The Power of She

inspiration

I am reminded of the “power of she” every year when I steal away for the weekend with my childhood girlfriends. This year, we included a trip to the Peabody Essex Museum to see the exhibit of Empresses of China’s Forbidden City. I was immediately drawn into the lives of these women and as curator Daisy Yiyou Wang said, “the broader reflection on the position of women in society and a sense of commonality and connection across time and cultures”

It’s easy to be entranced by the intricacy, beauty and elegance of these treasures from the Palace Museum… But what makes them stick with you, in your head and in your heart even after you’ve left the galleries, are the stories. Like most exhibitions, the labels on the walls and display cases tell us the facts. But knowing how much more we want to know, and without diaries and documents, the curators helped us imagine the lives of the women. They suggested just snippets, moments of a day, enough to give us a peek into the past and let us fill in the rest ourselves.

When I viewed the exhibit, I was already working on my spring collection. The peony was central to my theme. From the exhibit, I learned that Empress Dowager Cixi favored the peony, known as the “king of all flowers” and the flower of China, because the bloom signifies beauty and prosperity.

I found myself reflecting on women and the power of she. My spring collection widened as I chose an image that would live on and in the surface of my wheel thrown vessels and gave a second dimension to my collection.

The Pottery in Bloom collection and the Power of She collection become my spring collection together. Women have their own stories, shared in the company of other women. The power of she collectively creates strong, beautiful, feminine women who won’t be forgotten as these empresses might have been. The symbol of the peony bloom reminds us of their stories and of our own.

This collection will make its debut this weekend at Potters Place Spring Show and Sale, May 3-5. It is a small and intricate collection that begs to be touched as well as pondered intellectually.

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Art & Soul

event, kids, reception, westwood artists

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Join the Westwood Artists on Wednesday, September 26th from 5:30-7PM at the Westwood Media Center located at 15 Perwal Street, Westwood, MA. Tonight we celebrate the artists of Westwood and view the completed Art & Soul Community Paper Quilt.  The event is open to the public.

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On August 6th, WestwoodWinds Community Band performed a concert in conjunction with a Westwood Artists exhibition at the Westwood High School entitled “Art & Soul”. The collaborative event threw a spotlight on artists of all kinds in the community. The concert, entitled “Where the Wild Things Are,” featured its usual eclectic blend of familiar pieces relating to animals. Young children, especially, enjoyed “Peter and the Wolf” with narration by Westwood Media Director, Melinda Garfield.

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During the concert, Westwood Artists provided materials to children and adults alike to make their own paper quilt square of their favorite animal. Students in Westwood Recreation 2D summer art classes and Westwood Library’s summer Monday Craft Program also contributed to this project.

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Westwood Artists combined the animal images to create a 64-paneled community paper quilt. It has been installed at their permanent gallery located at the Westwood Media Center at 15 Perwal Street in Westwood.

Tonight we celebrate the artists of Westwood and view the completed Art & Soul Community Paper Quilt. 

 

 

A trip to Portland, Maine

food and pottery, inspiration, shop local

A trip to Portland, Maine inspires and nourishes the creative soul with food, fun and the best of friends…

 

  1. Casco Bay 2. The Holy Donut 3. Edgecomb Potters 4. Maine Potters Market 5. Portland Art Museum 6. Dresser with inlay 7. Bernard Langlais sculpture. 8. Painted Ceramic Bowl 9. The gals

Portugal

inspiration, Open Studios Show and Sale, reception, sale, shop local

Inspiration for my Holiday 2017 Collection comes from my summer trip to Portugal.

 

Join me for the “first look” on Friday, November 17th 5:30-9PM at Potters Place opening reception for Holiday Show and Sale at 127 Old West Street, Walpole, MA.  Show continues Saturday, November 18th 9AM-8PM and Sunday, November 19th 10AM-4PM.  More information can be found at http://www.pottersplace.info

Apple Blossoms

inspiration, shop local

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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.

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

artist challenge

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 ~ Decordova Sculpture Park

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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

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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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“A Table Shared” with Isabella

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“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”

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“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.