inspiration

Apple Blossoms

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The apple blossoms this spring were everywhere… perhaps it was the wacky weather or the fact that spring seemed to take forever to get here, all I know is that everywhere I looked, the flowers were blooming.  The tree in my own front yard brought a smile to my face every time I returned home.

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Life inspires art and as I sat down to create new work, the apple blossoms collection began.  Using an actual twig from my tree, assorted hand carved and purchased stamps, I “drew” my clay pictures taking inspiration from shapes of my molds.

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Once the clay was bone dry, I used my watercolor underglazes to add color to the images before loading them into the bisque kiln.

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Out of the first kiln, the collection was glazed and loaded into the 2nd kiln to add functionality to each piece.  At each stage, the flowers welcomed me and provided a memory that symbolized spring, rebirth, change, peace, beauty and more.

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My new collection is currently installed at the Dedham Square Artist Guild.  The work has a wonderful feel and quiet beauty that although functional, stands alone as ceramic art.  There are 6 pieces in this group … 2 small square plates, 2 small oblong trays and 2 larger square plates.  The Guild is open Wednesday – Saturday 12-6, Sunday 11-2 in Dedham Square.

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“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

Trips inspire collections ~ Decordova Sculpture Park

If you’ve never been to the deCordova Sculpture Park, put it on your list of things to do.  My husband and I picked a beautiful day to explore the park.  We wanted to see the newly installed  “Red, Blue and Yellow’.

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“Red, Yellow and Blue features Genger’s renowned usage of hand-knotted, paint-covered rope, configured in bright, undulating walls in three primary colors that wind through deCordova’s 30-acre lawn, pathways, and hillsides. At deCordova, the work is comprised of about 1 million feet of rope collected from the Eastern seaboard and 3,500 gallons of paint, weighing in at over 100,000 pounds. Red, Yellow and Blue is adapted from its initial presentation in New York City’s Madison Square Park to the contours of deCordova’s grounds. The miles of crocheted and layered rope articulate the topography of the Sculpture Park, reference the familiar low-lying stone walls that line the New England countryside, and offer fresh opportunities to engage with the landscape.” more here

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As we followed Genger’s installation up over a hill top, we came upon Endangered Species of New England.

“Environmental Art pioneer Alan Sonfist creates site-specific earthworks that probe the relationships between humans, nature, and the fragility of the world they share.  (This work) began, in 2011, with the installation of four larger-than-life aluminum leaves that serve as signposts for a very real threat in our region—the potential extinction of several of New England’s most beloved native trees: the American Beech, the American Chestnut, the Burr Oak and the Sugar Maple. These sculptural leaves are totems of both warning and reverence for the trees that are silently disappearing around us. ”

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As I thought about our day at the deCordova, I was inspired to create functional planters with images of the endangered leaves.  The hand carved leaves turn on each planter like the wind is giving them a push.  The trays that the planters sit upon have been pressed with a netting like fabric to symbolize Red, Blue and Yellow. The imagery on the tray embraces the group of leaves providing protection. There is functionality to this work too; each planter has a drainage hole in the base.  The tray collects the water and keeps the plant healthy.

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Trips inspire collections ~ Turks and Caicos

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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“A Table Shared” with Isabella

“A Table Shared”, the theme for this fall’s Potters Place show and sale, inspired me to think about the conversations we share at our family table based on the answers to “What did you do today?” This round platter(above), oval dish and oblong plate(below) were created after a trip with my husband to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum .

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The courtyard with it’s delicate tile patio, the rooms of dark wood filled with paintings, hand painted tiles, tapestries, prints and letters make up this museum that was built to house Mrs Gardner’s vast art collection.

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My carved oblong plate has the feel of the interior courtyard, lush with foliage.

Frames without paintings remind the visitor that an art theft took place in this building… “On the night of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and roamed the Museum’s galleries, stealing thirteen works of art.” This crime remains unsolved and the artwork lost forever.

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Detail of exterior decoration that made a lasting impression and influenced the lyrical carving on this oval dish.

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I may return to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum soon to view John Singer Sargent’s work again.  Mrs Gardner commissioned a portrait and forged a relationship with him as a friend and patron.  Just a short walk away is an exhibition of the John Singer Sargent watercolors at the Museum of Fine Arts.  The two exhibits are experienced in such a different way. At the Isabella, it is like being in someone’s home where you feel like you get a glimpse inside the life of a great collector. You look at the art as if seeing it through her eyes.  That is the conversation that I brought to my family table.

The family table is a place where one can share, learn and connect. It is also a place where functional pottery brings beauty to everyday life.

“A Table Shared”

“A Table Shared”, the theme for this Potters Place show and sale, conjured up the conversations we share at our family table based on the answers to “What did you do today?” This sugar and creamer set was created after a trip with my husband to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and a tour of the new American wing.

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Inspiration for the carved pattern came from this inlaid piece of furniture. It is one of the pieces in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s New Wing for Art of the Americas.  “The new wing takes a global perspective on Art of the Americas, showcasing more than 5,000 works of art produced in North, Central, and South America over the course of three millennia. Art in all media will be arranged chronologically on four floors. The wing’s 53 brand-new galleries include nine beautiful period rooms and four Behind the Scenes galleries to enhance the way visitors experience and interact with the collection.”

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The lidded sugar bowl and hand built spoon.

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The carved oval tray

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The wheel thrown carved pitcher.  This little gem holds about a cup of cream (8oz).

Together they make a beautiful set that celebrates the memory of traveling from home and bringing conversation back to the family table to enrich others with the knowledge.  The family table is a place where one can share, learn and connect.

“I dream in fire, but I work in clay.” Arthur Machen

We all have wonderful dreams for our pottery that is nurtured by working in a community of other potters. Our imaginations are enhanced by our conversations with one another and seeing the work that keeps blooming in the studio.

There is so much creative energy and talent at Potters Place that we thought it would be fun to have an evening to talk about where we get our ideas. What inspires us?

I brought one of my spinning top vases to discuss…

I started making my “Spinning Tops” a few years ago when my sister in law told me she was getting a divorce. I started thinking about how out of control life can be, managing your own needs, your kids needs, etc.. I had an image of spinning tops floating up into the air, my head spinning and needing to feel grounded and balanced. I throw these vessels on my wheel as a way of creating balance in my own life when it feels out of control. Like outstretched arms and slightly parted feet, they allow for my voice to be released in a calming peaceful shape that continues to circle around and around but stays still because of the “foot”.

If you were to let one go, would it fall to the ground or would it spin up and away taking your cares with it ? I’d like to think it was the later.

Spinning Tops are exclusive to Custom Art Framing located at 45 Central Street in Norwood, MA