Cup Exhibit – #4

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My favorite cup in the Cup Exhibit at the Society of Arts and Crafts was one by Sanam Emami.

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Sanam Emami, it turns out, was the curator of the last cup show at SAC.  She has a beautiful website and this is where I found out more about her and her ceramics.

She says: “My pots and tiles are made with a specific intent – a function. Plates, cups and tiles are ubiquitous, recognizable. The vases and their multiple spouts are curious when empty, when filled with flowers their function is revealed. The tile is a background or canvas. The cup provides a counterpoint – the curves and movement of the form interact with the surface pattern and imagery. The parameters of the functional pot simultaneously create boundaries and endless possibilities.

Ideas come from different places; a book, a conversation or a glimpse of something familiar like a favorite historical pot that can seem new, as if seen for the first time. The studio space is where the concepts and inspiration take shape and become tangible and dimensional. The concept of unity with variety is important. For example, combining soft marks and volumes with crisp edges and lines. I am interested in creating contrasting gestures that can coexist within a pot or a tile through mark making, symmetry and repeated patterns.”

cup-Emami

a mug by Sanam Emami using some of the design elements as seen on the SAC mug.

Pitcher-Emami

a pitcher that shares the flower and leaf imagery found on the SAC cup but in an entirely different manner

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detail of the SAC cup with partially glazed handle, multiple layers of surface decoration, and free floating foliage.

I was in fact so taken by her work that I emailed her to tell her how much I loved her work.  Please visit Sanam’s website here where you can subscribe to her newsletter.

Interested in more cups? click here, here and here for past blogs on this subject.

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5th grade tile project

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For the last few years, I’ve been accompanying my friend and fellow Potters Place potter, Susan Brum to elementary schools in Walpole to work on tiles with 5th grade students.  We work with the art teachers to help them realize their goal to have their students work with real clay.

IMG_9705Prior to our arrival, students have worked on a layout for their tile.  It is our job to teach them to transform their two dimensional drawing into a three dimensional tile.  We visit each school twice.  The first time, we instruct the students how to create their tile s. The second time we teach them how to use ceramic paints to add detail and finish off their pieces.

IMG_2045Sue and I hand cut all the tiles for the students from a low fire clay.  We make up slip and bring extra clay for each student.  All this prep work takes place at our pottery studio: Potters Place. When we arrive at the schools, we work with each student to help them think about how to translate their work to the tile.  We teach them to slip and score, roll coils, incise and add.  These subtractive and additive methods are the tools the students use.

These 5th graders are on their way to creating beautiful tiles that reflect their interests. Here are some of the results from today’s class at the Elm Street School:

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To find out more about Potters Place and how we share our love of clay with the community, click here.

Next week we paint! Stay tuned!

“Reflection” opens tonight

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Artist Challenge: REFLECTION … “As the seasons change, so does reflection. We see reflection in light or hear it in sound. When the year comes to a close, do you reflect on what was, what will be? How can a reflection be cool or warm? How will you define it in your medium?”IMG_1972

IMG_1988This Challenge was open to all artists, working in any medium, who work/reside in eastern Massachusetts. I chose to submit two RAKU vases.  With my “prelude” brushwork on the exterior surface and coppery reflective glaze on the interior, it  defined “Reflection” in my medium: clay.

Raku is a low-firing process that was inspired by traditional Japanese raku firing. Western-style raku involves removing pottery from the kiln while at bright red heat and placing it into containers with combustible materials, such as sawdust and shredded paper.

10703649_850249931674957_6164981609592720509_n 1002370_849804565052827_3696928856331226166_n1898280_10152915225110116_7005566621584131932_nOnce the materials ignite, the containers are closed. This produces an intense reduction atmosphere which effects the colors in glazes and clay bodies. This is when the wonderful reflective coppery sheen happens.

IMG_1888The drastic thermal shock also produces cracking; therefore, Raku is fragile and cannot withstand water. The non functional aspect means that the interior is unoccupied and light travels in to reflect the copper red glaze.

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See my vases and the work of other artists as they respond to “Reflection” in their mediums.

Participating Artists Include:
Lisa W B Walker, Cindy Mootz, Lonnie Landrey, Gretje Ferguson, Fred Smith, Rali Weaver, Dennis Stein, Kerry Hawkins, Alice Donaldson, Wendy Birchmire, Danielle Leveille, Sharon Pierce, Nancy Walton, Anna Gemelli, and Gillian Jackson

IMG_1978IMG_1987Raku is always one of a kind. It is a ceramic sculpture that has captured a moment in time where artist, fire and process become one. Enjoy the luminosity of the copper reds that come to life in the reduction process, and the exterior brushwork and crackle that reflect nature in a season of change.

“Reflection”, a Dedham Square Artist Guild Artist Challenge, opens tonight, Thursday, December 4th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  This show will be hosted in the lower gallery at the Dedham Community Theatre. 580 High Street, Dedham, MA. http://www.dedhamcommunitytheatre.com

Exhibition Dates: December 4th, 2014 to January 30th, 2015

 

Potters Place Show and Sale – opens tonight

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Carol Bradley 2-L

platter by Carol Bradley

Gay Calo-L

lidded containers by Gay Calo

Henriette Dresens-L

sculpture by Henriette Dresens

Jane Wojick-L

saggar fired vessel by Jane Wojick

Jeannette McGillicuddy-L

leaf platter by Jeannette McGillicuddy

Joyce Lauro-L

Sculpture by Joyce Lauro

Karen Tracy-L

Shell platter by Karen Tracy

Lisa Walker-L

By the Ocean platter by Lisa W B Walker

Lizanne Donegan-L

textured pitcher by Lizanne Donegan

Sue Brum-L

Berry Bowls by Hog Wild Pottery

Thanks to Dave Bradley Photographer, I bring you these beautiful photographs of some of the 21 featured artists who will be selling their pottery at this weekend’s Potters Place Fall Show and Sale.  The annual show opens tonight, November 21st with a reception open to the public at 5:30pm.  The show continues on Saturday from 9am – 8pm, and Sunday 10am – 4pm.  The studio is located at 127 Old West Street in Walpole, MA.  Stop in and see the cooperative studio and all the talent that is created there every day.

More details at http://www.pottersplace.info

Fall “By the Ocean”

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stamped oval dish with sneak a peak mug

Potters Place, a school and cooperative pottery studio, opens it’s doors for their annual holiday show and sale November 21,22 and 23.  As a member, I will be showcasing my collection of wheel thrown and hand built pottery.  Here’s a sneak peak of my Fall “By the Ocean” Collection. Enjoy!

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Fall “By the Ocean” Bowl

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Wave-y Bowls

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Fall “By the Ocean” 14oz mugs

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slip-trailed square votive dishes

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Fall “By the Ocean” oblong plate with tiny bowl

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Nutmeg glazed bowls

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Fall “By the Ocean” platter

This collection follows my summer “By the Ocean” collection. Read more about it here.

“Identity”… A DSAG Artist Challenge opens Thursday, July 31st

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identity

Opening Reception:
 Thursday, July 31, 2014 
6pm to 8pm

Gallery Location: 

580 High Street, Dedham, MA

Dedham Community Theatre

 

The Dedham Square Artist Guild issued an artist challenge to the community.  This exhibit is how 11 juried artists* met the challenge. Come to the reception to meet the artists and ask them about their work.  All of the art in the show is for sale.

The Challenge: “Identity” Who are you? Who are we? Who was that masked man? Let’s explore identity in all its forms, perceptions and definitions. Consider who you are, what you stand for, your roots. Discover how another person or group identifies himself/herself/themselves…through their culture, interests, history.

*The 11 Artists:  
Marietta Apollonio, Kevin Becker, 
Anna Gemelli, Kerry Hawkins, 
Alicia Heaney, Stephanie Marcus,
Cindy Mootz, Isabel Shamitz, 
Fred Smith, Vanessa Tedesco, 
Lisa W. B. Walker

The Exhibit Dates: 
July 31st to September 29th

Trips inspire collections ~ Turks and Caicos

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IMG_9639IMG_9349 My spring collection of pottery is inspired by a trip I took with my family to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

I took a lot of photos of my surroundings, things that interested me. Like this painting (below) in the lobby of our hotel.

When I returned home, I printed out the photos and added them to my sketchbook.

 

Making notes and working through the pictures, I decide how best to tell the story of my trip through a collection of pottery.

The painting influenced the first pieces that I made – the Turks and Caicos square plates (above).

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This oblong dish (left) is slip trailed with blue engobe on a white clay.  The glaze is a peachy color and changes the blue slip to blue green.

IMG_9228This design was inspired by the fabric upholstered on the two big couches facing each other in the hotel lobby.

The couches were comfy and welcoming. Right near these couches was a water cooler filled with lemon slices that I stopped at each time I passed through the lobby.

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Turks and Caicos is known for their baskets.  I purchased a small covered one that is now filled with shells collected on the beach.

 

The basket weave was a pattern that I wanted to dominate my collection to give a nod to the local handcraft of basket making so I created square dishes, oblong trays and tea bag dishes all utilizing the pattern.

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Square plates with a white slip trailed design on blue engobe were inspired by the pattern I found on a vent throughout the resort. It gave me  a wonderful repeating pattern to play with.

 

 

 

In my sketchbook there are drawings and photo paste ups of the sand and the blue green water.  The collection is fun and light just as the trip itself was.  I hope I’m lucky enough to go back some day.

 

Turks and Caicos Collection is currently for sale at the Dedham Square Artist Guild located at 553 High Street, Dedham, MA.  All the work pictured in this blog is available and for sale.

 

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The life of a handmade pot

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I like to throw my small bowls off the hump.  The routine of centering, throwing, cutting, and repeating tends to makes my bowls more similar in shape when I do this.  There is no reason to measure because I enjoy making each one as an individual form, but I do know that by repeating the action, I’m training my muscles to make a similar shape.

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Finishing a piece means taking the time to trim a nice foot ring.  You know you see a potter shopping for a bowl when they keep flipping the pottery upside down to see the craftsmanship of the artist.

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Before starting to glaze, I wax the bottom of my pieces so that there is a clean line where the glaze meets the foot.  Glaze left on the bottom of the piece will stick to the shelf during the firing process and ruin the work.  Waxing is a nice way to make sure your piece’s foot is well marked and clean.

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Once the work is complete, the bottoms are sanded so they are smooth and will not to scratch any surfaces.  I hand wash each piece, photograph it, log it into inventory, price it and post it out on all my social media platforms.

Each piece I create is a one of a kind piece – handmade for one who appreciates details and fine craftsmanship. One it is purchased, it begins it’s life as a functioning piece of pottery – hopefully well loved and cared for 🙂

 

To purchase my pottery, please visit my website at www.lisawbwalker.com

 

 

 

Potters in local schools

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Potters in local schools

With 96 tiles in tow, Potters Place potters Susan Brum and Lisa Walker visit the 5th grade at Elm Street Elementary School to instruct on clay.  This is the first of a two part visit.  Part one gives the students a chance to create a tile using a wet clay tile.  We teach them how to create relief (build up and add on) as well as to incise or carve to translate their two dimensional  idea into a three dimensional sculptural tile.

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The students worked really hard.  They were focused, creative and enjoyed working with the clay.  At the end of our visit, we gave a preview of the painting they will do when we return next week.  They will be able to add details and color before their work heads back to Potters Place to fire in the kiln.

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Some of the many beautiful tiles created at Elm Street School:

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Makes you smile, doesn’t it?!

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Great attention to detail and the look of someone having a lot of fun playing with clay!

Art in School

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Art in School

Over the course of a few short winter months,  I will have had the opportunity to work with 5th grade students in 3 different schools. Bringing artists into the classroom is rewarding for students, teachers and the greater community.  IMG_9709

Using wet clay, the students are taught to create a three dimensional tile from a two dimensional format.  Watching the students respond to the clay is always interesting.  They have to think outside the box to solve problems involving spatial relationships, how to minimize details, how to reproduce a flat object into a three dimensional form and more. There is technique to learn when working with a new medium such as “score and slip”, coil rolling, incising and the proper way to build up the tile.

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There is nothing better than experiencing the student who has the “ah ha!” moment as this one did with the tile pictured above.  He struggled to create the perfect moment when the ball swished through the net. I’d say he was quite successful!