I work at my home studio in Richardson, Texas. I recently “retired” after serving for a decade as Resident Artist at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas where I also taught courses on the history of ceramics. Most of all I reveled in the energy and curiosity of the students there. I earned my bachelor’s degree at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and my MFA at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. I then moved to the hills of southern Indiana where I lived on a small organic farm for thirty years, planted 800 trees, had a studio, raised a family, worked as the Editorial Advisor on Ceramics for Chilton Books, and taught ceramics at the University of Louisville, Kentucky before returning home to north Texas.
Assigned as an undergraduate advisee to Professor Richard Peeler, I signed up for Ceramics class and was hooked the first week. Even if commercial clay bodies had been available in those days, Peeler would have made us mix our own. He took us to the local clay mine and had me mixing all my own glazes and doing firings from the beginning. By the second year, he conscripted me into helping with kiln construction. My graduate school glaze chemistry professor, Margaret Fetzer, and longtime mentor, Karl Martz, gave me skills and nurtured further curiosity in developing my own glazes, which I still do. This includes the local ash glazes which I love, and which ground my work where I live. Each of the cups in this show has ash glaze.
I like fire. I like kilns with burners or that use wood as fuel, and in winter heated the house and cooked on a wood stove for 30 years. I fire most of my work at home in the gas kiln in my back yard but participate in other kinds of firings with friends. Community really can’t be separated from making or using pots.
A gallery of some of my work is on my website. I exhibit in a variety of exhibitions, participate in a local studio tour every fall and sell work at benefit sales at the Craft Guild of Dallas, which brings together artists using many materials.
I was born in Washington DC and raised in Massachusetts. Currently, I am an Associate Professor of Ceramics at Howard University. In addition to doing pottery, I teach printmaking and 3D design. When not teaching I am designing and playing games. Much of the time there is an educational component to the game I develop.
I had taken pottery classes as an undergraduate. But pottery became serious for me when I discovered I could make money with it. And the added bonus for me was that I could make functional objects that met my needs as a cook.
I mostly work with stoneware. I do all the processes available to me with no real preference toward any one of them Hand building, wheel work, slip casting are all points for departure. To get fast results I often do raku if food or drink is not an issue. I make about 75% of my glazes when working with stoneware.
My favorite piece in this show is the piece titled "Divided we stand united we fall". It attempts to address the two sides we face regarding the history of this country. I make a few works every year that address current social concerns. I was struck by the comment that there were a few bad/good people on both sides. Put water in either vessel and, strangely, it tastes the same?
I enjoy making cups. I enjoy trading/ selling cups. The opportunity to share my vessels with others is a pleasure. I collect vessels from all of my pottery friends and have a cabinet overflowing with cups.
I'm on FB and currently working on my website. I have an Instagram account, but exhibit nationally when I can so keep your ears and eyes open.
I am from Aurora, Illinois. I received a degree in Fine Art & Business. My early career was in commercial art doing graphic design and India ink illustrations for government and non-profit organizations. The imagery on my ceramic work references the scientific study of societal beauty standards.
I was doing a lot of commercial illustrative work and was looking for a different creative outlet for my own ideas. A local community college was the answer. I took some ceramic classes and was pulled in. Clay is outstanding because there are enough facets to stay challenged and engaged with it for many lifetimes.
I have a home-studio, so I wish to be careful about my mess I make. I use commercial products, so I don't need to be concerned about the dust associated with handling raw materials. The clay I use is English porcelain. I throw and trim the form on the pottery wheel. The surface design is drawn and painted on with under-glazes. It is covered in a coat of clear, gloss glaze. Using an electric kiln, the piece is fired to cone six.
My favorite piece would be the spirits cup named Face Sequence. Everything about it made me smile when I unloaded it from the kiln. The imagery fits well and looks clear and precise. I felt compelled to continue going down that rabbit-hole of thought.
The honest answer is location [in applying to this show]. One of the last family road trips I went on with my parents and brother was to Colorado. The four of us were spellbound by the state's beauty. Having the opportunity to share my work with you and to be in that gorgeous locale was my motivation. If I can't personally be there to enjoy it, at least my art can stand in my place.
I have both Etsy and Instagram accounts with the name ClayVein. You can see more about me and my work at either of these locations.
I am the owner of Flux Studio & Gallery in Denver, CO. For 16 years I worked as a driller for a geotechnical contractor. In December of 2016 I resigned my position and opened the studio. There I focus on small batch functional wares, for both wholesale, and retail. I also teach classes 5 nights a week, to about 24 individuals a month, from beginner to advanced students. I work in both stoneware, and porcelain, and focus primarily on wheel thrown vessels. Everything is fired to cone 10 in a reduction atmosphere.
I was first introduced to ceramics as a high school student where, we had an amazing facility. We had an excellent and knowledgeable instructor who, was well versed in several artistic disciplines. We also had access to high fire glazes, several kilns, both gas and electric, as well as raku firings, and many others. We also learned how to formulate and mix our own glazes from raw materials. It was a great experience, and because of it, I was catapulted forward into the clay life.
All of my glazes are mixed in house from raw materials. I run about 20 different glazes from traditional shinos, pale celadons, colorful copper reds, and too many others to list. I prefer the glaze results, and the translucency of working with porcelain. However, a rich and rustic stoneware mug can be just as warm and inviting. I fire in a 20cuft gas reduction kiln to cone 10, or 2380 deg F. I have been influenced lately by an old world, and traditional form. I share the building with a world renowned architectural antique dealer and have found myself drawn towards many of their clay and glass relics of the past, that are found in their shop. I have been creating the Tankards for some time now. I purchased an 1820's English Tavern Tankard and have replicated the form. The transformation of the pewter tankard to ceramic gives new life to the archaic, and eye-catching shape.
My favorite piece for this show is the Carved Porcelain Tankard Coffee Mug. I was pleased with the execution, and final product of the standard tankard I had been producing on the regular. I was making about 100 tankards a month and wanted to add a new twist to them. I really wanted to make the shape my own. So, I began to carve the body of the mug, and chiseled out the top of the handle. As well as create a more elegant, and ergonomic grip. The carving, it started as just random squiggly lines with no rhyme or reason to assist in catching and channeling the flow of molten glaze. After many failed attempts, and honestly some really ugly mugs, they evolved into whimsical, dynamic, and truly unique pieces. Where, I could not only channel, but direct the hot glass to accentuate certain elements of the form. I was inspired to apply for this show by a friend on SM.
My work can be found online in my Etsy shop:
In the Gallery of the studio:
377 S lipan St Denver, CO 80223
Our facebook page:
I am a homebody, a cook, and a family guy, which fits well with being a self-employed artist working from home. My studio and home, in the little town of Niwot, are very much my own creation with my own hands and my family’s patient support. I wanted to create it so my two daughters, Chloe and Susannah, would know what I do for work and to be around when they were, and I wanted to be able to support my wife, Ellen, in her demanding work. We love music, so instruments vie for space with pots and books and treasures collected from our travels. And a walk out back to the studio usually includes a stop at the garden and chicken coop. The four of us have made a very lovely, personalized home that takes care of us.
In the middle of working towards an undergrad art major at Grinnell College in Iowa, about 1983, I took a semester off to build wooden boats on the coast of Maine and get off campus. What my boatbuilding clarified for me was that I love working with tools and in three dimensions. Back at school, I was contemplating building a boat in the middle of campus when my advisor wisely suggested that I instead take the ceramics class. Ok, it fit in my schedule. I was already drawn to traditional craft and its artistic expression, but clay had such broad possibilities and deep roots—I was smitten. Right after graduation I decided to find a potter to work for, just to see if anyone made a living anymore as a potter. That decision turned into a seven-year apprenticeship at two different potteries and subsequently setting up my own studio.
My training is definitively production oriented, so I have always tended to work with those concerns in mind as far as clay, glazes, and the numbers of pieces I produce. I primarily use a locally formulated and mixed clay, as opposed to digging and processing my own. These days I am drawn to and experiment with many temperatures and processes, but I mostly work with a mid-range red stoneware that I electric fire to cone 7 (though mid-range porcelain, wood fired pieces and pit fired Ancestral Puebloan reproduction work all shows up in my studio). I like a quick feedback loop to see the results of what I’m doing, so I’ve slowly shifted from a 60 cu ft gas kiln to my small electric kiln. I am, frankly, a glaze mixing evangelist. Working with glaze chemistry, and teaching it too, are very important to my expression as a potter.
I think my favorite is the Desert Sipping Cup. Perhaps it is because it is the most recently discovered glaze combination I’m exploring, but this form is one I keep returning to because of its elegance in your hand. The glazes were a surprise in how they work with each other, but their feel comes right from the desert landscape of southern Utah that we visit religiously every springtime. To me, there is a perfect combination of control and surprise in the fired surface. The colors of this piece are all possible because of a layer of slip behind the scenes. This is a great example of why I make my own glazes. And that coppery gold rim—you gotta love that!
Mugs and cups have always been ever-present pieces for potters of all traditions. But they used to be the “loss leader” in the shop, the pieces that brought folks in the door and were sold too cheaply to that end. Now, cups and mugs are elevated to the complex collectible pieces they truly are, at least in the US, and because they can command such prices, they demand such care. I like that and think that is as it should be. I, like many potters, love to collect mugs and cups from other potters and know that we all use them as an important form for our self-expression—as well as to sip from. I consider Commonwheel to be a venerable Colorado clay gallery and I like to be included in exhibitions that show the best of our local potters.
Go to my website (www.markrossierpottery.com)—there is always work for sale. Follow me on Instagram (@markmudman), because I will soon be advertising sales there and you’ll stay most current with what I’m doing. La Veta Gallery on Main in La Veta, CO carries my work as does Radius Gallery in Missoula, MT. But the best place to find my work is my studio showroom in Niwot that is truly open 24/7 with a wide selection of my work.
Since 2008 I have been a studio potter and pottery instructor in Atlanta, GA, selling my work at my studio, local and regional art sales, exhibits and galleries. Sharing my love of working in clay, I teach beginning and intermediate pottery classes at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta with concentration in the soda firing process and workshops nationwide demonstrating my unique texturing process of pushing the clay.
My mother was a collector of pottery. We had loads of pottery all over our house and used it daily. When I had to take an art class in high school, I chose pottery.
I use porcelain, a cone 6 porcelain by Laguna clay. I throw, alter and texture my pieces. My stylized technique of creating my designs and texture is a unique process of striking and moving clay with personally designed tools. Porcelain allows me to sponge the marks after I make them at soft leather hard, giving the designs a lush and flowing feel. I fire my work to cone 6-7 in my soda kiln in Blue Ridge, GA. Sodium vapors glaze the exterior of each vessel, interacting and uniquely highlighting the form and surface. I make my own glazes. This allows me to get the exact effect that I want for my pieces in the soda firing environment.
My favorite piece in this grouping is the Dragon Flower Tumbler. This pattern flows nicely on the taller tumbler form. The results from the firing were exceptional (soda fired, cone 7). The copper highlights from the exterior reacted in a spectrum of greens. Because of the variation in the surface of the porcelain, the copper migrates through the piece and can be seen on the inside.
I was accepted in the show in 2018 and received overwhelming and enthusiastic support for my work at the co-op. Commonwheel honored me by placing an image of one of my mugs (the Bony Mug, also in the show) on the Call for Entry card. :~)
My website LoraRust.com has expanded background and biographical information as well as an online shop, featuring my texturing tools. I also have a presence on Facebook - Lora Rust Ceramics and Instagram @lorarust. I am represented by Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL; Ember Gallery, Chattanooga, TN; The Bascom Gallery, Highlands, NC; Macon Arts Gallery, Macon, GA
Lora Rust Ceramic Designs
Sara Torgison is a potter and sculptor currently managing the fine art studio facilities at the University of Dayton, OH. Sara grew up in San Diego, CA surrounded by art, music, sea and sky. She holds a BFA from Humboldt State University in Ceramics and has worked at various community arts organizations in the Dayton area.
I became interested in pottery in high school, but didn't really get into it until my second semester of college. HSU has an amazing ceramics department and it became my second home. I took every student assistant position I could get in the department, and slowly gained the knowledge base that prepared me to take on positions managing ceramics departments in the Dayton Ohio area (where I moved after I finished my BFA). I have been incredibly fortunate to work with local artists, firing their work and working alongside them in the studio. The strong sense of community among ceramicists has been a continuous source of inspiration in my life.
I typically work with cone 10 porcelain or stoneware. I either throw and alter my vessel forms, or hand-build, adding hand mixed engobes and glazes in layers. I fire in either gas reduction or wood reduction atmospheres and find that, while I often prefer the results and community aspects of wood firing, gas firing is my personal comfort zone and a quicker, less taxing process.
My favorite piece I submitted for this show is the reduction fired tooth cup, because it was the first one that came out using the engobe technique I developed and I was so excited by the results.
I had seen calls for the exhibition come up in the past, but missed the deadline. I love making and collecting mugs and cups, so the theme appeals to me. I am honored I got to participate this year!
My work can be found at saratorgison.com
I am a ceramic artist and geologist from Charlottesville, VA. I enjoy making ceramic work that incorporates elements of geology, both through form and surface and by incorporating raw materials such as native clays. My life and work have been influenced by my time studying geology at The College of William and Mary, where I was lucky to take multiple travel courses to study geological aspects of places such as California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Oman. Recently I have been wood firing as an Artist in Residence at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA. Along with being a ceramic artist, I am a runner and an animal lover.
I was lucky to go to a high school with a great ceramics program, where I took ceramics classes and developed a passion for clay. My interest intensified in my college ceramics courses, and as an Artist in Residence at the Cub Creek Foundation.
I prefer to mix my own clays, and the clay body that I use depends on what I am going to make and what firing process I am planning to use. For wood firing, which I am doing now, I like to use stoneware bodies that incorporate the red Virginia clay deposit present on the Cub Creek Foundation property. I mix the native clay into my stoneware bodies and also thin it out into a slip to use as a decorative element. I love wood firing and soda firing, and I prefer to mix my own glazes to accent my surfaces and firing processes.
My favorite piece in this exhibition is my Teacup and Saucer. I loved the process of designing a cup and saucer form that aligns with my current body of work, and I feel that the piece has quite a charming overall quality.
I was inspired to apply to this show because I have recently developed a teacup and saucer form, and I enjoy making flasks and whiskey sets. I love the idea of designing pieces for specific beverages and this show is a perfect way to showcase that!
Local Gallery: Red Door 104 in Farmville, VA
In high school I really wanted to be a special effects makeup artist and was told I needed to learn to sculpt to be successful. I took the beginner ceramics class at my high school and absolutely fell in love with ceramics. In only about 2 weeks I was hooked and making new plans for my future.
I have always loved throwing [on a potters wheel], however recently I have been embracing slip casting. All of my work is fired to cone 6 oxidation to showcase my vibrant color palette. I use a few commercial glazes, mainly celadons, and a few studio-made basics (clear, white, etc.), but the majority of what I use are underglazes. I love the boldness of the colors you get and the painterly way they can be applied.
My favorite piece is “Bee Cup”. I have been expanding my color palette recently to include a wider variety of colors beyond yellows and oranges, and I think this piece is successful in showing my imagery well without relying so heavily on my standard colors.
My work is almost all functional and mainly cups so I was excited to find a show for exactly that!
My work can be found at:
Instagram - @Saramicstudios
Etsy - Etsy.com/shop/SaramicStudios
Michelle Coakes is a recently retired art professor who owns and operates Bad Wolf Pottery in Taylorville, IL. Coakes has been making pots for more than 40 years and holds a BFA, MA and MFA in Ceramics (all from Northern Illinois University.) She has done post-graduate work at Wichita State University and the University of Southern Maine. She has taught at a number of schools throughout the country, including the University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University, Juniata College (PA), Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois, and two other community colleges in Illinois. She continues to teach pottery classes at Bad Wolf Pottery. Coakes is the author of “Creative Pottery: A Step-by-Step Guide and Showcase” published by Rockport publishers in 1998.
I was lucky enough to attend at high school in the suburbs of Chicago that had a strong art department. After being “hooked” on pottery in high school, I began taking pottery classes at the nearby community college when I turned 16. I never stopped. After community college, I continued my studies at Northern Illinois University, eventually earning my MFA in 1987.
I prefer to work with stoneware clay. And, I start almost every pot on the wheel. I often throw parts, alter them, and then, assemble them into the finished pieces. I have two options for finishing the work: some are fired in an electric kiln to cone 6, using my own glazes; and some are fired in a wood kiln to cone 9/10, using my own glazes formulated for that temperature.
RinRiI like the contrast I created in the “Porcelain Capped Flask” by using a porcelain slip on the cap of the piece. It is actually thrown stoneware, but I applied a thick slip, which acts like a frosting. The lightness of the porcelain against the darker clay of the body of the flask provides a nice play of values. The body of the flask has a Shino glaze, which provides a warm, orange glow to the stoneware clay. The piece was fired in my wood kiln to cone 9.
I am trying to challenge myself to get my work “out there.” When you teach full-time at a community college (where there is seldom emphasis placed on research in your field) as I have for the past several years, it is difficult to find the time to get work done in your own studio – and even more difficult to find the time to promote and exhibit your work. But, now that I’ve retired from college teaching, I am rededicating myself to my own studio practice - and that includes exhibiting my work, if I am so lucky.
I have a website: www.badwolfpottery.com
And, I have a Facebook page for my studio: www.facebook.com/BadWolfPottery/
Michelle's Ringed Shino Flask won the Overall Best in Show Award.
My artwork is about the connections that bring seemingly disparate worlds and ideas joyfully together. Animals and animalian humanoids appear frequently as whimsical characters. I feel a great connection to and influence from the world of dreams. Dreams are the mind’s way of processing and expressing intense emotions and experiences. These raw emotional connections seek to bring the viewer back to a place in childhood where the heart understood the world before the eye and mind did. Growing up in Cuba after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when being well fed was a rare luxury, nature was my toybox. Death and decomposition were a part of daily life. I remember feeling an innocent curiosity about animals rotting in the dirt, seeing beauty in their bones as I saw beauty in the creature that had been alive not long before. When I moved to New Orleans, I felt a deep connection to the way death is celebrated here as a part of loving life. The music and spirit of the places I have lived have deeply influenced me as well, and my work is frequently imbued with this music that is like a spiritual pulse.
Ramiro's Coffee Mug won Best of Category for Coffee:
I graduated from the Appalachian Center for Craft in December 2017. I graduated with a BFA in Ceramics and a minor in Social & Behavioral Science. I’m currently the Gallery Manager at the Craft Center and I also teach ceramics to high school students through the Appalachian Center for Craft’s Focus on Fine Craft Program. I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two cats and two rabbits. I also like to garden and explore the many waterfalls and state parks we have here in Tennessee.
While in high school, my art class took several field trips to the Appalachian Center for Craft. From the first visit, I knew that I wanted to study at the Craft Center. It’s beautiful location and amazing facilities was the best place for me to pursue art.
My forms are thrown on the potter’s wheel and then altered and pinched to leave my own touch, documenting my relationship to each vessel. I paint quick, expressive imagery using Amaco Underglazes, inspired by my perception of environments I’ve encountered in my life. I carve through my imagery to reveal my terracotta clay body beneath, providing contrast in each piece. This process is called sgraffito. My pots are then bisque fired to Cone 08 (1728 degrees), glazed in a clear glaze, and then fired again to Cone 3 (2106 degrees).
I mix my own Stephenson Terracotta at the Appalachian Center for Craft. I also mix my own white slip and glaze recipes. I currently fire to Cone 3 in an electric kiln, but I enjoy atmospheric firing, and have fired our Salt, Soda, and Wood kilns at the Craft Center. Salt firing is my favorite.
I enjoyed decorating my Red Flower tumbler, I don’t usually use red underglaze!
I was a part of this show last year, so I wanted to apply again this year!
Galleries: Appalachian Center for Craft Retail Gallery, Smithville, TN
I currently live in Dallas, Texas, with my husband, two giant dogs, two cats, and a constantly revolving collection of foster animals. However, I grew up in the Twin Cities and also spent two years in rural Japan after college. I work out of my home studio and spend my free time rescuing animals and performing at the local renaissance festival. Though I grew up in a very sheltered and conservative environment, my work now talks about sex, sexuality, and how they intersect with politics and society.
In high school, I was a ceramic sculptor, and I thought I would do that forever. I didn't think functional ceramics could possibly be art. That changed in college. On my first day of Introductory Ceramics, my professor, Peter Beasecker, spent the class showing us all how to throw a cylinder on the wheel. After the class, as the cocky sophomore that I was, I went up to him and said that functional ceramics was okay and all, but could I please just work on my sculptures? He laughed at me and told me in no uncertain terms that I would learn to work on the wheel just like everyone else. It turned out that I had a knack for it, and he introduced me to the work of all sorts of incredible potters. I soon realized that functional ceramics could absolutely be art, and I was hooked.
I work mostly on the wheel and then alter the pieces afterward. I use porcelaneous stoneware because it has the best of both worlds: the beautiful white canvas of porcelain and the forgiveness of stoneware when I'm altering and cutting up/combining pieces when they're wet. After I've finished the form of my pots, I use the mishima process to draw erotic line drawings on the pots, and then I surround the images with commercially available decals (either underglaze tissue transfers or overglaze water-slide decals). I fire my pots in an electric kiln to ^5 and use commercial glazes. After all that, I add gold luster and fire the pots again to ^018.
My favorite piece I have in this show is my martini cup. Technically, it was the most difficult piece to make of all four. I threw the cup in one piece on the wheel and getting the stem so narrow while still being able to flare out the bowl as much as I did was very difficult. Though I've made many martini cups and wine goblets in this style, I still struggle to get them right, and it's always hugely satisfactory when they come out well.
Of all the pots I make and use daily, cups are my favorite. They are the most intimate of all pots. Cups are the ones that actually touch the user's lips. Cups are what deliver the two most fabulous things in existence: caffeine and alcohol. Cups are life-giving. For that reason, I love all cup shows.
As an artist who is inspired by the natural landscape, I spend a lot of time outdoors whether it is hiking or attending the plants around my home. The natural landscape has always been a place where I can find solitude and direction during all moments of life. As a result, the work is both an encapsulation of emotion and a reinterpretation of the landscape produced from this immersion.
I was first introduced to pottery when I was in high school, but it was not until I began attending a ceramics club in college that I began expressing a desire to explore this medium further. After a month attending the club, I changed my major so that I could concentrate in the Ceramic Arts.
My preferences to making teacups is to throw them off the hump with either a brown or white stoneware. The Teacups accepted in this event have both been fired in a Cone 10 reduction. I also prefer to make my own glazes so that I can leave room for experimentation with the raw materials and how they respond to the clay.
My favorite piece accepted for this show is the Teacup as the form has been shaped to welcome the hands. When those hands hold the piece, the texture is a reminder of the landscape from which it was inspired.
I was inspired to apply to this show because the theme of the show is something I strongly connect with. The drinking vessel has been an invaluable tool throughout history. Appreciating this fact, I believe the work I make may contribute to this celebration.
I am 24 years old. I am from Illinois, which is also where I am currently working towards my Bachelors in Fine Arts, majoring in ceramics, at Southern University of Illinois, Edwardsville. In my free time I love playing with my two dogs, going on hikes, kayaking, and gardening with my significant other. I am also an avid traveler with a profound love for the Ocean, which is where I draw my inspiration. That being said, I will not be able to attend this show because I will be doing a work study in Italy this summer, which can be fallowed on my instagrams!
I first got introduced to ceramics when I was in high school, and then took ceramics an elective in college and really fell in love with the wheel. After that I realized ceramics was my calling and have been pursuing it ever since!
First Starting out I mainly used white stoneware, however these days I prefer porcelain. All things in this show are wheel thrown and then altered once they are leather hard. For the conch-shaped cups I cut them in half and reattach them to have an overhanging handle that is still a part of the pot. The reason for these handles is to hug the user's hand while holding it. Then the bottoms are removed and rebuilt using coils to create the spiraling base. The base for the Supported Cup, was a thrown bowl flipped upside down and then altered to fit that specific cup. The coral handled cups I squeeze coils to fit comfortably in the hand, then stipple them using 3 types of tools and attach them at leather hard. I create a variety of textures on all my pottery some are impressions from found objects and some are carved, but my most prominent texture is the barnacles. For these I had made a mold so that I can produce them a lot quicker, because each barnacle was tediously stippled. When glazing I use studio-made glazes, along with black slip and commercial under glazes. When firing I use cone 10 atmospheric salt kilns, because I really enjoy that the salt itself becomes a glaze.
My favorite cup is most likely the Coral Cup, even though I no longer use stoneware, the glazes I used on this cup turned out beautifully and I love how it fits in the hand.
My professor inspired us students to reach out to different shows. I make a lot of drinking vessels so when I saw the call for this show I felt like I'd be a perfect fit!
I am still working on an artist website, but my art work can be followed at passport_pottery on Instagram and my travels and other adventures on @tempo381 Instagram!
I am currently working towards my BFA in Sculpture are Purdue University Fort Wayne. I describe myself as a potter and a sculptor. I work primarily in clay, creating different vessel forms, as well as life size figurative sculptures. I intend to graduate in about a year and a half, then head off to graduate school. My ultimate goal is to become a ceramics professor and to be able to inspire my students to become successful and happy individuals.
I was in high school when I first became interested in clay. I was the teacher’s assistant for the art teacher and she had me helping her with an introductory ceramics class. This was the first time that I realized I wanted to be a teacher. I began working with clay on an old stone kick wheel. There was just something mesmerizing and relaxing about the physical process of kicking the wheel, steadying my hands, and creating something out of nothing.
I work with a brown stoneware made by Laguna Clay. I use this clay for both throwing and sculpting, making it highly versatile for me, which is what I love the most about it. We make our own glazes at Purdue University Fort Wayne. I have worked as the work-study lab assistant, so I have made every glaze that we currently have. We mostly fire to cone 10 and we have several kilns. I used to fire mainly in a Bailey gas kiln, but over the past two years, we have built a wood-fire kiln and a soda kiln. I now fire in all three kilns, it just depends on the desired effect that I am looking for. The three pieces that are within this show were all fired in our very first firing of our brand-new soda kiln.
My favorite piece is the Sake Set that was accepted for this event. It was the first time that I was able to create a set such as this one. I am just incredibly happy with how the glaze turned out, and the way that the glaze pools around the foot of each piece. I also felt that the glaze fits the shape of the vessel well.
I had a professional practice class with my ceramics professor. One of our assignments was to pick a few shows and apply to one. I picked five shows and applied to all five. This show also looked extremely exciting to me because I had just finished creating several different forms of drinking vessels and I thought it would be great to enter those pieces into the show. I also planned on getting an internship in Colorado, so I thought I might be able to attend the show!
I post my work on my Facebook page ocassionally: Katherine Gaff
Most of my work is on my Instagram: @katherinegaff
John Randolph Hamilton III
I am a studio potter living in Arvada, CO with my wife of 12 years and two daughters, 3 and 9. I am also currently an artist in residence and teacher at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. I have been working with clay for the last 16 years and began my professional career in 2012 after graduating from Fort Hays State University in Kansas. After learning the potters wheel and other ceramic techniques in high school, I decided that I wanted to be an art teacher, I then took my first pottery class in Junior College and began to pursue a second degree in fine arts specifically for ceramics. I currently sell my work in various art festivals in Colorado and the surrounding states, as well as Plinth Gallery in Denver.
I work with many aspects of making things in clay. My Rocket cups, tumblers and mugs are all wheel thrown. I love making closed forms, which began my idea of creating the rockets. my handles are made using an extruder and sprig mold for the bolts. My glazing is pretty simple but tedious. I use under glazes applied by sponging hand cut stencils, apply wax to my images and dip in various homemade glazes. The actual rockets are fired in cone 5 oxidation, the tumblers and mugs in cone ten reduction. The shot glass was created specifically for this show using the slip casting method. I began constructing a model using found objects and made a three-part casting mold where the piece is cast in one part and the details added on by stamping and the use of more sprig molds. I love the process of found object sculpture and mold making, so I would consider this to be my favorite piece for the show.
I was told about your show from one of your members, Deborah Hager.
Gallery- Plinth Gallery, 3520 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
James' Rocket Show won the Best of Spirits Category award
More potters in the 2nd installment of this Blog article.
interviewed by Juanita Canzoneri
So what is it that you do?
How is that different from what our other member, Teri Rowan, does?
I do landscape, wildlife, nature photography, and it’s not digitally enhanced in any way. So I just try to capture the image as my eye sees it. The only enhancement I do is so that I can match the finished image with what my eyes saw when I took it.
You’re working with a digital camera, so, in essence, all photography today, unless it’s film, is digital.
When did you start doing photography?
When we lived in Indiana, I started taking pictures of barns, trees, and some of the landscape. This was in the late 1990’s. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew I liked it. And when we moved to Colorado in 2004, I was completely inspired by the scenery here. We had an RV so we did a lot of camping and hiking and we would go to these amazing places and I really had an interest in trying to capture those images.
So, on my 40th birthday my husband bought me a “real camera”.
What did you have up to that point?
Just little point and shoots that I’d been using. But he got me a digital SLR Sony camera. So I started taking pictures like crazy. And for me, I’m entirely self-taught with photography. I’ve taken a few classes here and there since I’ve done this professionally with art shows, but for me it’s been a lot of trial and error. I had one grizzly bear in the Tetons I took over 500 pictures of and probably only saved a couple of them. But it’s been a matter of me learning how to set my camera settings, an my aperture setting speed and how do those work together, and what are the effects I get when I change those things to take an image. I still take a lot of shots of everything I shoot because the lighting is different in every second.
Because I take so many photos, I tend to spend a lot of time editing and I do see that as part of the art of this process. Sometimes what my eye sees and what I take in through the lens, when I pull it up on my computer it doesn’t look like what I thought I saw. So that’s part of the image manipulation in a slight way, not overworked. I don’t want to work my images so much that the become not what you would see in nature. My ultimate goal is for it to look real and I want to capture images in nature that other people might not be able, or privileged, to see.
I’ve learned a lot along the way how to work the camera to get the image that you want.
What is this camera you have here?
This is a Canon EOS 5D. It’s my first full-frame camera. A full frame allows me to take a very large image.
How many lenses do you have?
For the 2 Sony’s I have interchangeable lenses. I probably have 8 lenses for them. For this Canon I have 3 that I work with primarily. Mostly I shoot with my 50mm-80mm for landscapes. I have another that allows me to do extreme closeups for wildlife and a macro that I use for closeup images.
And I have tripods and remote-control devices.
When did you move from hobbyist to professional?
Shortly after my husband gave me the “real camera”, which was about 10 years ago, I put my images on zenfolio which is a formatted website for photographers. I thought I would throw some images up there and see what responses I got from people—and not just my mom who loves everything I do.
So I put the website together and put it out to everyone I knew on social media and the responses I got back were somewhat overwhelming. I thought people would say, “oh, these are nice.” But the adjectives people were using to describe the images floored me. In some cases, it almost brought me to tears. And I thought, “well, maybe I can do something with this.”
My first attempt at doing something was thinking “I have to get a tent if I’m going to do shows and I need to get panels to hang the pieces on.” And I found a lady who had 4 pro panels, which are usually $120 each, and she was selling them all for $100. I thought that seemed like a sign.
I got a tent for a good price and everything started to click. But the first thing I did was an art show in Woodland Park at the high school, a craft show, and I was in the cafetorium and the gentleman across from me was selling bed sheets and I quickly realized I was in the wrong place.
I sold some things there and my first official art show was at America the Beautiful park in a 3-day show with torrential rains. In those 3 days I had $1,200 in sales and I was over the moon. Reinforced by that experience I signed up for a few more shows and it’s just continued on. This will be my 8th summer doing art shows.
How many do you typically do a year?
Since I work full-time, I was doing 7-8 a summer and now I do about 5. It’s hard to work all week, do an art show, work a full week, and do another art show. So, this summer I’ve cut back to the fewest I’ve done and part of that is having the opportunity to be in Commonwheel. This is a new avenue for me and it’s been great.
The work you would store up and sell in a festival you’re putting out and selling all year long.
I was in some galleries apart from Commonwheel. I’m part of the Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City. I’ve been there for years. I also had work in various places in Woodland Park when we lived up there and I’m still part of the Mountain Arts group up there.
And I still have my website. It has changed over the years and I have to go take photos off every so often because I have so many. It gets refreshed because I realized it’s not good to have thousands of images for people to pick from, that’s too overwhelming.
You put your images on a variety of formats—plaques, metal, canvas, matted prints, coasters, and cards.
On the web site I tell people to go look and then tell me what they want, what size, and I can customize what people are looking for.
I outsource the printing of my images because I believe printing is, in itself, an art form. I will do some printing of my matted prints, but I even outsource a lot of those. And to have the size printers you need for a large format is a huge investment.
You’ve started putting images in salvaged windows. Tell me about that.
For a long time I had the idea stirring in my head. It would be so cool to get an image that was like looking through a window. I didn’t want to carry glass around, so I looked at getting the images printed on plexiglass but didn’t like the look.
When I had some down time this past winter, I did some research and found a bunch of antique windows on Craigslist and Marketplace. I picked up a few initially. I wanted them to have a distressed look and what was fun about that whole process was that it was something different for me. I’m taking wood and sanding it, painting it, sealing it, and trying to figure out what to do with the hardware. It became a whole new aesthetic for me. For the image itself I still have it outsourced but when it comes back, I need to mount it into the window.
I custom size the images based on the windows. I take the glass out of all of them along with the glazing and the glazer’s points. It’s been interesting and fun. And now I have so many windows and my husband is thinking I may have gone overboard with them. I have 15 finished now and they’ll go to art shows with me this summer if they don’t make it into Commonwheel.
You mentioned that you work full time. What do you do?
I support a project management software. It allows me to work from home so the dogs are happy, and I can usually swing my schedule to take off early on Fridays in the summer to go set up for art shows. My photography is the opposite of what I do for work, so it is a release for me. And this is the thing that I know is my passion—shooting the photos—because I can lose all sense of time, surroundings, and space entirely when I do this. It feeds my soul.
I named my business “His Beautiful Canvas.” I’ve had a lot of people ask why not “her beautiful canvas” since I’m a woman, and I explain that the canvas is God’s. I believe God paints this picture, this image, and I’m privileged to take it in and share it. And sometimes I share it with people who can’t ever see those places. There’s something about it that’s special.
There have been a lot of art shows where a customer and I are both in tears because of what they see in my photo and tell me about how it affects them. When it came time to name my business, I was jogging by myself while we were camping at Lake Granby and I heard the name while I was praying. It’s been wonderfully rewarding connecting with others around these images.
You joined Commonwheel when?
It’s been a year now, and it has been wonderful to connect with others who understand the idea of “feeding your soul”, even though we do it in different ways. It’s nice to be with others who get that.