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.

Reticulated Baskets

Kristen Kieffer Square Basket Frost pinstripeKristen Kieffer Square Basket Frost pinstripe interior  Kristen Kieffer Oval basket w. tulips detailKristen Kieffer Oval basket w. tulips

Above: Large oval and square fruit baskets, drape-molded (from forms I designed and made), altered, and built porcelain with hand-cut piercings, slip-sponge, underglaze, slip-trail, and Mishima deco, multiple glazes, cone 7 oxidation by Kristen Kieffer. Square: 5″ h x 11″ w x 11″ d; Oval: 6″ h x 11 1/2″ l x 8″ d

  I completed a couple new, large baskets recently (above), and wanted to share as these reticulated forms continue to be exciting pieces for me to make. Most of these are already off to their new homes.

The sweet, smaller green one below is available now in my online shop, as are many other lovely pots, but only thru January 15th at which time I will begin subtracting for workshops and shows. So now’s your chance to grab your fave right here!

Kristen Kieffer Small basket, oval in Spring greenKristen Kieffer Blue basket detail  Kristen Kieffer Green basket detailKristen Kieffer Small pierced basket, oval in Cornflower blue

Studio Cycles Pictorial 2014

Kristen Kieffer tumbler and wild daisies  Demonstrating with Chandra DeBuse (l) and Kristen Kieffer (r) at St. Pete's ClayKristen Kieffer Indigo plate details  Kristen Kieffer new stamps, florals and beesHannah  Kristen Kieffer teapots in progressKristen Kieffer Stamped vases  Taping the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast w. Michael Kline (l), Julia Galloway (m), and Kristen Kieffer (r)Kristen Kieffer bisqueware in progress  Kristen Kieffer chop signatures, cup mandalaDemonstrating with Kathy King (l) and Kristen Kieffer at Southern IL U., Carbondale  Poster girl, The State of Clay exhibition, MA, Kristen Kieffer Grande jarKristen Kieffer sketchbook  Kristen Kieffer glaze testingWorkshop tools  Vases and Visiting Artist month at The Archie Bray FoundationKristen Kieffer wall pillows in progress, May at the Bray  Kristen Kieffer studio influencesKristen Kieffer Screen Vase detail  Demonstrating with Matt Long (l), Adam Field (m), and Kristen Kieffer at the Mary Anderson Center, INKristen Kieffer's pots as contour drawings, studio  Kristen Kieffer flower brick stages in progressKristen Kieffer test tiles  Kristen Kieffer Cherry cup detailKristen Kieffer sketchbook drawings  Kristen Kieffer Arabesque mod tumblers in progressKristen Kieffer Arabesque mod plates in progress  Kristen Kieffer

This is my fourth, year-end roundup of goings-on images from my studio and on the road as a workshop presenter, and this year, Visiting Artist. 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 2014 for me as maker. 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!

Holiday Gift Guide

Just a little share so you know where you can buy my pots this season, online and in-store:

My online shop is brimming with new work, particularly lots’o cups all ready to ship in 1 – 3 days, for gifters who want to share thoughtful, handmade craftsmanship, and giftees who want to receive ‘ornately elegant for everyday.’ Order before Dec 17th to insure Christmas arrival. My shop will stay well-stocked through mid-January for those who receive Etsy Gift Cards or holiday spending money for post-Christmas shopping too.

I have new work available online at Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI and The Clay Studio, Philly, which you can shop in-store if you’re in the respective areas.

Lastly, I also have new work available in-store at 18 Hands Gallery in Houston, and Lill Street Gallery in Chicago, and the Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester, MA.

Thank you for supporting and gifting handmade & elegant from my studio
this season and 
throughout the year!

Workshops 2015

Kristen Kieffer pitcher demoWorkshops for 2015 are coming up quick. Seems early to think of next year, but we should always plan for play! Below is what I currently have booked to teach this year.

First up very soon is a three-day hands-on at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY on January 17th – 19th with details here.

Also early in the year, on February 21st and 22nd, is a two-day demo workshop at Jeffcoat Pottery Studio in Calabash, NC, which is between Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC near the coast. Click here for all the juicy details.

In June, I’ll be back in New York for a two-day hands-on workshop at the View Art Center in Old Forge, NY on June 27th and 28th.

Arrowmont ceramics studioLastly is my third five-day hands-on back at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN for July 19th – 24th. You can register here, where you can check out my new spin on what I’m offering, also below:

Altered, Ornamented, & Drawn: No Fear! Our workshop will focus on conquering anxiety and embracing play in our sketchbooks and on our pots. We will be altering wheel-thrown or hand-built forms, and then embellishing them with an array of decoration techniques, from stamping and slip-trailing to sponging and resists. In between, we will investigate ways of drawing and collaging in our sketchbooks that are both fun and help fine tune influences and ideas. Demonstrations include throwing, altering and building off the wheel, darting, and a variety of deco techniques including stamp-making. You will leave the workshop with a collection of new skills, a better understanding of timing in clay, and confidence!

All my workshops and most techniques are equally suitable for both throwers and hand-builders with basic skills required.

If I’m not coming where you’d like me to be, please do pass along the Workshops page of my website to your favorite venue as that’s frequently how they come about. As always on that page, you can see the full list of where I’ve taught in the past, more info on what’s offered, as well as new venues as they’re booked. Hope to see you!

PS: If you just can’t make a workshop, I do have a DVD on Surface deco available right here.

Special & Daily!

Kristen Kieffer cherry cups  Kristen Kieffer cherry yunomiKristen Kieffer-honey bee yunomi  Kristen Kieffer Cupcake yunomi

New and super, special cups will be added each day this week at NOON EST with more of my usual lovelies (cups, tumblers, and a couple yunomi) sprinkled into my online shop daily. Because I’m so excited about the new pieces I unloaded from my glaze kiln yesterday, I’m announcing in advance which cups will be available in my shop and when:

Mon, 11/24 – 2 cherry cups (pictured top left)
Tues, 11/25 – 2 honey bee cups, & 1 honey bee yunomi (pictured bottom left)
Wed, 11/26 – 2 cherry yunomi (pictured top right)
Thanksgiving, 11/27 – 2 pink cupcake yunomi (pictured bottom right)
Fri, 11/28 – 2 skull cups
Sat, 11/29 – 2 teapot cups

Again, more elegant cups in my usual variety of colors and patterns will also be added daily over the next couple weeks leading up to holiday buying and gifting. Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram for reminders, and ‘favorite’ my shop to see new pots at the top of your Etsy home feed. Thank you as always for supporting and gifting handmade & elegant from my studio!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fortify for CERF+

Kristen Kieffer cake stand  Kristen Kieffer flower brickKristen Kieffer stamped cup  Kristen Kieffer small jar

These are my pieces in FORTIFY, an in-store and online exhibition at Schaller Gallery to support the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. Anthony Schaller is generously donating 20% of the gallery’s commission to support CERF+. The exhibition opened today for online purchasing and pots are going fast! FORTIFY: An Exhibition to support CERF+, Nov 20 – Dec 19, 2014.

CERF+ is a national artists’ service organization whose mission is to safeguard and sustain the careers of craft artists and provide emergency resources that benefit all artists. I know several potters who have been helped by CERF+. Thank you, Anthony!

FORTIFY for CERF+ poster, Schaller Gallery

Now & Soon

Kristen Kieffer plate in Pear w. lime polka dots  Kristen Kieffer Pierced fruit basketKristen Kieffer stamped cup in Rosa w. sky blue detail  Kristen Kieffer small covered jar in Cornflower blue

Just a lil’ note that there are many lovelies (including all those pictured here) currently available in my online shop, and I will be adding only cups for December ~ a bountiful variety of stamped ones, yunomi, and tumblers just in time for the holidays! Stay tuned on my Facebook and Instagram for some posts about available new work, and better yet, ‘favorite’ my shop to see new pots at the top of your Etsy home feed. Thank you as always for supporting and gifting handmade & elegant from my studio!

Kristen Kieffer wall pillow tile  Kristen Kieffer yunomi w. Fruit bowl in PeriwinkleKristen Kieffer cake stand in Frost w. polka dots  Kristen Kieffer flower brick in Violet w. navyKristen Kieffer clover cup in Garnet  Kristen Kieffer stamped cup in Honeycomb

Breakfast Special

Kristen Kieffer Breakfast settings for two and serving

My toast rack, egg cups & caddy, butter dish, and place settings for two
Breakfast styled by me at our dining room table.

I received the invitation to participate in a show titled Breakfast (online and in Philly at The Clay Studio 11/7 – 1/4) in April from fellow potter Bryan Hopkins. Each potter was to make their interpretation of a toast rack, egg cups, butter dish or jam jar, plus two plates and cups. I immediately set to work on drawings, particularly of toast racks, knowing I wanted to use wire instead of clay for the dividers. (Indeed, I spent a three-hour flight to a workshop drawing toast racks!)

Kristen Kieffer sketchbook, toast rack drawings

My sketchbook drawings of toast rack ideas.

Kristen Kieffer Toast Rack II

Toast rack in Aqua, Drape-molded (from my design) and altered porcelain with carved,
slip-sponge, underglaze, slip-trail, and Mishima deco, cone 7 oxidation
with multiple glazes, and steel wire.

For the month of May, I was a Visiting Artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, and spent a chunk of my studio time developing the serving prototypes for this show, as well as making my egg cups and caddies, which I glaze-fired and completed at my home studio.

Kristen Kieffer Egg cups and Caddy

Egg cups & Caddy in Frost, Wheel-thrown, altered and built porcelain with carved, slip-sponge, underglaze, and slip-trail deco, cone 7 oxidation with multiple glazes, and steel wire.

Kristen Kieffer Butter Dish, Periwinkle

Butter dish in Periwinkle, Hand-built porcelain with slip-sponge, underglaze, slip-trail,
and Mishima deco, cone 7 oxidation with multiple glazes.

I don’t often make sets, but do enjoy playing with what defines one. With the pieces for this show, I didn’t want all one glaze color (I used a color family of five), nor identical elements that “match.” Every piece has sky blue underglaze (the stripes and dots of ceramic color I brush on before the first firing because I want it to be layered under my slip-trailing); my swirled slip-sponge pattern (the subtle background texture); and my slip-trail dots and ‘leaf swirl’ pattern. While I played with variations of stripes and polka dots on each piece, as well as how I laid out my leaf swirl, they all share the same style and attention to detail that makes them feel related as a whole, yet able to be mixed and matched or stand strongly alone. (The Yellow Pear cup would just as easily pair with the Spring green plate, for example.)

Kristen Kieffer Breakfast setting yellow pear

Deluxe clover cup & Plate (medium) in Yellow Pear, Wheel-thrown and altered porcelain
with slip-sponge, underglaze, and slip-trail deco, cone 7 oxidation.

Kristen Kieffer Breakfast setting green

Deluxe clover cup & Plate (medium) in Spring Green, Wheel-thrown and altered porcelain
with slip-sponge, underglaze, and slip-trail deco, cone 7 oxidation.

Breakfast opens online and in Philly at The Clay Studio on Friday, November 7 and continues through January 4, 2015, and includes sets by Blair Clemo, Lindsay Oesteritter, Lisa Orr, Meredith Host, Roberto Lugo, Emily Schroeder Willis, and Bryan Hopkins as well as myself.

This was a quite a challenge for me with months of planning and testing yielding one-of-a-kind results. I’m delighted with the final pieces and hope you’ll check the show, in-person if you can, and online for all. Thank you for ‘egging’ me on, Bryan!

Kristen Kieffer Breakfast set (above)