Color Me ColorFULL

  
  

This is a pictorial of my recent color ruminations as I seek (out of both need and desire) to re-vamp my glaze palette. Pictured: chartreuse, lime and celery to cerulean, robin’s egg and turquoise to red maple, raspberry and garnet to plum, aubergine and grape to persimmon, tangerine and mango to white. Big color fun! Finding, testing and perfecting glaze colors is not nearly so simple, but having the beginnings of ideas for color is sure a good start. More to unfold in the next year…

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
See a more extensive past blog post about my current glaze color palette here.
  
  
  

*Cake* Cake Stands

  
  
  
  

As a lover of cake (as influence as well as treat), it makes sense that I would make cake stands. Several years ago, I did make a couple, but lost interest (and apparently didn’t even photograph them).  However!  My new venture into polka dots and stripes in general, and stripe-y plates specifically, has gotten me jazzed to wrap ribbons of striped color down and around to accentuate this fun form.  Above are two recently completed cake stands I photographed from various angles.  Both are about 4″ h x 10″ diameter (able to display an 8 & 9″ cake respectively) with glossy tops and satin-glazed sides.

This summer, I finally got around to making a more substantial cake display form based on my drawings and metal-working influence.  I am humorously referring to it as a “cake throne”.  At some point, I hope to post a pic after the glaze fire, as well as make more. Pictured: Cake Throne detail at leatherhard

It seemed fun and appropriate to share some other cake stands (with and without cakes, functional and not) in this post, kind of a sideways follow-up of favorites to my Cake as Influence post.  I sometimes use the word “cake” as an adjective to mean “great,” “lucky” or “awesome”.  So, below is a range of very *cake* cake stands (and other peripherally related images) I found in my searches, yielding a range of handmade to manufactured, new to vintage and ceramic to, well, oil. Enjoy!

  
    
    
    
    
    
    

If you hover your cursor over the pics above, you can get most of the info below too. From top left: Vintage glass cake stands with cakes; Esther Coombs’ 3-tier Rose Cake Stand, EstherCoombs on Etsy; and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel dress paired with wedding cakes, Trend de la Creme blog post; Second row: Blaue Blume cake stand by Tina Tsang; The Husband Catcher Cake, oil painting by Janet Hill; and Art Deco cake stencil wrapper from Fancy Flours; Third row: Silver cake stand;and Maren Kloppmann’s Ledge Platter; Fourth row: Whitney Smith’s Bird Cupcake Stand, WhitneySmith on Etsy; Lemon cake with blue icing and dots, Country Living photo shoot; and Iacolli & Mcalllister cake stands on Big Cartel; Fifth row: Kari Radasch’s cake stand with confetti cake, Redware on Etsy; Lazy Daisy skirts by Made With Love By Hannah (cake stands have skirts, and these are super cute!); and w2products Willow cake stand; Sixth row:  Jeanette Zeis’ Lace cake plate, vesselsandwares on Etsy; 4 Layer Cake, oil painting by Paul Ferney; and antique three-tier cake stand;  Seventh row:  reproduction of 1930s-era glass cake stand; D’lovely cake stand, fergusonpottery on Etsy; and Elle cake stand by Clara French; Last row:  cake stand from The Tea Pot Shoppe; striped cake by The Yummy Cake Company; and Black Lace Cake Stand from the MoMA store.

Travel Influences & Favorites, Pt. I

March – August 2010: PA, MA, NC, TN, & NYC

 
  

The images above are the very few I took during my minimal outings at NCECA in Philadelphia, and include some favorite pieces from a quick jaunt through the PMA (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and one great building somewhere in the city with curved leaded windows. (You can see more of my favs from the PMA here.)

         

The next group of pictures is from jaunts near my home. The first two are from a building in Amherst, MA. I love the tall, slender windows and contrast of brick and stone. The second is a detail of the stone and how they used brick dust in the mortar leaving the stones looking like they are outlined in hot pink.  The rest of the images are from two visits to Historic Deerfield in central Massachusetts not far from our home.  Since I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the historic homes, most of the pics (except the barn detail and canopy bed detail) are from pieces in the visible storage cases of their museum.  I see different things in each image, from ideas for form and detail to appreciation for handmade and craft like the last two images of the mended bowl and plate.

 
 

These last images are a favorite each of something I saw while teaching at the Penland School of Arts & Crafts (the garden bottle tree in Bakersville) and the Appalachian Center for Crafts (one of the many hand-painted signs on campus) this summer. And last but not at all least are two images of the Statue of Liberty I took when I did a lecture for the Brooklyn Potters Guild.

I’m getting better not only at remembering to take my camera with me, but actually remembering to take pictures as well, and hope to share more of what I see and figuratively bring home to my studio with you here.

Candy, Striped & Quilted

A pictorial montage of some current influences…

  
    
   

…fondant deco, quilted materials (leather, glass and couches), Japanese prints, stripes, candy colors, couture details, tatted shapes, plastic sandwich container form, climbing roses and arched fencing, dots… and stripes.

  
    

Hope to be posting images of some new work that relate to these images (if only in my mind) soon!

Ceramics I Love (Contemporary, Pt. II)

 Gertraud_Mohwald Magdalene_Odundo
 Viola_Frey  Gary_DiPasquale
  
 Alan_Caiger_Smith

From top left, First row: Bobby Silverman, Gertraud Möhwald, and Magdelene Odundo;  Second row: Hans Coper, Viola Frey, Sam Chung and Gary DiPasquale;  Third row: Andrea Gill, Jeanne Quinn, and Mary Barringer;  Last row: Jason Green and Alan Caiger-Smith.

Visit Part I here to see not only the first grouping but also what I mean by “love” (vs. influence).  I enjoy putting these love montages together and hope to do one every so often.  I welcome you to leave a list of your all-time favorite contemporary clay artists in the comment section.

C O L O R

  
  
   
  
  
 

First row, left to right: Mark Rothko painting No. 22, 1949, 1920s Chicago Transit Authority poster, and Bev Hisey Reflective Folk CushionSecond row: autumn leaves, Andrew Zuckerman bird photograph and my warm-toned glazes;  Third row: Berlin Festival of Lights, Dave Jordano Storefront Church photograph and a Sevres potpourri vase;  Fourth row: Andrew Zuckerman Masked Lovebird photograph and my cool-toned glazes;  Fifth row: Hindu (Holi) Festival of Colours, JollyBe Chrysanthemums wedding cake, and peacock;  Sixth row: Cole & Son Dorset wallpaper, botanical print and Felissimo’s Colored Pencil SetLast row: KiBiSi chairs and a Viola Frey figure.

Oh, how I love color.

I suppose most everyone enjoys color, but if there were a 1 to 10 rating for color love, I would be at a 9 or 10 on the scale. I envy synesthetes and think about color throughout my day, in and out of the studio. I have a similar response to color that others do when they eat a piece of chocolate—that little butterfly feeling of yum.

Darks.

These tumbler images (above and below) represent the myriad of ways the nine colors in my palette can be placed together to give a completely different color feel.

Lights.

One of my grad school (MFA, Ohio U. 2001) professors, Joe Bova, recently commented to me that he believes “color is the most personal element in art”.  I certainly took a lot of time considering my color palette when I switched from high-fire soda (a more limited inherently glossy palette) to mid-range electric where the options are delightfully and overwhelmingly limitless.

Fruity.

I spent several months testing glazes to find both the color and quality (“breaking” satin vs. glossy) that best suits my work and me.  There were several determining factors.  The first and most important is that since I spend more time around my work than anyone else, I wanted colors I enjoy.  I also wanted colors that work well together, that compliment each other.  Finally, I wanted a palette that gives my collectors options: some people prefer neutrals, some prefer brights, and I have both as well as what’s in between.

Autumnal.

Because my work is predominantly monochrome*, I don’t think it’s as recognized for its color because an individual piece isn’t particularly colorful (i.e. having multiple colors).  Though I am currently running some new tests to add stripes and dots of patterned color, “colorful” in my pots comes from their proximity to each other.  I love seeing which colors my customers pair, mix and match when they buy 2, 4 or 12 pieces.

Neutrals.

All of my glaze colors are warm-toned, meaning that even the cool colors (blue, purple and green) have yellow undertones.  The names I have given the nine colors are Ivory (an off-white that looks almost like leatherhard porcelain), Frost (the super pale turquoise that looks a bit like a celadon), Honeycomb (a pale, warm yellow), Lime (a fruity yellow-green), Rosa (a salmon-y, mahogany pink), Cornflower blue (a rich lighter blue), Grape (a warm, plum-y purple), Caramel (a very yummy gold brown) and Blackberry (a deep wine, purple-y red).
Naturals.

On most forms, the satin glaze is the most visible, but the interiors are lined with a glossy version of the outside color, so I really work with 18 glazes.  Some forms, like my bowls and serving pieces, reveal more of the glossy color.  I like the contrast of satin to shine, so in addition to keeping the food surfaces functional with a glossy glaze, it is an aesthetic choice too.

Romantic.

Choosing glaze colors is not like picking out paint (potters will sardonically laugh and nod at that statement) because there is chemistry, elemental change and heat involved.  Red and blue does not necessarily make purple in the clay world.  My color palette came from having a sense of colors I wanted ( a green, a purple, a red—one of the hardest colors to “get” in ceramics, etc.) and then testing to match that expectation with the possibilities paired with my clay, cost of materials, firing temperature and application, not to mention aesthetic goals.  As my husband would say, it’s tricky business.

Cools.

I gather inspiration for color from everywhere.  There are my “usual” sources (period clothing, Art Nouveau prints, Islamic architecture, etc.), but there are also more obscure suggestions for color, like the images at the beginning of this post.  Right now I’m liking the blue in the shadows of the snow, the transitional green from light to dark inside an avocado and I keep thinking of that orange that was in a room my husband and I stayed at in Iceland six years ago.

Festive.

I believe the color in my work is one of several elements which makes my pots unique.  I agree with my professor that color is personal, a way to relay an emotion or spark a memory.  It’s a fascinating subject.

*I tend to use one color or two similar colors on a piece because I feel this best shows off the form, where multiple colors tend to divide the form. Imagine a woman wearing a purple shirt, blue belt and yellow pants next to one wearing a purple dress.