Detail Within Detail & Luxury

Kieffer Matryoshka doll cup in progress  Kieffer Matryoshka doll cup in progress slip-trailKristen Kieffer signature and KK chop  Kristen Kieffer Matryoshka, quail and Nouveau cups

Above are a couple in progress shots of me brushing blue underglaze into the stamped pattern of a cup, and then slip-trailing even more detail within. I designed and made this stamp after my childhood Matryoshka doll set, which now happily resides on my adult dining room bookshelf, and is looking at me as I write about her (them).

I throw, stamp (usually between 16 -18 stamps per depending on the stamp size), and alter each of this style cup, hand-pull and build the two-piece handles, and finish with slip-trail, and —now, about 2/3 of the time— underglaze deco.

I take out 25 or so stamps I designed and made to decorate my usual series of 30 cups, which keeps it interesting for me and adds to the one-of-a-kind nature of my work. Combined with my use of 10 different color glazes and 4 different color underglazes, there’s rarely two cups a year with the same stamp in the same colors. Plus, I’m also always adding and subtracting stamp patterns from my repertoire. So, there were only two Matryoshka cups in this series, each in a different blue, one with sky blue detail, the other with tangerine.

Kristen Kieffer chop signature KKI sign all of my pots with a stamp I made (1999-00) of how I print my last name, ‘Kieffer.’ My cups also receive a second stamp at the base of my two-part handles: a mirrored pair of Ks. The KK styling is how I first signed my pots, and is a nod to my beginnings in clay (1991); a sentimental signature.

My cups are glazed with a satin exterior and glossy interior of similar colors to contrast the surface, add to the tactility and function, and allow the monochrome color to balance the surface and highlight the form. Glossy glaze is also brushed into the stamping to catch shine off the satin during use.

Each cup is individually made for comfort, durability, use, AND elegance. A study into the impact of cutlery and tableware on eating and enjoyment summarized in this NPR story perfectly reflects my goal of bringing ornate to the everyday. A handmade cup and plate can be a scientifically proven luxury that enhances your food and drink, a mini daily celebration for yourself. You can procure some of your own pottery enjoyment in my online shop right here.

More NEW New Work


Serving Pieces:
Nesting Serving Dishes (Snowflakes w. blue stripes & an Autumnal set w. leaves), Oval Server w. blue stripes, Square Servers (Blackberry floral w. brown stripe & Light blue w. blue stripes) and Medium Bowl w. Matryoshka doll stamp.

Another grouping of new pots!  The smaller nesting dishes are a brand new form (based on a customer request for a smaller version of my Square Server, 1 1/2″h x 8”w/d).  The small (2″h x 5 1/2″w/d) and medium (2 1/4″h x 7″w/d) “nesters” are a little more bowl-like, perfect for serving (or ice cream).  The oval server (4″h x 17″l x 7″d) is actually not new, but has not been photographed before or sent outside of MA, so it may be new to you!  It’s a form I enjoy and imagine for bread or fruit, but don’t make often for some reason. It and all the square serving pieces are made over drape molds I designed and made, allowing each form to be individually altered and decorated.

The subtle and not-so-subtle striping is a new foray into pattern and layering I was excited to incorporate into many of these serving pieces (as well as a jar below, in the last post). Lastly is the bowl with the Matryoshka doll stamp.  She is actually not a new stamp, but one I had only used a couple times and not on a bowl.  The real nesting doll set in the picture is mine from childhood, and the basis for my stamp design.  I will be posting several of the pieces above to my Online Store soon.  (The Autumn nesting set already sold to a Facebook Fan.  I post short notes there more often about updates to my store, studio and schedule, and she was my 100th Etsy customer and received a special prize with her purchase!)

* You can still drop me an email to receive postcards! (Check this post.)