Cup Family Portraits

Stamped mugs by Kristen Kieffer
I recently unloaded a kiln load of work that included bunches of handled cups and mugs with varying and new decoration, and decided to group them for pix, which immediately and delightfully felt like family portraits. I like the idea of capturing my current cup designs and glaze color palette at this arbitrary point in time. Meet my cup family!

Above are my Stamped mugs decorated with slip-trail and stamps I design and make. Because my ongoing goal is to make pots that are “ornately elegant for everyday,” I refer to these as mugs because it addresses their durability, utility, and size in one word. These are not Grandma’s teacups! This portrait also pictures two from my ongoing Colorized series (the blue flowers and dogwood blossoms) in which I completely fill two to four of the stamps with hand-brushed underglaze color creating lovely focal points. I explain more about my stamped cup making process as well as two-piece handle origin in this old blog post here.

Deco stamped mugs by Kristen Kieffer
Late this summer I began a new mug series combining my stamping with the inlay line work and polka dots I have been incorporating on other pots. The result feels very Art Deco, so I’ve been mentally referring to these as Deco Stamped mugs.

dotty-deluxe-clovers
The other style of handled drinking vessel I make is a Clover cup, which became Deluxe Clover cup when the decoration went from minimal slip-trail to lots of everything! I explain the full origin of this cup in a blog post from last year here. I refer to this as a cup vs. mug because the inward alteration makes the volume it holds less than my stamped mugs. Above are my Polka Dot Deluxe Clover cups.

super-stripes-deluxe
Polka dots led to stripes, and lots of stripes equals Super Stripes Deluxe Clover cups!

cutie-deluxe-clovers
Around this time last year, I began adding inlay lines (and this year, circles) to my slip-trail and underglaze deco which lead to these multi-layered cuties. And since that is exactly what I thought when I made them, I still refer to them as Cutie Deluxe Clover cups.

deco-deluxe-clover-cups
At the same time I started the Deco Stamped mugs, I started drawing similar arched line work into these cups too, and the Deco Deluxe Clover cups were born.

Kieffer Cup Family Portrait
So here’s the handled-cup family! This group shot illustrates most of the cup styles and the range of my current glaze and underglaze color palette. I’m in the midst of eliminating a couple colors (Cornflower blue and Violet) so that despite a wide range of designs, my colors relate to each other and feel collectively vibrant when viewed as a group… like in my online shop! Which is exactly where you can find all these lovely ladies right now.

Valenspringtine 2016

Kristen Kieffer Compote trioLast year, I posted six weeks of pottery investigation celebrating thoughts of Valentine color and springtime imagery into my online shop, an event I coined as Valenspringtine. It was so fun and successful, I decided to give it a go again this year, perhaps making it an annual post of my winter play. As with last year, this winter’s pursuits included new forays into surface deco, as well as form with Compotes (pedestaled serving bowls for fruits, nuts, and sweets), Cake & Cupcake Stands, new Deluxe Clover cups, and a couple other goodies totaling almost 30 pots.

Valenspringtine 2016 goes live Friday, January 29th
at Noon EST in my online Etsy shop!*

Happy Valenspringtine! 

Kristen Kieffer Cupcake and Cake stand  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover Super Stripe Red w. TulipKristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover Cup Colorful Polka Dots  Kristen Kieffer Compote Pedestal bowlKristen Kieffer Stamped mugs Blue Flowers  Kristen Kieffer Cupcake stand in ButtercupKristen Kieffer Compote Pedestal Fruit Bowl  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover Cup Black dots w. Tulips

.

*Helpful tips: If not already registered, set up an Etsy account to purchase. ‘In cart’ does not equal ‘in hand.’ First to complete their payment makes the nab. Refresh your browser to make sure you are seeing all that are listed and available. 

Forms I at Schaller

Teapot by Kristen Kieffer  Covered jar by Kristen KiefferPitcher by Kristen Kieffer  Screen vase pair by Kristen Kieffer

.
I’m delighted to be included in Schaller Gallery‘s online invitational exhibition Forms I. Thirteen makers from all over the country were each invited to send a teapot, jar, pitcher, and vase. (My grouping of four is pictured above.) It’s always wonderful to see how different potters approach the same form, and this show highlights those delightful variations. The show is live with all work for sale, so click on over right here.

Forms I Exhibition, Schaller Gallery

Clover Origin & Deluxe

Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, 'Super Stripes'  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, 'Dot Florals'Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, 'Arabesque mods'  Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, 'Stripe Dot Florals'

These cups start, as most of my pots do, on the potter’s wheel. I then alter each form by running my finger up the outside of the wall in four places. This creates a gently lobed lip line (see image below), all the more accentuated when filled with coffee or tea, which is why I named them ‘Clover’ cups.

Kristen Kieffer original Clover cup and vertical Corset vase made at Guldagergård in DenmarkI began this cup shape when I did a residency at Guldagergård in Skælskør, Denmark years ago. It was a self-imposed challenge to make a simpler surface (the original had spare slip-trail deco, pictured left) in part because I was in Scandinavia where design is sleek and minimal, but also because most of my pots were completely stamped at that point. I purposefully didn’t take stamps with me wanting to investigate what I would do with form minus that deco element. They were also inspired by the Corset (vase) Series I had begun the year prior, which is altered in a similar way. (The vase pictured left was the first ‘vertical’ in the series that began as a lower, Kristen Kieffer Clover cups, lip detailwider horizontal form. I made and fired both of these in Denmark, and they are now part of my collection.)

Needless to say, this cup has evolved. Not only have I used this form as a decoration playground, I’ve significantly refined the shape while keeping the lobed technique and tankard, flat foot style. These are more time-consuming than my stamped cups because of the unique design considerations. The form itself provides a ‘frame’ within which I can make each side of the same cup different and collage lots of layers, thus I refer to them as ‘Deluxe.’

New ‘Deluxe Clover cups’ are now available in my online shop in four different styles,
with beachy stripes, joyful polka dots, and candy colors!

Kristen Kieffer Deluxe Clover cups, Super Stripes

 

‘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