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.
I’m excited to offer instruction to adult students this spring at Potters Place, my cooperative studio located in Walpole, Massachusetts. Details here.
Starting on Monday, May 2nd from 9am – 12pm, I will offer a pottery class for adult students of all levels. This class is 6 weeks with a maximum class size of 6 students. Students will explore clay in both handbuilding and wheel throwing projects – beginning with clay and ending with a fully functional piece of ceramics. The possibilities are limitless! Click here for details and how to sign up.
Further into the month of May, I will offer a 4 week class with a focus on “The Mug”. This class will take place on Tuesday mornings from 9:30am – 12:30pm beginning May 17th. This class is for intermediate students (can center and pull a cylinder most of the time). Class size will not exceed 6 students. More details here.
If you are looking for instruction and these opportunities do not fit with your schedule, click over to my website where I list additional options for students of all ages, including an option for a private lesson.
The best way to celebrate the Spring and the beginning of the farm season: SPRING FEST! Yes! Come out the Powisset Spring fest, on May 30th from 10am-3pm!
At the Spring Fest, there will be: live music, food to eat, seedlings to buy for your garden, kids activities, farm tours and lots of vendors selling awesome food and crafts! There will even be a Kraut Mob! what!!?? Yes, a kraut mob…where you can learn, hands on, how to make your own sauerkraut! Come play at Powisset for the day and help us welcome the farm season with so. much. joy.
Please join Lisa WB Walker and Karen Cagan at Dedham Open Studios this Sunday, May 17th from 11am to 5pm. We will be selling our pottery and photography at the First Church located on the Dedham Green at 670 High Street, Dedham MA.
It will be a day of art! Dedham Open Studios is a relaxed and fun one-day community event, where local artists can show and offer their work for sale. Food tent by Kings. Art demos. Locations are First Church, Dedham Community House, Dedham Center, Dedham Square Artist Guild, Home Studios and Mother Brook Arts and Community Center.
LISA W B WALKER POTTERY ~ Clay for me is the vessel from which my inner voice translates best. I am fascinated by the feel of the clay in my hands and the connections I make while working at my potter’s wheel. My love of color, drawing, surface decoration and functionality play a role in creating my work that is autobiographical by nature. I received my Studio Art Degree from Skidmore College, continuing with additional classes at the Museum School of Fine Arts Boston, Art Institute of Boston and Harvard University. I create my one of a kind work in my home studio in Westwood, MA and at Potters Place, a not for profit school and cooperative studio, in Walpole. I am a Dedham Square Artist Guild Member.
KAREN CAGAN PHOTOGRAPHY ~ I am an amateur photographer who has been taking photographs for over 30 years. I especially enjoy taking photos around the town of Westwood, where I live as well as taking pictures of my family. For the past 4 years, I have been photographing Powisset Farm in Dover, MA to take advantage of it’s beautiful setting. In the past, I have used my Canon AE 1 (1978) to take black and white photos. It still takes great photos after all these years. Presently, I have a Canon G12 digital camera which I have been enjoying since I received it in 2012. In my collection, my favorite photos are of lighthouses,Fenway Park, the beach, farms, and all things autumn. As an avid scrapbooker, I enjoy photographing my family and making memories for my children. I love being behind a camera!