Clover Origin & Deluxe

Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, 'Super Stripes'  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, 'Dot Florals'Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, 'Arabesque mods'  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, 'Stripe Dot Florals'

These cups start, as most of my pots do, on the potter’s wheel. I then alter each form by running my finger up the outside of the wall in four places. This creates a gently lobed lip line (see image below), all the more accentuated when filled with coffee or tea, which is why I named them ‘Clover’ cups.

Kristen Kieffer original Clover cup and vertical Corset vase made at Guldagergård in DenmarkI began this cup shape when I did a residency at Guldagergård in Skælskør, Denmark years ago. It was a self-imposed challenge to make a simpler surface (the original had spare slip-trail deco, pictured left) in part because I was in Scandinavia where design is sleek and minimal, but also because most of my pots were completely stamped at that point. I purposefully didn’t take stamps with me wanting to investigate what I would do with form minus that deco element. They were also inspired by the Corset (vase) Series I had begun the year prior, which is altered in a similar way. (The vase pictured left was the first ‘vertical’ in the series that began as a lower, Kristen Kieffer Clover cups, lip detailwider horizontal form. I made and fired both of these in Denmark, and they are now part of my collection.)

Needless to say, this cup has evolved. Not only have I used this form as a decoration playground, I’ve significantly refined the shape while keeping the lobed technique and tankard, flat foot style. These are more time-consuming than my stamped cups because of the unique design considerations. The form itself provides a ‘frame’ within which I can make each side of the same cup different and collage lots of layers, thus I refer to them as ‘Deluxe.’

New ‘Deluxe Clover cups’ are now available in my online shop in four different styles,
with beachy stripes, joyful polka dots, and candy colors!

Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, Super Stripes

 

Shop Welcome To Summer!

Kristen Kieffer Pierced fruit basket  Kristen Kieffer summertime yunomiKristen Kieffer Butterfly pollinator yunomi  Kristen Kieffer stamped honey bee pollinator cup

I spent a couple months this spring working on new designs and patterns with warm thoughts of summer. On the 22nd, a small selection of twenty-five summery pots will join other new work already available in my online shop. The cheery-colored offerings include new pollinators (butterflies and ladybugs, in addition to bees), lovebirds, blossoms (dogwood, helleborus, and cherry), fruit baskets, and Arabesque mod tumblers.

Welcome to Summer! pots available Monday, June 22nd
at Noon EST in my online Etsy shop!

Happy Summer!

Kristen Kieffer stamped dogwood cup  Kristen Kieffer Pierced fruit basket, interior detailKristen Kieffer Arabesque mod tumblers  Kristen Kieffer Hellebore blossom yunomiKristen Kieffer floral yunomi  Kristen Kieffer stamped dogwood cup

Standing to Throw & CM Spotlight

Kristen Kieffer Spotlight Ceramics Monthly Summer Working Potter issue 2015

Ceramics Monthly summer issue 2015 Steven Rolf coverThanks to Ceramics Monthly for posing a question to me for the Spotlight page of the summer issue on the Working Potter. It was interesting to reflect on the last 12 years (and in only 300 words!), which is when I declared myself a full-time studio potter. Cover potter Steve Rolf was a grad when I was an undergrad at Alfred (’93-95), and super helpful and supportive of my beginnings, making this extra special on thinking back and change. Thank you, CM!
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Thank you to my hubby for taking this much requested but never till now fulfilled shot for CM, which gives me another opportunity to discuss what’s pictured. I’ve been standing to throw for TWENTY years. I began in ’95 when I threw pots at Greenfield Village for a year, and then with a backrest like this designed after John Glick‘s in ’96 when I worked with him for a year. Standing saved my back. I can’t recommend enough for my fellow potters to check out these two articles John wrote for the Studio Potter journal: “To Sciatica and Back” (1987) and “Down the Spinal Canal” (2001). Everything from his backrest design I adopted to a ‘checklist for longevity’ is addressed in the former article. Both have excellent and thoughtful reflections on adapting to change for body health and are must reads! Thank you, John!

PS: Below is an image of me at my worktable stamping pots. Note how I stack several bats on my banding wheel (my parting gift from my assistantship/residency with John!) so that I’m working about chest high, not hunched over.

Kristen Kieffer stamping in her Massachusetts studio

 

 

Spring Seconds Sale

KK Banner WhiteTreat yourself to a lovely ride to north central Massachusetts, as well as to some rather wonderful ‘aesthetic’ and ‘minorly flawed’ seconds at my one-day Spring Studio Sale. I was away at the Bray last May, so it’s been two years since my last springtime event, and I’m excited to invite my fellow New Englanders to swing by for some brownies and good deals. (There’s limited availability of gallery-quality firsts.)

Saturday, May 16th  10 – 5 (No Sunday)
Baldwinville, MA

We are just a couple miles from a local cheese shop and chocolatier, and about an hour each from Framingham, Northampton, and Worcester, MA as well as, Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT. We live on a busy road, so parking is best in our driveway or on the opposite side of the street. Cash preferred, checks and credit cards accepted. Drop me an email if you have questions or would like more info, KiefferCeramics@gmail.com.

Thank you for supporting creativity and community
by buying and giving handmade.

Graphic Clay & Electric Kiln Ceramics

Graphic Clay - Ceramic Surfaces & Printed Image Transfer Techniques by Jason Bige Burnett. Kristen Kieffer image p.59  Electric Kiln Ceramics - A Guide to Clays, Glazes, and Electric Kilns, Fourth Edition by Richard Zakin and Frederick Bartolovic. Kristen Kieffer images pp. 70, 72 and 76

I’m delighted to have work in two new books, hot off the presses!

Fellow potter Jason Burnett wrote Graphic Clay: Ceramic Surfaces & Printed Image Transfer Techniques. And professor and maker Frederick Bartolovic completely rewrote, revised, expanded, and updated Richard Zakin’s Electric Kiln Ceramics: A Guide to Clays, Glazes, and Electric Kilns for a Fourth Edition. Thanks for requesting my work, gentlemen!

Kristen Kieffer Stamped cup grouping
Kristen Kieffer Grouping, Cup to Corset

Kristen Kieffer yunomi

 

 

 

 

 

PS: You can check out other books and publications that include my work on my Press page.

Calibrating Color at Alfred

Kristen Kieffer small jar, VioletDelighted to have a piece in the Calibrating Color exhibition curated by Kate Doody and Brian Taylor —in conjunction with their new book GLAZE— at Alfred University’s Cohen Gallery. My jar is representing purple in this vibrant show for which each artist’s piece is predominantly one color of the rainbow. Click the postcard below for exhibiting artists and full details.

Calibrating Color Cohen Gallery show at Alfred University

NCECA Providence

I’m winding down a work cycle in my studio as pots are due soon for several shows at NCECA, the annual clay conference this year in Providence, RI. Some shows are already open, and others are only up the few days of the conference. If you live in New England, and/or are attending NCECA, I wanted to let you know where you can see and purchase my work.

At the Rhode Island Convention Center, the actual conference site, I’ll have numerous pots at the EXPO with 18 Hands Gallery (which does not require a pass, so is free), open Tues eve, March 24th thru Fri afternoon, March 27th. I’ll also have some pots in the new POW!: Pots on Wheels truck, which will be parked just outside the convention center.

Place setting NCECA

Just three blocks from the Convention Center, I’ll have a place setting (pictured) in Santa Fe Clay’s annual invitational La Mesa exhibition at the United Methodist Church, 134 Mathewson Street, Providence, Wed, March 25th thru early Sat, March 28th (though by Saturday, purchased pieces start to go to their owners).

Kristen Kieffer Teapot PeriwinkleAbout 5 miles from the Convention Center, I will have a teapot (pictured) and teapot-stamped cup in an exhibition called Apprenticelines, which celebrates mentors John Glick (1996-97 for me), Mark Shapiro, Mark Hewitt, Simon Levin, and Sylvie Granatelli, and their past assistants and apprentices. This exhibition is at The Pawtucket Armory Art Center, 172 Exchange St, Pawtucket, open Wed, March 25th thru Sat, March 28th. The opening reception is Fri, 6-9 PM.

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I also have work in three Massachusetts exhibitions, each about 35 miles from the Convention Center in different directions:

Kristen Kieffer Lattice vase

About an hour northeast of Providence, I have a vase (pictured) in The State of Clay: Pushing Boundaries exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA. This exhibition is open March 7 – May 24.

Kieffer Grande jar at New Bedford Art MuseumAbout 35 minutes southeast of Providence, I have a grande jar (pictured during the show’s install) in the In Residence exhibition, one of four concurrent shows celebrating the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, at the New Bedford Art Museum, 608 Pleasant St, New Bedford, MA (near UMass Dartmouth). This exhibition is open Jan 30 – April 3.

Lastly, about 50 minutes northwest of the conference, I have several larger pieces (one pictured below) in the Looking Back exhibition in the Krikorian Gallery at the Worcester Center for Crafts, 25 Sagamore Rd, Worcester, which celebrates eleven of its past artists-in-residence (2001-03 for me). This exhibition is open March 12 – April 11.

Kristen Kieffer Tall flower brick

 

‘Valenspringtine’!

Kristen-Kieffer-Valenspringtine-Deluxe-clover-cupsThoughts of spring and Valentine color –specifically looking beyond winter– is what inspired my work over the last six weeks, buoying my spirits during the cold, short days of December in Massachusetts. This Friday, I will be posting over 40 cups, plates, and bowls of my foray into what I’ve been calling ‘Valenspringtine’ (a mashup of ‘spring’ and Valentine’) pots into my online shop. Being surrounded by candy pink and cherry red, and new collage-like patterns has certainly helped me with the winter doldrums, and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have. Check out my latest blog post to read a bit more about the new here.

40+ Valenspringtine pots available Friday, January 30th
at Noon EST in my online Etsy shop!

Happy Valenspringtine! 

Kristen Kieffer Large plate Arabesque mod in Red  Kristen Kieffer Yunomi w. Honey bee and Colorized flower, Pollinator seriesKristen Kieffer Yunomi Colorized cherries w. Green stripes  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe clover cup ValenspringtineKristen Kieffer Tumbler Arabesque mod in Pink  Kristen Kieffer Yunomi Red tulips and Pink stripesKristen Kieffer Yunomi Valentine striped hot air balloons  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe clover cup w. StripesKristen Kieffer Large plate Floral Stripe Dot set  Kristen Kieffer Bowl Floral DotKristen Kieffer Valenspringtine yunomi

‘Valenspringtine’ In Progress

Kristen Kieffer yunomi (in progress) w. flowers, Colorized series  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe clover cup (in progress), Arabesque modern seriesKristen Kieffer Deluxe clover cup (in progress) w. stripes and polka dots  Kristen Kieffer yunomi (in progress) w. Honey bees, Pollinator series

Pictured are my in-progress, Deluxe clover cups and Yunomi
at the leatherhard stage with completed decoration.

December tends to be a quieter time in my studio, a month I try to use for play and development in the midst of ongoing deadlines. For the last six weeks, I’ve focused on color, specifically more.

Around 2012, I began to add hand-brushed color in my stamp patterns, from bits to a bit more. Since this past spring, I’ve been hand-brushing several colors into one or two whole stamps (an image stamp vs. an abstract pattern) creating what I refer to as my Colorized Series. For me, the dazzling color from one completely colored image creates a focal point. The surrounding, uncolored stamps feel wistful and softer, like memories. Hand-coloring every stamp would be prohibitively time-consuming, but more importantly, full color on every image would feel commercial. I want to entice the cup’s owner to turn it ’round in the hand to find, appreciate, and ponder each honey bee (above), for example, colored and uncolored.

The delightful reception to my new Colorized cups encouraged me to delve deeper into cherry reds and cupcake pinks during my December play month. I’m a huge lover of color, but the technical logistics of color in ceramics, in addition to my general glacial aesthetic growth (in no small part because I allow myself to be a precise maker) slowed my figuring of how exactly to bring color to my pots. Suffice it to say, color is happening!

This particular color palette and my ongoing desire for it to be spring year-round (which does not happen here in Massachusetts) lead me to spend my six weeks of play on Valentine-inspired cups, a new series with colorful shapes I’m calling Arabesque Mod (a nod to my love of Islamic art, juiced with contemporary color and mod flair), new flower stamps, and as many polka dots and stripes as I could fit on a cup (above).

The ‘Valentine/Spring in Feb’ or ‘Valenspringtine’ cups, tumblers, and few tableware pieces will be listed in my online shop on Friday, January 30th at noon EST.