Worcester Pottery Invitational 2014

Worcester Pottery Invitational 2014 poster, Worcester Center for Crafts
The Worcester Pottery Invitational is coming up April 11 -13, 2014 at the Worcester Center for Crafts, and in addition to being a participating potter again this year, I was a co-curator with fellow studio potter Julie Crosby. Julie and I invited new and returning potters from the northeast who work in a range of styles, and make outstanding pots. We also brainstormed about ideas to make this great show even more so with some new events all towards the mission of celebrating and selling handmade pottery.

Part of what makes this show unique is the sheer number of pots available for purchase (over seventy by each artist), and that all twenty-two potters will be at the show from Friday evening through Sunday closing to meet the public and discuss their work. It’s an exceptional opportunity to see such a large and diverse range of pottery available for carry-away purchasing, as well as interact with so many full-time studio potters.

And those potters for 2014 are: Nicole Aquillano, Richard Aerni, Rob Cartelli, Julie Crosby, Lucy Fagella, Bryan Hopkins, Julie Johnson Jody Johnstone, Hannah Niswonger, Maya Machin, Tom O’Malley, Doug Peltzman, Jeremy Randall, Monica Ripley, Brian Taylor, Sam Taylor, Diana Thomas, Holly Walker, Todd Wahlstrom, Tom White, Adero Willard, and myself.

Visit the Worcester Pottery Invitational page, and check out the photo album featuring images by all this year’s participants. This is a must attend pottery extravaganza for all my fellow New Englanders. See you there!

Worcester Pottery Invitational 2013 crowds Worcester Center for Crafts

Worcester Living Highlight

Worcester Living cover, Winter issue 2013    Worcester Living title page with Kristen Kieffer

Pictured: Left, Worcester Living cover, Winter 2013 issue.
Right, me on the article title page throwing in my studio, p. 51.

I’m delighted to share a local feature about me, my work and studio in the article “12 Crafters to know in Central Mass” for the new issue of Worcester Living magazine.

Kristen Kieffer Ceramics in Worcester Living, "12 crafters to know in Central Mass,"Winter 2013Author Julia Quinn Szcesuil wanted to highlight artists who live, work, and sell in Worcester County, but have also developed a following and sales nationally through online shops and social media. She did a great job summarizing my thoughts as a maker (which you can read by clicking the image left), and photographer Tom Rettig did a great job of getting me to smile.

Central MA-ers can always find my work in Worcester at the Worcester Center for Crafts where I also teach adult community pottery classes, as well as visit my my biannual home studio sales here in Templeton, usually in early May and early November. (To receive updates about new work, studio sales, and more, sign up for my not-too-frequent enewsletter,  connect with me on Facebook, and/or subscribe to my blog in the upper right of my website.)

And everyone can shop my online Etsy store, which is open and chock-full for the holidays with a few new pots to come in early December!

Sherwin-Williams “Colorful Personalities” Q & A

Kieffer STIR Sherwin-Williams
Since I think about color kind of constantly for both my pots and our home, it was such a delight to receive an email from a lovely freelance writer who not only works with Sherwin-Williams online publications about paint and color for design professionals, but also owns a couple of my pots! Beth Rutledge contacted me in August for a STIR® feature called Colorful Personalities, a “Q & A with people who regularly use color in their vocation.” I appreciate the interest in connecting interior designers with makers through color, and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, which you can read right here.

STIRSTIR® is the resource that explores the connection between color and cutting-edge design. It examines the many facets of color to help you bring a fresh perspective to your work. STIR® is a print magazine, email newsletter and interactive tablet app for design professionals.”

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STIR: Who do you design for?
KK:
 I design for customers and collectors who appreciate how an elegant and well-crafted handmade object can enhance daily life.

Echoing Mentor John Glick

I’m thrilled to share the link to a video interview with studio potter John Glick reflecting on nearly fifty years of being a full-time artist and mentor, plus a fantastic segment on his glazing (a truly wonderful treat).

Anyone who has taken a workshop with me knows how important and influential my one-year residency (1996-97) with John was and continues to be in my own life as a studio potter. I credit John with teaching me everything from properly packing pots and caring for my back by standing to throw, to my use of particular decoration techniques and—most importantly—that play is a crucial part of studio practice.

Pictured stills from the Cultural Connection: John Glick video interview, produced by the City of Farmington Hills Video Division. Watch the video here.

It’s a humbling delight to hear John refer to my year in his studio (04:15 – 07:45), and think back with fondness about that time of exploration, which helped pave the way to my being a full-time artist now. He uses the word “echo,” which is perfect as his support, energy, and influence have indeed reverberated through my mind and work (and back!) for the last sixteen years. He played a big part in my sense of discovery and exploration, and I’m thankful.  

Thank you, John & Susie!

500 Teapots Volume 2

I’m very happy to have a teapot in Lark Crafts’ new 500 Teapots Volume 2 book juried by studio potter and professor Jim Lawton. I have three teapots in the original 500 Teapots book, so it’s nice to be in the new and reflect on the evolution of my work (and teapots specifically) over the twelve intervening years.

I particularly like this passage excerpted from Jim’s introduction:

“The artists represented here are blending innovation and forward thinking with an awareness of what came before. They’re acknowledging a custom that’s deeply rooted in our consciousness even as they propose new forms and iterations for the teapot. Whether it’s used to bring people together or to celebrate solitude, the teapot occupies a special place in cultures all over the world.”

Lark’s 500 Series continues to be a wonderful resource for collectors, makers, and instructors alike. It’s just as fun to see how the teapots are organized in the book as it is to see them all.  My Victorian Islamic, satin-glazed teapot is opposite a juicy, faceted one by Steven Roberts; each has as many similarities as differences. You’ll have to get the book yourself to see more examples of great teapot pairings!

Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail Guest

Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail poster / flyer 2013

I will be a guest artist at this year’s Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail, a self-guided driving tour of clay studios in central-western Massachusetts (the northern I-91 corridor). This year there will be eight guests in addition to the nine potters who will welcome visitors to their studios. My pots and I will be guesting at Francine Ozereko’s studio in Pelham, MA.

9th Annual Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail
April 27 & 28, 2013
10 am – 5 pm

2013′s roster of potters includes: Hayne Bayless and Sam Taylor at Tom White’s studio; Lucy Fagella; Stephen Earp; Todd Wahlstrom at Mary Barringer’s studio; Dan Bellow at Molly Cantor’s studio; Mara Superior at Donna McGee’s studio; Kaleidoscope Pottery at James Guggina’s studio; Adero Willard at Tiffany Hilton’s studio; and me at Francine’s studio.

Visit the AVPT page on Facebook for great studio pix, and the AVPT website for studio maps and more details. Come on out, New Englanders!

PS: My springtime sale at my home studio in Baldwinville, MA
is the following weekend, May 4th & 5th.

Ceramics Monthly 2013 Poster

CM Poster 2013
Ceramics Monthly produces an annual poster with images curated from the last year’s issues to give away at NCECA. It was fun to walk up to the CM table at the conference in Houston and see my vases on this year’s poster from my cover and spread in the September issue. Fellow 2013 poster potters include Bryan Hopkins, Lilly Zuckerman, Jason Burnett, Peter Pincus, Tara Wilson, Angela Cunningham, Lars Westby, Shawn Spangler, John Neely, Val Cushing, Marc Digeros, Matthew McGovern, Lisa Naples, Mark Knott, Christopher Melia, Brett Freund, and Lauren Karle. In great company indeed! Thanks to CM for choosing my work, and Lauren for the 2012 article!

Kristen Kieffer Stamped vase groupingNew Stamped Vase grouping

2013 WCC Pottery Invitational

WCC Pottery Invitational 2013

The 2013 Pottery Invitational Show & Sale at the Worcester Center for Crafts (where I teach adult classes) is April 5th – 7th, 2013. I’m so pleased to be a part of this great two and a half day exhibition and sale that was curated by fellow potters Hayne Bayless and Hannah Niswonger. The show comprises a fantastic group of twenty-one studio potters from New England who will be standing side-by-side with their work as well as demonstrating for the weekend (including me), making this an exceptional event! Visit the link to read all about events within the event, details, and times here.

Artists include Hayne Bayless, Dan Bellow, Molly Cantor, Autumn Cipala, Arthur Halvorsen, Robbie Heidinger, Jody Johnstone, Martina Lantin, Michael McCarthy, Hiroshi Nakayama, Hannah Niswonger, Kiara Matos, Tom O’Malley, Francine Ozereko, Rob Sieminski, Brian Taylor, Sam Taylor, Holly Walker, Tom White, Adero Willard, and myself. It’s a must attend event for my fellow New Englanders!

Architecture Influence Invite & NCECA

Burr House Porch Kristen Kieffer Burr House Flower brick II

I’m delighted to have work in a very unique show at this year’s NCECA, Houston conference curated by ceramic artist, professor, and color guru George Bowes. He invited 18 clay artists to participate, and paired each of us with a specific building in his city of Galveston, TX to use as inspiration for a completed work. The Dwelling on the Gulf: Ceramic Artists Respond to the Architecture of Galveston exhibition takes place at the Galveston Historical Foundation from March 9-28, 2013 and is on the bus tour for NCECA. You can read more about George’s thoughts on the show and see a couple more in progress pix by participating artists here.

Burr House roof line and porch Burr House as flower brick drawingsFlower bricks in process Kieffer Burr House Flower bricks

My assignment was the Lemuel and Julia Burr House (c. 1876), which has a “mixture of classic, gothic, and Italianate styles, and is attributed to Nicholas J. Clayton, Galveston’s leading 19th century architect.” Pictured above is ‘my’ house; drawings I worked up contemplating the house as a pot, its form and deco; leatherhard, in progress; and finished.

I opted to turn my house into a flower brick, an idea that relates to past work, but is much more intricate and based directly on the porch and styling of the Burr House. I incorporated light blue underglaze into the “porch openings” to reflect the sky as well as porch ceiling, navy mishima lines to echo the windows, slip-trailing to illustrate the surrounding trees and gardens, stripes for the roof line, beading for architectural detailing, and polka dots for fun. Invitationals for a specific form and/or influence are fun and challenging, and always push me to do shapes and details beyond my “usuals.”

Participating artists include: Peter Beasecker, William Brouillard, Joan Bruneau, Kristen Cliffel, Deirdre Daw, William Edwards, David Eichelberger, Carol Ann Fer, Julia Galloway, Bill Griffith, Suze Lindsay, Kari Radasch, Louise Rosenfield, Judith Salomon, Richard Shaw, Aaron Sober, Holly Walker, and myself.

Kieffer pots NCECA 2013 Kristen Kieffer place setting La Mesa 2013

For those who are attending NCECA in Houston, come cheer me on as one of four headlining demonstrators! In addition to the Dwelling exhibition, I also have work available at the Houston Convention Center Gallery EXPO with 18 Hands Gallery, opening Tues eve. And a place setting at Santa Fe Clay‘s La Mesa Exhibition at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown. Both are open during the conference, March 20-23.

For those who are unable to attend, no worries! I’m already stocking up my online Etsy shop with new work before I go here, and have upcoming workshops scheduled you can check out here. Hope to see you, and thanks so much for the support!

Studio KotoKoto ‘Hearty Cuppa’

I’m delighted to have four yunomi in the online Hearty Cuppa show with Studio KotoKoto, as well as share my excitement for this new and beautifully-executed online retailer (est. fall of 2012).

Studio KotoKoto offers distinctive, handmade objects by artists from Japan, the U.S., and around the world. In selecting these thoughtfully designed items, we bring you the stories of the artists, their aesthetics, and the materials they use. We promote talented artists who carry on the tradition of individual craftsmanship. ~ Kathryn Manzella and
Ai Kanazawa

Check out their lovely blog post about the show, which includes cups by potter faves Diana Fayt, Ayumi Horie, Birdie BoonePeter Pincus, plus more cups from U.S. and Japanese makers. Make sure you “like” Studio KotoKoto on Facebook to stay tuned for details on this and future shows, and to see more romantic pix of handmade like the ones framing this post.

The cups I chose to send celebrate the coming of spring as well as Valentine’s Day. For me, spring is a signifier of growth, color, and budding romance, particularly for little animals like the pictured quail and bunnies frolicking in the flowers of my yunomi cups.

Hearty Cuppa celebrating Valentine’s Day with handmade.

  Diana Fayt at Studio KotoKoto Peter Pincus at Studio KotoKotoKieffer yunomi at Studio KotoKoto Kristen Kieffer at Studio KotoKoto

Pictured: cups by Birdie Boone, Ayumi Horie, Joseph Pintz, Sakai Mika, Diana Fayt, Peter Pincus, and myself. Photos courtesy of Ai Kanazawa at Studio KotoKoto.