This show, “Cheers! Drink Up! Celebrating the Clay Drinking Vessel” took the efforts of several people to come together. Deborah Hager and Nicole Copel, to of our potters, pitched the concept for this show last year when we were scheduling this year’s gallery events.
They brought in Vicky Hansen, ceramics professor at CSU Pueblo, to round out the planning group. Then, working in conjunction with ICAN (International Ceramic Artists Network https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/subscription-offers/ican/) we launched the call for entries on CaFÉ (www.callforentry.org) and waited. . .
Postcards were handed out at the NCECA conference in Pittsburgh, PA, personal contacts in the clay community were badgered, and we finally got enough entries to mount the show. As is often the case most of the artists waited until the last few days to submit their entries.
Denver, CO potter Peter Karner (peterkarnerpottery.net) was enlisted to jury the pieces for the show.
Here are some statements and artwork from some of the artists whose work was juried into “Cheers! Drink Up!”
Tell us about yourself.
I am first generation Hungarian/American, child of an Auschwitz survivor. Growing up with all the baggage of having a mother with PTSD gave me a unique perspective on the "human condition". From a young age I was drawn to ceramics and I use my talent to express and resolve issues in my life.
How did you get interested in pottery?
I had the luck of experiencing hand building with clay in kindergarten. The entire class was given clay to make an "ashtray", so necessary for all parents at the time (early 1960's). Since those were the "old days" when kids went to summer school for "fun and enrichment" (as opposed to because they flunked a class), I took ceramics every summer. In high school I was introduced to the wheel and I fell in love. I produced and sold pottery and also enjoyed sculpture for many years, and received my BFA from U.S.C. under Susan Peterson, and then my California high school teaching credential. As a single mom I needed a more lucrative income than art fairs, so I taught public high school ceramics.
Many years later, after my daughter went to college, I retired from teaching and we moved to Hawaii where I pursued my dream of being a gallery represented studio artist. For the last 18 years I have been successfully pursuing that goal with both pottery and sculpture.
Tell us about your process.
My preferred clay is porcelain. I love the Helios from N.C., but it is problematic getting it shipped to Hawaii, so I tend to use a more available clay such as Coleman's. Throwing porcelain is like cream cheese (BTW, if you haven't tried that yet, it is almost the same and you can eat your pot. It also makes a great thrown fruit platter, just make sure the bat is clean first😉).
What is your favorite piece accepted for this event? Why?
My piece is called "Flesh Mug". I have been sculpting the figure and wanted to develop a technique that looks like skin. I was playing with the human body and decided to modify a mug to look like parts of the human body.
What has inspired you to apply for this show?
It seemed like a fun kind of show...
Where can we find your work: website, social media, local galleries.
My sculptures are online at my website: www.amberaguirre.com, as well as in many galleries on the mainland (see website).
My pottery can be found in many local galleries across the big island of Hawaii and also Cedar Street Gallery on Oahu. (though at the moment Volcano Art Center is closed due to LAVA🌋...it's been wild over here)!
My work has also been collected and can be seen at the Honolulu Museum of Art as well as the Hawaii State Foundation of the Arts.
You can also find me on Facebook
Pueblo West, CO
In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself.
I am retired from CSU-Pueblo where I spent a combined total of 42 years as a full time IT Professional and part time recruiter. My college degree (1970) is in mathematics with an emphasis in computer programming and a minor in the sciences. My wife Chris and I have 4 children and 9 grandchildren between us.
How did you get interested in pottery?
I always admired pottery and many years ago, I found out that