Saturday, December 26, 2009

Warren MacKenzie, part I

On Christmas Eve Eve, I took Liam down to Brockton to the Fuller Craft Museum so we could see the retrospective of Warren MacKenzie's work that is traveling around the country. It was a beautiful show, filled with his strong work, and well worth the visit.

The layout of the show was a bit awkward, a hallway as the main entrance with a good sized room of Warren's early work off to the side. I really enjoyed seeing how his early influences (Hamada and Leach) informed his start. There was a really great video that chronicled his life and gave good insight into how he started. His work is so vibrant and bold while still staying within the old-school tradition.

This morning, the 26th, I reread an essay by Garth Clark, on the future of functional pottery. So much good stuff in it that I want to wrestle with, both in agreement and to parry swords. Life is calling at the moment so I will be back with more thoughts.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First Morning Coffee

It's the first morning of the sabbatical and I am caught between wanting to get to the studio and getting ready for the impending Christmas/Liam birthday (the 24th!) extravaganza. Still some shopping to do, as well as some wrapping.

Was reading Kristen Kieffer's blog about ceramic first loves and I posted a response about my influences (Mary Barringer, Maren Kloppman, Jeff Shapiro, etc) and I mentioned that I love my Julia Galloway mug. She was surprised that I might like something so beautifully ornate (and it is!) after listing my minimalist, Wabi-Sabi influences. I'll have to think about that...

I also love my Sam Chung mug as well and had the morning Joe in it today - see above. I took a workshop with Sam at Shakerag in Tennessee. He threw so light and thin, thinner than I had ever seen done. Then he proceeded to slice half way through the paper thin walls to create these slits. THEN he pushed out at these slits to open them up just slightly. Incredible! And the handle is just perfect! A simple single finger loop, perfectly balanced and soft to the touch. Maybe tomorrow I'll post Julia's...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mastering Raku

It is the last day of school and already I am looking ahead. I am going to be in a show in February and preparations have already begun. We are preparing the promotional materials for Steven Branfman's show and book release: "Mastering Raku". If you haven't seen the book yet, it is beautiful! Honestly, one of the best laid out books on ceramics that I have seen in a number of years. (Full disclosure: I have an image of one of my pots in the book).

Here's some of the info:

"Mastering Raku: The Book and the Art Within"

A celebration of the release of Steven Branfman's latest book "Mastering Raku: Making Ware-Glazes-Building Kilns-Firing" and an exhibition of the art of the contributors.

Dates: February 1- March 19
Opening reception and book signing Saturday, February 6, 5-8PM
Jared Branfman Memorial Gallery
Gorse Mill Studios
31 Thorpe Road, Needham, MA 02494 USA
for information; 781 449 7687

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Day Before It Begins

Today is a major snowstorm and we are huddled up in the dorm. Tomorrow is my last day as a teacher for the next 9 months. Noble and Greenough School has been kind enough to grant me a sabbatical and I aim to make the most of it. This blog will try and keep some record of how this time will be spent. I have been teaching for 20 years and I am really curious to see how wearing a hat other than teacher feels. I will be spending the majority of my time at my studio (Gorse Mill Studios)