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.
Potters Place Open Studios is two weeks away. A cooperative studio where I teach and create, Potters Place will open it’s doors to the public for Spring Show & Sale 2018 on Friday, May 4th at 5:30pm and close on Sunday, May 6th at 4:00pm. Details
Buy handmade for Mother’s Day, Spring & Summer weddings & birthdays, plus graduations & bridal showers. Enjoy one of a kind functional art that can be hung on a wall, and used with food and drink. Celebrate Art with your purchase of locally made wares. At Potters Place, 23 clay artisans will be participating in this amazing spring sale – join us for fun and find something to celebrate your special occasions with!
My family traveled to Europe this past summer. We took in many sights including art museums, monuments and the natural beauty of many countries. Mealtime discussions were about what we were seeing and doing; and, what we were eating and drinking. We ate and drank what was traditional and local to that region of that country: Gnocchi in Venice, Italy; Tiramisu in Florence, Italy; Moules Frites in Nice, France; and, Jamon Serrano in Barcelona, Spain.
Breakfast at the Baglioni (Florence, Italy)
Lunch on the Grand Canal (Venice, Italy)
Dinner at a Cafe (Nice, France)
Tapas (Barcelona, Spain)
Stop in to see my new work this weekend at Potters Place Holiday Show and Sale. The opening reception is open to the public on Friday, November 20th from 5:30pm to 9pm. Hours on Saturday, November 21st are 9am to 8pm. Hours on Sunday, November 22nd are 10am-4pm. Parking and admission are free. Credit cards are accepted.
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!
Fall “By the Ocean” Bowl
Fall “By the Ocean” 14oz mugs
slip-trailed square votive dishes
Fall “By the Ocean” oblong plate with tiny bowl
Nutmeg glazed bowls
Fall “By the Ocean” platter
This collection follows my summer “By the Ocean” collection. Read more about it here.