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.
Below are pictures of my pottery next to the source of inspiration.
If you are interested in purchasing pottery from me and are unable to visit me at the Potters Place show and sale over the weekend of May 3rd – 5th, please email me to discuss additional options for purchase.
* I’ll be at the Medfield Library selling my pottery collection. There is a lot going on at my site! Look for me in the Great Room on the Main Floor.
Medfield Library 468 Main Street
* 4:00–9:00 pm. Artisans’ work for sale. 4:30 pm. Children’s performer Jeannie Mack: Warm Winter Sing-a-longs. 4:00–9:00 pm. Kids craft station hosted by MAP (Medfield Afterschool Program). 4:00–9:00 pm. Visit the Friends Bookstore for books, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks. 5:15–5:45 pm. Trills ‘n Chills a cappella group, with Eva Kendrick Voice Studio.
The Cultural Alliance of Medfield hosts its fourth annual Holiday Stroll on Dec. 7, 2018 from 4 – 9 pm. This is a festive family event that takes place at sixteen venues along Main Street (Route 109), North Meadows Road (Route 27), North Street and the Dwight Derby House on Frairy Street. Included are 40 artists booths at four locations, an outdoor ice sculpture carving demonstration, food vendors, carolers, photos with Santa and M.E.M.O.’s outdoor tree lighting ceremony. All events are within walking distance, FREE admission and parking nearby.
We have a great line up of Westwood Artists all making, baking and selling their local wares in our hometown. You can’t get any more “LOCAL” than that! Shop Small with us by celebrating small businesses and helping communities thrive and stay vibrant.
My fall collection is dishwasher and microwave safe. Caring for your artwork details are located on my website. This collection is high fire stoneware that has been wheel thrown and fired in a cone 6 kiln by the artist.
“Flowers”: a summer collection installed at the Dedham Square Artist Guild located in historic Dedham Square, Dedham, MA
In the summer months, I enjoy working with low fire clay. A lower firing temperature allows me to utilize brighter colors that can “burn out” when the temperature in a ceramics kiln is higher. I began creating my “Flowers” collection while working on my summer art classes curricula.
I spent time at my local library, pouring over books to come up with new and exciting ideas for my students and found myself interested in learning more about certain flowers.
Vessels were hand built and ready for surface decoration. Slips, textures, carving and underglaze ceramic paints were used to create imagery; low fire glazes completed the vision.
“Flowers” can be functional for bouquets in water, food for a party; or, individual pieces can be hung on a wall or displayed on a tabletop. My ceramics are meant to be picked up and explored. Textured surfaces to the finger tip are a delight. Three dimensional art begs to be touched, picked up and interacted with. Ceramics is functional art.
Please visit the Dedham Square Artist Guild to purchase a piece from “Flowers”. Each piece is one of a kind. The collection is small but varied. Each piece stands alone but works well together. “Flowers” is perfect for the collector and just right for a wedding gift.
My spring session of Kids Clay included mostly repeat students. This allowed me to introduce more difficult projects and let the kids make more creative choices. We focused on three main projects that were multifaceted. We reviewed basic techniques, such as pinching, coiling, texture, slab and attaching to build the final work. Students enjoyed the “play” factor: moving the pieces around to create their own stories. It was a joy to see their creative solutions.
Project One: Turtles in their environment
Project Two: It’s my Birthday
Project Three: Pretend you are a scientist and you discovered a new species of animal. Create that new animal.
Potters Place Spring Show and Sale opens this Friday! Please join me for open studios where 20 clay artisans will sell their one of a kind pottery. Sale hours are: Friday, May 4th 5:30pm – 9:00pm, Saturday, May 5th 9:00am – 8:00pm, and Sunday, May 6th 10:00am-4:00pm. Details
Here is a sneak peak of what I’ll be selling at Potters Place.
Potters Place will be raising money for A.L.S. Family Charitable Foundation in a special section of pottery that has been donated by Potters Place members. Meet the potters of Potters Place at the Opening Reception on Friday, May 4th. The event is open to the public. Saturday, May 5th at 9:00am, the seconds “less than perfect” sale begins and continues til all is sold out.
Buy handmade for Mother’s Day, Spring & Summer weddings & birthdays, plus graduations & bridal showers. If you can’t make the show, please stop in at one of the many galleries that sell my art. Details here: www.lisawbwalker.com
Trips inspire new art from a city filled with it: New York City
1. Sara Japanese Pottery 2. Wood fired pottery upper east side 3. Odilon Redon early 1900s 4. Colorful handblown glass vases in a city window 5. Van Gogh 6. Pork buns at Red Barn dim sum, Greenwich Village 7. Van Gogh at The Met 8. Handmade Ceramics in Soho 9. Faceted bowls