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.