Postcard Retrospective

Small covered jars*, 2008
Stamped cups, 2007
Wire flower brick*, 2005
Flower boat (Corset series), 2003
KK_postcard_ 2001
Lady vase, 2002
Tea set, Flower basket and Pourer with Saucer, 2001

I have had a “publicity” postcard made every year or two since 2001.  (There are two other postcards from ’95 and ’98 I’ll have to dig up for another—more humorous—post.)  The two most recent cards, with the jars and cups, are cone 7 electric; the others are cone 10 soda reduction.  The image directly above is my MFA graduation show card from Ohio University.  Six postcards of work from four different studios.  It’s interesting to see how things have changed, most notably after my thesis card, going from what I see as just “ornate” to more “elegant”.  Aside from additional layering, the surfaces haven’t changed a lot, but the lines that define the forms have.  They are more crisp and where I see the elegance happening.  I was the photographer for all of these too, baring witness to the transition from film to digital.

*If you would like a postcard, I would like for you to have one.  My most current 2008 Covered jar postcard and the 2005 Flower Brick postcard are still available.  (The former because it’s still new and the latter because a printing error left me with 2500!)  Simply drop me an email with “Postcard” in the subject line, your mailing address in the body, and specify which card: 2008, 2005 or both.  I would love for you to have a pot, but this is a nice precursor, and something you can actually hold in the meantime.

onelovelyblogawardThank you to Charan Sachar of the great Creative with Clay blog for presenting me with one of his Lovely Blog Awards.  I appreciate the friendly acknowledgment!

Kanthal Wire-handled Basket

Kristen_Kieffer_Wire_BasketThis is a lil’ Wire Basket (7″h x 4″w x 3″d) I made over three years ago.  I enjoyed making it, and have continued to like it, but just this week decided to make more.  My ideas are frequently ahead of my fingers.  I have described my process —including idea- development— as being glacial at times.  (This piece seems to exemplify the point.)  My sketchbooks contain more ideas than I will probably ever make.  I’m not quite sure what makes the time seem right to pursue certain ideas, but this one’s has arrived!

I have used Kanthal wire on certain forms for years as a way to “draw” in space with another material.  (Check out the Wire Flowerbrick on my Gallery page, and a brief explanation of Kanthal wire on my Process page.)  More to come!

Spring Studio Sale at Kieffer Ceramics

kk_wire-flowerbrick-lightSpring has sprung here in MA —feels more like summer even— which means it’s pottery gifting season!

My Annual Spring Studio Show & Sale is May 16th and May 17th.  (Always the open weekend between Mother’s Day and Memorial weekends.)

Come by to check out some new work (pendants to pots), see my new studio space and shop for your spring and summer gifting needs.  Sample local cheeses while you peruse some outstanding discount pots too.

My home studio is located in north central Mass about an hour each from Manchester, NH; Brattleboro, VT; Putnam, CT; Woonsocket, RI; Northampton, Worcester and Boston, MA.

Contact me for information on times and directions.  We look forward to seeing you!

Thank you for sponsoring creativity and community by supporting local artists, and buying and giving handmade.

Summer Travels

The title for this blog is both literal and figurative. I have been traveling quite a bit (ME, OH and TX, and soon to NYC), thus my long absence from here, but summer does seem to pass by rather quickly, on its own trip to autumn, and this one is no different. The last four weeks have been a blur, so these are more the facts than the thoughts of my away time.

Bisqued Watershed potsMy two weeks (6/22-7/4) at Watershed in Maine for the Artists-Invite-Artists Residency were stupendous! This image shows the very few but thoughtful ideas I explored during this intensive. I used my time to work on forms that have been on my mental back burner or lingering in my sketchbook, unable to be realized during my normal studio hours. Carving out time for new exploration is tricky with deadlines looming and my calendar staring me down, so it was exciting to take the time to make forms “for me”.

Since my studio is at home and I work alone, it was great to be making side-by-side with other artists again. This group was particularly talented, fun and funny: Bryan Hiveley, Ceramics Prof. at Miami International U. of Art and Design, travel guru and Inviter of all; Rebekah Bogard, Ceramics Prof. at U. of Nevada, Reno and Artist extraordinaire; The Bonnie Seeman, Ceramics Prof. at the U. of Miami; Molly Hatch, Vermont Studio Artist and Instructor newly MFA’d from U. of Colorado, Boulder; Lauren Mayer, slip-casting queen returning for her MFA thesis year at UC-Boulder; Rachel Bleil, teddybear-lover also returning for her MFA thesis year, Indiana U., Bloomington; Rebecca Gilling and Judy King, awesome sculptors and Professors at Miami International; Ben Culbertson, the man-of-wire (faceting that is) and Prof. at Shippensburg U. in PA; Wells Gray, awesome potter and Instructor at Mercersburg Academy in PA; Sara Lynch, Studio Artist, Preschool teacher, and lady of the swans with her BFA from Alfred; Sienna Orlando, Artist, traveler and see-er with her BFA from Chico State in CA; and last but not at all least, Kurt Anderson, Studio Artist, new Studio Tech at NJ City U. and humorist. It was also nice to re-connect with Adero Willard –a fellow Alfred BFA student– after thirteen years, and trade with Monica Leap!

I just returned from teaching a three-day workshop (7/18-20) with a fun group in San Antonio at the Southwest School of Art & Craft in TX; great studio, gallery and people. We had a lot of fun.

This Thursday I am heading to NYC to teach another three-day workshop (8/1-3) at Greenwich House Pottery. I love NYC, so am looking forward to squeezing in some glimpses of it over the weekend.