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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“I lay out the carvings by drawing on the surface, working by eye rather than measuring, preferring to keep the pattern inexact so that the forms have a veil of perfection created by the overall visual effect with little differences in the repetitions revealed on closer inspection.” Ceramicist Matt Repsher

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Layers and layers

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Layers and layers

“To me, pottery is meant to be used, to be enjoyed, to be a part of what makes a home personal.” Adero Willard, Massachusetts Ceramic Artist

Adero is influenced by patterns of textiles and fabric.
She recently hosted a two day workshop at Mudflats. I find her surface decoration playful and interesting, taking a workshop with Adero is on my wish list…

Her work is for sale at the Society of Arts and Crafts on Newbury Street in Boston where I snapped this photo.

ICA BOSTON

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ICA BOSTON

Mickalene Thomas, “Baby I Am Ready Now”, 2007. Rhinestone, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel, 72 x 132 inches.

The image glistens and glitters and the space is something you want to crawl into and explore. Color, action, fashion, size – a definite nod to the 80’s. On view through April and worth the expensive parking fees…

Pattern and Posture

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Pattern and Posture

I love my iphone. As I was waiting (happily mind you) for my bi-monthly adjustment at the chiropractor’s office, I stumbled upon an article featuring “Buttercups”, a needlepoint project, in an office magazine. I was completely taken with the flowers and the overall pattern. I have been known to “collect” office magazines, similar to the pen borrowed but never returned; however… snapping a photo with my iphone is a modern approach to collecting ideas. I was able to print the image out and add it to my sketchbook later that day. Technology is a wonderful thing and it’s going to keep me honest too.