downey Mu­ at Blue Sprial 1, 38 Biltmore Avenue.
through September 29 “Tennessee Association of
seum of Art, 10419 Rives Avenue.
California, La Jolla September 12-November 2 Craft Artists Biennial Exhibit.” through October 2
“An Exploration of Textures and Form”; at Gal­ “Design Is Not Just a Surface Thing,” two-person
exhibition with ceramics by Don Davis. October
lery Eight, 7464 Girard Avenue.
California, Los Angeles through September22 “De­ 5-January 5, 1997 “National Bead Exhibit”; at
the Folk Art Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, Mile­
signing Modernity: The Arts of Reform and Persua­
sion, 1885-1945.” through September 29 “The post 382.
White House Collection of American Crafts”; at North Carolina, Charlotte through September 29
the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 “Southern Arts and Crafts 1890-1940”; at the
Mint Museum of Art, 2730 Randolph Road.
Wilshire Boulevard.
California, San Diego through December 29 North Carolina, Creedmoor through September
“American Expressions of Liberty—Art of the 15 “Cedar Creek Gallery National Teapot Show
People, by the People, for the People”; at MingeiIII”; at Cedar Creek Gallery, 1150 Fleming Road.
International Museum of World Folk Art, Uni­ North Carolina, Winston-Salem September 20—
versity Towne Centre, 4405 La Jolla Village Drive.December 7“ Beta-Israel: The Jews of Ethiopia”; at
California, San Francisco October 14-December Digges Gallery, Winston-Salem State University.
8 “Splendors of Imperial China: Treasures from Ohio, Bowling Green through September 18 “The
the National Palace Museum, Taipei”; at Asian Best of 1996”; at Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery,
Art Museum of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park.Bowling Green State University Fine Arts Center.
D.C., Washington through October 20 “Olmec Ohio, Massillon through September 29 Two-perArt of Ancient Mexico”; at the National Gallery son exhibition with monolith sculptures by
Brinsley Tyrrell; at Massillon Museum, 121 Lin­
of Art.
through 1997“V\i)x. Expressions of Hindu Devo­ coln Way, East.
tion,” 125 works, including terra cotta; at Arthur Ohio, New Concord September 29-November 1
M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 1050“Within and Without, the Intimate Moment”; at
Louis O. Palmer Gallery, Johnson Hall, Mus­
Independence Ave., SW.
Florida, Pensacola October 1—November2 “Body kingum College.
Language”; at SOHO Gallery, 23 Palafox Place. Ohio, Toledo through September 8 “Toledo Area
Georgia, Atlanta through January 5, 1997“ High­ Artists 78th Annual Exhibition”; at the Toledo
lights from the Collection”; at the High MusuemMuseum of Art, 2445 Monroe Street.
Pennsylvania, New Castle October 6-November 2
of Art, 1280 Peachtree Street, Northeast.
Indiana, Indianapolis through September 29 “The “1996 Hoyt National Juried Art Show”; at the
Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, 124 E. Leasure Ave.
American Discovery of Ancient Egypt”; at the India­
napolis Museum of Art, 1200 West 38th Street. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh through September 22
Kentucky, Berea October 1-November 16“Bead- “Made in America: Ten Centuries of American
work: Beyond Boundaries”; at Contemporary Art”; at the Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes
Artifacts Gallery, 128 North Broadway.
Massachusetts, Duxbury through September 8 Texas, Dallas September 26-October 13 “Cel­
“Kindred Spirits: The Eloquence of Function in ebrating Our Sacred Traditions,” exhibition of
contemporary Judaica and Christian art; at Carlyn
American Shaker and Japanese Arts of Daily Life”;
at the Art Complex Museum, 189 Alden Street. Galerie, 6137 Luther Lane.
Michigan, Detroit September 6— October 6 “The Texas, Lubbock September 15-November3“Clay
Heart and Soul of the City.” October 11—Novem­ and Canvas,” two-person exhibition with stone­
ber 10 “Fantasy and Fiction”; at Swann Gallery, ware containers by Cecily Smith Maples; at the
ARTary, Upstairs Gallery, 4509 Clovis Highway.
1250 Library Street.
September 1996
ton Square Outdoor Art Exhibit”; in Greenwich
September 14-15 and 21-22 “Eleventh Annual
Autumn Crafts Festival”; at Lincoln Center for
Vermont, Manchester September 13-October 31 the Performing Arts.
“Ancient Origins”; at the Vermont State Craft New York, Setauket September 21-22 “31st An­
nual Gallery North Outdoor Art Show”; at Gal­
Center, Frog Hollow, Historic Route 7-A.
Vermont, Middlebury September 20-Nov ember 4 lery North, 90 North Country Road.
“In the Adirondack and Rustic Tradition”; at New York, Staten Island October 4-6 “Sixth
Vermont State Craft Center, Frog Hollow, 1 Mill Annual Snug Harbor Crafts Fair”; at Snug Harbor
Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terrace.
Vermont, Shelburne September 28-October 20 New York, Tuxedo through September 15, week­
“Envisioned in a Pastoral Setting”; at Shelburne ends “19th Annual New York Renaissance Festi­
Farms, 102 Harbor Road.
val”; at Sterling Forest.
Washington, Bellevue through September 5 “Fifth New York, White Plains September27—29“ West­
Pacific Northwest Annual”; at Bellevue Art Mu­ chester Craft Show”; at the Westchester County
Center, intersection of routes 119 and 100 at the
seum, 301 Bellevue Square.
Washington, Kirkland through September 8 “Fire Bronx River Parkway.
Arts Show”; at Anderson Glover Gallery, 303 North Carolina, Asheville October 77-20 “Craft
Fair of the Southern Highlands”; at the Asheville
Kirkland Avenue.
Civic Center, Haywood Street, downtown.
September 12-October 6 Two-person exhibition
with clayworks by Katherine Mclean; at Fosterl Ohio, Archbold September 21 “Arts and Crafts
Festival,” featuring pottery demonstrations by
White Gallery, 126 Central Way.
Wisconsin, Sheboygan September 29-January 5, Mark Nafziger and Jane Graber-Davis; at Sauder
1997 “Casts of Character: The Factory and Be­ Farm and Craft Village, Route 2.
yond”; at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 Ohio, Athens September 15 “Barn Raising”; at the
Dairy Barn, Southeastern Ohio Cultural Arts
New York Avenue.
Ohio, Bowling Green September 6—8 “Black
Fairs, Festivals and Sales
Swamp Arts Festival”; downtown.
Ohio, Canal Fulton September 7-8, 14-15 and
California, San Diego September 28-29 “Thir­
teenth Annual California American Indian Days 21-22 “Yankee Peddler Festival”; at Clay’s Park
Celebration”; at Balboa Park, corner of Park Bou­
Ohio, Groveport September 21-22 “Groveport
levard and Presidents Way.
California, San Francisco September28—29“Con­ Festival of the Arts”; along Main Street.
temporary Crafts Market”; at the Concourse at Ohio, Lima September 29 “Once Upon a Sun­
day”; on the Ohio State University/Lima Techni­
Showplace Square, Eighth and Brannan.
Florida, Jacksonville September 7-8 “25th An­
cal College campus.
nual Riverside Arts and Music Festival”; at River­Pennsylvania, Fort Washington November 1-3
“Sugarloaf s Second Annual Fall Fort Washing­
side Park, Park and King streets.
Georgia, Atlanta September 21-29 “1996 Arts ton Crafts Festival”; at the Fort Washington Expo
Festival of Atlanta”; at Piedmont Park.
Illinois, Chicago October 31—November 3 “SOFA Pennsylvania, King of Prussia October 19-20 “A
Chicago 1996”; at Navy Pier.
Craft Extravaganza”; at Valley Forge Convention
Indiana, Columbus September 21-22 “Chau­
Vermont, Manchester October 4—6 “The Fifth
tauqua of the Arts”; at Mill Race Park.
Maryland, Timonium October 11-13 “Sugarloaf s Annual Hildene Foliage Craft Festival”; at Hildene
20th Annual Fall Timonium Crafts Festival”; at Meadows.
Vermont, Stratton Mountain September 21-Octhe Maryland State Fairgrounds.
Massachusetts, Northampton October 12-14 tober 20 “Stratton Arts Festival”; at the Stratton
“Paradise City Arts Festival”; at Tri-County Fair­Mountain Resort.
Virginia, Manassas September 6-8 “Sugarloaf s
Michigan, near Mount Holly weekends, through 16th Annual Fall Manassas Crafts Festival”; at the
September25?“Michigan Renaissance Festival”; atPrince William County Fairgrounds.
Hollygrove, 1 mile north of Mount Holly on Virginia, Williamsburg October 6“An Occasion
Dixie Highway, between Pontiac and Flint.
for the Arts”; at Merchant’s Square.
Michigan, Rochester September28-29 “New An
at Meadowbrook”; on the campus of Oakland
University, Walton Boulevard and Adams Road.
Missouri, Saint Louis October 12-13 “Fourth Arizona, Mesa October 19-20 “Architectural Ce­
ramics Workshop” with Peter King. Fee: $45;
Annual Historic Shaw Art Fair”; along Flora Place.
NewJersey, Morristown October25-27“Morris- members, $40; students, $20. Contact Arizona
town CraftMarket”; at National Guard Armory, Clay, 2233 N. 56th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85035;
or telephone David Bradley (602) 269-1244.
Western Avenue.
New Jersey, Somerset September 27-29 “Sugar- California, San Francisco September 7, 18 and 19
loaf s Third Annual Fall Somerset Crafts Festi­ “Booth Display, Promotion and Publicity” with
Judy Stone. Sponsored by the Women’s Building,
val”; at the Garden State Exhibit Center.
New Mexico, El Rito October 5-6“El Rito Studio Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment and
Alumnae Resources. Preregistration recom­
Tour”; along Route 554.
New Mexico, Los Alamos September28—29 “Los mended. For further information or to register,
Alamos Artist Studio Tour”; for information, telephone (415) 821-6480.
California, Santa Barbara October 15 Two tiletelephone (505) 662-0705.
New York, Greenwich September 13-15 “The making workshops in conjunction with “Tiles of
20th Annual Adirondack Mountain Craft Fair”; Santa Barbara” conference (see Conferences list­
ing): a demonstration with Michelle Griffoul on
at Washington County Fairgrounds.
New York, Mount Kisco October 18-20 “Eighth techniques for creating custom-cut, multidimen­
Annual NWCA Crafts Fair”; at Northern West­ sional ceramic surfaces; and a session with Blair
chester Center for the Arts, 272 N. Bedford Rd. Looker on the role of public art in the community
New York, New York September 7-8 “Washing­ plus hands-on tile making and porcelain glaze
September 1996
Handbuilding” with Lana Wilson. Fee: $50. Con­Georgia, Roswell September 21A session on mak­
tact Caroline Douglas, Boulder Potters Guild, ing “big pots” with Leon Nichols. September 29
1527 North Street, Boulder 80304; or telephone Raku workshop with Rick Berman. October 5-6A
session with Warren MacKenzie. Fee: $75, two
(303) 447-0110.
painting. Limited space. Contact Tile Heritage, Colorado, Snowmass Village September 2—20 days/$50, one day. Contact the Potters Guild,
P. O. Box 1850, Healdsburg, California 95448; “Making Pots: Studio Intensive” with Doug (770) 641-1663.
Illinois, Carpenterville September 28-29 “Raku
Casebeer. All skill levels. Fee: $595. Contact Doug
telephone (707) 431-8453, fax (707) 431-8455.
Casebeer, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Post Of­Workshop” with Robert Piepenburg. Participants
California, Santa Cruz September 9-14 “Tradi­
tional Acoma Pottery Workshop” with Dolores fice Box 5598, Snowmass Village 81615; or tele­ must bring one bisqued piece. Fee: $90; 1 day,
$50, includes lunch and refreshments. Limited
Lewis Garcia and Emma Lewis Mitchell. Instruc­phone (970) 923-3181.
tion in English and Keresan (Native American). Connecticut, Brookfield September 14-15 “Raw space. Contact Great Lakes Clay and Supply Com­
Fee: $325, includes materials and firing. Contact Materials for Clay” with Jeff Zamek. September pany, 120 South Lincoln Avenue, Carpentersville
Marc Destout, University of California Santa 21-22 “Painterly Pottery” with Lynn Peters. Sep­ 60110; or telephone Tim or Martin (800) 2588796 or (847) 551-1070, fax (847) 551-1083.
tember 28-29 “Surface Design for Salt Firing”
Cruz Extension, 740 Front Street, Santa Cruz
with Michael Kline. October 18-20 “Clay Mono- Illinois, Elk Grove (near Chicago) September 13—
95060; or telephone (408) 427-6620.
California, Torrance September 7—8 A demon­ prints” with Mitch Lyons. October26-27“Raku” 14 Demonstration on large-scale assembled ves­
stration with Jeff Oestreich. Fee: $35. Contact with Penny Fleming. Contact Brookfield Craft sels with Don Reitz. Fee: $105 for two days; $60
Neil Moss, El Camino College, (310) 390-0941. Center, Post Office Box 122, Route 25, Brookfieldfor one day only; includes lunch. October 11—12
Demonstration on thrown and handbuilt forms
06804; or telephone (203) 775-4526.
Colorado, Boulder October 4-5 “Innovative
with Curtis Hoard. Fee: $85; $50 for one day
only; includes lunch. November 2, morning Kiln
loading and firing seminar with Jim Skutt and
Siegy Riesenweber. Fee: $25, includes continental
breakfast. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Lim­
ited registration. Contact Ann Ciangi, A.R.T.,
1555 Louis Avenue, Elk Grove 60007-2313; or
telephone (847) 593-6060, fax (847) 593-0785.
Illinois, Springfield September 14“Master Potters
Workshop II: Women’s Perspective” with Cynthia
Bringle and Jane Peiser. Fee: $65, includes lunch
and refreshments. Contact Julie Slack, Continu­
ing Education, University of Illinois at Spring­
field, Springfield 62794-9243; telephone (217)
786-7464, or e-mail [email protected]
Kentucky, Berea September 23-29 “BCA Work­
shop,” building and firing a wood-burning climb­
ing kiln with Rand Heazlitt and Byron Temple.
Location: John Martin studio. Fee: $60; or $20
per day. Contact the Berea Craftspersons’ Asso­
ciation, c/o John and Sue Martin, 311 Wolf Gap
Rd., Berea 40403; or telephone (606) 986-9205.
Maryland, Baltimore September 7-8 Porcelain
workshop with Silvie Granatelli. Fee: $ 140; mem­
bers, $130. Contact Baltimore Clayworks, 5706
Smith Avenue, Baltimore 21209; or telephone
(410) 578-1919.
Massachusetts, Plimoth Plantation September2729“ 17th-Century Slipware Techniques” with Irma
Starr, marbling, feathering, combing and slip trail­
ing. For technical questions, contact Debbie Ma­
son (617) 837-5125; to register, telephone Plimoth
Plantation (508) 746-1622, extension 358.
Massachusetts, Williamsburg October 12—l4“Gct
Hot! Alternative Firing and Decorating Tech­
niques” with Bob Parrott. Contact Horizons, 108
North Main Street, Sunderland, Massachusetts
01375; or telephone (413) 665-0300.
Michigan, Detroit September 21-26“The Art of
Yixing Tea Ware” with Pan Chunfang and Xu
Chen Quan. September 28Teacher’s workshop at
the Detroit Institute of Arts. September 29 Lecture
with Pan Chunfang and Xu Chen Quan at the
DIA. Contact Pewabic Pottery, 10125 E. Jefferson,
Detroit 48214; or telephone (313) 822-0954.
Montana, Helena September 28-29 “Tile and
Architectural Terra Cotta” with Cary Esser. Fee:
$80. Contact Archie Bray Foundation for the
Ceramic Arts, 2915 Country Club Avenue, Hel­
ena 59601; or telephone (406) 443-3502, fax
(406) 443-0934, e-mail [email protected]
New Jersey, Loveladies September 7, 14, 21 or 28
“Clay as Sculpture,” one-day sessions with Mark
Davies. Fee: $95; members, $80; includes materi­
als. Contact Meg Mathews or Tracey Lehman,
Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and
Sciences, 120 Long Beach Boulevard, Loveladies
08008; or telephone (609) 494-1241.
New Mexico, from Albuquerque to Santa Fe
October 6-13 “Clay into Spirit” with Anita Griffith.
September 1996
Woods” with Earl and Sylvia Deaver. Participants
should bring bisqueware and tent. Fee: $110,
includes materials and meals. Contact Earl Deaver,
Gainesville Ceramic Center, 407 N. Commerce,
Contact Horizons, 108 N. Main St., Sunderland, Gainesville 76240; or telephone (817) 665-7826.
Massachusetts 01375; telephone (413) 665-0300. Texas, Houston November 1-2 A session with
New Mexico, Ranchos de Taos September 9-13 Sandy Simon. Fee: $30. Contact Roy Hanscom,
“Pueblo Mask Making” with Bernadette Track. Art Dept., North Harris College, 2700 W. W.
Thorne Dr., Houston 77073; or telephone (713)
September 16-20 “Traditional Pueblo Pottery”
with Soje Track. October7-11 “Traditional Pueblo443-5609.
Pottery” with Sharon Dryflower. For further in­ Texas, Lubbock September21 “Raku on the Llano
formation, contact Taos Art School, Box 2245, Estacado,” history of raku, kilnbuilding, glazing
and firing. Fee: $40. Contact Raku Workshop,
Ranchos de Taos 87557; telephone/fax (505)
758-0350 or e-mail [email protected] 5214 68th Street, Suite 306, Lubbock 79424; or
New Mexico, Taos September 8-14 or 15-21 telephone (806) 798-7722.
“Traditional Pottery” with Sharon Dryflower Vermont, Bristol September 13-16 “Experienc­
Reyna. Fee: $375, includes materials and firing. ing the Fire” with Robert Compton, firing a salt;
Contact Judith Krull, Taos Institute of Arts, 5280raku; sawdust; pit; and multichambered, climb­
NDCBU, Taos 87571; or telephone (505) 758- ing wood kiln. Intermediate. Fee: $450, includes
materials, firing and meals. Contact Robert
2793, e-mail [email protected]
New York, New York September 25, November 4 Compton Pottery, RD 3, Box 3600, Bristol 05443;
and 9 “Raku Workshop” with Bobbie Hodges. or telephone (802) 453-3778.
Vermont, Middlebury September 6-8 “Useful
October 7.9“Clay Assemblage” with Barbara Diduk.
November 9 “Japanese Tool Making” with Keiko Pots” with Ron Meyers. Fee: $195. Contact Ver­
mont State Craft Center, Frog Hollow, 1 Mill
Ashida and Bill Gundling. Contact Craft Stu­
dents League, YWCA, 610 Lexington Avenue, Street, Middlebury 05753; or telephone (802)
New York 10022; or telephone (212) 735-9731. 388-3177.
New York, Rhinecliff September 6-8 “Primitive Virginia, Arlington September 27—28 “Color
Variations in Sawdust Firing” with Alejandra Jones.
Firing Intensives,” raku, saggar and pit firing with
Bob Green and Nancee Meeker. All skill levels. Fee: $95. October 19-20“Tile Making, Tile Paint­
Fee: $250, includes materials and firing. Contact ing, Tile Marketing” with Paul Lewing. Fee: $85.
Nancee Meeker, 169 Kelly Street at Russell Ave­ For further information, contact Lee Arts Center,
nue, Rhinecliff 12574; telephone (914) 876-3119 5722 Lee Highway, Arlington 22207; or tele­
phone (703) 358-5256.
or fax (914) 876-3118.
North Carolina, Bailey November 1-3 Slide pre­ Washington, Seattle September 11-15 “Woodsentation and demonstrations of advanced raku fire Workskhop” with Michael McCullough and
techniques with Steven Branfman. Participants Ken Turner. Contact Wood-fire Workshop, 1411
should bring 2-3 bisqued pieces.Fee: $75; $5 for Fourth Avenue, Suite 1120, Seattle 98101; tele­
slide presentation only. Camping available. Con­phone (206) 933-0701 or fax (206) 447-2625.
tact Jackie Allen (919) 859-6847 or (919) 387- Wisconsin, Milwaukee September2#“Roundtable
’96,” artists’ seminar, will include discussions on
5750, or Dan Finch (919) 235-4664.
North Carolina, Brasstown September 15-21 self-promotion, understanding the market, enter­
“Raku Pottery” with Harry Hearne. September ing competitions, bookkeeping, etc. Participants
22-28 “Smoke, Fire and Glowing Pots—Raku” include moderator Gwendolyn Gillen, sculptor/
with Obie Clark. October 6-12 “Pottery Decora­ teacher/actress/art consultant; and panelists Mary
tion” with Barbara Joiner. October25—27“ Wheel Bock, Mary Ellen Kennedy and Joan Houlehen,
Throwing” with Jan Davis; fee: $130. October 27- art consultants from A. Houberbocken; with guest
November 2 “Narrative Clay” with Margaret des speaker James Auer, art critic for the Milwaukee
Jardins. November 10-16 “Terra-Cotta Pottery” Journal-Sentinelntws^2^CT. Fee: $50; lunch: $6.
Location: Saint John’s Home Health Care Cen­
with Hazel Mae Rotimi. Fee (unless noted above):
$232. Contact John C. Campbell Folk School, ter. Contact A. Houberbocken, Inc., Post Office
Route 1, Box 14A, Brasstown 28902; (800) 365- Box 196, Cudahy, Wisconsin 53110; or tele­
phone/fax (414) 481-4000.
North Carolina, Penland September 29-November 22 “Building Form and Surface” with Mary
International Events
Barringer or “Pots, Fire and Use” with Mark
Shapiro. Sessions will share lectures, demonstra­Australia, Surfers Paradise September27-0ctober
tions, guest artists and firings. To apply, send 27 “The 15th National Gold Coast Ceramic Art
several slides plus a statement telling what you Award”; at the Gold Coast City Art Gallery, 135
hope to get out of the class. Fees vary. Contact Bundall Road.
Penland School of Crafts, Penland 28765; or Belgium, Bilzen-Rijkhoven through November 3
“The Work Place: Five Years EKWC (European
telephone (704) 765-2359.
North Carolina, Winston-Salem October 5-6 Ceramics Work Center).” September 20—Novem­
Slide presentation and demonstration with Gary ber 3 Exhibition of Korean ceramics; at LandSchlappal. Fee: $30; Piedmont Craftsmen or commanderij Alden Biesen, Kasteellaan 6.
SECCA members, $25. Contact the Southeastern Belgium, Torhout October26-27“Third Interna­
tional Pottery Event”; at Groenhove, Bosdreef 5.
Center for Contemporary Art, (910) 725-1904.
Pennsylvania, Richboro September 7-8 “Plaster Canada, B.C., Cortes Island September2-7“Lib­
Mold Making for Fine Ceramics” with Peter erating the Creative Self Through Clay and
Mastroianni. Location: Tyler Craft Center. Con­ Movement” with M. C. Richards and Carolyn
Bilderback. Fee: Can$395 (approximately
tact Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, Post Office
Box 108, State College, Pennsylvania 16804- US$280). Contact Hollyhock, Box 127, Manson’s
Landing, Cortes Island V0P 1K0; telephone (800)
0108; or telephone (814) 231-0565.
Texas, Dawson September 27—29 Handmade tile 933-6339 or (604) 935-6533, fax (604) 935workshop with Chula Ross Sanchez. Fee: $205. 6424, e-mail [email protected]
Contact Camille Pendleton, Post Office Box 458,Canada, B.C., Victoria October 12-13 Porcelain
Dawson 76639; telephone (800) 720-2974 or fax workshop with Catharine Hiersoux. Fee: Can$90
(approximately US$64). Contact Meira Mathison,
(817) 578-3098.
Texas, Gainesville October 12-13 “Raku in the Pearson College, RR#1, Victoria V9B 5T7; or
September 1996
telephone (604) 391-2420, fax (604) 391-2412.
Canada, Nova Scotia, Halifax through January
19, 1997“Potters of the Past”; at the Art Gallery
of Nova Scotia, 1741 Hollis at Cheapside.
Canada, Ontario, Don Mills November2“Fusion
at Its Best,” silent auction; at the Civic Garden
Centre, Edwards Gardens, 777 Lawrence Ave., E,
at Leslie St. Tickets: Can$10 (approximately
US$7) before October 25; telephone (416) 4388946; Can$15 (approximately US$11) at door.
Canada, Ontario, Toronto through September 8
“White Gold: The Discovery of Meissen Porce­
lain”; at the George R. Gardiner Museum of
Ceramic Art, 100 Queen’s Park.
Canada, Ontario, Waterloo September 10-December 30 Peter Powning, “Elemental Clay and
Glass”; at Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, 25
Caroline Street, North.
September 27-29 “Workshop ’96,” throwing and
assembling large functional stoneware vessels with
Takeshi Yasuda. Fee: Can$125 (approximately
US$88). Contact Canadian Clay and Glass Gal­
lery, 25 Caroline St., N, Waterloo N2L 2Y5; or
telephone (519) 746-1882, fax (519) 746-6396.
Canada, Quebec, Trois Rivieres through Septem­
ber 15 “Terre en Transit,” Canadian biennial
ceramics exhibition; at Galerie d’Art du Parc,
Manoir de Tonnancour, 864, rue des Ursulines.
Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov through October
31 “International Exhibition of Ceramic ArtCesky Krumlov 1996”; at Cesky Krumlov Castle.
England, Chichester September 20-22 “Pottery
for Beginners” with Alison Sandeman. October
13—18 “Pottery—Handbuilding and Throwing”
with Alison Sandeman. October 27—31 “Sculp­
tural Ceramics” with Tessa Fuchs. November 1577 “Pottery,” throwing and turning plus handle
making with Alison Sandeman. Contact the Col­
lege Office, West Dean College, West Dean,
Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0QZ; or tele­
phone (24) 381-1301, fax (24) 381-1343.
England, Ipswich September28-November3“Hot
off the Press: Ceramics and Print”; at Christchurch
Mansion and Wolsey Art Gallery, Christchurch
England, London through September 8 “Shore
Lines,” exhibition of ceramics, glass and textiles
inspired by the seashore; at the Crafts Council
Gallery Shop, 44a Pentonville Road.
through September 12 Exhibition of studio pot­
tery. September 18—October 10“Pictures and Pots.”
October 16—November 22 Exhibition of teabowls
by Claudi Casanovas; at Galerie Besson, 15 Royal
Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street.
September 10—October 13 Exhibition of ceramics,
wood, metal and glass by Beverly Beeland; at
Crafts Council Shop at the Victoria &; Albert
Museum, South Kensington.
France, Bruges through November 17 “La
Ceramique Fauve Andre Metthey et les Peintres”;
at Fondation Saint Jean.
France, Dunkerque through September30Exhibition of ceramics by Michel Wohlfahrt; at Musee
d’Art Contemporain, Avenue des Bains.
France, Mulhouse through September 15 Exhibi­
tion of works by Jean-Pierre Viot; at Maison de la
Ceramique, 25, rue Josue Hofer.
France, Vallauris through September 29 “DixHuit Ceramistes”; at Musee Magnelli, Musee de
la Ceramique, Place de la Liberation.
Germany, Munich through September 21 “Dutch
Ceramics”; at Kunstverein Munich.
Italy, Faenza September 14—December 1 “Green
and Brown: from Kairouan to Avignon; Pottery
from the 10th to 15th Centuries.” September27—
September 1996
December 1 “Faenza-Faience: White Faenza Pot­
tery.” September27-January 30, I^7“Naturalistic Floral Decoration in European Pottery in the
18th Century” plus terra cottas, works on paper
by Louise Nevelson, 1900-1988; at Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Via Baccarini, 19.
September 27—October 6“The Antique and Mod­
ern Pottery Market/Exhibition”; at Palazzo delle
Esposizioni, Corso Mazzini, 92.
Japan, Mashiko October 20-December 1 “The
First Mashiko Ceramics Competition ’96”; at the
Togei Messe Mashiko Gallery, 321-42 Tochigiken Haga-gun Mashiko-machi.
Japan, Saga September 26-0ctober 13 Exhibition
of works by 150 members of the International
Academy of Ceramics; at the Saga Prefectural Art
Museum, 1-15-23 Jonai.
Mexico, Oaxaca October 27—November 4 “From
the Zapotec Tradition and Beyond” with Bob
Green. Contact Horizons, 108-P North Main
Street, Sunderland, Massachusetts 01375; or tele­
phone (413) 665-0300, fax (413) 665-4141.
Netherlands, Amsterdam September 7-October 9
Exhibition of ceramics by Ad van Aart. October
12-November 13 Ceramics by Bernard Dejonghe;
at Galerie de Witte Voet, Annemie Boissevain,
Kerkstraat 135.
Netherlands, Arnhem through October20Exhibi­
tion of ceramics by Piet Stockmans; at the Mu­
seum of Modern Art.
Netherlands, Delft through October 12 Exhibi­
tion of ceramics by Jan Kamphuis. October 19November 30 Raku by Susanne Silvertant; at
Terra Keramiek, Nieuwstraat 7.
Netherlands, Deventer September 1-28 Deco­
rated earthenware by Nick Chapman. October
13-November 9 Two-person exhibition with ce­
ramics by Pierre Bayle; at Loes and Reinier, Korte
Assenstraat 15.
Netherlands, Oosterbeek September 15-October
13 Porcelain and stoneware by Antje Bruggemann
and Leen Quist. October 20-November 17
Clayworks by Noor Camstra; at Galerie Am­
phora, Van Oudenallenstraat 3.
Netherlands, Rotterdam October 26-January 2,
1997Exhibition of ceramics by Martin Smith; at
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen.
Netherlands, Vlaardingen through September 29
“The Garden of Delight ’96,” includes ceramic
sculpture by Frank Asnes, Jan Goossen, Vilma
Henkelman, Xavier Toubes, Kiran Subbaiah and
Norman Trapman; at the Garden of Delight,
Zuidbuurt 30.
New Zealand, Tauranga September 6-15“Debbie
O’Neill-Harveys Award 1996,” juried exhibition
of New Zealand pottery; at Baycourt, Durham St.
Scotland, Aberdeen September 21-October 19
“Fired with Enthusiasm,” consisting of 5 exhibi­
tions: “Elements of Nature,” large-scale wall in­
stallation by David Cohen; “The Passage of Time,”
ceramic sculpture by Ewen Henderson; “Celebra­
tion,” works by Jill Crowley, Gabriele Koch and
Rosa Nguyen; new work by Ken Eastman; and
“Conversation Pieces,” tableware by 16 British
potters; at Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill.
Scotland, Glasgow through September 14“Prints
and Clay.” September 28-October 30 “Here and
Now II: Contemporary Ceramics in Scotland”; at
t.Garner Gallery, 4 Parnie Street.
through September I^“Hot off the Press: Ceramics
and Print”; at Collins Gallery, 22 Richmond St.
Spain, Leon through September 29 Ceramics by
Arcadio Blasco, Michael Casson, Sheila Casson,
David Leach, John Leach, Simon Leach and Jose
Antonio Sarmiento; at Azul, San Cibrian de Ardon.
September 1996
Avoiding Common Problems
by Jeff Zamek
sure all are still being mined. Also, when
If you work with clay long enough, piece can be compromised. An imma­
ordering raw materials, be specific. The
something will eventually go wrong. It’s ture clay body can also cause glaze craz­
not a question of if, but when. A little ing. If the clay body is too dense, thermal raw materials required in a glaze or clay
knowledge about what you’re up against cracking, excessive warping, bloating and body can come in different mesh sizes or
melting can take place. Place samples of grinds, and the chemical composition
can go a long way in preventing prob­
lems. The raw materials in clay bodies the clay, unglazed and glazed, in several can vary, depending on the mine or
and glazes can subtly shift over time or different locations in the kiln. This manufacturer. They can also contain
change instantly. Forming techniques and should give an indication of how it will other impurities not listed on the bag
label. All can occur without your knowl­
kiln firing cycles also have the potential react under slightly different tempera­
to produce countless variables. Given the tures (since no kiln fires exactly evenly edge. For example, whiting (calcium car­
throughout). Keep in mind that the clay bonate) is produced in different mesh
scope of unpredictable results, it’s amaz­
ing that anything in ceramics works on a body can change the color, texture and sizes, all of which look the same; but a
coarser mesh whiting can cause the glaze
regular basis. Yet, over the centuries, fit of a glaze.
3. Forget the “masterpiece” approach to settle, and a larger particle size gener­
many potters have been able to produce
consistent work. Why? Because of the to making. Every pot or sculpture has a ally does not melt as readily as a smaller
master potter/apprentice tradition. The learning curve. Do not put all your time particle size. In some clear recipes, a
and energy into making just one piece. coarser whiting can cause opacity in the
master potter was a wellspring of practi­
cal first-hand knowledge of materials, It is unrealistic to assume a perfect piece fired glaze.
7. Stay away from soluble raw materi­
techniques and firing secrets. With this will be made the first time. Work in
series to expand your knowledge, then als, such as Gerstley borate, colemanite,
system in place, most of the unproduc­
borax, soda ash and sodium carbonate,
choose the best out of the series.
tive results were weeded out and the pro­
4. Dry everything evenly. The piece in glazes. Whenever possible, try to find
ductive information was passed on to
a nonsoluble substitute. For example,
should change color (indication of dry­
each new generation of potters.
Some problems cannot be reduced to ing) not just from the top down but over Gerstley borate, a soluble and variable
a know-and-avoid situation, but many the entire surface area of the object. quality calcium-boron material, does give
can be prevented just by learning from When water evaporates from clay it mottled or varied results in many glazes,
the past. Why repeat somebody else’s causes shrinkage. The larger the piece, but it can also cause pinholes, blistering
mistake? This is not to imply that all the greater the stress upon drying. Stress and dry fired surfaces. A frit can offer a
problems faced in ceramics have simple, caused by shrinkage has to be evenly good alternative.
8. Choose the correct kiln size. Most
dissipated through the entire piece; oth­
clear solutions, but many of the follow­
potters have a kiln that is too small for
erwise, cracking can take place. It is not
ing common problems can be avoided:
their present or future needs.
1. Saving money can be false
The total cost of a larger kiln
economy. Do not try to cut
Don’tfire too fast.... As a guide for glaze firing, try to (including shelves, posts, fuel)
expenses by buying old or in­
efficient equipment/tools.
maintain a 60°F to 65 °F increase per hour after will not be significant com­
pared to the freedom of the
Their lack of durability or dif­
ficulty in use will cost time and reaching 1830°F; a Cone 9 glaze firing should take increased firing space. The size
of the kiln should be deter­
effort in turning out good pots.
eight hours from Cone 06 to reach Cone 9.
mined by how long it takes to
The profit margin in produc­
fill. If it takes too long to fill
ing pottery or sculpture is very
small. The real challenge is choosing the uncommon for large sculptural pieces to the kiln, it’s hard to keep a flow of com­
most effective cost-cutting options. The take weeks to dry properly. When in pleted work moving through your stu­
dio. Judge your work schedule, then buy
most expensive commodity is your time. doubt, go slow.
5. Monitor the overall defect rate (pots a larger kiln than you think you’ll need.
Raw materials (except tin or cobalt),
9. To avoid the “Chernobyl effect,”
kilns, shelves, tools, equipment, etc., are lost in drying, forming, bisque/glaze
firing or any other defect). Having to never assume the electric kiln shut-off
not as expensive as your time.
2. Choose the correct clay body. As in make a new pot to replace a defective device will work every time. This persis­
building a solid house, the foundation is one eats up time and labor. Not having tent assumption often results in kiln
to remake pots to fill an order or meet a meltdowns. It is amazing how many pot­
critical; the same can be said for choos­
ing the correct clay body for a ceramics show date will reduce production costs ters go home, depending on the bar to
project. The first and most important and save time. Do everything possible to come down on that cone and shut off
criterion for choosing any clay body is keep the defect rate low. Remember, the the kiln. The cone can be installed or
temperature. Most clay bodies have a more you touch the pot, the more it melt incorrectly, or the shut-off mecha­
nism can malfunction, causing the kiln
two to three cone range at which they costs to produce.
6. Before testing new glaze and clay to remain on long after the correct shutwill be reasonably mature. If the clay
body recipes, check the availability of off temperature. Always monitor your
body is not dense enough at tempera­
ture, the physical strength of the fired raw materials with your supplier to make kiln until the sitter turns it off.
10. Don’t fire too fast. Firing the bisque
kiln too fast can result in a very dramatic
effect called “instant shards.” The aver­
age bisque firing of functional pottery in
an electric kiln should take about ten
hours, not counting pre-heating time.
Sculpture, tiles or ceramic objects that
are very large and/or have cross sections
over ½ inch thick require much more
time to fire. Firing the glaze kiln too fast
can also result in a whole series of de­
fects (pinholes, crawling, glaze opacity)
caused by an immature glaze. A fast glaze
firing can lead to a less dense, underfired
clay body lacking in strength and dura­
bility as well. As a guide for glaze firing,
try to maintain a 60°F to 65°F increase
per hour after reaching 1830°F; a Cone
9 glaze firing should take eight hours
from Cone 06 to reach Cone 9.
11. It looked good in the test kiln.
What went wrong? Often a potter will
fire a glaze in a small test kiln. The re­
sults look good, so a large batch of glaze
is mixed. The “test” glaze is then applied
to a whole series of pots, which are then
loaded into a larger production kiln.
Many times the resulting glaze will look
quite different from the same glaze fired
in the small test kiln. By now you might
have guessed that kiln size can play a
critical role in the fired glaze results. Small
test kilns are useful in that they can give
the potter some extra knowledge of how
a glaze or clay body will react under
temperature. At some point, though, it
is always necessary to place some test
glazes into a large production kiln for
accurate results.
12. Another factor that can throw off a
test result is the shape and size of the test
piece. Some glazes, when applied to hori­
zontal test tiles, settle very well when
molten. The same glaze on a vertical test
surface might run significantly, pooling
on the kiln shelf. A similar problem oc­
curs when a small test piece is glazed. A
glaze might do very well under this con­
dition, but when applied to a larger sur­
face area might move under its own
weight when molten, causing sheets of
glaze to slide off the pot. The amount of
surface area to be glazed and its relative
position to the kiln shelf can affect fired
glaze results.
13. Differently sized and shaped sur­
face areas on green- or bisqueware can
change the drying characteristics of a
glaze. The thickness of a test tile or pot
plays an important role in how it ab­
sorbs a glaze application. A thin-walled
pot will take on water from the glaze
differently than a thick-walled pot. The
September 1996
water in the glaze penetrates the thin
wall, causing the opposite unglazed sur­
face to become saturated with water. A
glaze application on this surface is not
possible until it dries. A thin-walled pot
might also become saturated with water
faster, preventing a sufficient glaze
14. The application method can also
play a part in how the glaze fits a pot.
Spraying or brushing the glaze might
produce a different effect than dipping.
All testing must duplicate whatever glaze
application methods will be used in largescale production of pots. By the same
token, if the production pots are to be
once fired, the test tiles should be once
fired to get an accurate test result.
15. The atmosphere inside the kiln dur­
ing a firing can play a large part in chang­
ing glaze color, surface texture, opacity
and molten viscosity. Electric kilns pro­
duce the most consistent results in glaze
and clay body colors and textures. Elec­
tric kilns fire in an oxidation atmosphere.
Gas, wood, oil, coal and other fossil fu­
els can produce a wider range of glaze
and clay body colors, because the kiln
atmosphere can be changed during the
firing. A reduction, neutral or oxidation
atmosphere can be introduced at any
point in the firing, causing a reaction
with the clay body and glaze. Monitor
kiln atmosphere for consistent results.
16. Two different glazes placed next to
each other can be affected by fuming.
This can most often be observed when
glazes containing chrome oxide are placed
next to glazes containing tin oxide. A
pink blush can develop on the fired glaze
surface. Several other raw material com­
binations can cause color shifts. The best
advice is to recognize the color defect
when it happens and avoid placing the
two glazes next to one another in the
next kiln load.
When trying to solve technical prob­
lems in ceramics, it is most important to
have a flexible approach to gathering any
and all information that might be of
help. In the final analysis, the tool most
needed is the ability to utilize all forms
of information wherever they are found.
Experts are always good at telling people
what can go wrong, but don’t let anyone
discourage your experimenting. While
many clay and glaze combinations can
turn out different from what was ex­
pected, the results can be very informa­
tive for future projects.
The author Ceramics consultant JeffZamek
resides in Southampton, Massachusetts.
Answered by the CM Technical Staff
Q How much Epsom salts should I add to a glaze,
and what should I do if I put in too much?—K.F.
Found in any grocery or drugstore, Epsom
salts is added to the glaze batch to keep it in
suspension and to improve application. It does
this by flocculating the clay content of the glaze;
i.e., causing the clay particles to flock together
into an open mass that helps keep nonplastic
materials (feldspar, frit, flint) from settling out.
Some materials are more prone to settling, and it
may be necessary to use more flocculant when
they are present. These problem ingredients may
include feldspars, nepheline syenite, frits, lithium
carbonate and wood ash.
Before adding a flocculant to a glaze, you
should first look at the recipe to make sure there
is clay upon which the flocculant can act. As a
general rule, if there is less than 10% clay, then
you should add up to 2% bentonite. If there is
over 10% clay, you should add less bentonite, or
none at all. An exception to this rule is the
presence of Gerstley borate. It can be flocculated
and will act much like clay to prevent settling,
even if there is little or no clay present.
Normally, only about 0.1% Epsom salts is
needed, but for problem glazes you may need to
add up to 0.25%. In rare circumstances, as much
as 0.5% may be necessary. If the glaze is particu­
larly problematic (e.g., if it contains a great deal
of lithium carbonate and nepheline syenite), it
may be necessary to use a different deflocculant.
A good alternative is calcium chloride. It is used
in the same amounts as Epsom salts. You can find
it in cold climates as an ice-melting compound
(check the bag to make sure this is what you are
buying). And in areas with heavy clay soils, you
can find calcium chloride in garden stores (as a
soil additive to open it up—much the same job
it does in glazes). Otherwise, you may have to
buy it from a chemical supplier.
How much is too much? That depends on
the glaze and on the firing situation. Epsom salts
is a hydrous magnesium sulfate. That means you
are adding both a little magnesium and a little
sulfur to the glaze. Most glazes will not be
affected by either, as long as the amount remains
small; however, some glazes change color with
added magnesium and some will experience
pinholing with added sulfur. Occasionally, a
matt glaze will seem a bit drier. Watch for these
symptoms to see if you are using too much.
If a glaze already has a large amount of clay or
more than 2% bentonite, then a flocculant may
cause it to gel, becoming almost solid. Always
Subscribers’ questions are welcome and those of gen­
eral interest will be answered in this column. Due to
volume, letters may not be answered personally. Ad­
dress the Technical Staff, Ceramics Monthly, P. O.
Box 6102, Westerville, Ohio43086-6102; fax (614)
891-8960 or e-mail [email protected] org
check the plastics content in a glaze first; if it is
high, begin by adding only a very small amount
of flocculant.
Peter Pinnell
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska
Q I have a ceramics program with over 100
students at the high-school level. Needless to say, we
do a significant number of firings, but we are having
some difficulty with our kilns, and I need some
advice. We have two electrics that are shorting out
behind the kiln sitters where the power splits off to
the elements. I have had four shorts in three school
years. One possible reason is our power source. This
community often receives spikes and blackouts.
Power outages are not uncommon and the last short
occurred on a “blackout” day. Can electrical surges
cause these problems in 208-volt kilns? If so, how
can I protect them?—D.H.
Shorting out, or arcing, in electric kilns where
there are wire connections is indeed a dangerous
situation and needs to be corrected. While volt­
age spikes or surges could be the cause, I would
suggest that you check out some or all of the
following possibilities (if you don’t have basic
electrical experience, call a qualified electrician):
If the problem is in the sitter itself, the contact
points on the switch mechanism could be the
culprit. Also, check the wiring from the sitter
switch, the two-part porcelain encased mecha­
nism, to the elements. Electric kilns draw huge
amperage, and it may be the case that the contacts
(because they are moving parts) have worn down
over time and are arcing. Check all the wiring
that has screw-type or bayonet-type connectors
for tightness. Frayed wires also could be to blame.
The more power these units consume, the more
the wiring and contacts wear out and could pose
significant problems. You can easily see where
any arcing has happened. This would be the part
or wire to replace.
You may need to periodically clear or replace
worn parts in the sitters. The sensing rods do
oxidize over time and the travel of the rod relative
to the counterweight needs to be adjusted. Some­
times the timer motors fail, or the contact points
wear out. Instructions for rod adjustment or
parts replacement are usually furnished by the
manufacturer and are included with the kiln.
Another point to consider is if the kilns are
hard wired to the service box or if you use a plug.
These plugs are not designed for long-term usage
and the bayonet-type spring-loaded contacts wear
out both from the movement of electrons (the
electricity that powers your kilns), as well as from
connecting and disconnecting repeatedly. If this
is the case, these units do fail and can cause a fire.
Have a qualified electrician hard wire these cords
to the service box.
In any event, make sure you disconnect the
circuit breaker before attempting any mainte­
nance whatsoever on an electric kiln.
Jonathan Kaplan
Ceramic Design Group
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
September 1996
Continued from page 12
nored or deemed less important with con­
temporary ceramics.
Creation versus production is where she
places emphasis, initially. Each student is
taught with the same grace found evident in
her work. The United States is fortunate to
have an artist/teacher of this caliber and
devotion in residence.
Thanks again for recognizing this.
D. Witschorke, Wayland, Mass.
Positive Response System
It seems that a great deal of the Comment
column authors are bashing other artists and
ideas. Perhaps we (artists) could try a more
positive response system, because what worlcs
for some may not work for all. This informa­
tion should not be thrown away, but “filed”
away for reference.
G. K Van Dixhorn, Madison, Wis.
True Insight
It is fascinating to read the remarks of
people upset at the apparent preference for
Japanese aesthetics and modes voiced by
some commentators. Leach was impressed by
Hamada, Picasso and Matisse by African
mask makers, Miles Davis by Indian and
Indonesian harmonics.
The true insight could be that it should be
required of potters to absorb and distill a
variety of influences before foisting one-of-akind pieces on the public.
Paul Weinberg, Oakland, Calif.
Tired of Psychobabble
I read Ceramics Monthly from front to
back every month. I am tired of the psycho­
babble from artists who need to explain their
work. An aesthetically pleasing piece does not
need mile-long words to “explain” it. If the
piece is beautiful, we as the viewers will feel
its beauty. If it is meant to challenge, then we
will accept the challenge. Artists’ statements
need to allow all viewers to understand and
appreciate their work and words.
CarolJackaway, Parkside, Pa.
Hints Wanted
When certain processes are described (at
times), there is insufficient detail and an
absence of specifics. Ditto with some glaze
recipes. Just giving percentages is sometimes
not enough. It would be helpful to have all
the “hints” in making processes/glazes better.
Aaron Garvin, Paramus, N.J.
True Joy
I enjoy simple, functional ware because it
speaks to my heart and my hands, not to my
mind. True joy is to hold a comfortable
teapot in my hands or to drink from a well-
September 1996
formed mug. I don’t know or care what art
is, but I know what makes my soul sing.
Roger Steinbrueck, Marshall, Wis.
Consistendy Intriguing
CM is consistently intriguing, no matter
what the angle. I look forward to my issue
out here in the lonely north woods. It’s my
breath of what’s beyond.
Sarah Jane Johnson, Lake Leelanau, Mich.
Never Too Old
I was given a lot of CM back issues by a
friend’s mother; in fact, I have one from
1953 when I was 5 years old. I have really
loved looking through these, and can’t throw
any of them away. I even love the ones where
the advertisements make me laugh.
Georgia Lawton, Corpus Christi, Texas
Spontaneous Perfection
My interest is in single utilitarian forms,
vessels particularly, that retain a strong sense
of the movement and spirit of the wheel. I
am far less moved by seemingly overworked
static pieces. It’s the freely applied, “sponta­
neous” motif of, say, the Japanese teabowl
that very warmly freezes the interaction of the
human hand on plastic clay in a way that
spells for me—perfection.
Susanne Roberts, Santa Monica, Calif.
Broader Spectrum
I appreciate the broad spectrum Ceramics
Monthly offers. I would be even more pleased
if CM would give more information about
ceramics events and people outside America.
Keep up the good work, but why not
WCM: World Ceramics Monthly?
Patrick Piccarelle, Boom, Belgium
Accessible Data
Over the years, Ceramics Monthly has
published information about clay bodies and
glaze recipes of wide diversity. This informa­
tion could be made more accessible if it were
put into a data base. Why not develop such a
data base and sell it to subscribers?
Alan Ankeny, Philadelphia
Cover to Cover
My mailbox is packed every day, but
Ceramics Monthly is the only thing I’d miss if
it all were to stop coming. I read it from
cover to cover. Thanks!
Jay Landis, Scottsdale, Ariz.
The orientation of two images appearing
in “Modular Inquiries” in the May 1996
issue was incorrect. “Fields” was printed
upside down and backwards, and “Cleve­
land” was printed upside down.
September 1996
September 1996
The Art of Critique by Rick Malmgren
Years ago, I sat in on a college ceramics perience? Do they think they would make
class given by Jackie Chalkley, a potter the same selection at the end of the se­
who later became a Washington, D.C., mester? Would they want to own and live
gallery owner. After describing what the with the work they selected?
The choices that are made and the
class would cover, she explained how she
would grade the students’ pots. It was discussion that unfolds always surprise
such a painfully hideous notion to me. and delight me. With the beginning
The words “grading students’ pots” kept classes, the selections are frequently very
reverberating in my mind throughout the personal, and we share a friendly laugh as
evening. It would be like grading a dream. I point out how painful it could be if I
graded them based on my personal pref­
Nobody’s pots are awful on purpose.
Now, more than 20 years later, I teach erences. Feeling the weight of making the
ceramics. Working with students and “right” or “fair” choice shifts their per­
spective and, for many, opens their think­
watching their skills grow brings me end­
ing about eval­
less satisfaction.
One of the
I am always surprised by how little is not uating work.
The lesson
most impor­
intuitive, and by how common the few
of this assign­
tant and deli­
cate parts of my
intuitive errors are. I dont so much teach ment then gen­
erally goes on
job is offering
as take away the stumbling blocks.
to two more
a critique. That
stages. First, we
process of cri­
tiquing work goes to the very heart of talk about what some objective criteria
might be. We try to define them clearly.
what it is to be a teacher.
During those 20 years, I have also had The discussions range from the purely
my own work judged in the marketplace technical aspects of the piece, to more
as a full-time potter and in competitive formal aspects of design and, finally, on
shows. It is not an easy or comfortable to the content or expression of the work.
process for me nor probably for anyone. We could stop here with the discussion,
In most instances, I think that the juror, and for many that would be enough.
The next step, though, takes us deeper
gallery owner, teacher or customer says
much more about him- or herself than into understanding how important per­
sonal projection can be in directing our
about the work.
With that in mind, I have developed own work. It is this projection that tells
us who we are and what we need to
an assignment and an approach to teach­
make. I first saw this most clearly a couple
ing that may be useful to others in offer­
ing a critique and even in thinking about of years ago when several students mis­
understood the assignment and, rather
their own work.
A week before I am going to do the than picking simply the “best” work, de­
first critique of the semester, I turn the cided to set up a theme for their shows.
The themes they chose were actually
tables and make the students the judges.
the directions they wanted their own work
They are asked to take an issue of Ceram­
to go. This was a striking revelation, since
ics Monthly or any book full of photo­
graphs of ceramic pieces. They are to nothing else would have told me of their
imagine that the photos are of pieces desire. One woman wanted a whimsical
submitted for an exhibition. I ask them show, but there had been absolutely noth­
to go through the magazine and to pick ing whimsical or playful in her severe and
the best and the worst. I want them to precise bowls. I gave a nudge toward
observe the process and ask themselves a whimsy, and the work that emerged was
series of questions to see how they make simply magnificent. Her pieces suddenly
their choices. What are their criteria? Are came to life as she added playful charac­
those criteria objective or subjective? Are ters and creatures to her otherwise rather
stiff and austere work.
their choices based on knowledge or ex­
September 1996
Over the past several years, I have no­
ticed how my feelings about the role of
teacher have changed. It seems to me
that my job is to present materials and
techniques, and to introduce and clarify
ideas. It is not to interfere with what
students know intuitively. It is largely to
stay out of the way and to assist only
when intuition misses the mark. Students
have vast knowledge about the world.
They know all sorts of things—how clay
moves, when a work is balanced and all
about pleasing proportions. My role is
not to mess with any of that but to catch
the few minor misconceptions about the
nature of clay and visual design. I am
always surprised by how little is not intui­
tive, and by how common the few intui­
tive errors are. I don’t so much teach as
take away the stumbling blocks.
My job is certainly not to dictate taste,
though that is sadly the role that many
very good teachers fall or are pushed into.
Students can be so unsure of themselves
and their personal responses that they
put enormous pressure on teachers to
just give them the answers and the tech­
niques to make “beautiful” pieces. The
results of falling into that trap are clear.
The work of students who come from
such programs, while often good, is clearly
connected to the school and the teacher.
Some students go on to develop their
own direction after they leave, but many
don’t. While in school, they didn’t learn
anything but technique and rules. Art
education at its best is about adaptability
and change, and learning what to do
when you don’t know what to do.
I remember a comment on my stu­
dents’ work made some time ago by a
good friend and potter of some 35-years
experience (who also happens to be my
mother). “It is so varied. It is all, or mostly
all, good work, but it is so different.” It
was a tremendous compliment. I had not
realized it at the time, but that was my
goal. There was no sense of who was
teaching the class, or what that person
liked or thought was good. The students
weren’t leaving with my stamp. They were
developing their own voices, their own
images, their own forms.
While I want a feeling of open expres­
sion, it is important not to leave my stu­
dents in a vacuum. In directing their
work, I intentionally make the path nar­
row enough to allow for forward progress,
so that they won’t flounder in the vastness of the world of ceramics and art, but
have some area that they can focus on
and master, or come to understand.
Our work in clay at this point in hu­
man history is purely for self-expression
and self-exploration. It is not a craft of
necessity in the West anymore. Now we
work with clay to make our marks on the
world, and to come to know ourselves in
that world.
That mark of self-expression is not
something we can plan or know before
we begin. It is something that emerges
and is reflected back to us as we work. A
teacher looking at our work can amplify
that expression so we can hear ourselves
more clearly amongst all the clutter about
art and beauty, and a teacher can point
toward doors that are not immediately
obvious to us.
A critique can also tell us what we are
missing in our communication to others.
These points can be as simple as techni­
cal information about clay or glazes, or as
definable as a design concept such as bal­
ance, or the relationship between figure
and background. Or a critique can be as
elusive and subtle as finding our own
nature in a very personal and perhaps
spiritual way.
As we move from the purely technical
or the quasi-scientific design concepts,
the relationship in the critique becomes
much more intimate. It requires greater
quietness from the teacher. It is a realm
where often more damage than good is
done. I recall the medical physician’s re­
sponsibility is to “first, do no harm.”
Overlaying or squashing a student’s
signature, spirit or ideas with our own is
to miss the point. In many ways, I think
we are too quick to act. Just keep them
working and let them know you care
deeply about them and their work.
When I work with students, I often
find myself talking about the simplest
aspects of their work—edges, feet and
the glaze application. It is not for any
lack of interest or concern about deeper
issues. It is a way to keep the dialogue
open until those issues can emerge.
Students’ personal signatures or na­
tures seem to appear early and remain
surprisingly consistent. I certainly notice
and will comment generally about how I
see a body of work evolving, but there is a
September 1996
fies what tugs us to the work. The next
step is to see that quality or essence and
how it is manifest in our own work; how
it might be embodied in what we do.
great deal to be lost in the early or exces­
At times, it is enormously valuable to
sive categorization of a student. Growing
copy the work of another artist
expression is important. It needs space to
to devour it. In taking the same
unfold. I step in quickly, though, when I
see what the other person saw.
see students beginning to feel guilty about
problems and we see the solu­
the nature of their work, or seeming to
tions. Then we can make the piece again,
fight it. That is the time when I point out
but make it as our own.
their own recent history. Works in the
This can be a tough time,
same vein done by highly
regarded artists are particu­
As we begin in clay, those firstfew times when we feel the because it is very difficult to
stay with our work when we
larly helpful in assuring them
power of self expression can be marvelous—“my own
feel that it is “not quite
that its okay to follow who
right.” It is a very uncom­
they are.
thumbprint in clay!” Most of us, though, need to
fortable time for most of us
As we begin in clay, those
go further, to have this expression felt by someone else,
to continue to observe our
first few times when we feel
closely. We so easily
the power of self-expression
to communicate with another
drift away or become uncan be marvelous—“my
At some point, and it may be very conscious and fall into ruts that have
own thumbprint in clay!” Most of us,
though, need to go further, to have this early on, we begin to do this process brought rewards before. Or we find the
process so painful that we stop working
ourselves, to listen openly and freely with­
expression felt by someone else, to com­
out expectation to our own work. For entirely. I know. I’ve taken both paths.
municate with another.
In this way, I work with my students
some, it is the toughest time. We find
Clay lends itself to that intimate con­
nection. It can be seen and held. For ourselves asking, “What do I make when as I work with myself, and I wish for
them what I wish for myself: to allow
vessels, it may even include touching our I can make almost anything?”
insight to shed enough light to see where
This is now how I work with ad­
lips, carrying or warming food before we
vanced students. It begins with observing to move forward, to savor the joy in the
eat it. There is a built-in closeness.
process and, most of all, to be gentle.
all sorts of ceramic work in shows, maga­
A critique gives voice to that relation­
ship. It responds to the work and echoes zines and books. Key to that is watching
where the visual statement is clear and how we respond to what we see. We The author A full-time potterfor 20 years,
strong, or points out the dissonance where isolate the essence of what drew us to the Rick Malmgren teaches part time at St.
Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland.
it is weak and clouded. It is to be fully work. Looking at many examples clari­
present with the work. It is important
not to leave the maker in a vacuum, nor
to take up the space of the work with our
own projections and aspirations. The sense
of presence is achieved and conveyed
through observation, not through direc­
tives. The simple process of looking in­
tently and seriously for a long time,
without words, needs to be honored as
part of the response to the work, not
simply as preparation for “the critique.”
Index to Advertisers
Contemporary Kiln............... 107
A.R.T. Studio.......................... 19
Continental Clay..................... 81
Aegean.................................. 110
Corey..................................... 112
Afitosa..................................... 31
Cornell.................................. 110
Amaco ....................................89
Creative Clock...................... 110
jAmerican Ceramic Society....88
Creative Industries................. 30
American Craft........................21
Critter.................................... 104
Amherst Potters.................... 100
Artworks................................ 102
Davens.................................. Ill
Axner................................. 34, 35
Dedell................................... 110
Del Val.................................. 112
Bailey........................... 1,6,7,91
Dolan ................................... 110
Baltimore Clayworks............ 107
Duralite................................. 116
Bennett’s................................. 3
Bluebird................................ 103
Euclid’s................................. 102
Bluebonnet........................... 104
Falcon................................... 110
Bracker Ceramics ................ 118
Fletcher Challenge............... 118
Brent...................................... 15
Flourish................................. 104
Brickyard.............................. 112
Geil.................................... 33, 87
Campbell School................... 107
Geltaftan.................................. 9
Canecraft............................... 117
Georgies................................ 100
Ceramic Arts Library............. 92
Ceramic Fiber....................... 108
Great Lakes Clay.................... 95
Ceramic Review.................... 117
Hammill & Gillespie..............32
CeramiCorner....................... 102
Ceramics Monthly.... 12, 36, 101, 109 Handmade Lampshade........ 112
HBD..................................... 116
Christy Minerals................... 104
Highwater Clays................... 105
Classified.............................. 114
Hones..................................... 99
Clay Art Center.......................96
Hood..................................... 112
Clay Factory.......................... 110
Industrial Minerals.................88
Clay Times............................. 98
International Technical ........ 90
Columbus Arts...................... 119
Jepson.......................... 11, 17,85
Contact.................................. 105
Jiffy........................................ 101
Kickwheel................................ 4
Kiln Sitter.............................. 116
Kraft Korner ......................... 112
Krueger................................. 104
L & L......................................82
Laguna Clay........................... 29
Leslie..................................... 103
Lockerbie.............................. 117
Max....................................... 110
Miami Clay.............................99
Mile Hi...................................84
Minnesota Clay USA..............27
Miracle Underglazes............ 104
Mitchell Graphics................. 102
Modern Postcard................... 96
National Artcraft................... 118
New Century....................... 107
North Country........................94
North Harris College.......... 107
North Star................ 105, Cover 3
Old Gap .............................. 112
Olsen...................................... Ill
Orton ..................................... Ill
Paragon............................... 10
Peter Pugger.......................... 97
Philadelphia Pottery............ 116
Potter’s Service...................... 92
Potters Shop...........................86
Pure & Simple.........................90
Ram....................................... 103
Randall ................................... 26
Rosen...................................... 13
Sapir...................................... 101
Scott Creek............................ 113
Sheffield................................ 109
Shimpo............................ Cover 2
Skutt................................ Cover 4
Snyder .................................. 110
Southern Oregon Pottery...... 110
Southern Pottery................... 112
Spectrum .............................. 117
Standard .................................. 2
StoneHaus............................ 119
Studio Potter........................... 94
Tara......................................... 23
Thomas-Stuart...................... 113
Trinity................................... 108
Tucker’s.................................. 99
U.S. Pigment ........................ 113
Venco...................................... 93
Wasil...................................... 104
Westerwald............................ 102
Whistle Press......................... 112
Wise....................................... 112
Wolfe..................................... 116
Worcester Center.................. 119
YWCA.................................... 119
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