Here A Plate, There A Plate

  

Just a quick note with a fun collage of my plates to let you know about two upcoming shows. At the Penland School of Crafts Gallery in NC, I’ll have plates in their Artist Plate Exhibition, March 20th – May 6th, which features “a collection of artist-made dinner plates and related insights about food.” On the other side of the country in Seattle, for the four days only of NCECA, I’ll have plates in the La Mesa Exhibition with Santa Fe Clay at the ACT Theatre, March 28th – 31st. This annual exhibition with a place setting each by 150 potters is sure a sight to behold.

If you understandably can’t attend either, you can always check out the plates available in my online shop here, and see more of my exhibition schedule here.

Lovely Intangibles

  
  

It’s the title I chose for my solo show at Plinth Gallery in Denver. I had jotted down the phrase months ago, but didn’t note the context. I believe I heard it on NPR in reference to something else, but it originated from the delightful 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street:

Look Doris, someday you’re going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.
~ John Payne as Fred Gailey

The “lovely intangibles” are something I think about when I’m working in my studio and reference about my pots when I teach: the importance of detail (different from decoration), which I define as anything from a slip-trail accent to the ribbed line that delineates a curve. Each of the aesthetic, technical and functional components that make up the whole of a pot —those big and little things that need to be there for me as the maker— may not be definable or even identifiable to the viewer, but if one or more is missing, the whole is no longer the same or as strong. I like the idea that it’s those lovely, imperceptible or even elusive intangibles that are crucial in the completion of a beautiful and useful object. We may not be aware of them when they are there, but somehow we are when they’re not.

The “important” details pictured, first row: 1. The negative space of a pitcher handle and crisp line that defines the handle itself. 2. The stripes that pop the stamped bunny silhouette, and slip-trailed tail. 3. The top flowing line of a cup handle that leads directly into the lip, and the lines the define the glossy interior and satin exterior. Second row: 4. The red stripes that wrap around and define planes and curves. 5. The cut-aways from a jar foot that create shadows and punctuate the softly squared corners of the body. 6. The thrown, altered and ribbed curves of a large pear jar.

Dessert Plate Sets at AKAR

 
 

Check into AKAR right here to see a wonderful online show of dessert plates, which include my own stripe-y yummies! Each of the 22 artists invited from all over the country sent two sets of four plates, one set of two and two singles. Sets are a rarity for me (more design planning involved plus extras required), but I had fun playing with the details to define and distinguish each. All but one of my plates sent are pictured above with different views below. The Dessert Plate, online exhibition at AKAR Design, 7/22-8/12.

One of my dessert plates is pictured in the lower right corner of the show card.

  

Chicago! Chicago!

♫”…that toddlin’ town…” ♪

I’m on my way to Chicago!  Well, close.  This Wednesday and Thursday (9/22-23), I will be teaching a two-day workshop at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL.
I will then be participating in the Fall Pottery Sale at Steven Hill’s gallery and studio, Center Street Clay, in Sandwich, IL on Saturday and Sunday (9/25-26).  I sent 45 pieces for this show including the lovely, large jar on the poster.  If you are even remotely in the region for either or both events, I’d love to see you!

Summer Tour & 2011

I am about to head off on my “2010 Summer Tour,” so thought I’d do a blog post before this almost six week hiatus.  I have been a bit delinquent about writing here lately, and though I post regularly on my Facebook Ceramics page, I’ve just been too busy with my studio sale, making work before leaving, and enjoying being in, or on the porch next to, my perennial garden. Pictured new striped cake stands just unloaded from the glaze kiln (and The Studio Potter thank you postcard for donating via AKAR’s yunomi invitational).

The first leg of my tour is a drive down to North Carolina so I can teach for the first time at the Penland School of Crafts.  I know firsthand how great a place Penland is which makes returning to teach for two weeks with my own large class of 20 (and with ceramic artists Jenny Mendes and Alice Ballard teaching in the other studio), a fantastic treat.

The second trip is my second Artists-Invite-Artists residency at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. The first time I was invited; this time I am a co-inviter with the talented Rebekah Bogard.  We met during the same AIA residency two years ago, and were having such a wonderful time, that by the second or third night, we sat down and came up with a list of artists for our next residency.  Now two years later, in addition to showing at the Salad Days Pottery Invitational, our AIA group of talented (and fun) artists will be converging on Watershed very soon for two full weeks of making and mayhem: Kurt Anderson, Mark Burns, Jason Green, Bryan Hiveley, Kathy King, Phyllis Kloda, Lorna Meaden and Nick Sevigney. Pictured new striped plates just unloaded from the glaze kiln.

The last stop is not at all the least.  I am very much looking forward to a week of teaching for the first time at the Appalachian Center for Crafts.  And since this workshop is over my birthday, we will have an extra special time! Check out the Schedule page for my fall workshop tour schedule.  Pictured new striped house form, flower bricks just unloaded from glaze kiln.

Which brings me to the beginnings of my schedule for 2011.  Workshops are always being added throughout the year, so check back on my Schedule or Workshops pages. I will be making a return trip in August 2011 to the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts where I was an artist-in residence (1997-98), and taught one of my first workshops in 2004.  I’m looking forward to the new and familiar, and Gatlinburg is always a riot.  Check out Arrowmont’s website for information on their re-location efforts, and how you may be able to help insure this great place has a new space.

So that’s where I’ll be for the next six weeks, and some of where I’ll be at this time next year.  I’ll be back here (home and the blogosphere) in August.  But if you don’t see a post it’s because I’m helping my hubby renovate our bathroom….or catching up on lost time in my garden.  Happy Summer, everyone!

In Studio & Online Goodness

The warmth and energy of spring has struck for me, and I hope for you too.  I will be away much of June (to teach at Penland) and July (to do a residency at Watershed and teach at the Appalachian Center for Crafts), so I am cranking away in my studio, as well as hoping my hubby will shoot pictures of my perennial garden while I’m away.

This is a brief update about what’s coming up for my work and studio prior to my travels:

Studio Sale
Saturday, May 22nd 10-5  and Sunday, May 23rd 11-4
My Spring Studio Show & Sale is just around the calendar corner, here at our home in Otter River, MA. This year it falls the weekend before Memorial weekend.  As usual, seconds will be available for purchase (come early!) as well as gallery-quality pieces.  Cash, check or Visa/MasterCard are welcome.  Visit my Contact page to drop me a note for directions. Please bring a friend, and we look forward to seeing you!
Pictured: Three stripe and dot plates, in progress.

My online store.
KiefferCeramics.etsy.com
My online pottery store is open for your springtime gifting needs, and filled with new pots like stripe-y plates, house vase forms and of course, cups! Because of upcoming travel, I may be closing my stores from 6/10 – 7/24.  I apologize for the inconvenience, but wanted to let you know so you could shop in advance for gifts, and stay tuned soon after for new work to be posted.
Pictured: Plates in progress with shadowed striping from blinds.

“Salad Days” Pottery Sale at Watershed
If you happen to be in Maine, or would like a reason to be, I will be participating in the pottery sale at the Watershed Center for the Ceramics Arts in Newcastle, ME on Saturday, July 10th.  The sale is in conjunction with Salad Days, a fundraiser for this great ceramic center and residency studio where I will be one of many resident artists for two weeks also in July.  Check this link for more information.
Pictured: In progress pitcher handles.

If you happen to be in CO, l will soon have three pieces juried by Pete Pinnell in the Contemporary Clay Biennial at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts in Grand Junction, CO (5/14 – 6/26).

See more details about my exhibition and workshop schedule here.

DVD
On a different pottery note, the feedback from my Surface Decoration DVD continues to be a delight.  If you haven’t already, I hope you will check out the trailer and enthusiastic comments by viewers on my DVD page, which will also take you to the buy page.  Makers will see some new ideas in the DVD, and ceramics teachers/professors may be interested in buying, or having your school purchase it for your program and/or your library.  I appreciate your support!