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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Pottery in Bloom

inspiration, New work, Open Studios Show and Sale, sale, shop local, shop small, techniques

Each year, my pottery studio, Potters Place announces a theme for its spring show and sale. It’s a creative prompt that sparks ideas for me and my studio mates. This year, the theme is “Pottery in Bloom”, a play on “Art in Bloom” that takes place at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts at the same time.

Potters Place group shot featuring pottery by members. My “Pottery in Bloom” is the featured plate.
Photo by Dave Bradley Photography

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.

These two pieces are one of a kind and will be for sale at Potters Place Spring Show and Sale over the weekend of May 3-5. I think either piece will make the perfect wedding gift for a woman transitioning into the partnership of marriage, the celebration of a relationship.

Weekend travels inspire new collection

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My husband and I are now empty nesters. The weekends are when we have the freedom to jump in the car and head out. As an artist working in clay, these trips have inspired the form and surface decoration of my one of a kind pieces of pottery. This work will be included in my first show of the season: Potters Place Spring Show and Sale over the weekend of May 3rd through 5th.

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.

Pottery Sale at Medfield Stroll – join me!

event, food and pottery, kids, sale, shop local, shop small
I’ll be selling my wheel thrown and hand built pottery at the Medfield Library.

* 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.
 
ARTIST’S SITE 
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. 

For more information visit https://medfieldculture.org/

Westwood Artists host 3rd annual holiday marketplace this weekend

event, food and pottery, Open Studios Show and Sale, sale, shop local, shop small, westwood artists

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Wheel thrown large pottery bowl by Lisa WB Walker

Please join me and my Westwood Artists group at our 3rd annual holiday marketplace this weekend! We open our doors at 3:30PM on Friday, November 30th and say goodnight at 7PM.  Our doors reopen at 10AM on Saturday, December 1st and close at 3PM. The Westwood Historical Society will host our event at their nostalgic Fisher School located at 830 High Street (route 109) in Westwood, MA.  Find us across the street from St Margaret Mary’s church and down the hill from the Thurston Middle School. Signage and parking are ample!

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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.

Small Business Saturday

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Website_Badge_V1Please shop the galleries and shops that support me year round

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Custom Art Framing & Gallery 9, 45 Central Street, Norwood, MA
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Dedham Square Artist Guild Gallery, 553 High Street, Dedham, MA
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The Dedham Exchange, 445 Washington Street, Dedham, MA
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Decor & More, 695 High Street, Westwood, MA

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Westwood Media Center, 15 Perwal Street, Westwood, MA

Thank you for supporting small businesses! 

Fall Collection

New work, shop local

The first of my Fall Collection ceramics has been installed at the Dedham Square Artist Gallery located at 553 High Street in Dedham Square, Dedham, MA.  Please stop in during gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday 12-6, and Sundays 11-2 to see and purchase one-of-a- kind handmade artwork by me as well as the other 19 Dedham Guild members who represent photography, painting, fiber, jewelry and more.

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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

inspiration, New work, shop local, summer

Flowers

“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.

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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.

Kids Clay

kids, teaching

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

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Project Three: Pretend you are a scientist and you discovered a new species of animal. Create that new animal.

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The pottery was created using low fire clay and glazing the bisque fired ware with low fire glazes. Kids create amazing pottery!

Potters Place Spring Show & Sale

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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.