‘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.

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

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
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)

Tea & Flowers

Kristen Kieffer Teapot in blues Kristen Kieffer Teapot PeriwinkleKristen Kieffer Teapot-stamped cup grouping

Pictured above: Teapots (11″ h x 11″ l x 5″ d) and cups stamped w. teapots (4″ h x 6″ l x 4.5″ d), wheel-thrown, stamped, and altered porcelain w. underglaze and slip-trail deco, cone 7 oxidation by Kristen Kieffer.

Spring is closer than when I posted Fresh & Springy in February, but it doesn’t come easy in MA. The new springy and tea-related work pictured here is mostly destined for shows: a teapot off to Cedar Creek Gallery in NC for their annual National Teapot IX invitational exhibition; tumblers (for G & Ts) to m. t. burton gallery in NJ for Top Shelf: Pottery for Spirits, Wine, & Beer exhibition; vases each to The Clay Studio in Philly for Vases for Spring, and Lill Street Gallery in Chicago for Art & the Urban Garden exhibition. And the rest will be sprinkled around galleries, workshops, and my online shop (like a couple of those teapot-stamped cups pictured above), which will re-open at the end of May. As always, you can see where my work and I will be next on my Schedule page.

Kristen Kieffer Tumblers Kristen Kieffer Screen vase pair in Honeycomb w. blues Kristen Kieffer Screen vase pair in blues Kristen Kieffer Stamped dot vase grouping Kristen Kieffer Stamped vase groupingKristen Kieffer Cake stand dots w. lilacs

Pictured above: Tumblers (5.5″ h x 3.5″ d), Screen vase pairs (13″ h x 4″ w x 3″ d), Stamped vases (8″ h x 5″ d), and Cake stand (5″ h x 11″ d). Screen vases are hand-built, everything else is wheel-thrown w. various deco by Kristen Kieffer.

Online Shopping Till 4/10

EtsyI wanted to share that I will be emptying my Online Etsy Shop April 10th, and won’t be restocking until the end of May. Additionally, I won’t be having my Annual Spring Studio Sale here in MA this year.

So! If you have some springtime gifting needs, or have been eyeing something special, now’s the time! There are many wonderful pots in my shop ready to ship.

Thank you as always for supporting Elegant & Handmade
from my studio, and Happy Spring!

Fresh & Springy

Kristen Kieffer Pierced basket Square Mishima Periwinkle kimono I  Kristen Kieffer Pierced basket Square Mishima Periwinkle kimono IIKristen Kieffer Pierced basket Blue Mishima kimono

It’s not remotely spring here in north central boonies Massachusetts, but my internal spring clock is TICKING! If I can’t have flowers outside, I can sure make them happen in my studio.

Along with the flourishing florals are ongoing and new investigations in form and layers. I continue to be excited about pierced forms, and have some new larger ones pictured here (which are loosely inspired by kimono fabrics). I’ve added two new glossy glaze colors (Violet and Aqua), and am continuing to play with Mishima. Lastly, I have introduced some new stamp patterns, and have a new bowl style.

Some of these pots are destined for shows, but others are popping up in my online Etsy shop like springtime daffodils.

Kristen Kieffer Pierced basket Frost Mishima kimono
Kristen Kieffer tableware place setting plate, cup, bowlKristen Kieffer Pierced basket Square Mishima Frost kimono I  Kristen Kieffer Pierced basket Square Mishima Frost kimono II
Kristen Kieffer Stamped cups grouping
Kristen Kieffer Yellow pear w. lime medium plate  Kristen Kieffer large dinner plate Spring green leaf stripe
Kristen Kieffer medium sandwich plate Aqua  Kristen Kieffer Violet indigo medium sandwich plate
Kristen Kieffer Pierced basket Aqua floral

New Work, Studio & Online Sales

Kristen Kieffer fruit basketMy home Holiday Studio Sale here in Massachusetts is this weekend, and for the many of you who are too far to attend, I’ll be promptly posting new work in my online shop just after. Here are the facts:

Holiday Studio Sale
Saturday, November 2nd 10 – 5 &
Sunday, November 3rd 11 – 4
Full details are right here.

Online Etsy Adds
Beginning Tuesday, November 5th at Noon EST, I’ll begin rolling out new work with 20 new pieces, including pierced baskets, cups with new stamps, and Mishima plates.

Kristen Kieffer Gal skull cupKK Ocean MishimaKristen Kieffer flower basket

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