Last year, I posted six weeks of pottery investigation celebrating thoughts of Valentine color and springtime imagery into my online shop, an event I coined as Valenspringtine. It was so fun and successful, I decided to give it a go again this year, perhaps making it an annual post of my winter play. As with last year, this winter’s pursuits included new forays into surface deco, as well as form with Compotes (pedestaled serving bowls for fruits, nuts, and sweets), Cake & Cupcake Stands, new Deluxe Clover cups, and a couple other goodies totaling almost 30 pots.
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Fellow potter Ben Carter and designer Molly Hatch have created another online course in their Think Big! series. This second six-week series (independent of the first) is about Mastering the Marketplace, and entails interviews with six guests: studio potter Justin Rothshank on generating sales through social media; gallerist and potter Naomi Cleary on do’s and don’ts for dealing with galleries; maker and Ceramics Monthly editor Jessica Knapp on working with the press; potter and designer Keith Kreeger on working with restaurants as clients; studio potter Nicole Aquillano on selling wholesale vs. retail; and studio potter Lindsay Osteritter on online cooperatives.
This online course is six weeks and begins February 4th, and remains up for six weeks after so participants can go at their own pace and schedule. Each week, the link to a new video interview on a themed topic is sent to registered participants for viewing. There are online discussion groups to join, as well as bonus materials and worksheets to download. No need to have taken the first course.
In today’s art market, artists have to be more than just makers. We are also marketers, web designers, publicists, and so much more. Think Big 2 is a go-at-your-own pace course designed to help you build skills to expand your creative business, learn some tricks of the trade, and think beyond the traditional methods of reaching your market.
Click here to register up! $99 USD till Feb 4th, $149 after.
This is my fifth, year-end roundup of in-progress and in-action images from my studio and of my pots, plus a workshop image for good measure. It’s fun for me to look back on the collection of images I’ve shared, and reflect on what’s continued from past years and what was new in 2015 for me as a maker (lots!). These are just a selection of favorites I posted throughout the year on my Facebook and Instagram. As with past years, it’s not an order, it’s a cycle.
As always, thank you for your continued support of my work and studio. A happy, healthy New Year to you and yours!
New work (including all pictured here) is rolling out in my online shop for holiday shopping and gifting! I’ve been adding five or so new pots weekly, so there is always something new and all one-of-a-kind. Be sure to ‘favorite’ my shop so you can see new items in the Home section of Your Etsy. I periodically share new additions to my Instagram and Facebook as well, but checking into my shop is the best way to see what’s new…and I’m always up to something new!
Everything ships in 1-3 days. Orders placed before December 18th should arrive by Christmas. I also accept Etsy gift cards, so that’s a great way to suggest or give my work this season as well. As always, my store will stay stocked with ongoing additions into January for post-holiday shopping too! Click on over right here: KiefferCeramics.
Thank you as always for shopping from my studio and
caring about independent business and handmade design.
I appreciate your support year-round!
I’m excited to invite my fellow New Englanders to swing by my studio for some brownies and good deals before the snow begins to fall here in north central Massachusetts. It’s a perfect opportunity to shop for holiday gifts to give, as well as some rather wonderful ‘aesthetic’ and ‘minorly flawed’ seconds to save for yourself.
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.
I’m delighted to be participating in the inaugural Flower City Pottery Invitational happening next Friday eve – Sunday, October 9th – 11th at The Genesee Center for the Arts in Rochester, NY. The show and sale, curated by fellow makers Peter Pincus, Matt, Metz, and Richard Aerni, features twenty potters from all over the country who will be in person with their tables full of pots. The two and half days also includes artist talks and demos which are listed on the schedule here. It’s going to be a spectacular event!
Participating potters: Kenyon Hansen, Ryan Greenheck, Julie Crosby, Mary Barringer, Forrest Lesch-Middelton, John Gill, Peter Beasecker, Jenny Mendes, Tony Clennell, Dan Finnegan, Doug Peltzman, Bob Briscoe, Richard Aerni & Carolyn Stutz, Liz Quakenbush, Kristen Kieffer, Mark Shapiro, Bryan Hopkins, Jane Shellenbarger, & Matt Metz.
I’m delighted to be included in Schaller Gallery‘s online invitational exhibition Forms I. Thirteen makers from all over the country were each invited to send a teapot, jar, pitcher, and vase. (My grouping of four is pictured above.) It’s always wonderful to see how different potters approach the same form, and this show highlights those delightful variations. The show is live with all work for sale, so click on over right here.
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.
I 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, wider 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!
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.
Thanks 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! .
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.