Baskets

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Every year when spring rolls around, I create clay baskets.  They symbolize new life, growth, Easter, spring, childhood, flowers and more.  The design varies from year to year making them fun to collect.

IMG_3514This year, my basket inspiration comes from this beautiful silver basket that I’ve had for many years.  I love the way the rim undulates and the handle rises up.  It’s a lovely size for jewelry or as a candy bowl.

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This past year, I participated in a workshop, hosted by Potters Place, with Delaney Wise.  Delaney is a ceramic artist and teacher at Harvard.  She taught us many things including how to create an undulating rim.  I thought this technique might work well this year’s baskets.IMG_3052 My form starts on the potter’s wheel as a bowl with a thickened rim.

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Cutting the rim deliberately and then removing those pieces produces an area that can be softened and then manipulated.

IMG_3056 When I find the shape I like, the bowl is removed from the wheel and squished to make ready for the basket handles.

IMG_3058 I created a few new stamps and this one felt right on my baskets… a little flower.IMG_3326I hand pull my handles and attach them to the leather hard clay.  The stamp acts as decoration and added assurance that the handle is attached securely to the vessel.

IMG_3328This year’s baskets are ready for eggs, plants, candy or treasures.  They are for sale at the Dedham Square Artist Guild in Dedham Square.  Hop over to get yours! Happy Spring!

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Neverland

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The Dedham Square Artist Guild teamed up with the Dedham Parish Players for the February/March Artist Challenge.  Together they chose “Neverland” as the theme.  The Opening Reception is Thursday, February 26th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

Neverland Plate

For my entry, I decided to repurpose one of my wheel thrown stoneware plates that had been glazed in a clear gloss with a foamy rim.  It was a blank canvas to experiment with.

IMG_3190The Challenge: 

“Neverland…Fly to Neverland with Peter Pan and see what we find…fairies and mermaids, pirates and crocodiles, and children who live forever. We’re paying tribute to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan from Neverland. Of course, Neverland could mean something completely different for you…show us!”

Opening Reception: Thursday February 26, 6pm to 8pm 

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Exhibition Dates: February to March 31, 2015

This exhibit is being produced in conjunction with the Parish Players newest production of “Neverland”. Their performances will take place in late March. Visit the Parish Players for more information on how to purchase tickets.

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This Challenge was open to all artists, working in any medium, who work/reside in eastern Massachusetts.

The show is exhibited in the lower gallery at the Dedham Community Theatre located at 580 High Street, Dedham, MA. The theatre is a community hot spot.  It shows new releases every day of the week, including one’s that recently won oscars!, in a movie hall in the center of Dedham Square.

IMG_3198For my entry, I used the image of a star to represent Tinkerbell’s magical fairy dust. I created a hand-cut stencil and gold enamel paint  to embellish the surface of one of my wheel thrown stoneware plates.

I designed the plate as a functional piece. The stars scatter across the plate rim outside and around where food will be. They float like Tinkerbell’s pixie dust to create a magical moment.

I imagine the plate to be used by a young child who believes in the magic of Tinkerbell and dreams of Peter Pan and his adventurous life.  It is the parent or caregiver who is rewarded with the underside of the plate… IMG_3199

When I was a child, our family had a wonderful set of Peter Rabbit bowls that we used for breakfast cereal.  I loved imagining Peter Rabbit creeping into Mr McGregor’s garden or Peter playing with this sisters, Mopsy and Flopsy.  I always ate all my cereal to see the hand-painted scenes at the bottom of the bowl. For my Neverland plate, the reward is a finished meal and the opportunity to turn the plate over.

Fairy tales are for children or those young at heart.  They delight us and take us to an imaginary place.  As I worked on this challenge, I was reminded that being playful and dreaming is something that adds value to life.  As adults, we can learn a lot from the children in our lives.

IMG_3201In my imagination, when I flew to Neverland with Peter Pan and Wendy, I enjoyed watching the children learning to fly, the magical fairy dust that took them on their adventure. It was the thrill of something new and unimaginable that one can only dream about.

I imagine my “Neverland” plate to be hung on a wall. On special occasions, perhaps when it is snowy outside and there is a warm fire, the plate is taken down and placed in front of a young child to eat a comforting meal with a caregiver who will tell them a story.  The story will be of adventures in distant lands. When that child goes off to bed, the caregiver will wash the magical plate and return it to the wall to hang, a constant reminder to enjoy the magic around us.

Peter Reynolds, Cheryl Doucette, Kerry Hawkins, Fred Smith, Alice Donaldson, Cindy Mootz, and more have artwork in this show.  Please stop in and see what we have imagined in art!

Valentine’s Day ~ Shop Local

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Here in New England, we are being hit hard by snow.  Small businesses that count on holidays like Valentine’s Day to boost their sales in February are especially impacted. Snow means customers don’t want to venture out in the cold and turn to their computers to “order in” from big stores. Shop locally this season or call a small business and ask for an item to be shipped; it really will make a difference.

Where can you find Lisa W B Walker pottery? Shopping local means just west of Boston, MA.

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“love” heart dishes for sale at Custom Art Framing & Gallery 9 in Norwood, MA

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“His and Her” mugs sets for sale at Dedham Square Artist Gallery in Dedham Square, MA

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Bud Vases for sale at Custom Art Framing & Gallery 9 in Norwood, MA; Dedham Square Artist Guild Gallery in Dedham Square, MA; and two favorites at my home studio.

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Westwood Dishes at Decor & More in Westwood, MA

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Ceramics for Jewelry at Cristina Hurley Jewelry Gallery in Canton, MA

Dedham Guild turns 3!

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3 year annivesary PartyMy guild in Dedham will celebrate it’s third birthday tonight, Saturday, October 4th from 6-8pm.  There will be music, food and drink, and a great raffle filled with art.  It is the perfect time to visit the guild to meet and purchase directly from the 23 guild member artists.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.26.58 AMI am the featured artist of the month at the guild.  My “By the Ocean” collection will be featured up front for the party.  You can find photos of this collection by visiting my flickr account but I recommend visiting the guild, located at 553 High Street in Dedham, MA to see my work, feel the texture and weight and enjoy the colors of this low fire collection.

Tax Free Weekend Countdown ~ Featuring Dedham Square Artist Guild

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“Prelude” meta blue green collection by Lisa W B Walker

Dedham Square Artist Guild, a cooperative artist gallery, is home to 25 working artists. I’ve been a member of Dedham Square Artist Guild for just about 3 years.  The artists staff the gallery, so every time you go into the guild, you meet one of the DSAG artists.  Artists work in paint, photography, encaustic, wood, glass, clay, mosaic, textile and jewelry.  The gallery is filled with one of a kind art to make gift giving a unique experience.

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Fun Mugs by Lisa W B Walker

Dedham Square Artist Guild Gallery is located at 553 High Street in Dedham, MA  P: 781-329-1890. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12-6pm, Sunday 11am – 2 pm.

Boston Globe reports:

BOSTON — The annual sales tax holiday in Massachusetts would be held Aug. 16-17 under a bill released by a legislative committee of conference on Wednesday evening.

The sales tax holiday was included in an economic development bill, which is among the last major pieces of legislation being considered before the legislative session ends for the year on Thursday.

Rep. Joseph Wagner, a Chicopee Democrat and chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, said that sales tax holiday “is significant for the Commonwealth’s economy.”

Additional Ceramics by Lisa W B Walker at Dedham Square Artist Guild Gallery:

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“Prelude” meta light green bowl by Lisa W B Walker

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“Prelude” meta light green vase by Lisa W B Walker

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“Prelude” appetizer plates by Lisa W B Walker

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“Prelude” meta light green oblong plate by Lisa W B Walker

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“Prelude” meta light green mugs by Lisa W B Walker

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

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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

“FUN” ~ A Dedham Square Artist Guild Exhibit

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“FUN” ~ A Dedham Square Artist Guild Exhibit opens tonight, Thursday, May 29th with a reception at the Dedham Community Theater from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

The Dedham Square Artist Guild provides the artist challenge for the exhibition.  This one went like this:

“Fun”… Welcome to the funhouse… this challenge is about all things that make us happy, laugh, feel exhilarated, fill us with joy! So… what do you do for fun? Tell us! Better yet, SHOW us! Use any medium to tell us about what fun means to you or those you observe… come on, have some fun with this challenge!!

fun This challenge inspired me to create a set of mugs. The surface decoration is where I explored the theme and gave these two some FUN.

 

 

 

fun mugsTo create a vessel for my theme, I threw two mugs that were similar in size, but had subtle differences to make each one unique. Special attention was given to the “foot” to elevate and well define it.  Taking time to think through each part of a piece is what sets it apart….  these mugs were entering in an exhibit and needed to look their best!

funThe handle is the first place the mug meets it’s user and should be inviting, functional and smooth.  The second place the mug meets the user is at the rim.

IMG_0457The surface decoration above is an image of unfired glaze before it is put into it’s final firing in the electric kiln.  Dots for me symbolize FUN and I have used them in my work before when emphasizing “play”.  I experimented with stripes and dots for this set to create a different space on the surface.  I used wax resist, pouring, dipping and layering when I decorated these mugs.

IMG_0599You can’t have FUN alone, you need a friend! That is why I chose a set of two mugs for this challenge.

This challenge was open to all artists working in any medium. Come see the show tonight! It opens with a reception from 6-8pm in the lower gallery at the Dedham Community Theater.  The exhibit runs through July 28th, 2014.  All Artwork is For Sale.

 

Happy Easter ~ Handmade Baskets

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IMG_9722 Every year, I like to welcome in spring with herb markers and baskets.  This year, the baskets worked well with my spring collection: Turks and Caicos.

I make my baskets by combining two techniques: wheel throwing and hand building.  The baskets are thrown as bowls on my pottery wheel.  This year I added a split rim for glaze pooling.

When the clay is setting up, I roll some coils and then stamp them with a basket weave pattern.

glazing basketsWhen ready, I squish in the sides of the bowl and attach the handles.  I dry them very slowly over the next few days.  Then finish them off with a pony roller and a push to indent the bottom.

The baskets are fired in a bisque before they are able to be glazed. I use a brown glaze to accent the pattern on the handle, then glazed them in my Turks and Caicos color palette of soft green and blues. Once fired for the second time, the baskets are sanded on the bottom and hand washed where I check for any imperfections.

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The baskets are photographed, priced and added into inventory.

The baskets were delivered to the Dedham Square Artist Guild, located in Dedham, Ma just in time for my trunk show last weekend.

IMG_0121There are three baskets left and they are currently for sale at the Dedham Guild.  Once in the Guild, you will find many things to fill your basket with – like handcrafted eggs by Cindy Mootz; Easter cards by Kerry Hawkins; jewelry by Melanie Guerra, Barbara Trainer and Jill Barry, as well as the first book by illustrator artist, Marietta Apollonio entitled “A Curious Alphabet for Curious People”, and so much more.

The guild is open 12-6 Weds-Saturday;11-2 on Sundays but THIS Sunday it will be closed for Easter.

 

 

 

 

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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April Events

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April Events

During the month of April, my cooperative studio, Potters Place readies the studio for our bi annual show and sale. This event is a three day show that takes place May 2,3 and 4. There is a lot to do in April.  Members must adhere to strict deadlines to finish up their pottery so there will be no unglazed work in the studio. We shut down the kilns mid month and clean the studio top to bottom.

glazing basketsI’ve been finishing up some pieces in my home studio to dry for the last bisque run on Sunday.  But today the rain has stopped and that means perfect weather for glazing, so I’ll take advantage of this and head to Potters Place to glaze some bisque ware. I do all my glazing and firing at my cooperative studio, Potters Place, but throwing and creating are done in my home studio.  I find this a nice combination.

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April also brings another Kids Clay class… My students created baskets in “Think Spring!” March class and will have an opportunity to “celebrate mothers and fathers” in April’s class. I fire my Kids Clay pieces at Potters Place, but classes take place in Westwood when families sign their students up through the Westwood Recreation Department.

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I will host my first trunk show of 2014 on Saturday, April 12th from 12-3PM at the Dedham Square Artist Guild.  I’m excited to offer the opportunity to purchase my baskets for Easter (Sunday, April 20th) as well as other pottery for hostess gifts and serving options. The Dedham Square Artist Guild is located in Dedham Square at 553 High Street.