Breakfast Special

Kristen Kieffer Breakfast settings for two and serving

My toast rack, egg cups & caddy, butter dish, and place settings for two
for
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)

Firsts & Seconds

Kristen-Kieffer-Etsy-shop Kieffer Studio 2012

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My home Holiday Studio Sale here in Massachusetts is the first weekend in November, and is a wonderful opportunity for New England locals to purchase seconds, and new work for gifting. For the many who are too far to attend, there are wonderful new pots available now in my online shop, and I’ll continue to add new work through the New Year. Here are the facts:

Kristen-Kieffer-EtsyOnline Etsy Shop
Ongoing: New pots added weekly (almost daily!) with prompt shipping. Start shopping right here.

If your purchase is a gift, I am more than happy to ship directly to the recipient, and include a note that it is from you and any message you would like to convey, plus include care and process info and my latest postcard. (No invoice or receipt is included.)

Studio-Sale-signage-(spring)Holiday Studio Sale
Saturday, Nov 1st 10 – 5 &
Sunday, Nov 2nd 11* – 4 (* “Fall back” for Daylight Savings)
Full event details all right here.

Come by and sample some local cheeses, see where I make my work, and take home a new pot or two for gifts, and a couple seconds for yourself. Hope to see you!
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Thank you for supporting creativity, community,
and local by buying and giving handmade.

First Place!

Kristen Kieffer-Grande Jar, Zanesville Prize First Place I Kristen Kieffer Grande Jar, Zanesville Prize First Place II

Grande Covered Jar (Allium pattern), Wheel-thrown and altered porcelain with slip-sponge, underglaze, and slip-trail deco, cone 7 oxidation. 16″ h x 8″ w x 8″ d

I’m THRILLED to share that I received First Place in the first Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics for this Grande JarThere were over 1400 submissions competing for the $30K total in prize money with only 97 works chosen for the exhibition held at Seiler’s Gallery in Zanesville, OH. Big huge thank yous to jurors Brad Schwieger, Sherman Hall, and Angelica Pozo, and the Muskingum County Community Foundation for this great honor. I am Over The Moon!

Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics, 2014 exhibition

The Buzz!

Kristen Kieffer Stamped cups with honey bees

The new addition to each my ‘pollinator’ and ‘colorized’ series is here: the honey bee! I made just three (Yellow Pear, Frost, and Spring Green) this round, and will post them in my online Etsy shop at 9 AM EST on Saturday (9/27).

The bee is the latest addition to my collection of stamps I design and make (accompanied by a flower and honeycomb stamp too on the Frost cup). I hand-brushed one on each side, which brings a focal point as well as dreamy dissolve to the cup pattern as a whole. I’ll write more about each series soon, but suffice to say –in my Victorian modern style– I am celebrating the incredible honey bee as an important part of our ecosystem with an additional nod to the Egyptian belief in them as a symbol for royalty.

Styling Play Pictorial

Kristen Kieffer Stamped cup detail  Kristen Kieffer cake stand top with cherriesKristen Kieffer Delft-inspired fruit bowl stamped cup  Kristen Kieffer Owl Yunomi in Frost

Some images of my pots recently posted on Instagram and Facebook to share and celebrate new work available in my online shop ~ some, exclusively! I delight in trying to convey the influence, habitat, and/or detail (the lovely little enticing bits) of my pots in one square frame. I consistently add new, one-of-a-kind pots to my shop almost weekly, so fresh work is always available for you to have or give. Connect with me on the social medias, but check my Etsy shop (‘favorite’ it too) regularly for what’s new, and thanks as always for your support.

Kristen Kieffer Pineapple and Fruit bowl stamped cups  Kristen Kieffer Pierced fruit basketKristen Kieffer Pierced fruit bowl  Kristen Kieffer Pierced fruit basket (square)Kristen Kieffer Skull mugs, Gal and Guy  Kristen Kieffer yunomi

Glaze & American iPottery

Glaze-The Ultimate Ceramic Artist's Guide to Glaze and Color by Brian Taylor and Kate Doody  American iPottery ebook by Kevin Hluch

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I’m delighted to have work included in two new books, one a hard cover and the other an eBook.

Fellow potters Brian Taylor and Kate Doody authored Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist’s Guide to Glaze and Color. This book not only features glaze recipes and 450 color images, it also includes each “artist’s creative intention behind the glazes used” and technical descriptions of featured pieces. Glaze is available here.

Professor, potter, and author Kevin Hluch spent the last two years creating the comprehensive and exceptionally unique American iPottery. This eBook is a survey of 256 potters (plus their statements, bios, and web links), and includes over 3000 pots, 57 of which are rotatable, 3D images, including my covered jar. (It’s truly amazing to flip a pot around on your iPad screen with your finger, and see every angle, including the foot!) Kevin also authored The Art of Contemporary American Pottery, 2001, the analog precursor to his new ‘eTome’ of over 800 wonderful pages. Download iPottery right here.

Kristen Kieffer, Interactive image 11.8, American iPottery ebook, p.392 Kristen Kieffer, Interactive image 11.9, American iPottery eBook, p. 394.

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Thank you, Brian, Kate, and Kevin, and congratulations!

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

Free to Be…Yunomi

Kristen Kieffer Yunomi w. teapot stamps in Cornflower blue w. Navy stripes and detail  Kristen Kieffer Yunomi Pineapple Nana in AquaKristen Kieffer Yunomi in Violet w. Sky blue stipes, Mishima, and floral  Kristen Kieffer Yunomi w. balloon stamps in Frost w. Tangerine polka dots and Mishima detail

I’m excited to share new work with you! I’m posting a couple new pots each day in my online Etsy shop for your collection (or present-purchasing if you can part with the pot!), like these four yunomi, which are the first of several lovelies already available. I’m sharing pix on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds, though do visit my shop directly to see what’s new.

These yunomi continue to be one of my favorite forms to make. Despite the smaller size, I’m able to festoon each with layers of ornamentation and joyful imagery that enhance its use, a feast for the eyes and hand. There are a lot of new patterns and layers here, from hand-brushed yellow nana halves to Mishima rays of sun amidst the clouds dancing above the balloons. Each of these and the others to come are one-of-a-kind: thrown, decorated, and even photographed by me, just for you.

Potter of the Month

Jen Allen grey teapot  Kristen Kieffer Teapot Aqua

Teapot left by Jen Allen, wheel-thrown and altered porcelain, cone 10 reduction. Teapot right by me, wheel-thrown and altered porcelain, cone 7 oxidation.

I’m happy to be fellow potter Jen Allen’s Potter of the Month for June on her blog!  Jen makes lovely pots, and we have a lot in common as makers, both in approach and influences.  I hope you’ll check out my responses to her thoughtful questions, and then check out her wonderful work. Thank you, Jen!

Flora & Fauna at The Brinton

Kristen Kieffer Pillow tiles trio

Wall pillow tiles, Hand-built porcelain w. slip-sponge, slip-trail,
underglaze, and Mishima deco by Kristen Kieffer.

Flora & Fauna exhibition view

Exhibition view of Flora & Fauna at The Brinton, Big Horn, WY.

Flora Fauna Catalog The Brinton MuseumI’m thrilled to have six wall pillow tiles (three pictured above) included in the Flora & Fauna invitational exhibition at The Brinton Museum in Big Horn, WY, curated by Elaine Olafson Henry the editor of Ceramics: Art and Perception and TECHNICAL magazines.

The exhibition is up from June 15 – September, 2014, and has an accompanying catalog (cover pictured left). The full lineup of the twenty participating artists is listed here, and includes Susan Beiner, Joe Bova, Kim Dickey, Julia Galloway, Rain Harris, Susan Harris, Gail Kendall, Ron Meyers, and more. A truly stellar line-up of which I’m delighted to be a part.

Pattern & Form Article

"Relating Pattern to Form" by Shana Salaff, Pottery Making Illustrated, May/June issue 2014, p. 16.  Kristen Kieffer Stamped vase in Cornflower blue

I’m delighted to have a vase pictured and my work discussed alongside several admired makers in fellow potter Shana Salaff‘s thoughtful article “Relating Pattern to Form” in the May/June 2014 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated. Shana did a lovely job summarizing my own intentions in uniting form and pattern:

Kristen Kieffer’s work, with its pattern-as-texture shares this kind of feeling–the surface and the form feel completely connected. Kieffer uses a stamping technique to apply the main textured pattern, and this changes the form as well as decorates it. The pattern functions to create differing surface depths in the which the glaze will pool and provide different levels of intensity of color, while simultaneously referring to both lace and metalwork. In the interior of the vase, one sees Kieffer’s fingerprints, and we are reminded that a real person’s hand made these marks in a specific time and place. These traces bring the vessel to life.

I hope you can pick up a copy of the magazine and check out the whole article as it’s a very good read, especially given that the relationship between form and pattern is a major part of my deliberations as a maker. Thank you, Shana!