Opening my kiln in April is all about spring and how the potter creates items to bring beauty to the home both indoors and out. Spring is about flowers and bright colors, berries and birds.. It’s about prepping for Mother’s Day gift giving and sales. Here is a look at some of my favorite pieces from this month’s kiln opening…
If you are interested in purchasing my pottery, available items, pricing and how to purchase are attached to each of my flickr listings. Click here for more info.
Opening a glaze kiln can be like Christmas and … it can also be like Halloween. This last run was filled with new discoveries and spring cheer. Here is a look at some of my favorites.. Pricing and purchasing information is just a click away SHOP HERE.
Westwood Artists host 3rd Outdoor Marketplace this Saturday, December 12th from 11am to 3pm. My table will be set up in front of Decor & More at 695 High Street, Westwood, MA. Joining me will be Carol Ahearn – watercolors & acrylics; Karen Cagan – photography; Jane Wojick – pottery; and, Kevin Becker – blown glass. No matter what the weather, we’ll be there as we have a roof over the sidewalk where we will be selling.
Shopping local and small business helps artists and makes for some wonderful personal connections to take place. Pottery may be purchased ahead of time and picked up at this event or a curbside contactless sale is easy to set up. Please shop my inventory and click on the photo you like for pricing and how to purchase directly from me.
Please join me for an Outdoor Sale with Westwood Artists. The Outdoor Sale on Saturday, November 7th is from 11am to 3pm on the green in front of the Council on Aging, 60 Nahatan Street in Westwood, Massachusetts.
Featured artists: Lisa WB Walker – pottery; Carol Ahearn – watercolors; Karen Cagan – photography; Jane Wojick – pottery; Maureen Obey – pastels and oil paintings; Mike Robrish – watercolors; Kathy O’Donnell – origami earrings; and Rita Bechara – mixed media paintings.
This is a social distanced sale. Masks are required. Hand sanitizer is available should you wish to interact with the art.
If you would like to purchase handmade from me but are unable or uncomfortable attending an in person event, please have a look at my pottery on my flickr account. I keep my inventory up to date and include information on each listing where to purchase and if items are available. Please email me to discuss options for contactless sales.
The COVID19 Pandemic and quarantine impacted my art. My ceramic homes represent my neighborhood.
One of my neighbors, a nurse, organized a “first responders” event in April. She emailed neighbors to ask for help in recognizing the health care workers in “Cloverland” (the name we use when referring to our Westwood, MA neighborhood). She asked for money to purchase restaurant gift cards for these families, to create signs of support, and help to decorate these homes with lawn signs, chalk signs and balloons. It was a huge success!
In the middle of July, some of these signs are still standing – through hard rain and wind storms – just like these health care workers. It takes a village… and my art reflects this life that is.
If you live in my neighborhood, you might have seen me working away out in my garage. It’s where my kiln is and a great place to be when the weather is warm and the clay is low fire brown. I’ve just managed to fill my kiln to run a bisque fire for the first time this season. The pandemic really affected my creativity and I’ve just started to emerge from quarantine with ideas for some new work. Stay tuned for class updates, pottery to purchase and a lot more blog posts!
During the time the theme was announced, I was beginning my second of two drawing classes in Newton; a class is a perk of being an instructor for Newton Community Education where I currently teach clay to all ages. I was humbled and frustrated by the place I found myself when I arrived at my drawing class this fall, but by spring these two teachers had lead me past mental roadblocks and set me on the path of rediscovering my voice with skills that I could take to the clay surface.
I began working with a drawing of my hand holding the stem of a peony as a self portrait. The peony is the flower that blooms every year around the time of my wedding anniversary; it signifies the memory of the transition into a new role of wife and subsequently motherhood in a year that my children have left home. The negative space around the image in white is the silhouette of a woman’s shape. The pink of the peony, the gentle grasp of the stem, the soft form all suggest femininity to me. I worked on these two pieces at the same time, starting first with the bowl and moving to the plate.
When I look at the two pieces side by side, I see a bowl with an image on the left and a ceramic statement on the right. The bowl is a piece you might hang on a wall and contemplate in an intellectual manner. The plate is a form and image interacting as one. An only a utilitarian form can do, it invites you to interact by touch when the surface image draws you in. The two pieces together are a metaphor and entrance to my storytelling in this self portrait. Other pieces will follow to create a larger collection.
My process for creating these two pieces began with wheel thrown well made forms with a handmade swirl in the center to emphasis the human component of pottery. Once trimmed and in a “suede” state, I use a pencil to transfer my drawing. The lines are carved and then inlaid with green underglaze. Masters of this technique are Kristen Keiffer, Michael Klein and Julia Galloway, contemporary ceramicists who use Mishima in their work. Space is defined by layers of white and blue underglaze before the forms are dried and fired to bisque. Glazing has three layers and uses the characteristics of a clear glaze in conjunction with other glazes to enhance the surface decoration.
Making clay baskets can be complex forms to create. They are born on the potter’s wheel, the place where I do my best thinking, as small shapes that begin as bowls and then transform into objects of whimsey. The rim of the pot becomes a place to alter: roll it, split it, cut it, pinch it … each action creates a different result.
Once the wheel thrown pieces are trimmed or finished, hand pulled handles are added to each piece. The shape of the basket determines where the handle is placed in order to create a functional form.
When the clay is still malleable, I take the opportunity to add decoration to the surface. Handmade, found and manufactured stamps are added to make each piece unique.
Once bone dry, underglaze colors are added to “pop” the pieces. These one of a kind baskets are now ready to head into the kiln where they will be fired to cone 06 and then be ready to hold glaze.
I decided on a satiny white liner and an opal glaze to emphasize the underglaze colors. One characteristic of the opal glaze is its movement; it can drag or pull the color down the pot that is vertical. I use this knowledge to create the effect I am looking for. The baskets head back into a kiln and are fired to cone 6.
The baskets are now completed pieces of pottery. They are ready to make their way out into the world as useful and beautiful handmade objects.
Five years ago, I wanted to sell my handmade pottery in my hometown of Westwood, Massachusetts. I created a few dishes and approached Decor & More, a gift shop in the center of town to see about a partnership. Since then, there have been Westwood dishes of all kinds, Westwood grad dishes and most recently: Realtor dishes with town names.
These dishes are created from white stoneware clay, hand cut, smoothed, hand stamped and set to dry before hand painting each individual letter and design with an underglaze paint. Dishes are fired in a kiln, glazed with a clear and fired for a second time to create a piece that is both durable and functional for food. No dish is alike and can vary year to year as changes to color and design are updated. They are fun to collect!