Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pottery Selection: Samantha Henneke: 3x5 facebook challenge

Mug by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina 
  Recently there has been a pottery image posting challenge going around on Facebook. It has been fun seeing everybodies images during January. It is a great way to put a portfolio together. Some potters reached back into their archives and others posted recent work.  The images that I posted were mostly from the past two years with a grouping of images from the exhibition titled "By Example", that took place during the summer of 2012 at the Green Hill Art Center.  The "By Example" exhibition was curated by Ronan Peterson, a potter from in Chapel Hill.

We have been delving into glaze testing in the studio, as well as performing and thinking about some organizational projects.  Also we are working on the upcoming North Carolina Potters Conference, on March 5-8, 2015 in Asheboro, NC. Thursday, March 5th is an additional bonus day that will take place at STARworks in Star, NC.  The North Carolina Potters Conference is in its 28th year and is an annual weekend potters conference hosted by the Randolph Arts Guild. We have been chairs of the planning committee for the past three-four years.  The North Carolina Potters Conference was founded by Dwight Holland, a pottery collector, potter, zoo habitat designer, and art teacher. For this year, Dwight has selected an excellent line up of potters and presenters from Japan and Sandy Simon from California. We are super excited and it will definitely be a weekend to remember.

Here are the images from my Facebook 3x5 image challenge from Holly Kay, a potter living in Randleman.
Insect Plate by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina

Insect Plate by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Insect Plate by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Covered Jar by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Insect Glaze Painting by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Insect Glaze Painting by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Insect Glaze Painting by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
"Rollers, Tumblers, Dwellers" Glaze Painting by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
"Species Diversity" Glaze Painting by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
"Solar Movement" Glaze Painting by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Elephant Cup, by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Vase, by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Beetle Vase, by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
Vase, by Samantha Henneke, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tsuchi-Aji, Sandy Simon, Anna Atkins

Tuesday - Clay Share
 Tsuchi-Aji - The Taste of Clay 
Richard Bresnahan - Minnesota Potter


 This video is about Richard Bresnahan, a potter from Minnosota, who apprenticed with the Nakazato Family in Japan for four years in the 1970's. Upon his return he built a large wood-firing kiln and collected 18,000 tons, a few life-times supply of a local clay, and had the clay brought to Saint Johns University.  Richard Bresnahan was the first artist-in-resident at St John's University, and presently he directs the pottery studio on the campus of Saint John's, a Benedictine abbey and university in the woodlands of central Minnesota. 

The Taste of Clay-- Tsuchi-Aji

"Tsuchi-Aji, or the'flavor' of the clay. Aji (flavor or taste) is a very common concept in Japanese that is often difficult to translate to English. In Japanese "it has flavor" can be said of food, people, or pottery. Pottery without 'flavor' is superficial. Pottery with 'flavor' is worth savoring."  Peter Hamann a potter from Japan, and demonstrator at the upcoming North Carolina Potters Conference will be discussing this philosophy with fellow presenters and the audience in Asheboro, NC, on March 6-8, 2015. A bonus day has been added to the Potters Conference this year at STARworks on March 5 in Star, NC. 

Thursday - Potters Pick
Sandy Simon
Sandy Simon, California, TRAX Gallery
Sandy Simon is a studio potter and in 1994 opened TRAX Gallery in Berkeley, CA to provide greater representation for ceramicists dedicated to utility. Simon keeps her forms minimal, thus highlighting the landscape of a form, the detailed addition of wire handles, or subtle alterations including cutting, piercing, seeds, and thread.

Sandy Simon feels, "A pot made by hand suggests the spirit of the potter, and the thought &  considerations that goes into the making of it reveals the energy of the human condition.”

Sandy Simon will be speaking at this year's North Carolina Potters Conference, on March 5-8, 2015. The North Carolina Potters Conference is hosted by the Randolph Arts Guild in Asheboro, NC. This year the focus will be on Japan.  We have three potters from Japan demonstrating on stage Friday and Saturday and a very interesting line-up of talks Sunday morning. There is a bonus day on March 5 at STARworks in Star, NC. Online registration is now open at he Randolph Arts Guild website.  #NCPottersConf

Sandy Simon, California, TRAX Gallery

Playing off the Instrument - Sunday
Anna Atkins
Anna Atkins, image from the Notebook-Natural History blog
Anna Atkins was a botanical illustrator and naturalist in the 1800’s. She printed and published Part I of the 12 part “British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions” in 1843 which contains over 400 images. She learned the cyanotype process from Sir John Hershel, a family friend, even the words were written using the cyanotype process.

Please read more about Anna Atkins and her life and work at the Venetian Red website. 

Anna Atkins

We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hippopotamus, Quiet Inspirations, Meadham Kirchhoff

Tuesday - Clay Share
Statuette of a Hippopotamus
 Hippopotamus, Middle Kingdom, 1981–1885 B.C. Egyptian; collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art
It is easy to get a warm and fuzzy feeling when looking at this Hippopotamus sculpture. After reading about it we find out the Hippopotamus was a dangerous animal to the Egyptian people, and was one animal that they kept a keen wary eye out for as they fished the waterways.  This turquoise hippo was found in a tomb with three of its legs broken, to prevent the creature from harming the deceased in the afterlife. The legs were repaired after its discovery as part of a burial tomb.

Egyptian faience is a self glazing ceramic paste that goes back 7,000 years ago. It is primarily silica with fluxes added as soluble salts. As the material drys, the salts collect at the exposed  surface as the water evaporates. Copper is added to the material to obtain the turquoise color. When fired, a glaze develops at the surface where the fluxing salts have become concentrated, and the silica mass becomes fused.  This process is a transitional technology between glass and glazed clay objects.  Essentially it is a glass material worked as a paste rather than as a material in a molten state, and then sintered, rather than fully melted.
Contemporary Egyptian paste formulas have for the most part been adjusted to contain enough clay and other materials to make them more plastic than the original faience formulas, making them easier to work with.
This Egyptian Hippopotamus is in the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Amy Waller Pottery has further information on her blog Amy Waller Pottery. Also there is an interesting article about Faience by K. Kris Hirst.


Hippopotamus, Middle Kingdom, 1981–1885 B.C. Egyptian; collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thursday - Potters Pick
Judith Duff
Quiet Inspiration: Japanese Influence on North Carolina Potters - at the North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC
Judith Duff, a potter from Brevard, NC. is the curator for the upcoming "Quiet Inspirations: Japanese Influence on North Carolina Potters" at the North Carolina Pottery Center, in Seagrove, NC. Opening Reception is on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 12:00—2:00 p.m.

There will be a presentation by Judith Duff at the North Carolina Pottery Center on March 8, 2015 Sunday, 2:00 pm. right after the North Carolina Potters Conference. For more information about the exhibition visit the North Carolina Pottery Center and for more information about the North Carolina  Pottery Conference visit the Randolph Arts Guild. 

Quiet Inspiration: Japanese Influence on North Carolina Potters - at the North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC

Playing off the Instrument
Meadham Kirchhoff


Meadham Kirchhoff  - Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff - Teamwork

Break out the under-glaze, over-glaze, and lusters; grab you some bright mason stains, … it's time to compete with confections as rich as these, and shed our self imposed ceramic aesthetic proprieties.


We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday

Sunday, January 11, 2015

To Twist or to Turn, Yoshiki Onoyama, Beauty and the little woolly Beasty

Tuesday - Clay Share - To Twist or to Turn  

Thrawan a pot
If we want to be traditional about what we call making a pot on the potter’s wheel, maybe we should call it thrawan….which means to twist or to turn.

   To twist or to turn.... some folks say they throw their pots and others say they turn their pots....maybe we should be saying we are thrawan pots.  Find out why... see the article "Why On Earth Do They Call It Throwing?", by Dennis Krueger.

Thrawan a pot

Thursday - Potters Pick: Yoshiki Onoyama

Yoshiki Onoyama

For the next few weeks we will be featuring the demonstrators and the presenters that will be a part of the upcoming North Carolina Potters Conference, in Asheboro, NC hosted by the Randolph Arts Guild on March 6-8, 2015.  This year we are lucky to have a visiting artist here at the same time at STARworks.  We have included a **bonus day** on March 5, at STARworks in Star, NC.

Yoshiki Onoyama teaches at the Okayama University in Japan. He is an accomplished potter and has a deft hand when decorating his porcelain ceramics. His technique, Sometsuke (Blue paint on porcelain), stamp and inlay decorations are beautifully executed.  

March 5, 2015 - Thursday – **BONUS DAY**

PLEASE NOTE – This day’s events will be hosted at STARworks in Star, NC.

**A separate Registration Fee of $50 to attend – Look for it on the registration form**
Thursday March 5
8:00 Registration
9:00 Introductions
9:45 Shizuko Kohara - Shigaraki
10:30 Break
11:00 Peter Hamann – The Japanese Tea Bowl, Context and Perceptions
11:45 Slide Presentation – Yoshiki Onoyama
12:15 Lunch
1:30 Demonstration – Yoshiki Onoyama
-------
6:00 Networking / Social Hour – Sponsored by Rising Sun Pottery  – Open to all conference attendees and will be held at the Randolph Arts Guild.  

Yoshiki Onoyama


Sunday - Playing off the Instrument -  Beauty and the little woolly Beasty

Borneo Pitcher Plant,  Nepenthes rafflesiana elongata and woolly Bat -  Photo Credit Holger Bohn
We are fascinated by symbiotic relationships, a mutualistic relationship when two organisms of different species "work together," each benefiting from the relationship.  This particular mutual relationship is between a small woolly bat and a carnivorous pitcher plant which was found on the southeast Asian island of Borneo.  The pitcher plant provides a perfect room for the Bornero bat to take shelter in, and in return the plant benefits from the nutrients in the bats' droppings.

In 1970 I had a job when I was in high school, working for the entomology and biochemistry departments of Oklahoma State University collecting spiders. Part of the job was to drive out into the country side to find fields that looked promising as tarantula habitat. When we found a likely location, we would hunt and frequently find colonies of tarantulas that nested in individual burrows in the ground, usually many yards apart. To collect the tarantula, we used a spade and a coat hanger wire as a probe to locate and coax the spider out with. One would gently fish into the hole with the wire until an aggressive tapping on the wire would signal the presence of the tarantula defending its realm, at the same time one could determine how deep in the ground the spider was. A spade full of dirt would then be removed, determined by that depth, and the process repeated until.....out popped a..... greasy grey toad!
This didn't happen every time, but frequently the tarantula would share its burrow with this particular small smooth grey species of toad. It wasn't until just recently that I found out more about who this toad was, and Odd Couple indeed.


We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Apothecary Albarello, Bernard Palissy, Karl Blossfeldt

Clay Share - Tuesday
Apothecary Albarello
Spanish - Tin Glazed Earthenware - second half 15th century - in the Collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Apothecary albarello, was designed to store herbs, powders, and other dry medicines and became popular shapes for pharmacy jars, partly because they were easily grasped when lined up close together on a shelf.

Wow, wouldn't that pharmacy be out of sight and a delightful visage. We would love to be able to see so many Albarellos all lined up along the shelves and in use.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has somewhere around 130 different albarellos featured on their website from Spain, Italy, and the Middle East.

We ventured on a 2 week trip to London, back around 2006, and walked the entire British Museum. During our visit to London the Victoria and Albert Museum's floor of ceramics was closed because of two previous occurrences the year before our scheduled trip. Their ceramics cases were broken into two different times, and Meissen figurines were stolen. Bummer.  Below is an image of a few albarellos that we saw while visiting the British Museum.

An assortment of a few Albarellos in the British Museum, London


Thursday - Potters Pick
Bernard Palissy
Bernard Palissy, French, Paris, 18 7/8 x 14 1/2 in., about 1550, collection of Getty Museum
Bernard Palissy was unusual in his time, partly for his questioning of the common perception of where fossils came from, and also for his approach to clay.  His use of molded animal and plant images, many directly from life, became influential to many other ceramicists creating a stylistic following known as Pallissy wares that persisted over the years. Charles-Jean Avisseau of Tours, rediscovered Palissy's techniques in 1843 creating a resurgent Palissy movement in France, and there was a particularly strong group making Palissy wares in Portugal from the 1850's persisting into the early 1900's. 

There are a couple of websites that we ran across that wrote about Palissy and his life that are interesting reads. One article was "Bernard Palissy – the Protestant potter who died in the Bastille" on a website called Look and Learn. Another article is simply titled "Bernard Palissy" can be found on a website called Strange Science. We are looking forward to delving into this website a little more.  It explores some of the beginnings of scientist's discoveries and states "Ever wonder how people figured out there used to be such things as dinosaurs? Curious about how scientists learned to reconstruct fossil skeletons? The knowledge we take for granted today was slow in coming, and along the way, scientists and scholars had some weird ideas." 

The Bernard Palissy images shown here are from the J Paul Getty Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Attributed to Bernard Palissy, Paris, about 1550 18 7/8 x 14 1/2 in., collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art
Attributed to Bernard Palissy, Paris, about 1550 18 7/8 x 14 1/2 in., collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art


Sunday - Playing off the Instrument
Karl Blossfeldt

Karl Blossfeldt, image from Sage Ross blog, part of a group of Kindle screensavers
The book "Karl Blossfeldt, 1865-1932" by Hans-Christian Adam, is seminal in our library.
Karl Blossfeldt's photographic work of organic shapes- stems, flower buds, tendrils, seed pods… is truly a wonderful inspiration for pottery form and surface. It sparks the imagination and leads the mind to fantastical places. In the magazine "Aperture", Sarah James writes an article titled "Karl Blossfeldt at the Whitechapel Gallery"

On the blog ragesoss by Sage Ross he has grouped together 17 different Karl Blossfeldt photographs as Kindle Screen Savers for you to download.  

Karl Blossfeldt, image from Sage Ross blog, part of a group of Kindle screensavers


We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday
weekly on our Bulldog Pottery Facebook Page

Sunday, December 28, 2014

North Carolina Potters Conference, Théodore Deck, Zoom Quilt

Clay Share - Tuesday
 The 28th North Carolina Potters Conference 


The North Carolina Potters Conference is hosted by the Randolph Arts Guild in Asheboro, NC every year during the first full weekend of March.  We have been attending the conference since we moved to Seagrove. It is three days chuck full of ideas, techniques, and comradeship. It is a really good time, and is great for all levels of clay experience.

The 28th North Carolina Potters Conference (March 6-8, 2015) registration is now open. This year the conference features artists from Japan... with a bonus day on Thursday, March 5, at STARworks in Star, NC and an exhibition at the North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC, curated by Judith Duff.

On Friday and Saturday there are three pottery demonstrators: Yoshitaka Hasu, Fuku Fukumoto, and Peter Hamann, up on stage making work concurrently. On Friday evening after dinner there is an opening presentation (this year it will be Sandy Simon), and Sunday morning there are three 45 minute talks. Lunch and dinner meals are included and Saturday evening is a real treat getting to see Dwight Holland's incredible pottery collection.



Potters Pick - Thursday
Théodore Deck
Théodore Deck Urn, image from Christies
 Given the strong revival of interest in surface design for ceramics, Théodore Deck set a great precedence. A passion for researching and experimenting, Théodore Deck, was part of a group of avant-garde French ceramicists creating ceramic art at the end of the nineteenth century.

Théodore Deck knew how to turn his passion for researching ceramic materials and glazing into elegant refined objects of art. He designed and made beautiful pottery with intricate layers of lush surface effects.

Théodore Deck, worked as an independent studio potter establishing his shop in Paris in 1856, and became the director of the Sèvres Ceramics Factory in 1888. There is a wonderful selection of pottery on Google Images for Théodore Deck, where you can see a wide selection of his ceramics.

The pottery images I included on this blog where found on the following websites: The Urn, Christies, the Vase, Aspire Auctions, and the Bowl, Live Auctioneers.

Théodore Deck drew heavily from middle eastern ceramics for inspiration. On Ceramics Today you can read more about Théodore Deck in an article by Frederica Todd Harlow called "Théodore Deck and the Islamic Style".

Théodore Deck Vase, image from Aspire Auctions

Théodore Deck Bowl, image from Live Auctioneers


Playing off the Instrument - Sunday
The Zoomquilt
Screenshot from the Zoomquilt - collaboration of artists in 2007
The Zoom Quilt is a collaboration of artists from 2007, a surrealistic creation that follows along the lines of the 1977 film, "The Powers of Ten" by Charles and Ray Eame.

Hints on how to make the most of your ZoomQuilt experience: You can take the slider that is on the left and move it to the right to go forward and left to go backwards in the painting. You can also make the speed go faster, slower, or pause if you would like to look at the details. Once you set your desired speed you can hover your cursor on the right of the drawing to view the full journey.

Screenshot from the Zoomquilt - collaboration of artists in 2007

We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday, 
Potters Pick - Thursday, 
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Portuguese Wood-Fired Clay Oven, Harrison McIntosh, Microcosmos

Clay Share -Tuesday
Building a Portuguese Wood-Fired Oven


We are intrigued by the way the men in this Portuguese clay factory manipulate the clay to construct their clay ovens.

Potters Pick - Thursday
Harrison McIntosh
Harrsion McIntosh, In the Collection of the Alfred Museum, Bowl, h: 3-3/4”, Corsaw Collection.
When I was an undergrad at Alfred University, this bowl, made by Harrison McIntosh was on display on its own pedestal under a vitrine.  This bowl is beautiful and mysterious to me. The glaze soft, and the design a complex circle composition of inside/outside color play. I am enamored by the way the color on the inside reflected the halo color around the dots on the outside. This is a small intimate bowl, one that you can cradle in the palm of your hands.

Through the years, since my first introduction to this bowl, I have often thought of it and would see the bowl printed in a couple of Alfred's newsletters. I was reacquainted with it while touring the collections at the The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art this past summer when we were at Alfred. It was like being reunited with an old buddy of mine.

Born in 1914, Harrison McIntosh celebrated his 100th birthday this year with a special exhibit at the American Museum of Ceramics Art.  Watch a short interview of Harrison and his wife as they visit with some of the pots in his solo exhibition at the AMOCA museum.  Harrison McIntosh says,  "he makes work to please himself, what he finds beautiful. Every piece he made was the best that he could do."
Harrison McIntosh


Playing Off the Instrument
Microcosmos

The 1996 French documentary, Microcosmos, was filmed by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou  covering an insect's world in a 24 hour day from dawn to dawn.  The tag-line was "Jurassic Park in your own backyard". Written in The "Wondrous Truth" of Microcosmos, by Billy Budd Vermillion, he describes this film as a "poetic" documentary.

While scanning the internet about Microcosmos we found a document of class notes called A Non-Entomologist's Guide to "Microcosmos", by Marina Caillaud and Bryan Danforth- Department of Entomology at Cornell University. This paper gives a blow by blow of the insects that appear in the documentary.

There were two promo introductions for the film to choose. I love the one showing the early morning rain storm.  There is nothing like droplets of rain hanging off an insect's exoskeleton. The other Microcosmos footage has an amazing visual of a bee buzzing through the air.



We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday, 
Potters Pick - Thursday, 
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday