here - Ceramic Arts Daily
“Del Jardin de Eva,” 6 inches
in height, earthenware, by
Gretchen Haeussler, San Juan,
Puerto Rico, from “Ceramica
39 A Sojourn in Japan by Dale Huffman
Experience expands aesthetic understanding
43 Legitimately Lower Taxes by Mark E. Battersby
Hints for small businesses
45 Stan Welsh by Tobin Keller
Sculpture completed during the last ten years
49 Smoked and Pit-Fired Porcelain by Rebecca Urlacher
Subtle effects on handbuilt forms
52 Contemporary Puerto Rican Ceramics
by L. Robin Rice
Curated survey featuring works by 22 artists
“Yunomi,” 4½ inches in
height, stoneware with
crushed granite, anagama
fired to Cone 14,
by Dale Huffman.
58 Suze Lindsay by Samantha Moore McCall
Fun functional stoneware
66 The Yixing Effect by Marvin Sweet
Exploring the importance of tea in art
70 The Slab Paintings of Linhong Li
by Yuqian Chen; translated by Yufang Wang
Breaking from tradition in Jingdeszhen
working on a porcelain
form in her Eugene,
The cover: “Darted
Teapot,” 9 inches in height,
salt-fired stoneware, by
Suze Lindsay; see
page 58. Photo: Tom Mills.
72 Katy McFadden by Jan Behrs
Sculpture for garden settings
75 Artist’s Statement/Viewers’ Comments
by Frank Ozereko
Creator’s intention isn’t always what is perceived
101 Ecokarma by William Vogler
Recycling glaze and clay in a new way
103 High-Temperature Iridescence by Gary Holt
Love of glaze experimentation brings exciting results
California artist Stan Welsh with
works in progress.
12 Free Summer Workshops Listing
Deadline for April issue announced
12 Salt Invitational
Group exhibition at the Brookfield Craft Center in Connecticut
12 Clay Exhibition in the Netherlands
Vessel forms at Galerie Amphora in Oosterbeek
14 Marianne Weinberg-Benson
Chess installation at NationsBank Plaza in Atlanta
14 International Exhibition of Bookends
Creative shelf dwellers at Loes and Reinier in Deventer, Netherlands
14 Doug Herren
Work by resident artist at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia
14 Doug Eubank
Teapot featured at d’Art Center in Virginia
16 Scott Rayl
Panels and bowls at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, North Carolina
16 Crossroads in Clay
Third annual international exhibition in Ohio
18 Ardis Bourland
Functional work at Mamaroneck Artists’ Guild in Larchmont, New York
18 Ceramic Sculpture Exhibition in California
Mendocino Art Center features work by 13 artists
18 Farraday Newsome Sredl
Majolica-decorated vessels at Twist in Portland, Oregon
18 Bob Barry and Elizabeth Levine
Editor Ruth C. Butler
Associate Editor Kim Nagorski
Assistant Editor Connie Belcher
Assistant Editor H. Anderson Turner III
Editorial Assistant Renee Fairchild
Production Specialist Robin Chukes
Advertising Manager Steve Hecker
Customer Service Mary R. Hopkins
Circulation Administrator Mary E. May
Publisher Mark Mecklenborg
Editorial, Advertising and Circulation Offices
735 Ceramic Place
Post Office Box 6102
Westerville, Ohio 43086-6102
Telephone: (614) 523-1660
Fax: (614) 891-8960
E-mail: [email protected]
New York artists at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming
20 Guardians of Technology by Joyce Kris toffy-Hewlett
Architectural installation at the University of Texas, Pan American
22 Antonio Tobias Mendez
Figurative work at the Hodson Gallery at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland
24 John Berry
Teapots on view at Arlesford Gallery near Winchester, England
24 Kathryn Story by Lisa Mandelkern
Installation at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
24 Susan Goldstein and Larry Watson
Member’s show of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen
26 Gail Kendall and Jeff Oestreich
Functional vessels at Gallery 1021: Lill Street in Chicago
26 Simon Ho
Sculptural work at Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia
26 The Suomi International College of Art + Design
First design school in the U.S. to use Finnish education methods
28 Dharma Strasser
Wall installations at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York City
28 Ceramic Sculpture by Women Artists
Exhibition at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York
30 New Books
78 Call For Entries
United States Exhibitions
Fairs, Festivals and Sales
Group Ceramics Exhibitions
Ceramics in Multimedia Exhibitions
Fairs, Festivals and Sales
115 Classified Advertising
Discovering Clay Therapy by Leslie A. Ihde
120 Index to Advertisers
Ceramics Monthly (ISSN 0009-0328) is published monthly,
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Copyright © 1999
The American Ceramic Society
All rights reserved
of the symbolism they added to the CaliforThere is no mention of postfire reduction in
nia red clay mix.
any of the Japanese writing on raku pottery.
It stressed my abilities and knowledge toAlso I believe that Hal Riegger, along with
get this pot made successfully, what with Paul Soldner, was the first to suggest postfir
Ashes to Ashes
some 16 different people involved in its ing reduction for enhancement of the glaze
They were friends for over 50 years, since
construction, most of whom had never color effects.
handled clay before. So, not only were some For a number of years, at least 14,1 have
before they were married. Of the 10 children
they raised, three of the boys came on the of the cremation ashes added to help to open
devoted all of my pottery efforts to raku; I
week-long pottery workshops I held outdoors
up the clay body, but sand was added as well.
have been calling my work “American-style
in various parts of the Western states in theThis helped cut down on shrinkage and raku.” I have had many write-ups where I
1960s and 1970s. I called it “primitive potavoid joint cracks.
referred to my raku as such.
tery” then; today, most call it pit firing. The The project was to be finished in three
I do hope we can come up with some
boys were well acquainted with odd clays weeks, in time for a celebration of her life. word or short group of words that we can call
found on site on these trips, as well as the Therefore, the pit firing was replaced by a our style of so-called “raku.”
intricacies of firing without a kiln and usingregular electric kiln firing to Cone 4.
One thing is true: I get a lot of enjoyment
anything from tires to dung as fuel.
Quite a man with the camera (he’ll take from this method of firing, what with all the
reduction effects that I can come
The mother passed away recently, and itpictures of the family in any circumstances postfiring
was the family’s unanimous decision to make
the drop of a hat), the surviving father tookup with.
of most of the operation. More than
Bob Hayden, Nampa, Idaho
a clay container for the ashes. Everyone in photos
family who was here would take part in the technical side of the project, they reflect
Making It as an Artist
making this handbuilt pot. Not only were the
the children, now parents in their own rights,
each taking his or her turn working with clay. Being a concerned future artist, I have yet
ashes to be contained in the pot, but because
The pot was fired successfully and now to see an article related to not just surviving
but making it as an artist. From the public to
has a special place in this home of two people
I’ve known and loved for so many years. Asmya professors here at Northern Illinois Uni
versity, I have not heard an encouraging
material, clay is considered a very therapeutic
word about the possibility of graduate stu
dents succeeding as artists—not as full-time
teachers, janitors or security guards, but as
full-time artists. Please publish articles on
students who have gone through art school
and are succeeding in the art world.
Son, granddaughter and daughterPhilip Prisco, Aurora, 111.
in-law working on pot.
One of the things I’ve found hard to find
information on is the process of getting
started in the small-business industry. Please
publish more success stories (and even fail
ures) to give those of us just out of college
Amy Montgomery, Goshen, Ind.
Father, Chalmer Johnson, adds
the finishing touches.
In keeping with our commitment to provide
an open forum for the exchange of ideas
and opinions, the editors welcome letters
from all readers. All letters must be signed,
but names will be withheld on request. Mail
to Ceramics Monthly, PO Box 6102,
Westerville, OH 43086-6102, e-mail to
[email protected] or fax to
I’d like some exposure to the history, as
well as cutting-edge art, but mainly I need
different how-to techniques that I can use to
alive in this competitive business. If I
Completed pot drying before firing
can’t make a living, I can’t experiment with
to Cone 4 in an electric kiln.
new art forms.
Georgia Xydes, Austin, Tex.
substance. In this case, it was especially so,
helping the family through its grief.
A Tool for Education
What more can one ask of clay?
I enjoy Ceramics Monthly tot its detailed
Hal Riegger, Gridley, Calif.
pictures and interviewslprofiles of artists. It
does not make a person better in ceramics; it
More on Raku
I agree with Richard Garriott-Stejskal, is more a tool for education. Like wow—how
did he make that? Maybe I can do that, too.
November 1998 issue, in regards to describ
ing our work as raku in the traditional senseThen there are the ideas from around the
of Japanese pottery. He had most of his facts
world, as well as an idea of how much my
correct, but there were a few errors:
stuff is worth.
Robert Dennon, Scranton, Pa.
Raku was not a family name when the
ideogram was given to the son of Chojiro.
The Emperor liked Chojiro, an imported Down to Earth
Korean potter, but had forced him (Chojiro) I enjoy every aspect of Ceramics Monthly.
to commit suicide. The Emperor thought It’s the only art magazine I read from cover
that he was to be overthrown by Chojiro. To
to cover, and enjoy over and over. I’ve had
other art magazines dealing with painting,
prove his loyalty, Chojiro committed suicide.
etc., and they speak a language that’s difficult
to understand. CM is honest and down to
earth—like every potter I’ve met so far.
Perhaps it’s the medium we use!
Deborah Blackwell, Delavan, Wis.
I would like to see critical reviews of
exhibitions—especially of functional work.
Not just descriptionlpraiselhow-to. Try to
upgrade the reader’s dialogue from function!
nonfunction to strong work/weak work.
Geoffrey Wheeler, Holland, Mich.
There is a fine line where craft enters the
realm of art. More discussions of how and
when a potter evolves into an artist is appreci
ated. Here in the South, such a transition or
metamorphosis is impossible.
Anna Gundlach, Walland, Tenn.
What I know about ceramics probably
makes me dangerous. I often look to Ceram
ics Monthly for guidance and ideas. I am most
interested in articles that teach and provide
how-to information as opposed to those that
are little more than a platform to display an
A. E. “Gene”Denny, Longview, Wash.
Materials Information Needed
Please assist us potters by including more
information on raw materials availability
(price, producerlsupplier, etc.) and function.
Amy Gossett, Rome, Ga.
The American Ceramic Society’s annual
Potters Guide provides just the type of infor
mation you seek; it contains hundreds of
listings for ceramics manufacturers, suppliers
and services, plus a geographic locator to help
you find those companies nearest to you. See
Gauging Supply Purchases
As retail manager of a Bay Area ceramics
supply company, I consider Ceramics
Monthly required reading each month.
Without a doubt, it helps gauge what our
customers will be looking for (i.e., raw
material ingredients from recipes, books)
and talking about.
Meredith Winer, Emeryville, Calif.
Thanks very much for the photo and
description of my piece in the article “The
Attraction of the Intimate” in the November
issue. However, I live in Westmount, Que
bec, not Ontario.
Claire Salzberg, Westmount, Que., Canada
Free Summer Workshops Listing
The 1999 “Summer Workshops” listing will appear in the April
issue of Ceramics Monthly. Potters, craft schools, colleges/
universities or other art/craft institutions are invited to submit
information about summer ceramics programs (regularly
scheduled classes are excluded) by February 1. Simply provide
the workshop name and/or a synopsis of what will be covered,
location, opening and closing dates, level of instruction,
instructors name, languages spoken, fee(s), contact address, plus
a telephone number that potential participants may call for
details. Captioned slides from last years workshops are welcome
and will be considered for publication in this listing.
Please mail information and slides to Summer Workshops,
Ceramics Monthly, Post Office Box 6102, Westerville, Ohio
43086-6102. Announcements may also be e-mailed to
[email protected] or faxed to (614) 891-8960.
The Brookfield Craft Center in Connecticut presented the
exhibition “Salt Fired: Form and Surface.” Focusing on sculp
tural forms within functional boundaries, the show featured
more than 25 works by 11 artists—Joseph Bennion, Spring
Richard Launder’s “Double Offering I,” 43 inches
in height, residual salt fired.
Robert Compton’s “Salt Box,” 5 inches in height,
thrown and altered; at Brookfield (Connecticut)
City, Utah; Rick Berman, Atlanta, Georgia; Robert Compton,
Bristol, Vermont; Greg Federighi, Seattle; Terry Gess, Penland,
North Carolina; Michael Kline, Worthington, Massachusetts;
Richard Launder, Bergen, Netherlands; Jeff Oestreich, Taylor
Falls, Minnesota; Byron Temple, Louisville, Kentucky; Bill Van
Gilder, Gapland, Maryland; and David Wright, Moorestown,
Arja Hoogstad and Nicoline Nieuwenhuis
Ceramics by Arja Hoogstad and Nicoline Nieuwenhuis were
featured in an exhibition at Galerie Amphora in Oosterbeek,
Netherlands. After applying colored slips to the surfaces of her
bowl shapes, Nieuwenhuis draws, scratches and paints motifs
Greg Federighi teapot, approximately 12 inches
in height, salt-glazed stoneware, fired with wood
to Cone 9 in a noborigama.
Submissions are welcome. We would be pleased to consider
press releases, artists' statements and photos/slides in con
junction with exhibitions or other events of interest for publica
tion in this column. Mail to Ceramics Monthly, Post Office Box
6102, Westerville, Ohio 43086-6102.
Arja Hoogstad’s “Tombuktu,” approximately 8 inches in
height; at Galerie Amphora, Oosterbeek, Netherlands.
from nature, such as grasses, water and reeds. Adding a thin
layer of transparent glaze to each piece, she then single fires
them in an electric kiln to 1050°C (1922°F).
Inspired by the architecture and patterns found during her
travels to the Middle East and Africa, Hoogstad builds her
works from a mixture of stoneware and porcelain that has been
colored with stains and shaped into slabs and strips. To establish
a rhythm and enhance the surface of her vases, as well as objects
shaped as towers, boats or sarcophagi, she often insets a few
wide, usually dark in color, strips.
“Games People Play,” a ceramic chess installation by Georgia
artist Marianne Weinberg-Benson, was on view recently at
NationsBank Plaza in Atlanta. While the forms are based on the
characters from the game of chess, the drawings on each piece
depict the psychological
and emotional games
that people play with
each other, focusing on
the conscious and
tions of individuals and
their efforts to control
their environment, their
relationships and their
Thrown from porce
lain and joined together
while still damp, each
piece is partially glazed
(with specific areas
masked off), fired and
“Honey you have my total
attention,” 15 inches in height,
pastels, Weinbergwheel-thrown porcelain; at
Benson then draws an
NationsBank Plaza, Atlanta.
image on the unglazed
surface. “The pastels allow for an immediacy and spontaneity in
the drawings as well as a larger palette of colors than any glazed
surface would accommodate,” she says.
Bookmarket of Deventer, the show featured 1 to 3 bookends by
29 artists from France, Germany, Great Britain, the Nether
lands, Norway and Spain.
Vessels by resident artist Doug Herren were exhibited at the
Clay Studio in Philadelphia. While the main part of his work
centers around thrown pottery forms, Herren is increasingly
using handbuilding and sculptural techniques to create massive
Doug Herren’s “Open-Weave Platter,” 27 inches in
height, slab built; at the Clay Studio, Philadelphia.
lidded jars, vases, platters, etc. To highlight the variety of forms
and textures, he adds little decoration, preferring a monochro
“Through this focus upon the sheer physicality of the clay
medium, I work to incorporate and contrast a broad range of
effects,” he says, “from the pillowy and sinuous qualities offered
by throwing, through the more complex, calligraphic and
architectural-industrial effects found in handbuilding.”
A salt-fired stoneware teapot by North Carolina potter Doug
Eubank was featured in the eighth annual “Mid-Atlantic Art
Exhibition.” Presented at d’Art Center in Norfolk, Virginia, the
show was open to fine art and craft in two and three dimen-
International Exhibition of Bookends
“Boek and Steunen,” an international exhibition of ceramic
bookends, was presented at Loes and Reinier in Deventer, Neth
erlands. Commemorating the tenth anniversary of the yearly
Paulien Ploeger bookends, approximately 5½ inches in
height, earthenware and salt-glazed stoneware; at
Loes and Reinier, Deventer, Netherlands.
Doug Eubank’s “Wavy Teapot,” 14 inches in height,
handbuilt, salt fired, stoneware, $400; at d’Art Center,
sions. Selections were made by juror William J. Hennessey,
director of the Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk).
A series of slab-built ceramic panels and bowls by Fairview,
North Carolina, artist Scott Rayl was featured recently at the
Folk Art Center in Asheville, North Carolina. A graduate of
ity, craftsmanship and diversity come to mind. However, in the
end, personal taste plays the largest role and, after all, this is why
someone is asked to be a juror.
“As a potter, I was pleased to see the range of utilitarian wares
submitted to the competition. The art form of utilitarian
pottery is unique because of its association with food and daily
Gerard Ferrari’s “Tea Pot,” 15 inches in height, $1300.
Scott Rayl’s “David and Goliath,” 10 inches in height,
earthenware panel with various slips and underglazes,
$250; at the Folk Art Center, Asheville, North Carolina.
Tulane University in New Orleans with degrees in anthropology
and studio art, Rayl combined both interests in producing the
forms on view.
“The mystery and allure of ancient art has intrigued me for
years,” he commented. “I try to capture some of that cryptic
quality in my own work by mentally placing myself in the same
time and location of a particular ancient culture, then exploring
how I would express my faith and understanding of scripture
using that cultures artistic imagery.”
To achieve the look of an archaeological artifact, Rayl usually
begins by rolling out slabs of clay and allowing them to become
bone dry. The edges are snapped off, then the surface is painted
with a slip and the piece is fired. After transferring a line draw
ing to the fired surface, Rayl applies colored slips, stains and
underglazes. The slab is fired again to Cone 06-04. Occasion
ally, a piece is fired for a third time, then more color is added
with acrylic paints.
Bede Clarke’s “Language Door,” 18 inches in height,
$500; at the Middletown (Ohio) Fine Arts Center.
use. With pottery, daily rituals of nourishment can nurture our
souls as well as our bodies.
“Humor is an element included in the exhibit,” he contin
ued, “a subtle and elusive quality worthy of recognition. Obses
sion is another quality I enjoy in work. Seeing very obsessive
work makes me curious about the person who makes it. Some
times it is the pure simplicity of a piece that stands out.
“Wood firing has become a common technique used in our
Crossroads in Clay
field and, unfortunately, much of the work being done with it
For the recent “Miami Valley Third Annual Crossroads in Clay has become predictable and boring. The technique of raku
Exhibition,” juror Josh DeWeese, director of the Archie Bray
firing suffers in this way also,” DeWeese concluded. “However,
Foundation in Montana, selected 60 works by 57 artists from
there are those artists who continue to explore these techniques
across the United States. “When asked to jury a competition
in new and innovative ways, revealing wonderful surface treat
such as this, one must try to establish some kind of criteria for ments resulting in the fire. It is often a question of whether the
judging the work,” DeWeese commented. “Words like original technique is appropriate for a particular piece or not. Successful
work employs the magic of the fire as an element, while not
relying entirely on the grace of the kiln to bring it success.”
Functional ware by Coral Gables, Florida, potter Ardis
Bourland was exhibited recently at the Mamaroneck Artists’
Farraday Newsome Sredl’s “Vase with Fruit and
Magnolias,” 181/2 inches in height, terra cotta with lowfire glazes; at Twist, Portland, Oregon.
Oregon. Continuing her “investigation of the juxtaposition of
patterns with vessels that utilize both high relief and painterly
surface treatments,” Sredl has begun to address the idea of
“death in the midst of life.”
While the upper portions of many of Sredl’s latest vessels
are highly decorated, the lower sections are relatively stark,
with black-and-white (usually floral) patterns.
Bob Barry and Elizabeth Levine
“New York Ceramics,” an exhibition of sculpture by Bob
Barry and pottery by Elizabeth Levine, was presented recently
at the Fine Arts Gallery of Laramie County Community
College in Cheyenne, Wyoming. A professor of art at the
Brooldyn campus of Long Island University, Barry is interested
Ardis Bourland’s “Mr. and Mrs. Pot,” to approximately
8 inches in height, glazed stoneware, reduction fired;
at the Mamaroneck Artists’ Guild, Larchmont, New
Guild in Larchmont, New York. Some forms were thrown and
altered, while others were built from textured slabs. Soda firing
was employed to achieve flashing on the surfaces.
Ceramic Sculpture Exhibition in California
Works by 13 artists were presented in “Ceramic Sculpture: A
Fine Art View” at the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino,
Bob Barry’s “After,..,” 16 inches in height, terra cotta,
plastic and glass, $400; at the Fine Arts Gallery, Laramie
County Community College, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
George Timock’s “Raku Vessel No. 307,” 15 inches in
width, $3000; at the Mendocino (California) Art Center.
California. The show featured sculpture by established as well as
emerging artists, highlighting the fact that styles and philoso
phies differed from artist to artist.
Farraday Newsome Sredl
Glazed terra-cotta forms by Phoenix, Arizona, artist Farraday
Newsome Sredl were exhibited recently at Twist in Portland,
Elizabeth Levine’s “Serpentine Form,” 25 inches in
length, earthenware, $350.
in creating testaments to daily living that address the
“specialness of our everyday encounters with others.”
A studio potter in Manhattan, Levine began handbuilding
earthenware vessels after six years of working on the wheel. She
used slab- and coil-building techniques, as well as pinching, to
create this series of works, her objective being “to create func
tional serving pieces for use on a buffet table. The idea is to
create pieces that elevate food and at the same time are beauti
ful,” she explains. “These pieces have a sense of movement,
decorative texture and volume.”
Guardians of Technology
by Joyce KristoJJy-Hewlett
Once in a while, an opportunity unfolds in such a smooth,
uncomplicated chain of events that one wonders if it weren’t
predestined. Such was the case late in 1995 when I was chal
lenged by a fellow art professor to do an architectural ceramic
installation for the University of Texas, Pan American, in
Edinburg, Texas. For six years, two 12-foot concrete columns
with a brick lintel looking like “two oversized rolls of toilet
paper” had stood in front of the Student Services Building,
The “master warrior” was built on a 12-foot-long,
curved, Masonite form that was one-fourth the
circumference of the concrete columns.
which is also the computer center. As I thought about the
building, the architecture on campus, the area, the students,
the ideas started to take shape.
The architectural design of the buildings on campus has
been influenced by the Spanish style of architecture, with
Romanesque arches on every building; the student population is
about 95% Mexican-American. With this in mind, I initially
decided on a geometric design incorporating Aztec or Mayan
imagery as a starting point. While I was looking through boolcs
at the library, a photograph of the Toltec warriors in Mexico
jumped off the page at me. The columns in front of the build
ing were 12 feet high and 12 feet in circumference, so I knew
there would be room to put four warriors on each column, with
a foot of border on top and bottom.
My drawing was enthusiastically approved by the people in
charge of buildings and grounds, and finance. They made the
typically academic motion of presenting it to the President s
committee, where it was approved and funding made available.
Quite to my surprise, all I had to do was come up with a final
budget, which was soon approved.
While I was ordering the necessary supplies and equipment,
the university took over space in an old building about 2 miles
from campus, and the art department was given a large section
of the building for future graduate art studios—about 330x90
feet of enclosed space. It wouldn't be using the building for
another year, though, so I had all the space I could hope for.
When the ceramics department ordered a new slab roller, I
obtained the old one. Things were falling into place.
The first step in the process was to make a life-size drawing
of the warrior, as well as the top and bottom borders, to get an
idea of what they would look like on the columns. From this
drawing, a tracing was made, with tile cut lines added. On a
copier, the tracing was enlarged 5% to allow for clay shrinkage.
The top border has an arch over each warrior, reflecting the
architectural style of the campus buildings. To bring history and
the 20th century together, I inserted four math- and sciencerelated symbols below the arch: the schematic symbol for a
transistor, a sine wave, and the Greek symbols for infinity and
pi. A faculty member labeled them the “Guardians of Technol
ogy,” and the name stuck.
The next step was to make a form over which to build the
master. Constructed of Masonite protected with polyurethane
and covered with canvas, the curved form was 12 feet long and
one-fourth the circumference of the column. It was placed on a
table made of plywood with sawhorse supports.
Once the 2 tons of clay were delivered, I built the master
warrior. After it was completed, I incised tile cutting lines that
would be visible on the molds. I had budgeted money for two
student assistants, and at this phase of the project, they were
brought in to help make the plaster molds. Unfortunately, one
assistant soon quit, leaving Eloy Rodriguez and me to do the
rest of the production work.
Eloy rolled out the slabs of clay and pressed them into the
molds; when the clay had dried sufficiently, we flipped it out of
the molds onto the curved form. I then cut and cleaned the
tiles—all 2912 of them. (The space between each figure was
filled with an additional 7200 commercial tiles.) My major
concern was working on a curve, and what would happen when
these tiles were dried and fired. To avoid warping, I made the
tiles less than 4 inches across. The back of each tile was inscribed
with a letter, a number and an arrow indicating its orientation.
After repeating the process four times, we decided to take a
break and fire the first warrior.
We were able to fit one entire warrior, as well as a fourth of
the top and bottom borders, into the Jdln for the Cone 8 firing.
We put grog on the kiln shelves to act as ball bearings as the clay
shrank in the firing. I was apprehensive about the firing, fearing
warping or cracking or anything else that could go wrong at
high temperature. My fears were put aside, though, when we
opened the Idln and found all the pieces intact, still fitting the
form, with no gaps between tiles and column.
There was no uniformity in the color or tone of the tiles (due
to uneven reduction in the old kiln), but that permitted an
interesting blend of subtle changes. Leaving the tiles unglazed
also gave them strength and elegance, and the colors blended in
with the varying colors of the brick on the building.
The last firing turned out to be a mystery. All the tiles came
out a rich chocolate brown, much darker than any of the
previous tiles. The only difference between this and the previous
firings was that it occurred on one of our two days of “winter”
and it was windy. Therefore, we had placed kiln shelves around
the bottom to prevent the pilot from blowing out.
When we laid out all the warriors in the studio, this final one
looked like the “black sheep” of the family. A choice had to be
made—we either needed to remake and refire the entire warrior,
or mix and match. Deciding on the latter, we exchanged darker
tiles for lighter ones, getting all the tiles out of letter sequence.
The end result was an interesting blend, and I liked the look.
After the schools maintenance crew sandblasted the paint off
the columns, we were ready to start installation, with the help of
another graduate student, Fausto Gonzalez. The tiles, equip
ment and supplies needed to install the project were stored in a
building about one block from the columns. We were able to
borrow scaffolding, a cart to load up all the supplies and a hose
for the duration of our work. Each day, the three of us loaded
up the scaffolding and supplies, wheeled them to the columns,
then took them back again at the end of the day.
I laid out one-fourth of the column on paper, put Ms-inch
tile setters between each tile and traced around the tile. Next, I
put wax paper over the drawing, then 12 feet of nylon screening
exposed. We added a few rows of commercial tiles on top
and bottom to fill in the additional space. This worked to
our advantage, though; the “filler” tiles were a chocolate
brown and made a nice accent for the lighter handmade tiles.
We worked out a system whereby Eloy applied the thinset
to the column, I “buttered” the tile, and Fausto pressed the
tile in place. With the thinset mixed to the right consistency,
the tiles stuck to the column almost immediately. The setters
kept any heavier tiles from slipping down as we worked our
way up the column.
We cleaned the thinset off the tiles as we went along;
waiting until later would have required a hammer and chisel
instead of a sponge. A thin, chalky film remained on the
surface, however, until the final cleaning.
After all the tiles had been placed, grouting was begun.
First, we coated the columns with grout release. I was con
cerned that staining would occur on the unglazed tiles, but
the grout release worked wonders, and there was only a slight
film from the grout, which also was cleaned off in the end.
We used a brown grout, the same color as the commercial
tiles. Fausto squeezed the grout from an applicator, Eloy
pressed it in, and I sponged it smooth. For the smaller
commercial tiles, we just took the excess grout that had been
cleaned off the handmade tiles and spread it on by hand,
then sponged the excess off.
Luck was with us weatherwise—the sides were unusually
cloudy, which made working outdoors bearable. After we
finished grouting, we used tile and grout cleaner with
scrub brushes and a hose to wash down the columns.
Finally, we applied a couple coats of tile sealer, which
brought out the color in the unglazed tiles and gave them
a slightly waxy finish.
Antonio Tobias Mendez
Sculpture by Antonio Tobias Mendez was exhibited at the
Hodson Gallery at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.
Like most of his work, “The River” (shown here) was begun
by carving a solid form, then hollowed it out using a wire
loop tool. When bone-dry, it was placed in an electric kiln
with the lid open and the bottom element set on low for one
“Guardian of Technology,” 12½ feet in height,
handmade tiles fired to Cone 8 in reduction.
on top of that. A tracing was made of the drawing onto the
screening. The screening was then put up against the column,
and, using Sharpie pens, we traced through the netting onto the
column. The rough cement quickly used up the pens and $80
of our budget.
We used thinset with latex to attach the tiles to the concrete.
It normally doesn’t get really cold down here, so freezing water
was of no concern. The latex in the thinset would be sufficient
for any contraction or expansion that might occur. The grout
also contained latex.
According to the blueprint, the columns were 12 feet high,
but we quickly found that they were actually 12½ feet high; at
some points around the bottom, even more concrete was
Antonio Tobias Mendez’s “The River,” 14 inches in height,
terra cotta, carved solid then hollowed out, fired to Cone
04, finished with a dry pigment and paste wax; at Hodson
Gallery, Hood College, Frederick, Maryland.
day. The lid was then closed and the
temperature raised slowly at hourly
increments (over 8 hours) to Cone
04. At that point, the kiln was
turned off and allowed to cool
overnight. Finally, the piece was
surfaced with a dry pigment and
According to Mendez, his work is
intended to engage the viewer. “This
is true for all my works regardless of
the scale,” he observed. “Even the
most monumental of my figures are
sculpted to reflect the heart of the
person and compassion toward
Kathryn Story’s “A Chunk of the Pond” installation, with tile floor 14 feet in length,
earthenware; at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.
“Mostly Teapots,” an exhibition of ceramics by London artist
John Berry, was presented at Arlesford Gallery near Winchester,
England. Initially an architecture major at the Polytechnic
Kathryn Story. Entitled “A Chunk of the Pond,” it was com
posed of three sections: first, a 12x14-foot press-molded and
carved tile floor representing a pool; three free-standing sculp
tures, representing water splashes, were integrated into the floor.
The second element consisted of three 19x19-inch tile murals
in low relief and one 42x29-inch mural in high relief, all
depicting scenes composed of plant forms. The final component
was a group of seven ceramic wall sculptures portraying largerthan-life berries.
Berries are a recurrent theme in this installation. They appear
first as a small detail in one of the murals. In the next, they
become the central focus. Finally, in the wall sculptures, they are
isolated and presented as generic berries, viewed through a giant
The tile floor ties the elements of the installation together. In
order to view the murals up close, one has to walk on the floor.
Its surface is heavily grooved and the splashes present clear
obstacles, forcing the viewer to look downward. These splashes
refer to a favorite childhood pastime—skipping stones across
The images were built up with clay; the pieces were then
carved on the upper side and hollowed from the back. All were
covered with low-fire matt and glossy glazes of varied colors,
textures and intensity.
Storys work is inspired mainly by an appreciation of nature
and memories of the region where she grew up. She now lives in
John Berry’s “Head over Heels,” approximately
the desert Southwest, but still recalls the trees, dampness, smells,
19 inches in height; at the Arlesford Gallery,
moss and undergrowth of her native Indiana woodlands. She
near Winchester, England.
uses landscapes in a broad sense to express her concepts of
beauty, happiness, balance, unity and variety.
Regent Street (now the University of Westminster), Berry went
The pieces in this installation combine elements of reality
on to study painting at St. Martins, then ceramics at
and imagination. Including many references to time and space,
Wimbledon School of Art.
they engage the viewer with references to the mysterious and
His first job was as a hand painter and designer at a commer strange, as well as the familiar and nonthreatening.
cial pottery; during the 1960s, he helped found “Group One
Four,” a group of artists who exhibited in galleries around the Susan Goldstein and Larry Watson
world. Currently, Berry divides his time between studios in
An exhibition of works by 13 members of the Kentucky Guild
London and Poitou, France.
of Artists and Craftsmen was on view recently at the Guild
Gallery in Berea, Kentucky. Representing both traditional and
contemporary styles, the featured worlds included ceramic
by Lisa Mandelkem
sculpture by Susan Goldstein and vessels by Larry Watson.
On view recently at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces
Goldstein uses textured slabs to create pieces that appear to
was a room-size installation by master’s of fine art candidate
be fabric, while Watson, whose teapot is shown on page 26,
Gail Kendall fruit bowl, 12 inches in diameter, coil-built
earthenware with glazes and luster, multifired in an
electric kiln, $275; at Gallery 1021: Lill Street, Chicago.
Larry Watson teapot, 10 inches in height, porcelain,
reduction fired to Cone 9; at the Guild Gallery,
patterns, Oestreichs stoneware forms are thrown and altered,
glazed, then fired in wood and salt kilns.
Kendall s coil-built vessels are decorated with underglazes,
glazes and overglazes, then multifired in an electric kiln. Her
work, she says, refers to “manufactured ceramics in form and
elaboration, while employing techniques used in the earliest
examples of pottery making many thousands of years ago.
“It is to the private life of the individual that I address most
studio efforts,” she adds, “with the hope that these tureens,
bowls, teapots and other serving pieces will enhance the routines
and rituals that frame the intimacy of our lives at home.”
“01,” an exhibition of ceramic sculpture by Halifax, Nova
produces functional works with sculptural tendencies. Through Scotia, artist Simon Ho, was featured recently at Anna
his forms and surfaces, he hopes to make a connection between Leonowens Gallery in Halifax. Working with stoneware, Ho
function and nature.
Gail Kendall and Jeff Oestreich
Functional vessels by Gail Kendall, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Jeff
Oestreich, Taylors Falls, Minnesota, were exhibited through
October 31, 1998, at Gallery 1021: Lill Street in Chicago.
Influenced by his apprenticeship at the Leach Pottery in En
gland, his travels, and art deco architectural elements and
Simon Ho’s “Care,” approximately 31 inches in length,
stoneware with dry matt glaze, fired to Cone 6; at Anna
Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
surfaces his pieces with a dry matt glaze fired to Cone 6; some
are then sandblasted to achieve a “lighter color and impart a
Ho uses ceramic form, surface and color to express the phi
losophy of Taoism: “According to Taoism,” he says, “the whole
universe started from Tao. Tao created One. One created Two.
Two created Three, and Three created everything in the Uni
verse.” In his works, “form and space are used to explore the
harmony of the world and our life.”
Jeff Oestreich vase, 8¾ inches in height, thrown and
altered stoneware, glazed, wood and salt fired, $115.
The Suomi International College of Art + Design
Established in 1996, the Suomi International College of Art +
Design (SICAD) is a division of Suomi College, which was
founded a century ago by Finnish immigrants in Hancock,
Michigan. SICAD is the first design school in the United States
to combine contemporary Finnish design and education meth
ods with a program based on fine arts and business.
The college offers bachelor of arts degrees in either fine arts
(with an emphasis in ceramics, fiber, painting and drawing) or
groupings, then, come to represent precise interaction, raucous
conversation or an amalgamation of both.”
Focusing on the development of line in many of her
groupings, Strasser renders it in two and three dimensions,
design (in four areas of concentration: ceramic design, fiber
design, visual communication and product design). Students are “both by carving the surfaces with a metal drawing tool and
incorporating fine wire,” she explains. “The use of wire lends
also required to take courses in business and marketing, and
both a sculptural quality to the line and physically binds the
line and the form. The work is intended to convey a
conflicting message: that the line is both scarlike and aggres
sive, but also lyrical and inquisitive.”
Most recently, Strasser has been interested in the closed box
form. “Because of its private, inaccessible interior space, my
tendency is to question that space and abrade it to find what
could emerge,” she says. “The openings made by wire or
needle tool provide an entrance both physical and psychologi
cal. Like the vessels, the boxes are made in series, which
convey community. Their difference lies in the tension be
tween the rigid and the organic in the individual boxes.”
Instructor John Brookhouse and students during a
ceramics course at Suomi International College of
Art + Design in Hancock, Michigan.
Ceramic Sculpture by Women Artists
Intending to show the variety of approaches to ceramic
sculpture, and “how clay can transcend the craft aspect of
ceramics and become a very expressive medium,” curator Liz
Biddle invited six artists—all women—to exhibit their work
serve internships in business/industry environments so they will
have the skills necessary to begin their own business. Both
degree programs are meant to be completed in three years.
Wall installations by Oregon ceramist Dharma Strasser were on
view recently at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York City. The
installations consisted of abstract geometric shapes or vessel
forms (sometimes over 50) that were arranged on the wall to
create linear, circular or rectangular patterns. “By their close
Dharma Strasser’s “Cobalt Box Drawings,” 41 inches in
length, earthenware with glaze and wire; at Nancy
Margolis Gallery, New York City.
proximity and occasionally protruding elements, the pieces
create relationships with one another that can be at once an
tagonistic, playful, harmonious and quizzical,” Strasser noted.
“The groupings stem from a long-held interest in the cer
emonial and ritual properties of ancient ceramic vessels. In
understanding my own sense of ceremony, I found my pre
dominant rituals (or rites of passage) to be the English tea
ceremony (passed down from my father) and large, ethnic feasts
(passed down from my mother). WTiat binds these two very
different ceremonies is their element of human intimacy. The
Ann Christenson’s “Snowfall at Boiling River,”
21 inches in height; at the Clay Art Center, Port
Chester, New York.
in “On Fire.” On view through November 28, 1998, at the
Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York, the show featured
sculpture by Ann Christenson, Pullman, Washington; Eva
Melas, Sana Musasama, Sylvia Netzer, New York City; Cheryl Tall,
Stuart, Florida; and Martha Winston, Newton, Massachusetts.
Shown from the exhibition is an example of Ann
Christenson’s abstract work; “Snowfall at Boiling River”
utilizes incising and layered slips and glazes to achieve a
dialogue between form and surface.
Post Office Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North
Pomfret, Vermont 05053.
Practical Solutions for Potters
by Gill Bliss
“The best way to learn about making
The Life of William De Morgan 1839—1911
pottery is, of course, by experimenting for
by Mark Hamilton
yourself....Working through difficulties and
Obituaries on William De Morgan “re finding solutions to problems is part and
parcel of finding your own individual way of
membered him first and foremost as a novel
ist, mentioning the ceramics as a venture using clay,” observes the author of this wellwhich ended in fail illustrated question-and-answer guide.
ure, financially.” But, “Sometimes, however, a helpful hint or timely
as the author of this explanation...can save hours of struggle and
biography notes, “the frustration, and it is with this in mind that
wheel has turned full this book has been written.”
The text is divided into six sections—
circle” and De Mor
gan is now known for equipment and materials; form, function
and design; handbuilding; throwing; deco
his ceramic work.
Born in 1839, De rating; and glazing and firing. Often, there is
Morgan entered the more than one answer to a question. For
Royal Academy at age example, there were three responses to “Some
of my oxides fire to an unpleasant metallic
20 to study painting. He soon discovered that
he was not a good painter, though, and black. How do I prevent this?”
started concentrating on design. His career as The first answer notes that “many oxides
an artist-potter dates from the year 1869. need to combine with a glaze to develop their
In 1872, De Morgan set up his first true color potential. Copper and cobalt, for
pottery business, although he “was not a example, remain a dull metallic black if no
glaze is present. Check that your pots do not
potter in the sense that he ‘threw’ pots,” says
have any raw patches where the glaze is
Hamilton. “He employed throwers, but...was
never known to have thrown one himself. He
the metallic patches.”
always, however, designed the decoration
The second answer
which went on to his vases, plates, dishes and
tiles.” From 1872 to 1882, De Morgan pro
less oxide: “Dense, me
duced over 300 different designs for tiles.
tallic color can form
The imagery was influenced by Eastern
in a glaze where an
ware, the Iznik in Turkey being the most
overload of oxide
important, and Italian Renaissance art. His
causes a burning ef
experiments in glazes for tiles led to his “redis
fect.... It can be diffi
covery” of lusterware. “Luster was nothing
new; it had been made in the Near East, cult to estimate how thickly a solution of
Turkey, Egypt, Spain and Italy....There wasoxide is lying in brushwork decoration, but
[however] a certain amount of mystery at assessment becomes easier with experience.”
tached to its production, which was and still The third answer is to work with the
is very difficult, with a high rate of failure.”metallic effect. “Glazes that have an overload
After retiring from ceramic design work,of coloring oxides can be used to good effect
De Morgan began writing novels, some of on decorative and sculptural pieces [but not
which became best sellers. When he died inon] domestic ware, because the extreme quan
1917, the obituary in the Times gave more tity of oxides can seep into food during use.”
192 pages, including glossary and index. 611
importance to his career as a novelist than as
a ceramic designer. “It is more than a little color photographs; 28 sketches. $29.95. SterlingPublishingCo., Inc.,387Park Avenue, South,
ironic,” comments Hamilton, “that while De
Morgan’s ceramic work is eagerly sought New York, New York 10016-8810.
after by collectors,...his novels have been
The Art of Firing
forgotten except in reference books, and not
by Nils Lou
one of them is in print.” 250 pages, including
appendixes on a game invented by De Mor “The art of firing relies heavily on the
gan, his paper on lusterware, the marks on science
of firing, but it ultimately means
Morgan’s ceramics; list of locations where De
using common sense mixed with intuition
Morgan pottery can be seen; sources and and experience,” observes the author of this
references; bibliography; and index. 35 color
updated and expanded guide to ldlns and
and 10 black-and-white photographs; 8 firing. “Adding knowledge, most problems
sketches. $45. Trafalgar Square Publishing, can be dealt with, symptoms understood and
proving fuel efficiency, burner sizes and con The use of refractory coatings is also ex
structing a basic natural gas burner.
plained, as is measuring the firing process
The following three chapters focus on using such tools as pyrometric cones, pyrom
the panic element removed. Most firing prob
firing with wood and salt. Lou also provides
eters and instruments
lems will yield to a common-sense approach
a fuel-saving firing schedule to Cone 10, anthat determine com
if there is a fundamental understanding of the
explanation of firing up and cooling down,bustion
dynamic processes involved.”
well as controlling heat losses, burning wood The final two
The book begins with a look at the mateand sawdust firing. “Wood firing obviouslychapters provide de
rials used in the construction of kilns; typesrequires
significantly more attention to the signs for specialty kilns
kilns; and flue, bag wall and sealing solutions;
firing process than gas-fired kilns,” he re (such as a variation of
then covers heat and reduction/oxidation marks. “But, it is a reasonable way to go if his
you Minnesota Flat
atmospheres in kilns. The next chapter on live in an area where the smoke will not cause
Top design for salt
burners includes such topics as design and a problem, and where there is good access firing,
an electric kiln
operation, installation, types of burners, imclean, dry wood.”
with gas reduction and a temporary wooden
kiln) and troubleshooting tips. “Ifyou rely on
an objective analysis and use common sense
coupled with knowledge,” says Lou, “you can
solve most of the firing problems likely to
come up. On the other hand, it is easy to be
encumbered with habit and subjective re
sponses to various situations. Each of us can
diagnose and solve the problems. We just
need to know the principles and how to apply
them.” 96 pages, including list of resources,
appendix and index. 23 color and 35 blackand-white photographs; 22 sketches. $24.95,
softcover. Gentle Breeze Publishing, 490Kane
Court, Post Office Box621484, Oviedo, Florida
32762. Or, A &C Black Limited, 35 Bedford
Row, London WC1R 4JH, England.
A Tradition of Italian Ceramics
by Elizabeth Helman Minchilli
“There are more than 300 ceramic firms
in Deruta today, making it one of the biggest
ceramic producers in Italy,” states the author
of this nicely illustrated survey. “But if quan
tity may ring of impersonalized industrializa
tion of a craft, the briefest of trips to Deruta
dispels this view. This little town is a place
where the human touch is always in evidence.
The handcrafted element conveys itself in the
shapes, textures and colors of the finished
works... .Although certain steps have changed
over the centuries (with the introduction of
electricity), the basic
process remains very
much as it was 500
The book is di
vided into three sec
tions, with the first
covering the history of
Deruta ceramics, from
the 1300s to the 20th
century. Artists in Deruta had been produc
ing ceramics for some time when tin glazing,
later known as majolica, became a popular
decorating technique. “Although many towns
made their own ceramics, this craft began to
take on a central role in Deruta’s economy,
and in 1336, three auditors and attorneys
telli’s. After working 17 years at another make you think.’” 170 pages, including list of
factory, Margaritelli opened his own worksources, museums and churches, bibliogra
shop. Specializing in decorative and orna phy, and index. 166 color and 33 black-andwere elected to oversee the guild’s affairs,” mental pieces, he and one assistant “produce
white photographs; 2 sketches. $35.
notes Minchilli. “By the mid 14th century, only a few hundred pieces per year, each one
Chronicle Books, 85 Second Street, Sixth
Deruta had assumed its role as the regionalcompletely unique. Because of his extremely
Floor, San Francisco, California 94105; see
producer of ceramics....Production far sur low and unpredictable production, he rarelywebsite at www.chronbooks.com
passed what could be sold locally. Deruta had
exports his pieces. His dedicated clients will
progressed beyond the typical small-town ingly make the pilgrimage to his shop.
kiln to become a major exporter.”
“T like to think of my creations as books,
Design and Decoration
The second section looks briefly at the to be picked up, looked at, enjoyed,’ by Peter Lane
Deruta ceramics tradition, while the third Margaritelli says. ‘There is always something
First published in 1988, this revised edi
examines the Deruta of today, profiling sixnew to be learned from one of my pieces.
includes new illustrations of examples of
studios, including that of Antonio Margari-These are objects of attention that should
bowl and bottle forms by contemporary pot
ters. “These two basic forms, one ‘open’ and
the other ‘closed,’ represent the two extremes
of vessel shapes,” explains the author. “Most
other vessel forms are extensions or variations
falling somewhere between the two. It is
those differing proportional relationships
within these two ‘family groups’ that provide
opportunities for endless study and enjoy
ment, while the ele
ments of pattern,
color, tone and tex
ture add further in
finite possibilities for
Lane first discusses
variations, etc. Vari
ous sources of inspiration for artists, such as
ancient ceramics, nature and architectural
elements, are covered next, followed by a
chapter on decoration (designs that fit the
form, carved and incised, inlaid and lami
nated clays, textural variations, etc.). “An
interesting exercise is to take a simple, basic
form...and to work out as many different
ways as possible for treating the surface in
order to complement and accentuate the
form and, thereby, overcome its anonymity,”
Lane comments. “Although there can be no
guarantee of success, the thought processes
involved are certain to extend one’s under
standing and appreciation of that special
relationship between form and surface.”
Finally, Lane talks about tradition and
innovation in ceramics, including the “enor
mous potential” of using computers as de
sign tools. Working with “a graphical,
three-dimensional software program...can
serve to illustrate what might be difficult
otherwise to imagine or to arrive at by con
ventional means.” 256 pages, including bib
liography and index. 243 color and 202
black-and-white photographs; 164 sketches.
£30 (US$45, Can$62). A dr C Black, 35
Bedford Row, London WC1R 4JH, England.
Published in the United States by Rizzoli International Publications, 300Park Avenue, South,
New York, New York 10010; (800) 522-6657.
it fits in the corners of the mouth.” Finally,
Marshall throws a large bowl off a bat
placed on the wheel head.
“Making pottery is an evolutionary pro
cess,” he comments. “You learn by making
lots and lots of pots. Being a studio potter
A Northwest Master
Through interviews with the artist, sev means you must repeat your designs. You
eral of his former students, an art historianmust have the facility to be able to dupli
and a critic, this video examines the work cate your good designs, and that takes an
and life of ceramist/teacher/printmaker/ acquired amount of skill.” Approximately
painter/filmmaker Robert Sperry. Describ30 minutes. Available as VHS videocasing himself as an experimentalist, Sperry sette. $22.95; or for all three on one videocommented that he focused on combining cassette, $59. Free shipping. To order,
“the ideas of art and the ideas of science contact Derek Marshall: telephone (800) 497into something that makes kind of visual 3891, fax (603) 284-6237, e-mail
[email protected] or see website
sense to me.”
Most of his daywork was done in black-www. derekmarshall. com
and-white. “With color,” he said, “you’re
purporting to tell the truth.
“Trimming...leaves a strong mechani
“It’s not easy being an artist,” he ob
served. “There’s a certain arrogance that cal statement that should be muted in
goes along with it, or can be nurtured by it.relation to the pot,” comments Derek
I think that’s one of the main disadvan Marshall in this final video of the threetages to it. You think that the world thinks part series. Demonstrating the Japanese
methods of trimming, he uses sharp steel
that art’s important. And it’s not true!”
rather than the western-style loop
Sperry joined the arts faculty at the
these blades is not easy, he
University of Washington in 1955, later
trim much faster when “you
becoming chair of the ceramics program.
After retiring in 1982, he continued to get the hang of it.”
They are quick and easy to make;
teach part time as professor emeritus. He
died in 1998 from cancer. Approximately Marshall forms one from strapping steel.
20 minutes. Available as VHS videocas- These tools, he explains, “peel” the clay
sette. $25. Northwest Designer Craftsmen, instead of scraping it away.
Marshall uses chucks to trim his pots;
Post Office Box 31611, Seattle, Washington
tapping the chuck to center, he holds
it in place with several wads of clay. A coil
of clay is then placed around the rim of the
In this second video of a three-video chuck and allowed to dry for about 5
series (the first, ...center!, was reviewed in minutes, before he places a bowl on top and
the June/July/August 1997 CM), New taps it to center. Noting that “trimming
Hampshire potter Derek Marshall demon should be less time-consuming than throw
strates the Japanese techniques used for ing,” he goes on to trim several bowls of
throwing, for the most part, off the hump. various shapes, as well as a mug. For large
There are several benefits to throwing in pieces, he centers the work on a bat covered
this manner, says Marshall; for example, it with foam board.
saves time and it is easier to get your hands “The trimmed base of the pot must
around the work.
relate to, or harmonize with, the thrown
After wedging some clay and talking body of the piece,” Marshall explains; how
about the tools used for throwing, Marshallever, “in general, the trimmed surface
throws four bowls off the hump, using should not try to emulate the quality of the
three pulls for each, with an added pull for thrown surface. Thrown surfaces are plas
shaping. “The bowl is finished when it’s tic, undulating and smooth. The wellthe shape you want it to be and the wall trimmed surface is clean, crisp and decisive.”
thickness is equal,” he notes.
Approximately 30 minutes. Available as
To throw cups off the hump, he first VHS videocassette. $22.95; or for all three
throws the clay into a fairly thick, flat plate on one videocassette, $59. Free shipping.
form, then, with his right thumb on the To order, contact Derek Marshall: telephone
inside and his hands on the outside, he (800) 497-3891, fax (603) 284-6237,
folds the sides up. “The rim of a cup shoulde-mail [email protected] or see
flare slightly at the top,” he says, “because website www. derekmarshall. com
by Dale Huffman
am a potter. For nearly two decades
I have supported myself by produc
ing porcelain tableware. My pots have
been satisfying but tighter than they
would have been in an ideal world.
Several years ago, I was asked to
teach at two colleges and a community
college simultaneously. It was madness:
driving all over this county and into
the next, teaching ceramics, sculpture
and an intro to art history. At adjunct
professor rates, I wasn’t earning much;
however, the credit column held a much
needed break from the studio.
Then, in 1996, I was fortunate
enough to attend IWCAT (Interna
tional Workshop for Ceramics at
Tokoname). I had long dreamed of
going to Japan, but doubted that the
dream would become a reality. Five
and a half weeks working alongside
ceramists from around the world, while
immersed in a culture with a long his
tory of ceramic art, was overwhelming.
On returning home, I experienced se
vere culture shock.
I had no idea how fast the days
would pass, nor how much I would
“Tokoname no Tsubo,” 16½ inches in height, wheel thrown
miss Japan today. An express train, the
from Kotodai clay, gas fired in Tokoname.
Haruka, took my wife Betsy and me
from Kansai to Kyoto. Arriving around
dusk, we elected to walk the short dis little English, a little Japanese, and soon things like: “Where is the train sta
tance to our ryokan (bed and break
we understood where we were. We were tion?” and “How much does this apple
fast). We were captivated by the sights, about to leave when the man spoke cost?” My Japanese was occasionally
sounds and smells in the small back briefly to his wife, then drove us to our helpful, but generally unnecessary. Al
streets, so different from home, but ryokan in his microvan, all the while though they say they know little En
soon realized that we were not where apologizing for the lack of seats in the glish, some Japanese speak it well.
back. We experienced similar kindness
Japanese trains are clean, efficient
Outside a tiny appliance store, a from total strangers daily.
and punctual. We had gotten rail passes:
young man was at work closing up.
I had taught myself several hundred mine for one week and Betsy’s two. A
“Sumimasen, kore wa doko desu ka?” I nouns and adjectives, basic sentence friend had correctly warned us that a
asked, holding out our map. He waved structure and a few verbs—what I called train leaving other than the scheduled
us inside where the light was better. A “survival” Japanese. I concentrated on time is the wrong train.
PHOTOS: DALE HUFFMAN, MICHAEL RAY
Japan left me with vivid memories
of the ancient and the modern. On our
first full day there, we visited a temple
complex in Kyoto. It was an island of
tranquility in the teeming city. With
the recurring sound of a large bell toll
ing and slowly dying away, the smell of
the incense, the curls of smoke rising
past the background of the ancient
temple, this was a place seemingly im
mune to the flow of time.
Also forever with me is the rush of
rainy countryside past the window of
the shinkansen (bullet train). A mass of
bicycles at a crossing, then rice fields
raced past, blurred into impressionism
by the rain-streaked window.
Sometimes the modern and the an
cient coincided: as with the couple at a
festival in Ueno who were dressed in
magnificent traditional kimonos, he
talking on a cellular phone.
Japan is a potters dream: Fish-scale
tile roofs in colors ranging from iron
“Ocholko,” 21/2 inches in diameter, stoneware with Oribe
liner glaze, wood fired in an anagama to Cone 14.
“Tokoname no Chawan,” 6 inches in diameter, wheel thrown
from Shigaraki clay, fired to Cone 9.
“Sara,” 7 inches square, porcelain, fired to Cone 9.
red to a beautiful cobalt blue. Stores
with ceramics galleries and generous
departments of handmade pottery. Ex
tensive ceramics collections in the art
museums. Myriad museums dedicated
solely to ceramics—sizable ones, like
the Aichi Prefecture museum, and little
gems, such as those in the Seto-Mino
area. Countless ceramics galleries. Fi
nally, there are the potters “pilgrim
age” destinations, including the Raku
family museum, Kanjiro Kawai’s
house and studio, and Shoji Hamadas
house and studio.
Tokoname, a town of53,000 people,
is one of Japans six ancient kiln sites. It
has a ceramics history museum, a
number of excellent ceramics galler
ies, and many, many smaller galleries
and shops specializing in ceramics. I
was told that roughly one person in a
thousand is a potter.
There is a “Pottery Path,” a pictur
esque self-guided tour of studios and
ceramics sites—complete with a tre
mendous noborigama (climbing
kiln)—in the twisty, narrow streets of
old Tokoname. Additionally, there are
large factories that produce terra-cotta
sewer pipe, sanitary ware and tile, as
well as small factories producing such
things as decorative figures. Along the
pottery path are walls and foundations
made of ceramic discards: bottles,
crocks, sewer pipes, used kiln shelves,
saggars and shelf supports. These com
prise an amazing visual feast for any
one, but especially so for a ceramist.
Every summer, IWCAT brings to
gether clay artists from around the
world. In 1996, 14 from 9 countries
participated. We lived with host fami
lies and worked together at Higashi
Sho Gakko (East Elementary School).
Workshop staff and volunteers made
sure that we were well supplied with
tools and materials, and local potters
came to demonstrate. We also toured
studios and traveled together to Seto,
Mino and Shigaraki. Tokoname wel
comed us with open arms and sent us
home with a lifetime of memories.
Too soon it was time to return to
America. Boarding the train that last
day at Kabaike Station, I felt as if I were
leaving home, not returning. My host
mother accompanied me to the sta
tion. There were tearful good-byes when
the train arrived.
During my seven weeks in Japan, I
had been privileged to study, first hand,
Japanese ceramics and design. I had
learned the differences and the simi
larities among peoples half a world
apart. I had been shown tremendous
hospitality and kindness. I had gained
new friends, as well as a new family.
In an effort to explain the impact of
the trip to Japan to my host father, I
wrote, “This was my most important
experience since I finished college 25
My time in Japan served to push my
work further along the path charted
years earlier. As I have told friends, “I
went to Japan standing at the edge of a
cliff. While I was there, I jumped.”
I had gone with an admiration and
an intellectual understanding of a Japa
nese aesthetic based upon simplicity,
asymmetry and tactile complexity.
Moreover, I had been making pots for
years that were heading in that direc
tion. By working and visiting with Japa
nese potters, seeing great pots in
abundance, and becoming familiar with
a population genuinely appreciative of
pottery, I developed the beginning of
an intuitive understanding of this aes
thetic. I started to understand it with
my hands and my heart, as well as with
Periodically, I suffer from culture
shock. Here in America, as one who
has chosen to survive as a potter, I
frequently feel out of place. With clar
ity, I remember realizing that I felt very
much at home in Kyoto, despite being
unable to read signs or understand all
but the most basic phrases.
This feeling has persisted. I remain
strongly influenced by the Zen sensi
bility that underlies much of what I
experienced in Japan. I have vivid rec
ollections of my eyes tracing the
swoop of roof lines and curls of in
cense at the temples we visited. I still
vibrate with the plaintive sound of
the bell. Now I grapple daily with
how to integrate all this into my life
as an American potter. A
“Tsubo,” 10½ inches in height, stoneware with coarse silica, side fired on seashells
in an anagama to Cone 14, by Dale Huffman, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Along the “Pottery Path,” a picturesque
self-guided tour of the ceramics sites in
Tokoname, walls are made of ceramic
bottles and sewer pipe.
by Mark E. Battersby
ur income tax rules are quite
clear: if a ceramics-related ac
tivity earns any income, that
income must be reported and taxes
paid. If there are legitimate expenses
associated with earning that income,
they may be used to offset or reduce
the income amount before figuring
the tax bill.
That’s right, even an avocational
potter or ceramics artist must add all
of the extra income produced by the
ceramics activity to his or her per
sonal taxable income and pay the taxes
due. At the same time, the expenses
of that ceramics activity may be used
to offset all or part of the activity’s
income. For some potters and ceram
ics artists, there will be no activity
income, but a lot of leftover expenses.
In order for these losses to count
toward reducing tax liability, they
must qualify for so-called “business
losses.” Is your ceramics-related activ
ity a “tax” business? Do the legitimate
expenses of that activity exceed the
income it produces? It’s surprisingly
easy to qualify as a “tax” business; no
profits are necessary.
Every professional potter and ce
ramics artist should be familiar with
the rule that an activity must show a
profit in at least three out of five con
secutive years in order for the Internal
Revenue Service to accept it as a busi
ness. In reality, that profitable-years test
means only that the tax law requires the
IRS to accept the activity as a business.
Another section of the same law
allows small businesses, such as those
run by potters and ceramics artists, to
make an end run around the profitable-years test by utilizing a nine-point
test to prove that a legitimate tax busi
ness exists. With the nine-point test,
the potter or ceramics artist can dem
onstrate to the IRS auditor that there
is an “intent to show a profit” from
the ceramic art and/or craft activity.
An intent to show a profit indicates
the existence of a business.
In other words, if a ceramics activ
ity qualifies as a “business,” a potter
or ceramics artist can employ some of
the expenses that are left over after
the activity’s income has been offset
as “losses.” Those business losses from
the ceramics activity can be used to
reduce taxable income from other
sources, such as another job or sav
ings. All that is required is an “intent
to show a profit” from the activity—
not profitable years.
Naturally, anyone involved in an
activity strictly for pleasure with no
hope—or intent—of ever turning a
profit, should not attempt to fool the
IRS. The tax rules not only add inter
est and penalties to any intentionally
underpaid taxes, but there is also an
additional penalty for willful misrepre
sentation of facts or outright fraud.
Whether the activity produces a
profit or there is only an “intent” to
make a profit, using the routine ex
penses associated with ceramics pro
duction as tax-deductible business
expenses makes a great deal of sense.
Those business expenses, after all, off
set income from the activity. Plus, the
losses created from too many expenses
and too little activity income can be
used to offset income from other
sources. However, before rushing to
convert a pleasurable activity into a
pleasurable tax business, it should be
noted that business start-up costs are
not immediately tax deductible.
Business start-up costs are the ex
penses that are incurred before busi
ness operations actually begin. They
often include accounting fees, adver
tising expenses, travel, surveys, legal
fees and training. These start-up costs
are capital expenses and capital ex
penses are only deductible over a num
ber of years.
When it comes to the assets or
property used in the ceramics activity,
most potters and ceramics artists usu
ally recover costs for a particular asset
(such as machinery, office equipment
or even the studio) through deprecia
tion. Other start-up costs can be re
covered through amortization.
Depreciation is a tax deduction that
represents a reasonable allowance for
the exhaustion of property used in a
Whether the activity produces a profit or there is only an “intent”
to make a profit, using the routine expenses associated with ceramics production
as tax-deductible business expenses makes a great deal of sense.
trade or business, or property held for
the production of income. To depre
ciate is to systematically deduct or
“write off” the cost of this business
asset over a period of time, as specified
by our tax laws. With depreciation,
larger deductions are often available
in the early years of an asset’s life to
help offset the costs of acquiring that
Amortization, on the other hand,
means that the potter or ceramics art
ist deducts a portion of the start-up
costs in equal amounts over a period
of 60 months or more. If you don’t
choose to amortize those start-up
costs, you generally cannot recover
them until you sell or otherwise go
out of business.
As mentioned, the costs of getting
started in business, before business op
erations actually begin, are capital ex
penses. However, if the attempt to go
into business, even a “tax” business, is
not successful, the expenses incurred
trying to establish that business fall
into two categories:
1) The costs incurred before mak
ing a decision to acquire or begin a
specific business. These costs are per
sonal and nondeductible. They in
clude any costs incurred during a
general search for, or preliminary in
vestigation of, a business investment
for these costs. The cost, basis or book the activity may appreciate in value.
5) The success of the taxpayer in
value of those assets will be recovered
carrying on other activities.
when they are disposed of.
6) The taxpayer’s history of income
Proving a Business
of losses for the activity. How many
Surprisingly, our tax law doesn’t dif years have losses been shown? Are the
losses increasing or decreasing?
ferentiate between hobbies and busi
7) The amount of occasional
nesses. Rather, the tax rules refer only
to activities “not engaged in for profit.” profits, if any, earned by the activity.
Just because something is enjoyable doesn’t make it
a “hobby” even to a skeptical IRS.
Has this activity ever produced a
profit? How does the amount of profit
compare to the amount of losses? Or,
compare to the amount invested?
8) The financial status of the tax
payer. Do you have other sources of
income? Is the activity being used to
shelter other income?
9) The elements of personal plea
sure or recreation. Just because some
thing is enjoyable doesn’t make it a
“hobby” even to a skeptical IRS. How
ever, the personal pleasure or recre
ational aspects of any activity must be
weighed when attempting to qualify
it as a “tax” business.
Naturally, no one of these factors
will be enough to convince a skeptical
IRS auditor that a “for-profit” or a
“not-for-profit” exists or doesn’t exist.
However, taken as a whole, both pot
ters or ceramics artists and the IRS
Surprisingly, our tax law doesn’t differentiate between
can form a pretty conclusive idea of
whether an activity is a “tax” business
hobbies and businesses. Rather, the tax rules refer only
With a “tax business,” every potter
to activities “not engaged in for profit.”
and ceramics artist can create his or
her own “tax shelter” to reduce their
2) The costs incurred in an attempt What are your reasons for engaging tax bills—legitimately. With a genu
in a ceramics activity? Do you have ine “intent to show a profit,” reduced
to acquire or begin a specific busi
ness. These costs are capital expenses any prior experience in this area? What tax bills may even make it appear as if
and may be deducted as a capital loss preparation did you do prior to enter Uncle Sam is picking up part of the
tab for your daywork.
ing this field?
if you do not go into business.
3) The time and effort expended
The costs of any assets (again, even
the studio or shop), acquired during carrying on the activity. How much The author A tax and financial ad
the unsuccessful attempt to go into time do you spend engaged in viser, Mark Battersby writes regularly
business are part of the basis or book daywork? How much assistance do about small-business taxes for several
you get from others?
publications, and syndicates a weekly
value of those assets. A potter or ce
4) Expectation that assets used in column carried by over 60 newspapers.
ramics artist cannot take a deduction
When it comes to determining
whether a given activity is engaged in
for profit, the tax law clearly states
that all facts and circumstances must
be taken into account. Thus, our ninepoint test.
The income tax regulations con
tain nine specific areas that Congress
determined the IRS should consider
when making the decision as to
whether any ceramics activity is actu
ally engaged in for profit. These nine
1) The manner in which the activ
ity is carried on. What types of books
and records are kept? What changes
were made to eliminate losses? What
type of promotion is being used to
2) The expertise of the taxpayer.
by Tobin Keller
tan Welsh’s exhibition at the
Cabrillo College Gallery in Aptos,
sL/ California, represented work com
pleted during the last ten years—a pe
riod of many changes. Some resulted
from travels to Europe, specifically to
Savona, Italy, in 1990. More occurred
following a move to Santa Cruz from
Oakland in 1993.
Welshs interest in clay began at age
16, as a student at Claremont High
School. He studied with Jerry Turner,
who had been a student of Paul Soldner
at Scripps College. Welsh quickly ex
hausted the high school’s resources, so
Turner introduced him to Soldner, who
informally adopted Welsh into his ce
ramics program. “Being around the
Scripps pot shop and hanging out with
the grad students as a 16-year-old kid
was a great experience,” he recalls. “I
was also included in the graduate semi
nars that met at Soldner s house—just
observing and watching students show
slides and discuss their work. I remem
ber one time the graduate seminar took
a trip into Los Angeles to visit with Fred
Marer, to see his contemporary Ameri “A Question of Balance,” 46 inches in height, clay with glaze and
can ceramics collection, so I just jumped stain, fired to Cone 04, 1988.
into the back of the car. That was a
It was during this time at Scripps
that he met Jun Kaneko, then a gradu
ate student. Welsh was fascinated by
the large, handbuilt structures that
Kaneko developed—a direct influence
on his own work. “Jun allowed me to
quietly visit his studio while he worked.
I was as invisible as possible, just ob
serving. There was never any interac
tion. Just watching him was fascinating.”
In 1972, Welsh left Southern Cali
fornia to attend the Kansas City Art
Institute, where he studied ceramics with
Ken Ferguson and sculpture with Jim
Leedy. “When I got to KCAI, I remem
ber one of the first things I wanted to
do was coil construct big shapes. It didn’t
matter much what the shapes were; I
just wanted to feel the same energy that
Jun Kaneko was feeling. I’d also discov
ered the work of Henry Moore, so I
“Vigil,” 25 inches in diameter, wheel-thrown and
borrowed a lot from him.”
handbuilt terra cotta, with stains and glazes, 1990.
“Green Kochina,” 50 inches in height,
handbuilt terra-cotta bottle with mixed
media (wood, cloth and porcelain
After graduating in 1974, Welsh
moved back to California, taking a job
at Berkeley Art Foundry to earn enough
to afford a studio, equipment and sup
plies. Over the next few years, he as
sembled a body of work, consisting
mostly of clay sculpture, which was pre
sented in his first one-person exhibition
at the Richmond Art Center in 1978.
Also in that year, Welsh finally met Pe
ter Voulkos, who became a generous
supporter and friend. “Pete rented my
wife and me our first studio space in
Berkeley. It was down on the tracks in
an industrial building owned by Pacific
Steel. The space was located right next
to his space, so it was an opportunity to
get to know Pete and his wife Ann as
friends and neighbors. He was very gen
erous in introducing us to the Bay Area
“Red Figure,” 66 inches high, low-fired
clay with fabricated steel base, 1998.
The year culminated in a move to
New York to pursue graduate studies at
Alfred University with Tony Hepburn. for me was getting these complicated
Welsh’s graduate work continued his surfaces to work with the sculpture.”
investigation of ceramic sculpture, em
In the late 1980s, Welsh became in
phasizing extruded form and exploring terested in mixed-media sculpture. This
raku firing. “All of the work in my M.F.A.work often combined clay with found
thesis show was made with extruded objects and black-and-white photo
bars of clay assembled together to make graphs. “I stopped using much color
free-standing sculpture, ranging between and started using mostly black. I wanted
3 and 4 feet. The work emphasized to focus more on the forms and less on
landscapes and was made from sculp the surface decoration, so I got into a
ture clay mixed with 50% grog.”
monochromatic treatment, using mostly
After graduation from Alfred, Welsh black,” he explains.
again returned to California, eventually
This marked the beginning of social
settling at the Dome, the studio com and political content in Welsh’s sculp
plex and home owned by Voulkos in ture, an exploration that has carried
Oakland. Working at the Dome in
through the ’90s: “My work was start
cluded use of Voulkos’ large kiln, en
ing to be informed by social influences
abling Welsh to increase the scale of his and attitudes concerning things like en
vironment and economy. I’m not inter
In 1980, when he joined the faculty ested in making political art that is
at San Jose State University, Welsh be
dogmatic or preaches. This new work
gan attaching traditional clay forms, moved away from the purely subcon
such as plates, bowls and pitchers, to scious and intuitive approach I had in
the large coil-built forms. Pitchers be the ’80s.”
came noses, cups became mouths and
Welsh took his first trip to Europe in
handles became arms. Expansive areas the summer of 1990. He had been asked
were left unadorned so that he could to organize a study tour in Italy for a
work the surfaces. “I was carving and group of San Jose State ceramics stu
drawing onto the surfaces and glazing dents. Invited by Italian ceramics artist
them with lots of colors. The challenge Sandro Lorinzini, Welsh traveled with
seven graduate students to work for
nearly two months in the studios of the
Ceramic School of Albisola Superiore,
the Guiseppe Mazzotti Factory and the
At the Mazzotti Factory, the artists
could experiment with the centuriesold traditions. “They had hundreds of
molds spanning three generations. I
used to make three-dimensional as
semblages on plates. The plates were
about 26 inches in diameter. I used
majolica glazes over the entire surface
The 1993 move from Oakland to
with details highlighted in cobalt and Santa Cruz was a major transition from
gold luster,” Welsh recalls.
the urban studio complex of Peter
At the Lorenzini studio, they were Voulkos to a relatively secluded moun
tain home/studio located on 3 acres and
challenged with more conceptual re
sponses to the ceramics process, while surrounded by redwoods: “Having
the Ceramic School of Albisola Supe moved from an industrial warehouse
riore provided them the opportunity to space of 2000 square feet, I had to scale
work collaboratively on handbuilt and down. This was difficult, because I find
wheel-thrown forms. The raku firing of it much easier to work on a larger scale;
this collaborative work became an open- however, I’ve enjoyed the challenge and
think the work has gotten stronger be
air public performance.
cause of it.”
His imagery was also influenced by
the move: “Being on the ocean inspired
me to work with water as an important
image. Other images of landscape, such
as birds, branches and rock formations,
have become central to the work.”
Recent work features a complexity
of forms built onto each other and
unified with a single color satin-matt
glaze. “I’m really enjoying the satinmatt glazes, because the surface has a
dull waxy quality that seems unlike
glaze. I don’t like glossy surfaces, be
cause they seem to have a kitsch quality
that distracts from the strength of the
form,” Welsh says.
He now uses form to communicate
emotion and content. It is this process
of distillation and refinement that al
lows Welsh to focus on the simplest and
most direct ingredients of the work.
Many elements are familiar: head
shapes, musical instruments, human
limbs, birds. “First, I make one large
shape, then I make a wide range of
smaller shapes. I keep all these shapes
leather hard, then assemble the smaller
shapes onto the large shape. The fun
part for me is putting all these shapes
together to create one unified sculp
The relationship of these shapes to
one another is an exploration into the
subconscious. The objects are still and
observed. It is the purity of form, along
with the complexity of composition,
that transcends the mundane object.
But it is also the objectification that
lends strength to the work and makes it
“Evidence,” 40 inches in height, handbuilt terra cotta, with black glaze
quite tangible. ▲
over dark blue commercial stain, 1992, by Stan Welsh, Santa Cruz, California.
Smoked and Pit-Fired Porcelain
by Rebecca Urlacher
orking with porce
Once the majority of
lain has tested my
the piece has been built,
imagination, taxed my cre
the challenge is to make
ativity and tried my pa
sense of the form. How is
tience. While it is among
the opening going to re
the most difficult clays to
late? Does it need a lid?
build with, I work with
Will carved lines add to
porcelain because of its
the liveliness? At times, I
am overwhelmed by all
As my understanding of
the possibilities; however,
the medium grew, I found
I like the fact that this
that the potter s wheel was
approach allows me the
not allowing the creative
flexibility to work with
expression I was after. Sure,
out a game plan or blue
numerous mugs and
print. By far, the most
bowls, all of the same ba
enjoyable aspect of hand
sic size and shape, could
building with porcelain is
be the result of throwing
this process of discover
merely a couple hours, but
ing new forms. Even
that was not what I wanted
when the piece is not suc
to do with porcelain.
cessful in the end, I am
Working at this expedi
always able to learn some
tious pace was not condu
thing each time I sit down
cive to creating individual
form. Instead, building by
The next few days are
hand satisfies my artistic
laborious, as I scrape, sand
Slab-built vase, approximately 21 inches in height,
and sometimes carve the
porcelain, smoked with newspaper.
Each piece requires a
surface. I scrape with a
week or two of attention.
metal rib when the piece
To begin, I construct a strong base. If I clay. At the same time, I try not to place is leather hard. Carving is done at the
want a rounded bottom, I pinch a bowl; restrictions upon myself when I’m de stiff-leather-hard stage. When the form
otherwise, I cut the base from a rolled ciding how the piece should be shaped. is bone dry, I sand with silicon carbide
slab. The wall is then built to about a My main objective is to build a form paper. After the bisque firing, some of
foot in height by piecing small slabs with pleasing lines and curves.
these forms are smoked, while others
together. I stop building at this point so
When I think I have pushed the are pit fired.
the clay has time to dry just enough to porcelain as far as it will go, I take a step Smoke firing in a metal can is ex
be able to support additional pieces.
backward to see just what is happening. tremely simple and quick. I start by
These forms can exceed 24 inches Because I choose not to use molds or crumpling some newspapers, then pack
and require patience and complete fo props, it is extremely important for me them on the bottom and around the
cus. During the building process, it is to look the piece over carefully at this sides of the can. Next, I nest the piece
important for me to know the charac point. Are the sides warping? Is the bot in the paper and pack more crumpled
teristics and physical limitations of the tom sagging?
newspaper around it. Finally, I light the
Porcelain vase, approximately 20 inches in height, constructed from small slabs,
smoked in a metal can filled with newspapers.
Vessel, approximately 15 inches
in height, pit-fired porcelain.
Pit-fired vases, to approximately 16 inches in height, handbuilt porcelain,
by Rebecca Urlacher, Eugene, Oregon.
Handbuilt porcelain vase,
approximately 15 inches in height,
fired in a pit filled with charcoal,
driftwood, manure, seaweed, copper
carbonate and rock salt.
paper and let it burn for approximately able to me at the time), manure, sea
two minutes, before pulling the piece weed, copper carbonate and rock salt.
from the can (while wearing heat-resisThe work is then carefully nested in
this layer, followed by more copper, salt
The longer the piece is left in the and combustibles. I usually heap the pit
burning paper, the darker the color. This with sticks, leaves, grass—basically what
smoking technique is somewhat con
ever is safe to burn.
trollable and produces subtle shades of
Once it starts to smoke steadily, I
brown that contrast nicely with the cover the pit with sheet metal. The fire
white of the porcelain.
usually burns overnight, maybe ten
If I am after a more dramatic effect hours or so, and the pit can be un
with a wide range of colors, the piece is loaded in the morning.
During the pit firing, I try to let go
pit fired. The size of the pit depends on
how many pots are to be fired, but in of any preconceptions as I anxiously
general the dimensions are 4 feet wide await results. Colors can range from
by 6 feet long by 3 feet deep.
browns and black to shades of orange,
After about 20 pounds of charcoal red and purple. No two forms ever come
are poured into the pit and lit, I orga out of the fire the same. In a manner of
nize all the items that will be going into speaking, the fire becomes a collabora
the pit. Once the charcoal is nearly red tor. Occasionally, a bad firing will oc
hot, it is spread evenly over the bottom cur; however, these are outweighed by
of the pit. I then toss in a layer of the unimaginable and stunning results
driftwood (or whatever wood is avail that pit firing can produce. A
Puerto Rican Ceramics
by L. Robin Rice
“Animalia de un solo verano (Animals of a lone summer),” to 23½ inches
in height, stoneware with oxides, by Susana Espinosa, San Juan.
With the help of the San Juan ceramics
collective Casa Candina, Philadelphia’s
Clay Studio and Taller Puertorriqueno
teamed up to mount a major exhibition
of contemporary work: “Ceramica
Puertorriquena Hoy/Today.” Following
its debut in Philadelphia, this celebra
tion of a resilient and distinctive culture
traveled to Baltimore for exhibition at
the Alcazar Gallery of the Baltimore
School for the Arts.
Curators Jimmy Clark of the Clay
Studio and Doris Nogueira-Rogers of
the Taller Puertorriqueno selected work
by 22 ceramists. By including four state
side residents of Puerto Rican ancestry
and five other artists born outside the
island, they also acknowledged the com
plexity of Puerto Rican art and its some
times problematic relationship to the
While the show opened in the cen
tenary year of the United States’ annex
ation of the island, it is not a celebration
of this event, which the curators de
scribe in the catalog as “questionable.”
A plebiscite to determine the island’s
future political relationship to the
United States is a serious topic of de
bate in Puerto Rico; however, by acci
dent or design, most of the work in
“Ceramica Puertorriquena” is apoliti
cal. The show simply offers an opportu
nity to examine the contemporary
manifestations of a tradition that has
risen from near extinction.
The cultural history of the island is
simultaneously rich and tragically ob
scure. Looking at the variety and tech
nical virtuosity in this show, it’s hard to
believe that an important ceramic heri
tage had been virtually destroyed. On
going underwater archaeological exca
vations in Cuba are telling us more
about the Tamos, pre-Columbian in
habitants of Puerto Rico and other
Caribbean islands. The Tainos came to
Boriquen, as they called Puerto Rico,
from South America in the 15th cen
tury, joining earlier groups who made
sophisticated red and white pottery. The
Tainos welcomed Columbus to the is
lands, only to be utterly destroyed in
“Bandera Boriqua (Puerto Rico Flag),” 22 inches in height, recycled ceramic tile and
fused glass, by Carlos A. Alves, Miami Beach, Florida.
“Disco IV,” 72 inches in diameter, stoneware washed with vinegar, accented with oxides,
by Jaime Suarez, San Juan.
“Venecia (Venice),” 27 inches in height,
raku vessel, by Mario Quilles, Santa Fe,
“Vasijas Movil I (Mobile Vessels),” to 22 inches in height, sculpture clay
and porcelain, pit fired, by Rafael del Olmo, San Juan.
“Cono con Esfera I, II, III (Cone with Sphere I, II, III),” to 11 inches in
height, glazed stoneware with wood, by Aileen Castaneda, San Juan.
“Sculpture I,” 72 inches in height,
stoneware with oxides, engobes
and acrylics, by Lorraine de
Castro, Carolina, Puerto Rico.
“Ruina I, II, III,” to 12 inches in height, stoneware with porcelain slip
and oxides, by Toni Hambleton, Caguas, Puerto Rico.
“Bebes Divinos (Divine Babies),” to 25 inches in height, wood-fired
stoneware, by Ada Pilar Cruz, Lake Peekskill, New York.
less than two generations. Not until the
middle of this century was an attempt
made to revive the production of tradi
tional crafts, including ceramics.
The eclectic mix of works in the
exhibition fuses the contributions of
three distinct groups. Pre-Columbian
production included that of archaic
peoples who made crude functional pot
tery, the subsequent Saladoide or Igneri
inhabitants who apparently introduced
agriculture and highly developed pot
tery around the first century of the Com
mon Era, and the Tainos.
A second important element is the
colonial Spanish, who introduced Chris
tianity and the potters wheel. Religion
is an important theme in Puerto Rican
art, but the potters wheel plays a rela
tively minor role in this exhibition.
There are notable exceptions. Self-taught
artist Bernardo Hogan combines and
reassembles simple thrown geometries
in “Vasija Cono I, II and III (Cone and
Base I, II and III)” in ways that can be
viewed as both abstract and vaguely an
thropomorphic. Manuel A. Pagan, a
vocal proponent of functional pottery,
makes fancifully deconstructed teapots,
notable for their exaggerated handles
with fat vinelike curls, extended trunk
shaped spouts and lids shrunk to the
dimensions of tiny stoppers.
Beginning in 1513, African peoples
came to the island as slaves, adding a
third important ingredient to Puerto
Rican art. Though unable to bring ob
jects, the Africans retained the memory
of design traditions, which continue to
enrich local practice. An intriguing ex
ample is African mask-making, which
led to the production of indigenous
masks like the horned El Vijigante, a
Moorish devil popular in festivals of
A fourth obvious influence is per
haps the most important today: ceram
ics as a world art form. This is not
“folk” art. Although the traditions and
conventions of Puerto Rican craft are
often adapted, the aesthetic and techni
cal vocabulary of these works is interna
tional. For example, though the El
Vijigante mask and other festival masks
are typically made from coconut shells,
gourds, wood or papier-mache, the char
acteristic spiky, many-horned structure
seems to be echoed in some of the works
in this exhibition. Rafael del Olmos
“Vasija Cono I, II and III (Cone and Base I, II and III),” to 18 inches in height, glazed stoneware,
multifired, by Bernardo Hogan, San Juan.
“Vasijas Movil (Mobile Vessels)” are sup
ported on attenuated intertwining horn
like cones. And Miami-based Carlos A.
Alves’ “Toro con Rosas (Bull with
Roses)” is a wall-mounted plaque that
resembles a mask, especially with its
human—not bovine—eyes. It’s as
sembled from recycled ceramic toilet
parts and other appropriated elements.
containing who-knows-what elements
Lorraine de Castro makes life-size
but disturbingly incomplete human fig
ures. The tortured and sinister “Sculp
ture I” stands on one leg. He has one
hand, no arms and wears nothing but a
beaklike cone mask over his face. A
cluster of threatening hornlike cones at
the base of the figure fill the space where
its missing foot should rest.
Clearly, all the work in the show
Social and Cultural Themes
proposes more than functionality. Aileen
“Toro con Rosas (Bull with Roses),”
Castaneda’s serene “Cono con Esfera
The most obviously Puerto Rican
19 inches square, recycled toilet parts,
(Cone with Sphere)” series refines a ves
work in the show is Carlos Alves’
vitreous china and aluminum,
sel form. Each eggshell-thin cone rests
“Bandera Boriqua (Puerto Rican Flag),”
by Carlos A. Alves.
on a cushion-shaped wooden base in
a wall-mounted Puerto Rican flag
cised with graceful wavelike bands.
Adriana Mangual’s “Cabeza (Head),” and flaunting images of consumer goods
Another artist residing in the United Ada Pilar Cruz’s pair of “Bebes Divinos from fruit and turtles to shoes and
States, Mario Quilles produces raku- (Divine Babies).” The gentle freestand trucks. Shiny, eye-catching red, white
fired vessels constructed from folded anding figures were displayed against a dark and blue glazes suggest tourist plea
lapped sheets of clay, emphasizing its red backdrop with a white dress silhou sures, not the more ancient heritage of
graceful ductile qualities. Some bowls ette painted on it. Their rounded wood- the land.
with cracked bottoms are “mended” fired bodies seem to have just emerged
This is evoked by the powerful work
with wire stitches.
from the ovens of creation, though they of architect Jaime Suarez. His huge wallare pierced, fetishlike, with nails.
mounted “Disco IV” in rough red earth
The Human Figure
Cubism and surrealism converge in enware with a vertical rectangular
Among the figural works were Susana Adriana Mangual’s handbuilt head, in opening in the center is composed of
Espinosa’s strange oxide-colored stone which the features—eyes, mouth, cheeks many tiles, and scored with arcing lines.
ware animals with tragic human faces, and chin—are so many tiny drawers The raw surface, typical of much Puerto
“Mira como beben los peces en el rio
(See how the fish drink in the river),”
46 inches in height, porcelain and metal
sink, stoneware with oxides, by Franklin
Rodriguez Graulau, Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Rican daywork, is marked, maplike with
occasional raised squares and rectangles.
This evocation of a mysterious heroic
past is flanked in formal symmetry by
two dense atavistic vessels on pedestals.
The vicissitudes of industrialized so
ciety are portrayed in Franklin Rodriguez
Graulau’s mixed-media fountain “Mira
como beben los peces en el rio (See how
the fish drink in the river).” In this
commentary on water pollution, a real
red-painted faucet continuously pours
“Cabeza (Head),” 15½ inches in height, stoneware with oxides,
water into a sink painted with fish-scale
by Adriana Mangual, Santurce, Puerto Rico.
patterns. Bug-eyed ceramic fish, also
painted in lurid, almost toxic, colors,
are mounted above and around the “Renacer Antillano
structure, while the base is decorated (Antillean Rebirth),”
with broken industrial tiles stamped 12 inches in height,
“Authoridad des Aqueductos Puerto assembled from
The porcelain-slipped and oxide- elements, by Manuel
stained surfaces of Toni Hambleton’s A. Pagan, Rio
“Ruina I, II & III (Ruin I, II & III)” Piedras, Puerto Rico.
add to a ghostly presence, suggesting
the remnants of a long-dead past.
But, luckily for us, the past lives on
in today’s Puerto Rican ceramic art, the
variety and sophistication of which is
well represented in “Ceramica Puertorriquena Hoy/Today.” ▲
by Samantha Moore McCall
“Bud Vases,” 7 inches in height, thrown and altered
stoneware, salt fired.
f the Penland School of Crafts ever needs an advo
cate to boost its reputation, Suze Lindsay may be
just the woman for the job.
Why Lindsay? Well, perhaps its because its nearly
impossible to discuss ceramics with Lindsay without
her referring to the craft school every few sentences.
That’s not always the case, of course, but sometimes
it appears that way. Indeed, the bonds between the
two are as strong and striking as the sinuous lines
and bold markings of her salt-fired stoneware.
Lindsay has been a studio potter since 1992, and
she credits much of her success to this 69-year-old
crafts school located in the foothills of western North
Carolina. “Penland is such a magical place because
of the creative energy that’s there and the exciting
people who come through it,” she says. “Penland
opened up a whole new world for me. I don’t want
to sound hokey, but it really changed my life. There’s
no question I wouldn’t be where I am today without
it. I’ve really always kept my roots there, even while I
was at graduate school.”
As outgoing and cheery in person as her func
tional stoneware pots are bright and fun, Lindsay is
known for her once-fired, highly decorated vases,
teapots, mugs, plates, pitchers, candelabra, platters
and bowls. “I’ve seen and held so many pots over the
years that I think I can fairly say that among the
potters today who once-fire and alter their work like
Suze does, she’s the best,” says Joe Bova, who is
currently serving the first year of his two-year term
“Bouquet Vase,” 15 inches in height, wheel-thrown
and altered stoneware, brushed with slips, salt fired.
“Candelabrum,” 28 inches in height, thrown
and handbuilt stoneware, with slips, salt fired.
“Gravy Boats,” to 8 inches in height, thrown and altered
stoneware, with dipped and brushed slips, salt fired.
as Penland s chairman of the board of irreversibly setting the wheels of destiny
trustees. Bova, a ceramics sculptor and into motion.
art professor, recently stepped down
Indeed, that one fateful workshop
from his post as director of the School eventually led Lindsay into becoming a
of Art at Ohio University (Athens) but core student at Penland for a year and a
continues to teach ceramics there. “Suzeshalf. This status allowed her, among
work is really eye-dazzling and her up other things, to take seven workshops
beat personality shines through in her in one summer, in exchange for work
pots,” he adds.
ing part time at the school. About the
Lindsays singular work did not evolve same time, Lindsay started to sell her
overnight. In fact, it has matured over a work at craft fairs, and she even began
decade of unyielding hard work, dedi thinking she was on her way to becom
cation and commitment to clay from a ing a production potter.
woman who majored in speech pathol
“Then, one of my first teachers at
ogy as an undergrad at Pennsylvania Penland told me during a workshop
State University in 1980.
not to quit my day job, and she was
Indeed, Lindsay originally started right,” Lindsay admits good-naturedly.
“playing” (a verb she frequently uses “I went into Penland thinking I could
when talking about how she works) with be a production potter, but it was a very
clay as a hobby while teaching hearing- humbling experience for me to be
impaired children in New Orleans in around such great potters all the time.
the early 1980s. She recalls that “it took That was quite a reality check for me.”
me two years to learn how to center.”
Undeterred, she decided to go to
But her teacher at the local community graduate school to further her studies
center encouraged her to do a summer in clay, and was pleasantly surprised
workshop at Penland, a suggestion she to learn that the university just down
readily accepted, unaware that she was the road from where she was living
had one of the finest ceramics pro
grams in the country. In 1989, under
the direction of Linda Arbuckle and
Joe Bova, then later Bobby Silverman
and Kate Blacklock, she embarked on
a three-year M.FA. degree at Louisi
ana State University.
While at grad school, Lindsay began
to identify the vast array of historical
references, natural objects and textiles
that continue to influence and shape
her work today. Among those influences
are Mimbres pottery from the Ameri
can Southwest, ancient Greek figures
from the Cyclades, Japanese 16th-cen
tury Oribe ware, textiles and designs
from indigenous cultures around the
world, and the trees in her own back
yard. Not to be forgotten are her “pot
tery heroes,” those who have influenced
her work as well, including Linda
Arbuckle, Clary Illian, Jeff Oestreich
and Michael Simon.
It was also at grad school that she
began to really experiment with form,
once firing, and altering and stacking
pots. Simultaneously, she began playing
Suze Lindsay unloading a salt kiln at
her studio in Bakersville, North Carolina.
with the use of bold lines and repetitive
designs—marks Bova now refers to as
her “calligraphic strokes.”
Following grad school, Lindsay once
again returned to Penland, where she
had been accepted as an artist-in-residence for three years. The residency pro
gram provided her with a safe base from
which to further develop her individual
style and to launch her business career
as a studio potter.
“It was here and through this pro
gram that I learned that it is possible for
artists to support themselves and actu
ally make a living by selling their work,”
she says, repeating a message she fre
quently shares with budding ceramists
and students. “I was surrounded by all
sorts of other artists, from glassblowers
and paper makers to weavers and jewel
ers, and was able to learn a great deal
from them about how to financially
support myself in the art world.”
“Cappuccino Cups,” 4 inches in height, thrown and
altered stoneware, with sgraffito decoration, salt fired.
Nowadays, she spends about 75% of
her time putting in long hours, seven
days a week in the studio she and her
husband recently built on their prop
erty in Bakersville, North Carolina,
which—not by coincidence—is about
20 minutes from Penland.
“Im spoiled rotten living in the com
munity I do, completely surrounded by
other talented artists,” says Lindsay. “I
cannot imagine living anywhere else.
Penland’s presence over the years has
attracted a rich community of crafts
people who have come here to live.”
She spends much of the remaining
25% of her time on the road giving
lectures, workshops and teaching at uni
versities and craft schools. “This is al
ways a really rejuvenating time for me.
Its a time for me to question things,
and I end up learning as much from my
students as I hope they do from me,”
It is during these workshops and
classes that she generously shares her
techniques with students eager to learn
more about how she alters and stacks
thrown forms, as well as how she deco
rates them in an earthy palette of stains,
slips and glazes for salt firing.
Most of her work is thrown on a
treadle wheel, but she also enjoys handbuilding and often combines the two
methods, frequently adding handbuilt
elements to thrown pieces. For example,
her 2- to 3-foot-high candelabra have a
thrown base that’s been altered, but the
three branches extending upward are
handbuilt. For her bud vases, which are
about 7 to 10 inches high, she often
makes the base in slump molds, then
adds a narrow cylinder to the top and
attaches handbuilt feet or small handles.
Except for the occasional mug or
plate, rarely does one of her pieces es
cape some form of alteration. In fact,
many are ovaled, some thrown with
bottoms and others without. Some
forms are so animated they appear to
have a stance and an attitude all their
own, with some resembling sassy women
with their hands on their hips.
“I always rib the outside, too, to make
a smooth surface while throwing so that
my pieces will be easier to decorate later,”
she explains. “And I really like to play
“Floor Candlestick,” 40 inches in height, thrown, altered and stacked
stoneware, with dipped, brushed and incised slips, salt fired.
“Bud Vase,” 7 inches in height, wheel-thrown
and handbuilt stoneware, salt fired.
with proportion, and my method of ever, is a piece immersed completely
stacking various volumes produces varia into a vat of glaze, let alone absent of
any decoration. And no glazing session
tion for surface decoration.
“I make the same forms over and is complete without highlighting—es
over again but they are never exactly the pecially the feet, lips and joints—with
same twice, and that’s what keeps things black stain.
“I make pottery to fulfill function
interesting for me in the studio,” she
says. “Also, I like the conversations pots and provoke visual as well as tactile de
have when they are grouped together light,” she explains. “I like to think of
and, as a result, I frequently make work pots as works of art that are integrated
into our daily living through use and
in a series.”
All her pots are adorned with some participation. My hopes are that these
pots please the person who uses them
sort of repeated design or pattern, in
cluding brushed swirls, circles, lines, dots and they suit that person’s needs.
“I hope to give my pots a personality
The time she saves by buying ready that will invite use, whether it be for
made clay, minimal trimming and once your first cup of coffee in the morning,
firing is used in the decoration process. or a fancy dinner party,” notes Lindsay
The bright yellows, greens, purples and in her artist’s statement.
Her goal is “to make good, happy
cobalt blues often found in the interior
of her pieces provide a rich contrast to pots....I love it when people come up to
the outside decoration. Splashes and dotsme after seeing my work and say, ‘You
of color are also occasionally highlighted must be a happy person. It looks like
on the outside of her work but rarely, if you have a great time in your studio.’”
Another of Lindsay’s goals is to do
more collaborative work with her hus
band, Kent McLaughlin, who worked
as a studio potter for 18 years. Occa
sionally, he throws pieces that Lindsay
later embellishes with her earthy palette
of glazes and slips. It’s an arrangement
that works well for both and it’s one
they’d both like to pursue in the future.
And despite her vast array of sym
metrical markings, part of Lindsay’s con
tinued creative quest is for her to find
her own marks. Symbols that she can
call her own.
“It’s exciting and fun to pick and
choose among our historical influences,
wherever they might come from. I con
tinue to keep finding motifs from na
ture, then rearrange them in different
ways, but I’m still searching for my own
personal mark. And part of that search
is trying to figure out what a 20thcentury American mark is in ceramics.
I haven’t found the answer yet.” ▲
“Canister Set,” to 11 inches in height, salt-fired stoneware,
by Suze Lindsay, Bakersville, North Carolina.
Suze Lindsays preferred clay body is
Phoenix, a blend developed and mixed Custer Feldspar............................. 30 %
at Highwater Clays in Asheville. It is a 6 Tile Clay...................................... 30
smooth, light stoneware body with good Avery Kaolin.................................. 10
green strength for raw glazing and ex Grolleg Kaolin.............................. 30
cellent thermal shock properties. Slip is
applied at the leather-hard stage, with Add: Titanium Dioxide................ 15%
thicknesses adjusted for brushing
Glazes were adjusted for greenware by
(thicker) or for dipping (thinner).
adding or increasing bentonite; thus,
the following recipes may not fit
Alberta Slip............................... 78.26%
Ball Clay.................................... 19.57
100.00% Bone Ash.................................
Add: Chrome Oxide............... 7.61 %
Custer Feldspar....................... 30.91
Cobalt Carbonate......... 1.63%
Red Iron Oxide............ 1.63 %
Edgar Plastic Kaolin.............. 12.55
Willie s 6 Tile Slip
Nepheline Syenite................... 9.80%
6 Tile Clay................................ 68.63
Add: Copper Carbonate...... 5.49%
Grolleg Kaolin........................ 14.71
Rob s Green Glaze
Colemanite............................... 4.7 4 %
Strontium Carbonate............. 7.11
Cornwall Stone........................ 71.09
Add: Copper Carbonate........ 9.48%
Pete Pinnell Strontium Matt Glaze
Strontium Carbonate....................... 20
Nepheline Syenite............................. 60
Ball Clay.............................................. 10
Add: Bentonite.......................................... 2%
For turquoise, add 5% copper carbon
ate. Use Epsom salts to prevent settling.
The Yixing Effect
by Marvin Sweet
s there a mystique about tea and tea
pots? Tea drinking and its attendant
certainly have a history of ritual.
Tea drinking seems to make you medi
tative. You feel sapient by association.
And what could suggest a more gra
cious or genteel gathering than English
When the sun never set on the Brit
ish Empire, “time for tea” was heard in
London and Hong Kong, Bombay and
deepest, darkest Africa. I know that I
once assumed the teapot must have been
an English invention. As I grew and
learned, I came to realize that when the
English drank tea along the Bund in
Shanghai or at the Peninsula Hotel in
Hong Kong, tea and the teapot had
come full circle to their place of origin.
It is believed that tea drinking began
in China with Buddhist monks. They
appreciated tea drinking for its medici-
“Nuclear Nuts Teapot,” 5 inches in height, 1991,
by Richard Notkin, Helena, Montana.
Pomegranate with nuts and fruit teapot, 5 inches in height,
late 19th century, Yixing.
nal value. One tea could relieve head
ache, another stomachache, and yet an
other acted as a stimulant for long hours
of meditation. With the spread of Bud
dhism throughout the Orient, there fol
lowed an increase in tea drinking. But
how was the tea prepared and served?
Initially, the tea leaves were ground into
a powder, placed in a bowl, covered
with boiling water, then stirred to a
thick frothy consistency. As early as the
Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), tea
was placed in a clay bottle, suffused in
boiling water, allowed to steep, then
poured into a bowl. It was not until the
Ming dynasty (1368-1644) that we see
the advent of the teapot.
The notion of tea and social refine
ment initially began during the Tang
dynasty (617-906). This was Chinas
Golden Age. There was a luxurious,
cosmopolitan capitol at Chang-an
(present-day Xian). From there, the
wonders of the East headed west along
the Silk Road to Persia, Egypt and Eu
rope. Drinking tea in social settings re
flected the cultural blossoming and
prosperity of the newly established mer
chant class. From the Golden Age of
Yixing teapot, 5½ inches in height,
with Robin’s egg glaze, late 19th century.
the Tang dynasty to the Classical Age of too long. By the time it was poured
the Song dynasty (960-1270), tea drink from the bottom of the pot, the
ing and its importance continued to tea had become acrid. So smaller
grow. Socially, connoisseurs gathered to sizes for more delicate infusions
sample exotic teas, appraise the quality were designed.
of the water selected and show off7 the
The imperial court had fa
finery of their tea utensils.
vored teapots made of gold
The Ming dynasty, an era of peace or silver, porcelains
and prosperity, sought to restore past glazed with celadon
glories. Considered Chinas baroque or decorated with
period, it was a time when imperial cobalt blue under
tastes dominated. The prominence glaze or multi
given to tea had reached an apex. Tea colored overglazes.
was received by the emperor as tribute. However, the schol
A cake of the finest tea was considered ars and mandarins
thought these vessels
A new class of intellectuals became were ostentatious,
the tea connoisseurs. They considered even vulgar. They
tea drinldng an indispensable part of wanted teapots that
their literary meetings. The first vessel were understated and
that can be called a teapot began with subtle, simple but elegant,
them. They wanted a pouring utensil refined yet earthy.
that would reflect the sophistication of
The collaboration that began betheir gatherings as well as their aesthetic tween the potters of Yixing and the
scholar class of tea connoisseurs
Typical of the earliest teapots was a pushed the functional and artistic quali
large globular pouring vessel that had a ties of the teapot to new standards of
short spout and fitted lid. The large artistry and workmanship—beauty at
size, though, allowed the tea to steep for work in harmony with function. Over
time, three basic styles evolved in the
ceramics center of Yixing. The natural
istic, which resembles tree trunks, plants
and flowers; the ribbed/segmented,
which are stylized fruits, flowers and
plants; and the geometric, which in
clude spheres, cubes, cylinders, rect
angles and the like.
Near the end of the 17th century,
Yixing teapots began to exert their in
fluence in Europe as well. Tea drinking
and chinoiserie were all the rage. Euro
pean red pottery with unmistakable ref
erences to Yixing prototypes was soon
produced. Examples were first found in
Holland, then at the Meissen Pottery in
Germany and soon after in Stafford
Why then did it take so long for
Yixing ware to gain a level of promi
nence in the U.S.? After all, Yixing tea
pots have been exported to the States
Handbuilt teapot, 6 inches in height, 1998,
by Peter Pinnell, Lincoln, Nebraska,
Tree-trunk-shaped teapot, 3 inches in
height, late 20th century, Yixing.
Folded-slab teapot, 9 inches in height, 1997,
by Virginia Cartwright, Pasadena, California.
for well over 200 years. Clipper ships of
the early 19th century returned with
literally tons of ceramics. At that time,
however, American buyers fancied the
What we must consider a mitigating
factor for the current rise in stature of
Yixing teapots is the advent of the uni
versity-trained ceramist. During the
Ming dynasty, teapots were designed
and constructed as a collaboration be
tween scholar and potter. Now ceram
ists are empowered by personal scholar
ship—the teapot maker coming of age.
Like any vital artform, Yixing tea
pots reflect their time and place. Their
study reveals a precise but lyrical use of
geometry, a reverence for nature and a
gift for the narrative. One American
artist who has thoroughly embraced the
Yixing aesthetic is Richard Notkin. He
has borrowed their formal qualities,
along with the symbolic spirit of intent;
but while his are capable of pouring,
they are not for tea.
Yixing-style teapot, 10 inches in height, 1997, by Nick Sevigney,
Newport, Rhode Island.
Notkins teapots are filled with ideas.
His sense of scale and proportion, at
tention to detail and use of the format
as a vehicle for storytelling are in total
harmony with their Eastern anteced
ents. He borrows, but with honesty,
reverence and a sense of homage. Yet his
work reveals a totally separate cultural
identity, expressing current situations.
Along with Notkin, a number of
other artists have come to understand
and use Yixing ware as a wellspring.
They include Peter Pinnell, Nick
Sevigney and Virginia Cartwright. Their
work continues to build upon the lan
guage of art and tradition, transform
ing teapots into utensils of sophistication
and intellect; therein preserving the mys
tique of the Yixing effect.
The author Artist/educator Marvin
Sweet teaches at Bradford College in
Massachusetts; his collection of over 100
Yixing teapots spans the late 18th cen
tury to the present.
Melon-shaped teapot, 3½ inches in height,
20th century, Yixing.
Onglaze painting, approximately 24 inches square, with brushed pigments on white glaze ground.
The Slab Paintings of Linhong Li
by Yuqian Chen
translated by Yufang Wang
hie life, soul and value of ceramics
ie in innovation and personality,
which are also important standards in
distinguishing between art and craft. In
the long history of China, the ceramic
art of Jingdezhen has walked away from
creation to inheritance. While past pe
riods produced different styles, such as
the white porcelain of the Tang dynasty,
the shadowy blue ware of the Song dy
nasty and the famille rose of the Qing
dynasty, the artistic achievements of the
majority of modern Jingdezhen ceram
ists rarely depart from tradition. One
exception is the work of Linhong Li,
professor of fine arts at Jingdezhen Ce
Professor Li places emphasis on the
personality and creation of art, rather
than common customs. To give him his
due, it has been 30 years since he stepped
into art circles. Early on, he studied oil
painting and wood cuts. Later, he re
ceived recognition for his traditional
wash painting. Yet he remained
unsatisfied with his achievements, until
he began working with glaze-painted
slabs. There is an idiomatic saying in
China: “Deep roots give rise to flour
ishing leaves.” It was his foundation in
ceramics combined with his knowledge
of oil painting, wash painting and
gouache that led to this innovative work.
The slab is formed by dry pressing.
After a 1200°C (2192°F) firing, a white
glaze is applied and the slab is fired
again to 1000°-1100°C (1832°2012°F). On the fired glaze, Li brushes
fluxed pigments in two stages. The first
is for negative or cool colors, which are
then fired to 800°C (1472°F). The sec
ond is for warm colors, subsequently
fired to 760 -780 C (1400 -1436 F).3|ab painting, approximately 24 inches square, with white glaze
Professor Lis ceramic painting style and f|uxed pigments, multifired,
is regarded as “breaking through the
constraint of traditional ceramics.”
While he places emphasis on materials,
he uses modern painting techniques to
aesthetic advantage, creating a mysteri
ous, graceful realm of color. ▲
Pigments are applied in two stages:
the first for negative or cool colors;
the second for warm colors.
Multifired dry-pressed slab painting, approximately 24 inches square,
by Linhong Li, Jingdezhen, China.
by Jan Behrs
prevent water from freezing
Seen from above, the fur
in or around them. They also
rowed ridges of the Pacific
accommodate a pipe through
Northwest stripe across the
the center for stability.
horizon like a series of dense,
The clay, “one of the most
receding shadows, a collage
forgiving clay bodies I’ve ever
of gray and gray-green hill
worked with,” was formu
sides sliding toward the sea.
lated by George Wright (see
It is a landscape of enormous
the March 1998 CM). Hair
firs and weather-worn moun
of the Dog, which incorpo
tains and, except during July
rates nylon fibers and is 50%
and August, it is drenched in
grog, was designed for largelush, wet greenery. A few
scale work. “It has its own
snow-dappled peaks thrust
personality,” McFadden ex
their way above the masses,
plains. “Rough, strong, and
but in large part, the treeit fires the most beautiful
covered slopes of this land
warm toast color.”
speak of gentle verdancy and
McFadden glazes her work
at the greenware stage, often
Gardens grow rapaciously
with the following recipe, and
in the Northwest; its nearly “Susan,” 48 inches in height, handbuilt stoneware,
single fires over a period of
impossible to live here and
24 hours to Cone 7:
not be seduced by the desire
to plant and nurture. And it is this ¾-inch-thick slabs edge on edge, rein
Bronze Green Glaze
palette of heavy clay soil, geologic up forcing the inside as she goes along.
risings and storm-washed coastline that Many of her 200-pound figures are built
informs the ceramic sculpture of Port in sections for mobility. When fired,
each section weighs about 25 pounds.
land artist Katy McFadden.
Outdoors is where McFadden feels “Gardeners are physical,” says McFad Edgar Plastic Kaolin................... 22
most at ease, and the garden surround den. “They’re not afraid of picking up
Add: Cobalt Carbonate .............. 1%
ing her studio and home, created by 25 pounds.”
Copper Carbonate............ 3%
She builds her imposing figures with
garden designer John Benecki, inspires
Lithium Carbonate........... 3%
the large-scale figures she builds from the thickest slabs on the bottom to coun
thick clay slabs, striated like rocky terbalance their height and weight. She Color is varied by adding oxides to the
outcroppings rising from the earth as strives for the simplest, most basic ex base recipe.
human forms. “The figures reflect the pression of the human form possible,
Outdoor display energizes McFadlandscape, the rolling hills, the valleys and in the past few years, has begun to
of the Pacific Northwest,” she says. consider the huge pieces as canvases, a den’s figurative forms—the play of light
“They’re reminiscent of the way the unity of form and surface, onto which and shadow, and the growth of the veg
she applies glaze drawings. Because of etation surrounding them, ensure they
earth is formed.”
Using a construction technique she their projected placement outdoors, all will be perceived differently as time of
learned from Rudy Autio, she stacks sections are built with drainage holes to day, time of year and the garden change.
“The Mystery Between Us,” 60 inches in height, glazed stoneware, $2200.
“Sculpture in a garden isn’t static,” she and color of plants punctuate the spaces munity and be supported by the com
observes. “These pieces can be moved that surround them. “It’s also impor
munity. Staying in the studio and the
according to the seasons or depending tant to have two forms, to have dy
making of work is a solitary process.
on whether they’ll be seen from inside namic energy between them and to Exhibiting sculpture in a studio or gar
or outdoors. They are really simple formscreate a Zen view between and beyond den setting, as well as in galleries, com
that can evoke larger interpretations.” the forms themselves,” she says. “Three pletes the cycle by bringing it into the
In the context of a landscape, other figures in a composite piece can be community.”
senses become involved in the percep grouped closer together as a family, or
McFadden, who coordinates and
tion of sculpture: the sound of rain or separately, giving a feeling of isolation.” teaches in the ceramics department at
wind; the movement of birds, animals
Another reason McFadden makes Clackamas Community College out
and spiraling leaves; the scent of flowers, work for the garden is the connection side Portland, says she got a vital piece
herbs and fruit combine to produce a this offers to the community. She holds of advice on being a self-supporting art
unique encounter at each viewing.
public displays at her home each De
ist early on from a friend who builds
The natural hues McFadden uses in cember and June, sometimes with the furniture. Diversify, he told her. Besides
her glazes complement her pieces’ earth- added elements of rain or ice. “An artist’sthe large, figurative work that you enjoy
bound setting, where the texture, form role in society is to be part of the com doing, think of a way to make contact
Raku Fish,” 6 to 12 inches in length, stoneware with iron oxide glaze, $32 to $50,
with your audience with smaller, practi across a surface changes how you see public now, and I have to leave room
cal items that you can use to help sup the form. And you need to think of the for the dialogue between the piece and
shadow, too. It takes a while to figure the person who purchases it. The entire
port the other work.
picture isn’t painted by me; how the
Those smaller items have helped es out the best vantage point.”
The place where McFadden’s work community or the buyers form rela
tablish her reputation among local gar
dening circles. Sold at plant nurseries, becomes part of her purchaser’s experi tionships with the pieces is their own
her life-size raku fish mounted on metal ence is where she lets it go. “The pieces creative expression. I’m just opening up
poles can be seen “swimming” over plotsaren’t mine anymore,” she says. “They’re an avenue for that dialogue.” A
of zucchini or nasturtiums throughout
She also has begun making huge
Alice-in- Wonderland teacups that lend
a fairy-tale air to the garden and can
serve as small fishponds. (Both the fish
and the teacups were designed at gar
dener Beneckis suggestion.)
Benecki, who says he creates garden
vignettes with the idea that they may
attract sculpture as focal points, describes
the interplay as an ecological balance
between his desire to create beauty and
sustenance, and McFadden’s search for
settings to complement her work.
In deciding how to place a piece of
sculpture in the garden, McFadden ad
vises: “Look at the features that are there
already and work with what’s there. “Alice’s Teacups,” 30 inches in height, glazed stoneware, $400,
Move around. The way the light moves by Katy McFadden, Portland, Oregon.
Artist’s Statement/Viewers’ Comments
by Frank Ozereko
he viewing publics comments at and dramatic juxtapositions. These new work very sexual. I was prepared for
1 exhibition opening can reveal
pieces are almost theatrical in nature. “sensual” references because of the color
how well the artist is communicating. Depending on your reference point, they combinations and tactile contrasts, but
At a recent exhibition, I had the plea could be either very precious objects on I was not ready to think about each
sure of listening to comments about my elaborate shelves or colorfully costumed piece as a sexual statement.
work made by friends, colleagues, stu performers on some ancient stage.
In a conversation with a minister, I
dents and strangers. Afterward, I real
“On a personal level, I am excited by was surprised to hear that my formal
ized that the majority of the opinions these wall pieces because they combine framing devices were suggestive of
were not only perceptive and encourag and unify a number of different types wombs—fertile, full and protective of
ing, but they also were more daring and of work I have made in the past. They the objects within them. I realize that
outrageous than my own artists state utilize my interests in decoration, color, this was a corollary to the sexual refer
ment, which was more general. I have a design and the potential for surface rich ences, but the minister’s observations
great fear of overstating, overinterpretingness and variety within many ceramic made me look again at my frames and
or becoming too esoteric in my state forming and finishing traditions.”
the contents. I enjoyed the reference
ments. The opening-night viewing pub
The intent of this statement was to and felt very good knowing that my
lic was prepared to see all types of allude to issues without becoming too frame could suggest the miracle of birth
imagery in my work and was quite will specific or particular. I wanted the work to a viewer.
to speak for itself and didn’t want to
ing to share opinions.
After our conversation, I identified
This is the statement I wrote regard direct the viewers into a didactic inter one of the pieces as looking very
pretation of the pieces; however, many womblike. Glazed a subtle pink, tan
ing the work on display:
“This new body of wall-oriented ce came up with interpretations that I and white, “Datura” was named after a
ramic work features still life’ imagery wouldn’t dream of putting down in an new flower in my garden; however, the
within elaborate framelike formats. The artist’s statement.
flowers in the piece were not true repro
For instance, a student of mine pro ductions of this beautiful, bountiful
pieces are elaborately carved and glazed.
They are exuberant in color, texture, claimed that I had made some overt plant, which was labeled as “highly poi
surface contrasts and tactile appeal. They sexual references. When I asked her sonous” by the greenhouse. Whenever I
freely use and combine different ceramic which ones, she said they all were. She see this flower in my garden, I consider
and cultural references within single told me that the way I used symmetry the irony of this beauty being lethal.
pieces, making surprising, humorous
and the sets of shapes I chose made the The thought of a swelling womb/frame
“L’Orangerie,” 15 inches in height, with commercial slips and glazes, multiple firings in electric kilns.
holding a poisonous flower made me terms of technical accomplishment. My that they do not have much experience
look at this piece in a very different way, students were amazed to discover that in the tactile arts. The student noted
and I wondered if I had set up some everything I had made used the same that viewers at the exhibition were also
deep, ironic statement that my viewers basic handbuilding skills that I teach in denied tactile experiences because these
pieces begged to be handled, but touch
my Ceramics I class.
could interpret but I couldn’t.
Sometimes viewers’ comments vali ing was forbidden. To her, some of the
A good friend observed that my
artist’s statement had excluded an im date decisions made by the artist. For surfaces of these pieces looked sugared,
portant part of my life—gardening. She this series, I used a wide variety of tex good enough to eat. She found it frus
commented that my love of flowers, tures and special
fruit and vegetation is strongly present glaze effects. I be
gan to worry that
in my work. Perhaps I, like many gar
deners, imagine that most people share I had gone over
board and that
the same love.
Should I have made a reference to these very differ
the importance of gardening to my ently
work? If so, how long should this list of pieces would clash
influences become? Is it enough that a with each other
person could sense my love of flowers and make a very
without reading this in my statement?
Many viewers were pleased to find The comments
references to art history in the exhibited from viewers indi
work. It was as if they were on a scaven cated the opposite,
ger hunt, searching for references in a though. Words
title or in a formal element. Some were like “happy, hu
surprised to discover that ceramics could morous, joyful” “Pre-Columbian Chinoiserie,” 26 inches in length,
with multifired commercial slips and glazes.
were voiced re
refer to historical art sources and ob
jects that weren’t ceramic.
Another student who admired the trating to be able to see, but not be
Actually, every exhibition I have had
has elicited questions about the nature tactile qualities of this work reminded allowed to touch.
With this comment, I realized that
of ceramics. Technical questions also me of a lecture I had given about a year
abounded on opening night. I did not ago. I had remarked then that most most of the potters I know pride them
include technical information in the beginning art students have had good selves on being good cooks. As I looked
statement primarily because all too of high-school training in two-dimensional at some of the surfaces on some of my
ten ceramic works are looked at only in art, sometimes even computer art, but forms, I admitted that a lot of my han
dling of the invented objects in these
frames were constructed the way some
one (myself?) would prepare food.
In some ways, my opening-night
opinions are similar to those of viewers
who make observations about their im
pressions of works on view. In a sense,
because my pieces are made one at a
time, not constructed in the position
they are to be displayed, and put away
when they are finished, I was seeing
them for the first time as well.
After graduate school, most artists
do not receive substantive reviews of
their work. In some ways, encourage
ment comes from the marketplace—
certain colors, sizes, shapes sell and others
do not. Insightful observations regard
ing aesthetic decisions and imagery de
velopment are relatively rare, making
viewers’ comments a valuable tool for
suggesting directions to travel in the
future or recognizing a dominant theme
“Datura,” 19 inches in height, with commercial glazes and slips,
in an entire exhibit. A
by Frank Ozereko, Pelham, Massachusetts.
Call for Entries
Application Deadlines for Exhibitions,
Fairs, Festivals and Sales
January 15 entry deadline
Rochester, New York “Porcelain ’99” (March
26-April 30), open to functional porcelain forms
by artists residing in the United States, Canada
or Mexico. Juror: Richard Zakin, professor of
ceramics, State University College, Oswego, New
York. Juried from up to 2 slides per entry (with
SASE); up to 5 entries. Fee: $20 for up to 5 entries.
For prospectus, contact Esmay Fine Art, 1855
Monroe Ave., Rochester 14618.
February 1 entry deadline
Los Angeles, California “International Erotic
Teapot Show” (February 13-28), open to teapots
in any medium. Juried from slides or photos (with
SASE). Commission: 50%. Contact Parham Gal
lery, 2847 Armacost Ave., Los Angeles 90064; or
telephone (310) 473-5603.
June 1 entry deadline
Carouge, Switzerland “Prix de la Ville de
Carouge 1999” (October 2-November 28), com
petition theme is the functional teapot; works
must be no more than 35 centimeters (approxi
mately 14 inches) in height. Juried from 2 slides
plus a short resume (30 lines maximum). Awards:
7500 SFr (approximately US$5000), 1000 SFr
(approximately US$665) and 500 SFr (approxi
mately US$330). For further information, con
tact the Musee de Carouge, Mairie de Carouge,
Case postale, CH-1227 Carouge.
United States Exhibitions
January 8 entry deadline
Riverside, California “National Collegiate Ce
ramics Competition” (February 22-March 19),
open to ceramic-art students who have been en
rolled during the 1998-99 academic year in a 2- or
4-year college program, or a graduate-level pro
gram. Juried from slides. Juror: Sang Roberson.
Fee: $20 for up to 2 entries. Awards: $2000.
Contact NCCC ’99, c/o Judy Bronson, Riverside
Community College, 4800 Magnolia Ave., River
side 92506-1299; or telephone (909) 222-8275.
January 14 entry deadline
Sarasota, Florida Commission for artwork for
Selby Library (permanent); open to artists who
have received grants, awards or fellowships within
the past 5 years; whose works are included in
collections; who have had at least one exhibition
at a museum or nonprofit exhibition space within
the past 5 years; and who have completed other
outdoor public commissions on a similar scale.
Proposals juried from a maximum of 20 slides,
resume, and 1 page about yourself (include SASE).
Contact Sarasota County Arts in Public Places
For a free listing, please submit informa
tion on juried exhibitions, fairs, festivals
and sales at least four months before the
event’s entry deadline (add one month for
listings in July and two months for those in
August). Regional exhibitions must be
open to more than one state. Mail to Call
for Entries, Ceramics Monthly, PO Box
6102, Westerville, OH 43086-6102, e-mail
to [email protected] or fax to
Program, General Services Dept., 1660 Ringling
Blvd., Sarasota 34236; or fax (941) 364-4709.
January 15 entry deadline
Wichita, Kansas “Art Show at the Dog Show”
(March 1-April 7 and April 9-11), open to works
in all media that include a dog as part of the
subject matter. Juried from slides. Awards: $9500
in cash prizes; one $1250 purchase award. Con
tact Mrs. Pat Deshler, 4300 N. Edgemoor, Wichita
67220; e-mail [email protected] or telephone
(316) 744-0057/fax (316) 744-0293.
January 16 entry deadline
“10th Anniversary Teapot Show” (February 28March 29 in Oconomowoc; April 4-May 10
Chicago). Juried from slides. Entry fee: $20. For
prospectus, send business-size SASE to A. Houberbocken, Inc., PO Box 196, Cudahy, WI 53110.
Galesburg, Illinois “GALEX 33” (March 13April 10), open to all media. Juried from slides.
Entry fee: $20 for 4 slides. Awards: $2000. For
prospectus, contact Galesburg Civic Art Center,
114 E. Main St., Galesburg 61401; or telephone
January 22 entry deadline
Boston, Massachusetts “National Prize Show”
(April 2—May 29), open to all media. Juried from
slides. Juror: Peter Rathbone, vice president,
Sotheby’s, New York. Awards: best of show, $2000;
plus 10 other awards. Location: Federal Reserve
Gallery, Boston. For prospectus, send SASE to
Cambridge Art Association, National Prize Show,
25 Lowell St., Cambridge, MA 02138.
January 24 entry deadline
Chico, California “Chico Art Center’s 1999
‘All Media’ Juried National Exhibition” (May 7June 13). Juried from slides. Fee: $25 for up to 2
slides. Awards: $500 best of show; four $250
awards. For prospectus, send #10 SASE to Chico
Art Center, 1999 All Media Juried National Exhi
bition, 450 Orange St., Ste. 6, Chico 95928.
January 29 entry deadline
Lancaster, Pennsylvania “National Crafts”
(April 23-June 13), open to ceramics, fiber, metal,
paper, glass and wood. Juried from slides. Entry
fee: $25 for up to 3 entries. Juror: Joanne Rapp,
owner, Joanne Rapp Gallery/The Hand and the
Spirit, Scottsdale, Arizona. Awards: $2000. For
prospectus, send SASE to National Crafts, Lancaster
Museum ofArt, 135 N. Lime St., Lancaster 17602;
or telephone (717) 394-3497.
January 30 entry deadline
Portland, Oregon “Eating Right; Surpassing
Function and Changing Rituals” (March 23-May
2), open to works in all media. Juried from slides.
Juror: Kate Bonansinga, art critic, historian. Cash
awards. For prospectus, send SASE to Contempo
rary Crafts Gallery, 3934 S.W. Corbett Ave.,
Portland 97201; or telephone (503) 223-2654.
Ephrata, Pennsylvania “Seventh Annual Strictly
Functional Pottery National” (May 8-30). Juried
from slides. Juror: Warren MacKenzie. Fee: $20
for up to 3 entries. Awards: more than $3500 in
cash and merchandise. For prospectus, send busi
ness-size SASE to Jean B. Lehman, Director SFPN,
Market House Craft Center, PO Box 204, East
Petersburg, PA 17520.
February 12 entry deadline
Carbondale, Illinois “Clay Cup VII” (April
23—May 13). Juried from slides. Juror: Sandy
Simon. Contact the School of Art and Design,
SIUC, Carbondale 62901-4301, Attention: Clay
Cup; e-mail [email protected] or telephone Kate
Nelson, (618) 453-4315.
February 15 entry deadline
Northampton, Massachusetts “China Painting
Today” (July 31-August 29), open to artists using
Call for Entries
china-painting techniques. Juried from 5 slides,
resume and artist’s statement (with SASE). No
entry fee. For further information, send SASE to
Ferrin Gallery, 179 Main St., Northampton 01060.
February 16 entry deadline
Boulder, Colorado “Celestial Seasonings: A
Loose Interpretation IV” (June 24-September
11), open to teapots inspired by Celestial Season
ings’ (herbal tea manufacturer) imagery, prod
ucts, packaging or history. Juried from written or
drawn proposals for original works plus slides of
current work. Purchase awards: $10,000. For
prospectus, send SASE to Leslie Ferrin, 163 Teatown
Rd., Croton on Hudson, NY 10520.
February 26 entry deadline
Portland, Oregon “Below 2000” (May4-June
13), open to clayworks fired below 2000°F. Juried
from slides. Juror: Mark Burns, ceramist/professor of art, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Cash
awards. For prospectus, send SASE to Contempo
rary Crafts Gallery, 3934 S.W. Corbett Ave.,
Portland 97201; or telephone (503) 223-2654.
February 27 entry deadline
Lincoln, California “Feats of Clay XII” (May
1-22), open to sculpture, functional and non
functional works. Juried from slides. Juror: Michael
Lucero. Over $9000 in place, purchase and merit
awards. For prospectus, send legal-size SASE to
Lincoln Arts, PO Box 1166, Lincoln 95648.
March 24 entry deadline
Youngwood, Pennsylvania “Westmoreland Art
Nationals—25th” (May 30-June 13 in Young-
wood; traveling to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, from
July 2-5). Juried from slides. Awards. Send legalsize SASE to Westmoreland Art Nationals—25th,
RD 2 Box 355 A, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650;
e-mail [email protected] or telephone (724)
April 2 entry deadline
Ingram, Texas “Origins in Clay” (July 18August 14). Juried from 2 slides per entry; up to
3 entries. Fee: $25. Cash and merit awards. Juror:
Eddie Dominguez, assistant professor, University
of Nebraska at Lincoln. For entry form, send SASE
to Marc Brackley, San Antonio Potters’ Guild,
PO Box 264, Bulverde, TX 78163.
April 15 entry deadline
Portland, Oregon “Growing Up with Roy:
Exploring American Culture” (June 22-August
21), open to works based on 1950s television and
Saturday-morning heroes. Juried from slides. Ju
ror: Joe Bova, professor, Ohio University School
of Art. Cash awards. For prospectus, send SASE to
Contemporary Crafts Gallery, 3934 S.W. Corbett
Ave., Portland 97201; telephone (503) 223-2654.
January 31 entry deadline
Baltimore, Maryland“D.C. Clay” (May), open
to artists residing in Washington, D.C., as well as
the following Maryland/Virginia counties: Ar
lington, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince Georges.
Juried from 5 slides. For entry form, send SASE to
Leigh Taylor Mickelson, Baltimore Clayworks,
5706 Smith Ave., Baltimore 21209; or telephone
February 10 entry deadline
Las Cruces/Santa Fe, New Mexico “From the
Ground Up XXIII” (April 10-June 15), open to
ceramics artists residing in Arizona, New Mexico,
Texas and Northern Mexico. Juried from slides.
Juror: Gina Bobrowski, professor of ceramics,
University of New Mexico. For entry form, send
SASE to Kathy Story, 9880 Sallee Rd., Las Cruces,
NM 88011; or telephone (505) 382-7617.
March 1 entry deadline
Indianapolis, Indiana “Clayfest XI” (April 19May 14), open to current and former residents of
Indiana. Juried from slides. Entry fee: $10. For
prospectus, send SASE to Clayfest XI, University of
Indianapolis, Dept, of Art, 1400 E. Hanna Ave.,
March 3 entry deadline
Houston, Texas “Materials + Form 6” (March
5-26), open to works in all media by artists
residing in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico,
Oklahoma and Texas. Juried from slides. Jurors:
Nick de Vries and Sandy Zilker. Entry fee. Cash
awards. For prospectus, send legal-size SASE to Art
League of Houston, 1953 Montrose Blvd., Hous
ton 77006-1243; for further information, e-mail
[email protected] or telephone (713) 5239530 or fax (713) 523-4053.
May 7 entry deadline
La Crosse, Wisconsin*FISH Tales” (August 130), open to artists residing in Illinois, Iowa,
Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. J uried from
2 slides per entry; up to 3 entries. Juror: Fred
Stonehouse, artist. Fee: $20. Awards: first place,
$1000; plus two $500 prizes. For prospectus,
contact the Pump House Regional Arts Center,
119 King St., La Crosse 54601.
June 1 entry deadline
Lexington, Massachusetts “The State of Clay
1999” (October 5-30), open to former and cur
rent residents of Massachusetts. Juried from slides.
Jurors: Polly Ann and Frank Martin from the
92nd Street Y Art Center, New York City. Fee:
Call for Entries
$20 for up to 3 entries. For prospectus, send SASE
to the State of Clay, Ceramics Guild, Lexington
Arts and Crafts Society, 130 Waltham St., Lexing
Fairs, Festivals and Sales
January 8 entry deadline
Atlanta, Georgia “Sugarloaf Crafts Festival”
(November 26-28). Juried from 5 slides, includ
ing 1 of booth. Booth fee: $425. No commission.
For application, send 3 loose first-class stamps for
postage to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, Inc., 200
Orchard Ridge Dr., #215, Gaithersburg, MD
20878; or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Gaithersburg, Maryland* Sugarloaf Crafts Fes
tival” (November 18-21 or December 10-12).
Juried from 5 slides, including 1 of booth. Booth
fee: $450-$550. No commission. For applica
tion, send 3 loose first-class stamps for postage to
Sugarloaf Mountain Works, Inc., 200 Orchard
Ridge Dr., #215, Gaithersburg 20878; or tele
phone (800) 210-9900.
Timonium, Maryland11 Sugarloaf Crafts Festi
val” (October 8—10). Juried from 5 slides, includ
ing 1 of booth. Booth fee: $495. No commission.
For application, send 3 loose first-class stamps for
postage to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, Inc., 200
Orchard Ridge Dr., #215, Gaithersburg, MD
20878; or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Novi, Michigan “Sugarloaf Art Fair” (October
22-24). Juried from 5 slides, including 1 of booth.
Booth fee: $425. No commission. For applica
tion, send 3 loose first-class stamps for postage to
Sugarloaf Mountain Works, Inc., 200 Orchard
Ridge Dr., #215, Gaithersburg, MD 20878; or
telephone (800) 210-9900.
Somerset, New Jersey “Sugarloaf Crafts Festi
val” (October 1-3). Juried from 5 slides, includ
ing 1 of booth. Booth fee: $425. No commission.
For application, send 3 loose first-class stamps for
postage to Sugarloaf Mountain Works, Inc., 200
Orchard Ridge Dr., #215, Gaithersburg, MD
20878; or telephone (800) 210-9900.
Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania “Sugarloaf Crafts
Festival” (October 29-31). Juried from 5 slides,
including 1 of booth. Booth fee: $450. No com
mission. For application, send 3 loose first-class
stamps for postage to Sugarloaf Mountain Works,
Inc., 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., #215, Gaithersburg,
MD 20878; telephone (800) 210-9900.
Manassas, Virginia “Sugarloaf Crafts Festival”
(September 17-19). Juried from 5 slides, includ
ing 1 of booth. Booth fee: $395-$475. No com
mission. For application, send 3 loose first-class
stamps for postage to Sugarloaf Mountain Works,
Inc., 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., #215, Gaithersburg,
MD 20878; telephone (800) 210-9900.
January 10 entry deadline
Dauphin Island, Alabama “Tricentennial Art
and Craft Show” (March 6-7). Juried from slides.
Booth fee: $50. Contact Dauphin Island Art
Guild, PO Box 1422, Dauphin Island 36528;
telephone or fax (334) 861-5760.
January 16 entry deadline
Indianapolis, Indiana “29th Annual Broad
Ripple Art Fair” (May 8-9). Juried from 3 slides
of work plus 1 of display (with business-sizeSASE).
Entry fee: $20. Booth fee: $140 for a 12x12-foot
space. For entry form, contact the Indianapolis
Art Center, 820 E. 67th St., Indianapolis 46220;
see website at www.indplsartcenter.org or tele
phone (317) 255-2464.
January 22 entry deadline
Stevens Point, Wisconsin “Festival of the Arts”
(March 28). Juried from 3 slides of work plus 1 of
display (with SASE), and resume. Entry fee: $10.
Booth fee: $60. Cash awards. For further informa
tion, contact Festival of the Arts, PO Box 872,
Stevens Point 54481-0872; or telephone Lora
Hagen (715) 366-4377.
January 31 entry deadline
Frederick, Maryland*Frederick Festival of the
Arts” (June 5-6). Juried from slides. Cash awards.
For application, send SASE to the Frederick Festi
val of the Arts, PO Box 3080, Frederick 21701; or
telephone (301) 694-9632.
February 1 entry deadline
Baltimore, Maryland* Harbor Lights Fes
tival of the Arts” (December 10-12). Juried from
5 slides of work and 1 of display, plus resume for
new exhibitors. Entry fee: $10. Booth fee: $450$675. No commission. Contact National Crafts
Ltd. ,4845 Rumler Rd., Chambersburg, PA 17201;
e-mail [email protected] or telephone (717) 3694810/fax (717) 369-5001.
Frederick, Maryland “25th Annual Frederick
Art and Craft Festival” (May 7-9). Juried from 5
slides of work and 1 of display, plus resume for
new exhibitors. Entry fee: $10. Booth fee: $300$400. No commission. Contact National Crafts
Ltd., 4845 Rumler Rd., Chambersburg, PA 17201;
e-mail [email protected] or telephone (717) 3694810/fax (717) 369-5001.
Gaithersburg, Maryland “24th Annual Na
tional Art and Craft Festival” (October 15-17).
Juried from 5 slides of work and 1 of display,
plus resume for new exhibitors. Entry fee: $10.
Booth fee: $340-$425. No commission. For
further information, contact National Crafts
Ltd., 4845 Rumler Rd., Chambersburg, PA 17201;
e-mail [email protected] or telephone (717) 3694810 or fax (717) 369-5001.
Cambridge, Wisconsin “8th Annual Cam
bridge Pottery Festival” (June 12-13). Juried
from 4 slides. For application, see website at
www.potteryfestival.com or telephone Laurie,
February 5 entry deadline
Ann Arbor, Michigan “The Ann Arbor Street
Art Fair” (July 21-24). Juried from 5 slides of
work. Entry fee: $25. Ten awards of excellence,
$300 each. For application, send SASE to Shary
Brown, The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, PO Box
1352, Ann Arbor 48106; telephone (734) 9945260 or fax (734) 994-0504.
February 12 entry deadline
Beaver Creek, Colorado “Beaver Creek Arts
Festival 11” (August 14-15). Juried from 3 slides
of work plus 1 of booth. Entry fee: $25. Booth fee:
$245 for a 10x10-foot space. For application, send
SASE to Cristina Campa, Vail Valley Arts Council,
PO Box 1153, Vail, CO 81658.
Vail, Colorado “Vail Arts Festival 16” (July
10-11). Juried from 3 slides of work plus 1 of
booth. Entry fee: $25. Booth fee: $245 for a
10x10-foot space. For application, send SASE to
Cristina Campa, Vail Valley Arts Council, PO
Box 1153, Vail 81658.
February 19 entry deadline
Salem, Oregon “Salem Art Fair and Festival”
(July 16-19). Juried from 5 slides of work. For
application, send name and address to Salem
Art Fair and Festival, 600 Mission St., SE,
February 28 entry deadline
Clinton, Iowa “Art in the Park” (June 19).
Juried from 5 slides, including 1 of display. Entry
fee: $5. Booth fee: $65 for a 12x12-foot space. No
commission. Cash awards. For application, send
Call for Entries
to Art in the Park, PO Box 2164, Clinton
52733; or telephone Carol Glahn, (319) 259-8308.
March 1 entry deadline
Salina, Kansas “Smoky Hill River Festival:
Fine Art/Fine Craft Show” (June 12-13). Juried
from 6 slides. Entry fee: $15. Booth fee: $175 for
a 10x10-foot space. No commission. Awards:
$5800 in merit and purchase; $55,000 art patron
program. Contact Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina
Arts and Humanities Commission, PO Box 2181,
Salina 67402-2181; telephone (785) 826-7410 or
fax (785) 826-7444.
Salina, Kansas “Smoky Hill River Festival:
Four Rivers Craft Market” (June 11-13). Juried
from 6 slides. Entry fee: $15. Booth fee: $100 for
a 1 Ox 10-foot space or 10% of earnings, whichever
is greater. Awards: $1300 in merit awards. Con
tact Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina Arts and
Humanities Commission, PO Box 2181, Salina
67402-2181; telephone (785) 826-7410 or fax
March 5 entry deadline
Winnetka, Illinois “American Craft Exposi
tion” (August 26—29). Juried from 5 slides. For
further information, contact American Craft Expo
sition, PO Box 25, Winnetka 60093-0025; or tele
phone (847) 570-5096.
April 1 entry deadline
Spokane, Washington “Inland Craft Warnings”
(October 8-10). Juried from 5 slides and 1-page
resume (include SASE). No entry fee. For applica
tion, send business-sized SASE to G. Freuen, In
land Craft Warnings, 15205 Shady Slope Rd.,
April 5 entry deadline
Chautauqua, New York “Crafts Festivals ’99”
(July 9-11 and August 13-15). Juried from 3
slides of work plus 1 of booth. Jury fee: $10 per
show. Entry fee: $175 per show. For prospectus,
send business-size SASE to Devon Taylor, Festivals
Director, Chautauqua Crafts Alliance, PO Box
89, Mayville, NY 14757-0089.
April 15 entry deadline
Evergreen, Colorado “33rd Annual Evergreen
Arts Festival” (August 21-22). Juried from slides.
For further information, contact Danna Cuin,
PO Box 3931, Evergreen 80437; or telephone
April 19 entry deadline
Boston, Massachusetts “Crafts at the Castle”
(December 1-5). Juried from 5 slides. Entry fee:
$25. Booth fee: $550-$ 1000 for varying space
sizes. For application, send name and address to
Gretchen Keyworth, Crafts at the Castle, Family
Service of Greater Boston, 99 Chauncy St., 9th
FI., Boston 02111; or fax (617) 423-2783.
May 7 entry deadline
Mexico, Missouri “Clay Days USA ’99” (June
26-27). Juried from slides or photos. Booth fee:
$65 for a 10x 10-foot space. Contact Sandy Prosser,
Special Programs Coordinator, City of Mexico,
300 N. Coal, Mexico 65265; e-mail [email protected] or telephone (573) 5812100, ext. 49, or fax (573) 581-2305.
June 1 entry deadline
Portland, Oregon “Handmade Oregon” (Au
gust 10-September 19), open to works in all
media by past and present Oregon residents. Juried
from slides. Juror: Janet Koplos, critic/associate
editor, Art in America. Cash awards. For prospec
tus, send SASE to Contemporary Crafts Gallery,
3934 S.W. Corbett Ave., Portland 97201; or
telephone (503) 223-2654.
My father, who teaches ceramics, came up
with this great idea for a slip-trailing tool.
First, you need a bulb syringe that you can get
at any drugstore, and a bicycle tire pump
needle, called an inflating needle, available at
sporting-goods stores and hardware stores.
With a wire cutter, cut off the tip of the
inflating needle just below the side hole, then
reopen the flattened tip by squeezing the
sides, using needle-nose pliers.
With scissors, cut the tip off the syringe,
down to where the bigger end of the inflating
needle will just fit into it. It should be a tight
fit. Be careful not to cut off too much of the
syringe tip, or the hole will be too big.
Fill up the syringe bulb by placing the
opening in your slip container, squeezing and
releasing, then insert the inflating needle and
as my mom would say, “happy trails!”—Amy
Bobeda, Correlitos, Calif.
My favorite tool for electric kiln mainte
nance is a pair of 8-inch-long bolt cutters.
They’re perfect for snipping the tough,
double-wound “pigtails” off the end of newly
installed elements. They’re easier to use for
this task than ordinary wire cutters, and you
can operate them with one hand. Plus, the
element piece does not go flying off when
snipped.—Van Moore, College Park, Md.
I have been using a 3-inch slab of Tennessee stone (any stone will do) to wedge and dry
out clay. It picks up moisture quickly and is
a cinch to clean up. Stone can be purchased
at any quarry, and they will cut it to size.—
Phyllis Shepard, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Share your ideas with others. Ceramics
Monthly will pay $10 for each one published.
Suggestions are welcome individually or in
quantity. Include a drawing or photograph to
illustrate your idea and we will add $10 to the
payment. Mail to Ceramics Monthly, PO Box
6102, Westerville, Ohio 43086-6102, e-mail
to [email protected] or fax to
Events to Attend—Conferences,
Exhibitions, Workshops, Fairs
Alabama, Florence February 17-20 “14th Ala
bama Clay Conference,” featuring David Gamble,
Patrick Horsley and Pete Pinnell, will include dem
onstrations, slide presentations, some hands-on op
portunities, plus exhibitions. Contact M. C. Jerkins,
1809 N. Wood Ave., Florence 35630; e-mail
[email protected] or
telephone (256) 766-4455 (Tues.-Sat., 10 AM5 PM CST).
Arizona, Yuma February 25—27*YUMA Sympo
sium XX” with slide presentations, lectures and
demonstrations by well-known as well as emerg
ing artists, including slide lecture with ceramist
Stan Welsh. Contact Neely Tomkins, 90 W. Second
St., Yuma 85364; or telephone (520) 782-1934.
Florida, Tallahassee January22—24* 46th Florida
Craftsmen Statewide Conference” will include
slide lectures, clay workshops with Ron Meyers
and Deborah Groover, and exhibitions. Contact
Florida Craftsmen, 501 Central Ave., St. Peters
burg, FL 33701; telephone (813) 821-7391.
Iowa, Iowa City September 29—October 2*Y)iffzvent Stokes,” international wood-fire conference.
Contact Chuck Hindes, School of Art, University
of Iowa, Iowa City 52242; e-mail [email protected] or fax (319) 335-1774.
Kentucky, Lexington March 19—20 “Mastering
the Market: Successful Craft Strategies” will in
clude presentations on marketing and price struc
tures, photography, copyright protection issues,
business financing, publishing your work, etc.
Contact Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, 39
Fountain PL, Frankfort, KY 40601-1942; tele
phone (888) 446-0102 or (888) 592-7238.
Ohio, Columbus March 17—20“Passion and Pro
cess,” National Council on Education for the
Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference, will include
demonstrations, slide presentations, panel discus
sions, exhibitions. Contact Regina Brown, Execu
tive Secretary, NCECA, PO Box 1677, Bandon,
OR 97411; telephone (800) 99-NCECA.
Texas, San Angelo April 16 “The 14th Annual
Ceramic Symposium.” Free. Contact Esteban
Apodaca, Assistant Professor of Art, Angelo State
University, PO Box 10906, San Angelo 76909;
telephone (915) 942-2085 or fax (915) 942-2152.
Canada, Ontario, Kingston May 28-30 “Reflec
tions,” FUSION ’99 conference, with guest artists
Val Cushing and Diane Sullivan. For further
information, contact FUSION: The Clay and Glass
Association, Gardener’s Cottage, 225 Confedera
tion Dr., Scarborough, Ontario M1G 1B2; e-mail
[email protected] or telephone (416) 4388946/fax (416) 438-0192.
China, Tongchuan (Xian) May 25-June 17*First
Yao Ware Ceramic Art Conference” will include
lectures/workshops on topics relating to the his
tory of Yao Ware and its current production;
tours of cultural sites. Contact China Ceramic
Cultural Exchange: International Office, Zhou
Ying, 14 Courtwright Rd., Etobicoke, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada M5L 4B4; e-mail [email protected] or telephone (416) 695-3607.
Netherlands, Amsterdam July 13—17 “Ceramic
Millennium,” the 8th international ceramics sym
posium of the Ceramic Arts Foundation, will
include over 50 papers presented by educators,
artists, critics, writers, historians; ceramics re
sources fair, film festival, exhibitions. Fee: US$395/
Dfl 720. Contact Ceramic Arts Foundation, 666
Fifth Ave., Ste. 309, New York, NY 10103; e-mail
[email protected] or fax (212) 489-5168.
California, Davis through January 3 Linda Fitz
Gibbon; at John Natsoulas Gallery, 140 F St.
California, San Francisco through January 2Robert Brady; at Braunstein/Quay Gallery, 250
through January 30 Annette Corcoran; at Dorothy
Weiss Gallery, 256 Sutter St.
D.C., Washington through January 3 “The
Stonewares of Charles Fergus Binns: Father of
American Studio Ceramics”; at the Renwick Gal
lery, National Museum of American Art, Smith
Florida, Tallahassee through February 5 Barbara
Sorensen, sculpture; at the Florida State Capitol.
Florida, Winter Park through January 22 Jack
King, “A Point of Opposition and Concordance,”
mixed-media sculpture; at the Crealde School of
Art, 600 St. Andrews Blvd.
Georgia, Macon January 24-March 14 “The
Stonewares of Charles Fergus Binns: Father of
American Studio Ceramics”; at the Museum of
Arts and Sciences, 4182 Forsyth Rd.
Illinois, Chicago February 12-March 13 Edward
Eberle; at Perimeter Gallery, 210 W. Superior St.
Michigan, Ferndale through January l6]&e Won
Ritual and Metaphorical Works”; at Earthen Art
Works, 7960 Melrose Ave.
January 5-29 “From the Earth/Dalla Terra,” ex
change exhibition of works by artists from Italy—
Paolo Biagioli, Mario Boldrini, Andrea De
Lee, “Absent One”; at Revolution, 23257 Wood
Carvalho, Donatella Fogante, Luca Leandri and
Virginia Ryan—and Los Angeles—Tetsuji Aono,
Minnesota, St. Paul January 7-March 3 Ceramics
Keiko Fukazawa, Phyllis Green, Karen Koblitz
and works on paper by Betty Woodman; at the
and Gifford Myers; at the Brewery Project, 650
Olson Gallery, Bethel College.
South Ave. 21, #200 E.
Missouri, Kansas City through January 7 Judy
Connecticut, Brookfield January 24-March 4
Onofrio; at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, 2012
“Low Fire: Limitless Possibilities,” with works by
over 20 clay artists; at the Brookfield Craft Center,
New York, Larchmont through January 3 Grace
286 Whisconier Rd.
Powers Fraioli, “Evolutions,” sculpture and waDelaware, Winterthur through July 1 “Ceramics
tercolors; at Oresman Gallery, 121 Larchmont Ave.
in Bloom,” porcelain, earthenware and stoneware
New York, New York through January 2 Steven
from the late 17th century to the early 20th century;
Montgomery; at OK Harris Gallery, 383 W.
at the Society of Winterthur Fellows Gallery.
D.C., Washington through January 18 “Bernini’s
through January 9 Steve. Dixon; at Nancy Margolis
Rome: Italian Baroque Terra Cottas from the
Gallery, 560 Broadway, Ste. 302.
State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg”; at the
through January 9 Anthony Caro. January 12-30
National Gallery of Art, Sixth St. and Constitu
Carme Collell. Karen Karnes. February 2—27Ralph
tion Ave., NW.
Bacerra; at Garth Clark Gallery, 24 W. 57th St.
Georgia, Atlanta through January 5 “Women
through February 13 Arnold Zimmerman, sculpture.
February 20-April3 Pamela Earnshaw Kelly, sculpture; Working in Clay,” with works by Barb Doll,
Debra Fritts and Jeri Hollister; at Trinity Gallery,
at John Elder Gallery, 529 W. 20th St.
315 E. Paces Ferry Rd.
through May 30 Steven Montgomery; at the Metro
Massachusetts, Ipswich February 6-28 “Tiles,
politan Museum of Art, Fifth Ave. and 82nd St.
Tables and Tableaux”; at Ocmulgee Pottery and
New York, Port Chester February 5-28 Jeff
Gallery, 317 High St.-Rte. 1A.
Oestreich, “Pots for the Table”; at the Clay Art
Massachusetts, Northampton through January 3
Center, 40 Beech St.
“All Decked Out,” holiday decorations and orna
North Carolina, Charlotte through May 2 “Will
iam Littler: An 18th-Century English Earth Potter”; ments; at Ferrin Gallery, 179 Main.
Michigan, Allendale January 11—February 12
at the Mint Museum of Art, 2730 Randolph Rd.
“Michigan Ceramics ’98”; at Calder Gallery, Grand
January 10-July 4 “Harvey K. Littleton Reflec
Valley State University.
tions, 1946-1994”; at the Mint Museum of Craft
Minnesota, Minneapolis January 9—31 Works by
+ Design, 220 N. Tryon St.
Marc Digeros, Jill Franke and Tim Marcotte.
Ohio, Columbus January 16—March 21 Edward
January 15-February 20 “Jerome Artists Exhibi
Eberle, “Drawings on Paper and Porcelain”; at the
tion,” works by Kelly Connole, Sarah Heimann
Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St.
and Maren Kloppmann. February 6—28 Works by
Ohio, Lancaster through January 13 Jean Barile;
Bill Gossman, Ruth Martin and Jeff Noska; at
at the Gallery at Studio B, 140 W. Main St.
Northern Clay Center, 2424 Franklin Ave., E.
Oregon, Portland January 2-31 Joe Wedding.
New Hampshire, Durham January 26—April 11
Marty Kendall; at Contemporary Crafts Gallery,
“Worldviews: Maya Ceramics from the Palmer
3934 S.W. Corbett Ave.
Pennsylvania, Doylestown through January 17 Collection”; at the Art Gallery, Paul Creative Arts
Center, University of New Hampshire, 30 Col
‘“Machinery Can’t Make Art’: The Pottery and
Tiles of Henry Chapman Mercer”; at James A.
New York, Albany through September 13, 2000
Michener Art Museum, 138 S. Pine St.
“From the Collections: The Weitsman Stoneware
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia January 1-30 Chris
Collection”; at the New York State Museum,
tina Bothwell, “Screen Memories”; at the Clay
Empire State Plaza.
Studio, 130 N. Second St.
New York, Alfred through February 4 “Premedi
Texas, Houston January 3-February 13V. Chin,
tated Function: The Corsaw Collection of Ameri
pottery; at Archway Gallery, 2013 W. Gray.
can Ceramics”; at the International Museum of
Washington, Seattle through January 3 Carol
Ceramic Art at Alfred, Ceramic Corridor Innova
Gouthro. January 7-31 Jim Kraft; at Foster/White
tion Center, Rte. 244.
Gallery, Pioneer Sq., 311½ Occidental Ave., S.
New York, New York through January 10 “Na
tional Ceramics Invitational,” works by Vincent
Group Ceramics Exhibitions
Burke, Syd Carpenter, Patrick Shia Crabb, Pete
Gourfain, Ron Kovatch, Carol Martin and Brad
Alabama, Florence February 8-April2“KennedySchwieger; at Denise Bibro Fine Art, 529 W. 20th
Douglass Center for the Arts 1999 National Ce
St., 4th FI.
ramic Competition”; at the Kennedy-Douglass
through May 30 “Clay into Art: Selections from
Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St.
the Contemporary Ceramics Collection in the
California, Claremont January 16-March 21
Metropolitan Museum of Art”; at the Metropoli
“55th Ceramic Annual,” works by Wouter Dam,
tan Museum of Art, Fifth Ave. and 82nd St.
John deFazio, Kim Dickey, Doug Jeck, Charles
January 7-February ^“Artists on Their Own”; at
Krafft, Beverly Mayeri, Richard Millet, Joseph
Jane Hartsook Gallery, Greenwich House Pot
Siegenthaler and Janis Mars Wunderlich; at Ruth
Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College,
tery, 16 Jones St.
January 12-30“Yixing Ceramics”; at Garth Clark
11th and Columbia sts.
Gallery, 24 W. 57th St., #305.
California, Davis January 5-31 Ceramic sculp
North Carolina, Charlotte through January 9“Six
ture by Stephen Fleming and Rene Martucci; at
Approaches: Clay with Content,” with works by
John Natsoulas Gallery, 140 F St.
Dan Anderson, Linda Arbuckle, Bob Archambeau,
California, Del Mar through January 31^/orks by
Peter Beasecker, Ron Meyers and Mark Pharis; at
members of Ceramic Artists of San Diego; at
gallery W. D. O., Ste. 610 at Atherton Mill, 2000
Signature Gallery, 1110 Camino.
California, Los Angeles through January 14 “A
Quintessential Vessel Competition of Function,
through February 14 “Earth, Fire and Spirit: Afri-
can Pottery and Sculpture”; at the Mint Museum
of Art, 2730 Randolph Rd.
Ohio, Columbus February 7-April 11 “Lighten
Up: Ceramic Candleholders”; at the Ohio Craft
Museum, 1665 W. Fifth Ave.
February 22-March 20 “NCECA Regional Juried
Student Exhibition”; at Ft. Hayes Shot Tower
Ohio, Westerville February 1—June 75“Clay from
Two Rivers: Pottery from New Guinea and Af
rica”; at Fisher Gallery, Roush Hall, Otterbein
College, 1 Otterbein.
Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh through January 8 Ce
ramics by Booker Stephen Carpenter II and
Malcolm Mobutu Smith; at Manchester Crafts
men’s Guild, 1815 Metropolitan St.
through January 13 A benefit exhibition for Karen
Karnes and Ann Stannard; at the Clay Place, 5416
Vermont, Waterbury Center February 1—28
“Emerging Artists of the U.S.”; at the Vermont
Clay Studio, 2802 Waterbury-Stowe Rd. (Rte. 100).
Virginia, Alexandria through January 3 “The
Holiday Show,” works by Ceramic Guild mem
bers; at Scope Gallery, Torpedo Factory, 105 N.
Virginia, Richmond through January 31 “A Fire
for Ceramics: Contemporary Art from the Daniel
Jacobs and Derek Mason Collection”; at the Hand
Workshop Art Center, 1812 W. Main St.
Alabama, Huntsville through February 7“A Taste
for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European
Treasures from the Hillwood Museum”; at the
Huntsville Museum of Art, 700 Monroe St., SW.
Arizona, Surprise through January 17 Two-person exhibition with pottery and sculpture by
Susan Hearn; at West Valley Art Museum, 17425
N. Avenue of the Arts.
Arizona, Tucson January 2—31 Three-person ex
hibition with ceramic and metal sculpture by
Sandra Luehrsen; at Obsidian Gallery, 4340 N.
Campbell Ave., St. Philips Plaza, Ste. 90.
California, Pomona January 7—February 19 “Ink
and Clay”; at W. Keith and Janet Kellogg Univer
sity Art Gallery of California State Polytechnic
California, Rancho Palos Verdes January 15—
February 21 Three-person exhibition, including
ceramic sculpture by Barbara Hashimoto; at the
Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 W. Crestridge Rd.
California, San Diego January 29-April 11 “Sha
mans, Gods and Mythic Beasts: Colombian Gold
and Ceramics in Antiquity”; at Mingei Interna
tional Museum ofWorld Folk Art, 1439 El Prado,
California, San Francisco January 7—30 “Impor
tant Works in Clay and Glass,” including ceram
ics by Laura Andreson, Robert Brady, Philip
Cornelius, Richard DeVore, Ruth Duckworth,
Michael Lucero and Otto Natzler; at Dorothy
Weiss Gallery, 256 Sutter St.
Colorado, Denver through January 24 “Inventing
the Southwest: The Fred Harvey Company and
Native American Art”; at the Denver Art Museum,
100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy. through October 3 “White
on White: Chinese Jades and Ceramics from the
Tang through Qing Dynasties.”
D. C., Washington through February 15 “Edo: Art
in Japan 1615-1868”; at the National Gallery of Art,
Fourth St. at Constitution Ave., NW.
through April 11 “Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary
Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art”; at Freer
Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Jefferson
Dr. at 12th St., SW.
Florida, Tampa February 13—March26“\0th.
Annual Black and White”; at Artists Unlimited,
223 N. 12th St.
Florida, Venice through January 25 “Spotlight
’98,” American Craft Council Southeast Juried
Exhibition; at the Venice Art Center.
Georgia, Athens through January 3 “Elements of
Style: The Legacy of Arnocroft,” decorative arts.
January 16—March 7^“With These Hands,” early
African-American decorative objects; at Martha
and Eugene Odum Gallery of Decorative Arts,
Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia,
90 Carlton St.
Georgia, Atlanta through January 10 “Shamans,
Gods and Mythic Beasts: Colombian Gold and
Ceramics in Antiquity”; at Michael C. Carlos
Museum, Emory University, 571 S. Kilgo St.
Kansas, Topeka through January 3“Topeka Com
petition 22”; at the Mulvane Art Museum,
Washburn University, 1700 Jewell.
Kentucky, Louisville January 6—February 20“Tiles
and Basins”; at the Kentucky Art and Craft Foun
dation, 609 W. Main St.
January 31-February 17 “Dinnerworks ’99”; at
the Water Tower.
Maryland, Arnold January 24-February 24Twoperson exhibition with ceramics by Rick
Malmgren; at Cade Art Building, Anne Arundel
Community College, 101 College Pkwy.
Massachusetts, Boston through January 3 “Toys
and Gadgets”; at the Society of Arts and Crafts,
175 Newbury St.
Missouri, Warrensburg January 25—February 21
“Greater Midwest International XIV”; at Central
Missouri State University, Art Center Gallery.
Nevada, Reno through January 10 “A Common
Thread,” craftworks by over 30 artists from Ne
vada and the Great Basin; at the Nevada Museum
of Art, 160 W. Liberty St.
New Jersey, Layton through January 10 “Wild
Things”; at Sally D. Francisco Gallery, Peters
Valley Craft Center, 19 Kuhn Rd.
New York, Albany through September 13, 2000
“From the Collections: Treasures from the Wunsch
Americana Foundation”; at the New York State
Museum, Empire State Plaza.
New York, New York February 10-27“8th An
nual Emerging Artists International Competi
tion”; at the Slowinski Gallery, 215 Mulberry St.
New York, Rochester through January 77“Living
with Art: Rochester Collects.” February 21—April
18 “Self-Taught Artists of the 20th Century: An
American Anthology”; at the Memorial Art Gal
lery of the University of Rochester, 500 Univer
North Carolina, Charlotte January 10-May 30
“The White House Collection of American Crafts”;
at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, 220 N.
Ohio, Cleveland January 8-February 19 “This
Side Up,” exhibition of ceramics, sculpture and
installation; at SPACES, 2220 Superior Viaduct.
Ohio, Columbus through January 1 “1998 Annual
Fall Juried Exhibition”; at Fort Hayes Metropolitan
Education Center, 546 Jack Gibbs Blvd.
through January 24 “Head, Heart and Hands:
Native American Craft Traditions in a Contem
porary World”; at the Ohio Craft Museum, 1665
W. Fifth Ave.
January 30-April 18 “On the Table: A Succession
of Collections III,” a selection of tables and ce
ramic place settings; at the Wexner Center for the
Arts, 1871 N. High St.
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia through January 15
“Green Mountain Visions: Vermont Crafts,” in
cluding ceramics by Natalie Blake, Ken Pik, Eliza
beth Roman, Gretchen Verplanck and Malcolm
Wright; at the Works Gallery, 303 Cherry St.
Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh through February 13
“Stop Asking/We Exist: 25 Contemporary Afri
can-American Craft Artists”; at the Society for
Contemporary Crafts, 2100 Smallman St.
Pennsylvania, Wayne through January 22 “Craft
Forms ’98,” juried national; at the Wayne Art
Center, 413 Maplewood Ave.
Tennessee, Chattanooga through May “1998—99
Sculpture Garden Exhibit”; at River Gallery, 400
E. Second St.
Tennessee, Gatlinburg February 26—May 15
“Arrowmont National 1999 Juried Exhibition”;
at the Main Gallery, Arrowmont School of Arts
Texas, Houston through January 10 “A Grand
Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Mu
seum”; at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,
Washington, Seattle through January 10 “Gift of
the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Art and Architecture
from the University of Pennsylvania Museum”; at
Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St.
Fairs, Festivals and Sales
California, San Francisco February 5—7 “The
Tribal, Folk and Textile Arts Show. ” February 11—
14“Arts of Pacific Asia”; at the Festival Pavilion,
Fort Mason Center.
Florida, Gainesville February 12-14 “13th An
nual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire”; at the Alachua
Florida, Mt. Dora February 6-7 “24th Annual
Mount Dora Arts Festival”; downtown.
Massachusetts, Ipswich January 16—31 “Annual
Seconds Sale”; at Ocmulgee Pottery and Gallery,
317 High St., Rte. 1A.
Montana, Helena through January 3 “Winter
Showcase Exhibition and Sale”; at Holter Museum
of Art, Sherman Gallery, 12 E. Lawrence St.
New York, East Setauket through January 31 “Holi
day Pottery Sale”; at the Gallery at Hands on Clay,
128 Old Town Rd.
New York, Manhattan through January 4 “Exhibi
tion and Sale of Mosaic Tile and Holiday Gift Items
by City Youths”; at the School of Visual Arts West
Gallery, 141 W. 21st St.
Ohio, Columbus January 30-31 “Art Studio Clear
ance Sale”; at the Columbus Veterans Memorial
Exposition Hall, downtown.
Virginia, Chantilly January 29—31 “Sugarloaf s
Winter Chantilly Crafts Festival”; at the Capital
Limited to four participants. Contact George
Griffin Pottery, (850) 962-9311.
Florida, West Palm Beach February 20—21 “Hand
built Form and Surface in Harmony” with Yoshiro
Ikeda. March 1—^“Functional Stoneware—Single
Firing” with Steven Hill. March 8-12 “The Lan
guage of the Stones” with Brad Miller. March 27—
28 “Shape and Surface—The Extraordinary and
Beyond” with Lana Wilson. Contact the Robert
and Mary Montgomery Armory Art Center, 1703
S. Lake Ave., West Palm Beach 33401; see website
at armoryart.org or telephone (888) 276-6791 or
Georgia, Atlanta January 9-10 “Functional Pot
tery (Single Fire),” lecture/demonstration with
Steven Hill. March 13-14*Handbuilding Tech
niques,” lecture/demonstration with Kathy
Triplett. Fee/session: $50/oneday; $85/both days.
Contact Glenn Dair, Callanwolde Fine Arts Cen
ter, 980 Briarcliff Rd., Atlanta 30306; e-mail
[email protected] or telephone (404) 874-9351.
Hawaii, Makawao, Maui January 22-24 “New
Directions in Wheel Throwing,” slide lecture and
workshop with Stephen Freedman. Contact Hui
No’eau Visual Arts Center, 2841 Baldwin Ave.,
Makawao, Maui 96768; e-mail [email protected] or
telephone (808) 572-6570/fax (808) 572-2750.
Kentucky, Louisville January 9 “Basic Handbuilding” with Wayne Ferguson. Fee: $20; senior
citizens/arts card holders, $18. February 6“The
Miniature Teapot” with Fong Choo. Contact the
Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation, (502) 5890102, ext. 212.
Maryland, Frederick January 7—10 “Masters
Throwing Workshop” with Joyce Michaud. Fee:
$185. January 8 “Toward a Common Language:
Arizona, Mesa February 22-27 “Wood-fired
Pottery” with Randy Johnston. Fee: $300; due
by January 16. Contact Mesa Arts Center by
e-mail [email protected] or by tele
phone (602) 644-2056 or fax (602) 644-2901.
California, Rancho Cucamonga January 23—24
Slide presentation/workshop with Paul Soldner.
Workshop fee: $60; members, $50; students, $40.
Lecture: free. Location: Chaffey College. For reg
istration, send business-size SASE to Patti Hallowes,
1833 N. California St., Burbank, CA 91505.
California, Rancho Palos Verdes February 20 A
session with Ruthanne Tudball. Fee: $45; mem
bers, $40. Preregistration required. Contact Palos
Verdes Art Center, (310) 541-2479.
California, Riverside March 6A session with Sang
Roberson. Fee: $25 before workshop; $35 at door.
Contact Riverside Community College Ceramics
Dept., (909) 222-8275.
Colorado, Carbondale January 29-31 Slide pre
sentation and demonstrations with Jeff Oestreich.
Fee: $75. Contact the Carbondale Clay Center,
135 Main St., Carbondale 81623; e-mail
[email protected] or telephone (970)
963-2529/fax (970) 923-4492.
Connecticut, Brookfield January 16-17 “Intro
duction to Clay Relief’ with Linda Neely. January
30-31 “Architecture in Pottery Form” with Guy
Wolf. February 6 “Majolica” with Mary Lou
Alberetti. February 13-14 “Sculptural Forms”
with Jeff Shapiro. February 23 and March 7“Clay
Relief Etching” with Linda Neely. March 6-7
“Pottery Toward an Eastern Influence” with Steven
Rodriguez. March 27 “Altering Glazes” with Jeff
Zamek. Contact the Brookfield Craft Center, PO
Box 122, Rte. 25, Brookfield 06804; or telephone
Connecticut, New Haven February I3-I4Throwing, altering and assembling porcelain with Leah
Leitson. Contact Creative Arts Workshop, (203)
Florida, Atlantic Beach February 5-6 “Beyond
the Basics: Thrown and Assembled Forms” with
Don Davis. Fee: $110 to reserve a wheel for the
session; or $60 for slides, lectures and demonstra
tions only. March 6— 7 “Glazing Techniques for
Soda Firing” with McKenzie Smith. Contact At
lantic Beach Potters, 28 Seminole Rd., Atlantic
Beach 32233; telephone/fax (904) 246-4499.
Florida, Orlando February 11-12 A session with
Don Davis. Fee: $35. Limited to 30 participants.
Contact Mike Lalone, Dr. Phillips High Ceram
ics Studio, (407) 352-4040, ext. 380.
Florida, Sopchoppy January 10-16 A session
with George Griffin, focusing on individualized
functional stoneware, single-fire oxidation, fastfire wood, and business as an art form. Fee: $425.
Words as Catalyst for a Life’s Effort” slide lecture
with Joyce Michaud. January 29, February 26,
March2,6andApril30“Masters Throwing Series”
with Joyce Michaud. Fee: $185./anuary30“Drum
Making Workshop” with Robert Strasser. Fee:
$45. February 13—14 “Eastern Coil Workshop”
with Joyce Michaud. Fee: $95. February 26Slide
lecture with Louana Lackey and Rosalie Wynkoop
on majolica. February 27-28 “Majolica Work
shop: Exploring Tin-glazed Pottery in a Modern
World” with Rosalie Wynkoop. Fee: $120. March
“Raku—From Zen Tradition to Modern In
novation” with Patrick Timothy Caughy. March
27 Raku firing with Patrick Timothy Caughy.
Fee: $55. April 16 Slide lecture with Catherine
White, integrating form and decoration in pot
tery. April 30 Slide lecture with Glenn Grishnoff
on brush making. May 14 Slide lecture with Ian
Gregory on paperclay sculpture. Fee per lecture:
$5; or register for series of 6 for $22. Contact
Hood College Ceramics Program, 401 Rosemont
Ave., Frederick 21701; telephone Joyce Michaud
(301) 696-3456 or (301) 698-0929.
Massachusetts, Leverett February 20-21 “Wheelthrown Altered and Assembled Utilitarian Pot
tery,” slide lecture/hands-on workshop with Leah
Leitson. Fee: $160, includes clay, bisque firing.
Contact Leverett Crafts and Arts, (413) 367-0042.
Massachusetts, Stockbridge February27-28“In
troduction to Plaster Mold Making for Studio
Potters” with Daniel Mehlman. March 13 “Work
ing with Cone 6 Glazes” with Jeff Zamek. Contact
Interlaken School of Art, PO Box 1400,
Stockbridge 01262; or telephone (413) 298-5252.
“Thrown, Altered and Decorated” with Suze Lind
say. Contact Worcester Center for Crafts, 25
Sagamore Rd., Worcester 01605; or telephone
Michigan, Berrien Springs January 16-17 Slide
lecture and demonstrations with Josh DeWeese
and Rosalie Wynkoop. Workshop fee: $50, in
cludes lunch. Contact Steve Hansen, Andrews
University, Berrien Springs 49104; or telephone
Minnesota, Minneapolis Regis Master Series lec
tures with: January 16Peter Voulkos. February 20
Betty Woodman. March /^Stephen DeStaebler.
Free. Location: Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
March 6—7“Painting and Form: Terra Sigillata on
Clay” with Edward Eberle. Fee: $ 100; NCC mem
bers, $90. Contact the Northern Clay Center,
2424 Franklin Ave., E, Minneapolis 55406; or
telephone (612) 339-8007.
Minnesota, St. Paul February 18 A lecture with
Betty Woodman. Free. Contact the Olson Gal
lery, Bethel College, (651) 638-6263.
New Mexico, Taos January 23-24 “Modern
Mosaic” with Aliah Sage. Contact Taos Institute
of Arts, 108 Civic Plaza Dr., Taos 87571; e-mail
[email protected] or telephone (505) 758-2793 or
New York, East Setauket February 4-7 Master
throwing workshop with Joyce Michaud. Fee:
$200. Contact Hands on Clay, Inc., 128 Old
Town Rd., East Setauket 11733; telephone (516)
751-0011 or fax (516) 751-9133.
New York, New York January 29 “The Radical
Pot in Twentieth-Century Art: Who Is Overturn
ing the ‘Sacred Vessel’?” lecture with Garth Clark.
Contact the Metropolitan Museum of Art, (212)
New York, Port Chester February 6-7 “Pots for
the Table,” altering wheel-thrown forms with Jeff
Oestreich. Fee: $135. Contact the Clay Art Cen-
ter, 40 Beech St., Port Chester 10573; or tele
phone (914) 937-2047.
New York, Rosendale January 30—31 A session
with Linda Christianson, throwing pots. Fee: $235;
members, $220; includes lab fee. Contact
Women’s Studio Workshop, PO Box 489,
Rosendale 12472; e-mail [email protected], see
website at www.wsworkshop.org or telephone
Danielle Leventhal, Tuesdays, (914) 658-9133.
New York, White Plains February 16—18
“Thrown, Altered and Assembled Utilitarian Pot
tery” with Leah Leitson. March 5 “Finding One’s
Own Voice in Clay” with Matthew Towers. Con
tact Westchester Art Workshop, 196 Central Ave.,
White Plains 10606; telephone (914) 684-0094.
North Carolina, Durham January 8—10 “Innova
tive Handbuilding Techniques,” slide lecture and
workshop with Lana Wilson. Fee: $110. Contact
Pam Wardell, 9810 Gallop Ln., Bahama, NC
27503; or telephone (919) 471-4300.
Ohio, Wooster April 15— 77“Functional Ceram
ics Workshop” with Vernon and Pam Owens,
Gay Smith, and Chris Staley. Contact Phyllis
Blair Clark, 102 Oakmont Ct., Wooster 44691.
Tennessee, Gatlinburg March 1-5 “Pots”with
Cynthia Bringle. March 8—12 “Handbuilding”
with David Stabley. March 15—19 “Raku” with
Scott Young. March 22—26 “Pots” with Clary
Illian. Contact Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts,
PO Box 567, 556 Parkway, Gatlinburg 37738;
telephone (423) 436-5860 or fax (423) 430-4101.
Texas, Ingram January 6, 13, 20 and 27“Explor
ing Techniques in Clay” with Janice Joplin. Fee:
$175, includes materials and lab fee. April 12—17
“Mimbres Painted Pottery” with Clint Swink.
Fee: $315, includes lab fee. Contact Hill Country
Arts Foundation, Duncan-McAshan Visual Arts
Center, PO Box 1169, Ingram 78025; telephone
(830) 367-5120 or (800) 459-HCAF.
Texas, San Antonio February 17 “Make What
You Are,” slide lecture with Wesley Anderegg.
Free. March 27—28 “Functional Pots,” slide lec
ture/workshop with Matthew Metz and Linda
Sikora. Workshop fee: $147. Lecture is free. Con
tact the Southwest School of Art and Craft, 300
Augusta, San Antonio 78205-1296; or telephone
Washington, Seattle January 23-24Slide lecture
and workshop with John Harris, creating large
works by combining slab and thrown compo
nents. February26-27“Thought, Form and Func
tion,” slide lecture and workshop with Jamie
Walker. Contact Seward Park Art Studio, 5900
Lake Washington Blvd., S, Seattle 98118; or
telephone (206) 722-6342.
Canada, British Columbia, Victoria March 13-14
A workshop with Harlan House. Fee: Can$100
(approximately US$65), includes lunch. Contact
Meira Mathison, 650 Pearson College, Victoria
V9C 4H7; telephone (250) 391-2420 or fax (250)
Canada, Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown
through January 10aS. O.S.: Sources of Support,”
ceramics by Alexandra McCurdy; at the Confed
eration Centre for the Arts.
Canada, Sasketchewan, Saskatoon January 15—
February 28 “Three of a Kind,” exhibition of
ceramics by Mel Bolen, Charley Farrero and Anita
Rocamora; at Saskatchewan Craft Council Gal
lery, 813 Broadway Ave.
England, Chichester January 8-10 “Throwing
and Turning, with Handle Making” with Alison
Sandeman. January 24—26 “Raku and Lowfired Ceramics” with John Dunn. February 5-7
“Surface Decoration for Functional Pots” with
Alison Sandeman. February 14-19 “Handbuilding and Throwing” with Alison Sandeman.
Contact the College Office, West Dean College,
West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex PO 18 OQZ;
or telephone (243) 811301.
England, Essex through February 7Bob Washing
ton retrospective; at the Chelmsford Museum.
England, London through January 9 Ceramics by
Sara Radstone; at Barrett Marsden Gallery, 17-18
Great Sutton St., Clerkenwell.
through January 17*An Angel at My Table,” table
settings in ceramics, glass, metal and fiber; at
Crafts Council Gallery Shop, 44a Pentonville
throughJanuary 29*Seasonal Show,” including works
by Claudi Casanovas, Lucie Rie and other gallery
artists. January 11-February 5 “Gallery Pots”; at
Galerie Besson, 15 Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond St.
through May 31 “Rare Marks on Chinese Porce
lain” exhibition; at Percival David Foundation,
53 Gordon Sq.
through Spring Reconstruction of William and
Mary’s porcelain gallery with displays of Japanese
Kakiemon and Chinese ceramics; at State Apart
ments, Kensington Palace.
England, Middlesbrough through January 4
Bob Washington retrospective; at the Cleveland
England, Stoke-on-Trent through March 31 Bob
Washington retrospective. Works made at
Winchcome Pottery; at the Potteries Museum.
France, Dieulefit through January 5* Ceramiques
Architecturales”; at Maison de la Terre, Parc de la
India January 8-28 “South India Arts and Cul
ture” with Judith Chase, James Danisch, Ray
Meeker and Deborah Smith. All skill levels. Fee:
$3500, includes materials, firing, lodging and
meals. Contact Anderson Ranch Arts Center, PO
Box 5598, Snowmass Village, CO 81615; e-mail
[email protected] or telephone (970) 923-31811
fax (970) 923-3871.
India, Nepal February 5-26*Exploring with the
Potters of Nepal” with Doug Casebeer, Judith
Chase, James Danisch and Santa Kumar Prajapati.
All skill levels. Fee: $3500, includes materials,
firing, lodging and meals. Contact Anderson Ranch
Arts Center, PO Box 5598, Snowmass Village,
CO 81615; e-mail [email protected] or telephone
(970) 923-3181/fox (970) 923-3871.
Jamaica April 23-May 1 “Ceramics in Jamaica:
Interpreting Forms from Nature” with David
Pinto, Jeff Shapiro and guest artist Doug Casebeer.
Fee: $1450 or $1850. Contact Dawn Ogren,
Registrar, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, PO Box
5598, Snowmass Village, CO 81615; e-mail
[email protected] or telephone (970) 923-31811
fax (970) 923-3871.
Mexico, Manzanillo January 8-15 “Indigenous
Clay in Mexico 1999.” February 27—March 11
“Clay and Fiber in Mexico 1999.” Fee: $899—
$ 1578, includes materials, lodging and most meals.
Airfare not included. Contact Judy Zafforoni or
Michele Morehouse, (541) 547-4324 or (707)
Mexico, Oaxaca January 11-16 “Oaxacan Pot
tery Workshop” focusing on the San Marcos,
Zapotec handbuilding techniques. Includes visits
to Coyotepec and Atzompa. Limited to 6 partici
pants. Fee: $540, includes materials, lodging and
most meals. January 25—February 1 “Six Villages
Study Tour,” overview of indigenous Oaxacan
pottery. Limited to 6 participants. Fee: $670,
includes materials, lodging and most meals. For
further information, contact Eric Mindling, Manos
de Oaxaca by e-mail [email protected] or
fax (952) 141-86.
Mexico, San Miguel de Allende February 27March 13 “Creative Visions in Mexico,” work
shops including “Ceramic Tile” with Jim Klueg.
Fee: $1175, includes double-occupancy hotel
room, some meals, and round-trip transportation
between Mexico City and San Miguel. For
program/travel information, contact Pauline
Nuhring, Program Associate, University College,
University of Minnesota Duluth, 410 Darland
Administration Bldg., 10 University Dr., Duluth,
MN 55812-2496; e-mail [email protected]
or telephone (218) 726-6361 /fax (218) 7266336. For registration information, telephone
Netherlands, Amsterdam through January 13
Setsuko Nagasawa of Helly Oestreicher; at Galerie
de Witte Voet, Annemie Boissevain, Kerkstraat 135.
“Theepotten Steengoed”; at the Historisch Mu
seum het Burgerweeshuis, Bovenbeekstraat 21.
Netherlands, Deventer January 17-February 13
Exhibition of ceramics by Joke Burks, Tsjerk
Holtrop, Gert de Rijk and Tjerk van der Veen.
February 28-March 27Exhibition of ceramics by
Fran^oise Dufayart, Richard Godfrey and Jac Hansen;
at Loes and Reinier, Korte Assenstraat 15.
Netherlands, Leeuwarden through January 10
“The Incas: Rulers of the Andes,” exhibition of
over 200 ceramic objects plus some gold and
silver; at Keramiekmuseum het Princessehof, Grote
Slab sculpture made from a clay body consisting of contaminated stoneware
mixed with paper pulp and scrap glaze.
by William Vogler
hat do you do with your excess overlooked another trash can full of clay be relatively insoluble, making their dis
glazes (leftovers and test glazes of dubious quality, and I still had a lot posal an easy matter.
that have accumulated over time until of scrap glaze. In fact, the quantity of
Drying and wedging the clay was
the scrap bucket is full)? I was asked this scrap glaze was growing due to my ef more work than I had anticipated, so I
question several years ago, and didn’t forts to make it usable by adding vari decided to assemble the slabs into sculp
have an answer at the time. But I did ous fluxes and metallic oxides. (The tural forms to work out some ideas for
have a lot of scrap glazes, as well as only change in the color was from a future projects before throwing them
contaminated clay (the result of oil leak muddy green to a muddy brown.) And out. There was very little planning; for
ing from the vacuum pump of a newly I had just had a solo exhibition and the most part, I was thinking, “Maybe
acquired pug mill). Finally, I got tired wasn’t ready to start the throwing/firing I’ll try this. If I like the results, I’ll make
of walking around the trash cans, but it cycle right away. It was a good time to more, using good clay, and fire to a
didn’t seem right to throw the clay out, take care of the accumulated waste.
higher, more durable temperature.”
so I decided to slake it all down, dry it
This time, I decided to mix some
Well, the bisque-fired results were
to working consistency and make square paper pulp and the scrap glaze into the surprisingly good. Because of the high
planters from thick slabs—trying to use clay, then dumped in the dregs from percentage of fluxes, the clay approached
as much of this clay as possible in the my sump pump for good measure. I vitrification. The color varied, depend
process so I could get back to my im poured the mixture into some bisque ing on the thickness of the slabs, rang
portant work—then glaze them with bowls to dry to working consistency, ing from the glassy green edges to gray
the scrap. I didn’t know if the resulting wedged minimally, and threw it on the to orange in the thicker parts. Most
planters would be worth keeping, but I floor to form thick, uneven slabs. The surprising of all was the poured tile. It
figured I didn’t have anything to lose, as small amount of slip that was left over had been fired under another piece.
I had planned to trash the clay anyway. was poured into a rectangle made of Where it had been covered, there were
The results were good, however, and I lath on the floor to form a tile. My subtle variations of pinks changing to
decided not to discard them.
intention was to bisque fire the slabs oranges, and the uncovered gray edges
A few months later, I found I had
and tile so the glaze ingredients would created a framing effect.
A poured scrap-clay tile, fired
underneath another piece, developed
gradations in color.
It seemed that there was good karma
in not disposing of those glaze materials
and oil-polluted clay directly into the
ecosystem. Actually, the entire project
was a dynamic experience. Not being
motivated by the usual practical goals
associated with making a living shifted
the creative process away from my more
habitual approach of production. The
use of scrap clay and glazes has opened
the door to creative exploration.
Because each batch of scrap clay will
have different ingredients, it is impos
sible to know from the outset how high
to fire it. Testing the clays limits is im
portant and not too difficult. My rou
tine is to first make three small tiles,
Slab-built scrap clay vase with glazed interior,
then bisque fire them. If the results are
by William Vogler, Takamatsu, Japan.
satisfactory, they are put at different lev
els in a Cone 10 firing—one at a par
ticularly cool spot on the floor of my the studio. For example, I rolled out investing the time and effort. You’ll learn
downdraft, one in the middle or lower some thick slabs and shaped them over a lot about the limits of your clay body
half of the stack and another at the top a drape mold to make shallow contain and you may even see some outstand
where temperatures are consistently hot ers to dry slip or ashes. Press molds are ing results. At the very least, you’ll be
able to dispose of waste materials in a
ter. In each case, the tile is placed on a another possibility.
There’s no way around it; processing safe, responsible manner.
piece of broken kiln shelf or in a shal
low bowl. If it should melt, then a whole scrap clay and using it does take time,
but it shouldn’t impose too much of a The author A potter for 32 years, Will
new range of possibilities opens up.
Planters and sculptures aren’t the only burden. Simply set aside a plastic trash iam Vogler previously worked in Califor
things that can be made. Scrap clay can can for your waste clay and glazes. Then nia and Washington, and has maintained
also be used to make the bisqued forms someday when the spirit moves you, a studio in Takamatsu, Japan, for the past
that have a multitude of uses around process it. I’m sure you won’t regret 10 years.
by Gary Holt
or more than 25 years as a studio this characteristic to good effect by ap
potter in Berkeley, California, I have plying a latex-resist design, then spray
made a conscious and consistent effort ing with a clear glaze to give a soft
to experiment with unusual glaze mate semimatt silver black on gloss black. It
rials and formulations. In each Cone 10 was rich and subtle, and I was quite
firing, I routinely test new recipes, varia pleased with the result, particularly af
tions of familiar recipes and different ter a piece with this glaze combination
ways of applying current glazes. I’ve was purchased by the Oakland Museum
learned to be very observant of even for its permanent crafts collection.
Most of my good fortune with glazes
slight nuances of color and surface, as
they can lead to unexpected and some seems to happen this way. Rather than
times dramatic effects.
having a well-thought-out plan or a
Several years ago, when I substituted preconceived notion of where to go,
equivalent ingredients for Albany slip if something interests me, I pursue it.
in a simple black glaze, I noticed that If I like the result of some experimen
the fired result had a somewhat silvery tation, I usually find ways to use it in
sheen in reduction; I was able to use my work.
My liking for iridescent surfaces prob
ably dates all the way back to the fourth
or fifth grade when I’d walk to school
with my head down for protection on
rainy days. I remember being fascinated
with the irregular circles of metallic color
that the rain brought out as it com
bined with oil slick on black asphalt. I
had always thought that such effects in
ceramics were limited to salt fuming,
raku or low-temperature oxidation lus
ters, but recently I had an opportunity
to see and handle a variety of Shinoglazed pieces in Japan, and was imme
diately drawn to both the pebbly
textured types, and to the milky, almost
snow-white types that show hints of
Porcelain plate, 11 inches square, with latex-resisted underglazes and Shino glaze, fired to Cone 10 in reduction.
slightly more opaque and darker goldbrown sheen with more antique gold
matt areas where it was just a hair thicker.
When applied under the Shino, these
glazes seemed to bubble up unevenly,
bringing dots of color to the surface,
then healing over with a small ring of
iridescence surrounding each. Of all the
results over and under both glossy and
matt Shinos, this interested me the most.
I wanted to see if I could get the same
effect with other colors, too, so I tried
tests with some cobalt blue and chrome
green recipes, then some saturated irons
and rutile blues. A few looked promis
ing, so I made further tests with mul
tiple glazes, even trying a clear glaze
with additions of high-temperature in
After months of trials and refine
ments, I settled on four single glazes
and a combination of two others. Be
cause the thickness of the glaze under
neath made such a difference in the
color intensity, size and frequency of
spotting, I found that only spraying gave
me the control I needed. Spraying al
lowed me to vary placement, color over
lap and density. The thickness of the
covering Shino glaze affected the result,
too, but I could control the top coat by
simply altering the dipping time.
As I learned more about exploiting
the iridescence from this particular ef
Porcelain cup, 4½ inches in height, with applied thick slip, White Shino Glaze over
fect, I also tested other Shino recipes, as
Combined Blue and copperlmanganese wash, Cone 10 reduction fired, $24.
well as methods of selectively applying
soda ash directly after glazing, and
soft orange and brick red underneath
All these glazes contained soda ash refiring pieces with second and third
and breaking on some edges.
and showed strong color response to coats of glaze. I had often used brush
I had been collecting information oxides, particularly iron and manganese. and latex-resist techniques in the past,
on Shinos and exchanging recipes with Results were very interesting when I so I incorporated them into the mix of
other potters for several years. One tried several of my iron- and manga- experiments, too.
I soon found that there was a much
Malcolm Davis recipe, called Red Shino, nese-bearing glazes over or under these
produces textures ranging from dry and Shinos. On top of the glossy Shino I larger repertoire of metallic iridescent
had been using for a while, thin washes effects available to the potter working at
pitted to semimatt and crawling, de
pending on the thickness of application of my temmoku produced a delightful Cone 10 reduction than I had read about
and the amount of soda ash that has reflective golden sheen; thicker applica or imagined. My tests can be grouped
crystallized on the surface prior to glaze tions became more metallic, and a regu into four categories: reglazing and
firing; colors range from deep brick red lar coating gave the look of a standard refiring, soda ash effects, glaze ingredi
to orange, salmon and white. Glazes temmoku but with gold metallic edges. ents promoting iridescence, and over
from other sources showed propensities A gunmetal black glaze containing man glaze washes.
for carbon trapping, and some had the ganese was even more responsive, blend Not all stoneware clays will allow
stark white color I became so fond of. ing into the surface and creating a multiple Cone 10 firings, because the
It was the washes, though, that gave
buildup of cristobalite may seriously in ter effects in every glaze when the sur
crease the chances of cracking, but my face was brushed with thin washes of what I thought were the most dramatic
clay has a moderate amount of iron and ocher or manganese dioxide. With good results when sprayed as a third layer
seems to take refiring well. All the Shino-reduction, the sheen from the thinnest over the glossy Shinos and underglaze. I
began with an overglaze recipe for Shinos
type glazes that I used were very viscous applications was almost rainbowlike.
when mixed and would amply coat an
already glaze-fired piece without pre
heating. When I used the Red Shino
glaze for the first firing, then reglazed
with Carbon Trap Orange and refired,
the results were a general deepening of
color and an antique gold sheen where
the carbon-trap glaze covered the Shino.
I am sure the iridescence was caused by
the Carbon Trap Orange picking up
iron from the Red Shino beneath it, but
this did not occur if both were applied
to a bisqued piece and fired together.
Thickness and good reduction both af
fected color, and brush decoration over
the combined glazes using slightly
thinned Glick Gunmetal gave an addi
tional variegated luster.
Multiple firings and glaze applica
tions are possible, as is building up lay
ers upon layers of interacting colors and
lusters, somewhat analogous to paint
ing with glazes. In this respect, I found
most success if I used only gloss and
Shino-type glazes. Barium, magnesium
and clay matt glazes did not seem to
mix well with the Shinos, often bub
bling and cratering unpleasantly.
Soda ash can produce somewhat un
predictable effects in the first and any
subsequent firings. I used a plastic spray
bottle (soda ash is corrosive) to apply
two or three coats over an unfired glaze.
As soda ash dries, it crystallizes on the
surface; during firing, it can act as a
glaze flux and promote carbon trap
ping. Sprayed over the Red Shino, it
softened the surface, deepened the color
and occasionally produced a lustrous
sheen of its own, particularly if it was
allowed to dry slowly for several days.
Of the three glaze ingredients I tested
for their ability to promote iridescence—amblygonite, cryolite and petalite—
only the cryolite showed marked effects.
An addition of 10 grams cryolite to
100-gram samples of three different
Stoneware vase, 8 inches in height, with underglazes, White Shino
glossy Shino recipes yielded strong lus
Glaze and ocher/manganese wash, reduction fired to Cone 10, $38.
Glick Gunmetal Glaze
(Cone 10, reduction)
Albany Slip Clay......................... 70%
Nepheline Syenite..................... 30
Add: Manganese Dioxide......... 10%
Stoneware plate, 11 inches square,
with Red Shino Glaze and onglaze
brushwork, reduction fired three times
to Cone 10, $50.
from Jack Troys book Wood-fired Stone
ware and Porcelain. I also used several
different combinations of ocher, man
ganese dioxide and copper carbonate.
Thickness of application can be critical
with these thin washes. Too little and
there is a spot of color, but no sign of
iridescence; too much and the sprayed
area becomes dull, dark and crusty.
Given the myriad variables in tools,
materials and firing conditions that we
all encounter, only some testing will
determine what works for individual
potters; however, the results can be well
worth the trouble. My own firings have
gradually become hotter and longer
since I started working with Shino-type
glazes. I now fire my 16-cubic-foot
downdraft kiln to Cone 10 in about 16
hours, which includes a good hour or
so of soaking at the end to heal any
bubbling and brighten the colors.
With experience, I am now able to
achieve spots of deep blue, blue black,
gray and rust red breaking through a
golden, sometimes silvery, iridescence,
often with erratic gray shadows of car
bon tracing the curves of rims and shoul
ders, and areas of pale blue tingeing the
thick applications of white Shino from
underneath. The responsiveness of
Shino-type glazes to clay, kiln atmo
sphere and iridescent washes seem
Carbon Trap Orange Glaze
(Cone 10, reduction)
Soda Ash..................................... 12%
Kona F-4 Feldspar.................... 13
Nepheline Syenite...................... 40
Cedar Heights Redart....................... 3
Edgar Plastic Kaolin......................... 8
Kentucky Ball Clay (OM 4) ... 15
Malcolm Davis Red Shino Glaze
(Cone 10, reduction)
Soda Ash................................ 7.00%
Kona F-4 Feldspar............... 10.34
Nepheline Syenite................. 42.94
Cedar Heights Redart.......... 6.34
Edgar Plastic Kaolin............ 18.91
Kentucky Ball Clay (OM 4).. 14.47
(Cone 10, reduction)
Custer Feldspar..................... 59.09
Frit 3124 (Ferro)................... 8.16
Add: Tin Oxide..................... 3.85%
Zinc Oxide................. 8.16%
Cobalt Oxide.............. 2.80%
(Cone 10, reduction)
Cobalt Carbonate...................... 10%
Manganese Dioxide.................. 70
Thick White Shino Glaze
(Cone 10, reduction)
Soda Ash................................................. 8%
Kona F-4 Feldspar..................... 34
Nepheline Syenite...................... 14
Edgar Plastic Kaolin.............. 10
Kentucky Ball Clay(OM 4) ... 5
Sprague Shino Glaze
(Cone 10, reduction)
Soda Ash................................ 4.04%
Kona F-4 Feldspar............... 18.59
Nepheline Syenite................. 45.45
Kentucky Ball Clay (OM 4).. 16.57
Stoneware vase, 7 inches in height,
with White Shino glaze over thin spray
of Blue Glaze, sprayed copper/
manganese wash, stained crackle,
fired to Cone 10 in reduction, NFS,
by Gary Holt, Berkeley, California.
Answered by the CM Technical Staff
Ever since seeing a beautiful small, unglazed,
translucent porcelain cup made by a contemporary
Japanese ceramist, I have been looking for a snowwhite porcelain body for Cone 6-10 oxidation
firing. I have come to the conclusion that such pure
whiteporcelain is not available in North America.
I hope someone can prove me wrong! I have tried
the whitest commerciallypreparedporcelain avail
able locally. I have also mixed porcelain bodies
from recipes using Grolleg, but compared to the
Japanese piece, they are gray. I know there is no
petuntse available in North America, but is there
any way that I can get porcelain as white and as
beautiful as the fresh powdered snow in my gar
Most of the porcelains available these days
have a ball clay component and therefore do not
fire snow white because of the iron that comes
with the ball clay. They also need as little
titanium as possible to be translucent.
It is not impossible to have white translu
cent porcelain, but there are certain require
ments necessary. High firing, preferably above
Cone 10, is one. This is because you need to use
only a white-burning kaolin with a low-titanium content. Grolleg is such a kaolin, but it
presents certain problems in workability both
in forming, trimming and drying. Such bodies
are difficult to throw because of the nature of
kaolin, which is not very plastic and not very
strong. The ware needs to be trimmed to get the
thinness necessary for translucency.
Some of these problems can be overcome by
adding a white burning bentonite; 2% is the
recommended amount, but if I were formulat
ing such a body, I would be tempted to add a
little more. Aging the body will help somewhat
as well. When I say “aging,” I’m talking about
months and years rather than days and weeks.
It is also beneficial to add a flocculant, such
as vinegar, but then you have to use the clay
right away or put up with the mold and smell.
Epsom salts helps these kinds of bodies as well;
0.02% is dissolved in hot water and added
when the dry materials are mixed with water—
a better solution than the vinegar.
If you were to decide to fire at Cone 11, then
a good starting point would be 25% potash spar
(G200), 25% silica (flint), and 50% Grolleg
kaolin, then add 2% white bentonite and some
dissolved Epsom salts. As you can see, this is
only about 50% plastic material, so workability
is not ideal and the ware will be quite fragile
during the drying stages. If it is melted properly,
it will tend to warp during firing so level surfaces
are required while drying and firing. Of course,
some potters welcome the variation, and in that
case, the job is somewhat easier.
If the body does not mature enough at the
temperature you want to fire at, then increasing
the feldspar at the expense of the clay is the way
to go. With the attendant loss in workability,
these types of bodies are better as casting slips
than as throwing bodies.
I have also heard that a bit of cobalt in such
bodies adds to the look of whiteness. I have no
experience in this and cannot recommend
amounts, but it would certainly be the carbon
ate not the oxide. The trick here would be to use
very little and disperse it well in the water before
mixing, perhaps again, with the Epsom salts.
The best way to mix such bodies is in slip
form to achieve maximum plasticity. The prob
lem then is to dry it enough for use but keep the
soluble salts in and well dispersed.
If I were to undertake such a project, I would
certainly check as many clay suppliers as pos
sible first to see if a prepared body is available.
What you need to find is a Grolleg-based body
with no ball clay that matures at the highest
cone your kiln will fire to.
I have been firing to Cone 10 for my entire
ceramics career, both with gas and electricity. In
the past eight years, I have been using only electric
kilns. Afier having to replace the elements in my
kiln every six to eight months, I am seriously
considering lowering my firings to Cone 5. This
will save electricity, and wear and tear on my kiln.
All of my glazes need to be converted and I
wanted to know if there is an easy way to convert
a glaze from Cone 10 to Cone 5.
I know how to recalculate glazes, but to save
time, I was hoping not to have to start from
scratch. Could you suggest a simple adjustment
for my base clear?
Custer Feldspar..................................... 25.9
Edgar Plastic Kaolin............................. 19.6
I also use a black slip!glaze with Alberta slip
and nepheline syenite that works great for
sgraffito. Do I raise the nepheline syenite to lower
the temperature?—E. G.
High-fire glazes work because of a large
number of complex eutectics that occur at
Cone 5 and above. (For those who are unfamil
iar with that term, a “eutectic” is when two or
more things combine to melt at a lower tem
perature than either would alone). Because of
the complexity of these systems, there is no
sure-fire method of lowering the maturing tem
perature of a glaze and retaining all of its
characteristics. Note the caveat in that last
sentence: it’s easy to lower the maturing tem
perature of a glaze; the difficulty lies in having
it look the same afterward.
That said, here are a few suggestions for
lowering the maturing temperature of a Cone
1. Don’t change anything—just fire to a
lower temperature. Surprising as it seems, most
glazes have a broad range and will work well
over several different cone temperatures. The
easiest thing to do is nothing: it’s always worth
a try. (That’s a bit of my personal philosophy
2. Substitute nepheline syenite for any pot
ash or soda feldspar. This adds a bit more flux
to the glaze, lowers the silica content a little, and
substitutes soda, which is a bit more active, for
potash. This sometimes works and is worth a
try, but it also raises the thermal expansion of
the glaze; therefore, the glaze may have a greater
tendency to craze.
3. Add 1% lithium carbonate for each cone
that you want to lower the temperature. Lithium
carbonate is a very active and powerful flux;
even 1 % will make a visible difference in most
glazes. There are two potential downsides to
lithium, however: It is considered by many to
be a health hazard, and it tends to make a glaze
settle out quickly.
The latter problem can be easily addressed
by adding a bit of Epsom salts to thicken the
batch and prevent the settling. The potential
health hazard is trickier. If you choose to use any
potentially harmful material, it is up to you to
learn about the material and use it in an appro
4. Add 5% of either Gerstley borate or
Ferro frit 3134 for each cone you want to
lower. I like to use Gerstley in glazes (when
it’s in small amounts), as it helps improve the
application properties; however, some people
prefer to avoid Gerstley’s variability; in which
case, a frit may be a better choice. Over 10%
in a matt glaze and it will tend to become
glossy, though I’ve witnessed people using
higher amounts in a gloss glaze and obtaining
Since you display an understanding of
glaze calculation, I’m going to get a bit more
technical here. The best way I’ve found to
lower a glaze’s firing temperature is to look at
its unity molecular (Seger) formula and add
about 0.05 boron for each cone thatyou want
to lower. Keeping in mind that most Cone 10
glazes are mature at Cone 8, that means you
would want to add about 0.1 or 0.15 boron
to bring the glaze down to mid-range tem
peratures. This is the same way Dr. Seger
himself lowered melting temperatures when
he invented cones back in the 1880s. From
Cone 1 down to Cone 010, he simply added
0.05 boron for each successive cone. (If you
want to read more about the formulation of
cones, it is covered in A Handbook of Pottery
Glazesby David Green. It’s out of print, but you
should be able to see it at your local library, or
through interlibrary loan.
Once you “add” the boron (on paper), then
calculate the new batch using a frit or Gerstley
borate. I calculated two variations of your origi
nal clear glaze recipe, the first adding 0.15
boron, the second adding 0.25:
Clear Variation 1
Custer Feldspar...................................... 15.0%
Frit 3134 (Ferro)..................................... 10.7
Edgar Plastic Kaolin.............................. 23.9
Clear Variation 2
Custer Feldspar...................................... 7.5 %
Frit 3134 (Ferro)..................................... 17.7
Edgar Plastic Kaolin.............................. 27.1
In the process of inventing cones, Seger did
extensive testing, using the four ingredients that
are in your glaze in order to find the most fusible
combination. The best combination became
Cone 4, because it contained 4.0 silica. Your
recipe is very close to the formula for making a
Cone 4.That might lead you to believe that it
would work at Cone 5, but there are usually
four or five cones between when a mixture first
melts, and when it is mature enough to be called
a glaze. Iff adjust the unity formula to the same
as a Cone 4 (0.3 KNaO, 0.7 CaO, 0.5 Al2O3,
9.0 SiO2) then your recipe becomes:
Clear Variation 3
Custer Feldspar..................................... 48.8
Edgar Plastic Kaolin.............................. 12.1
I don’t know if this will work, since we are
using different raw materials than Seger used
100 years ago in Germany, but it’s worth a try.
Just to remake the point about the complex
ity of eutectics, Seger found that if he raised or
lowered any part of that mixture, then the
maturing temperature went up. In other words,
even if he lowered the alumina, the melting
temperature went up. Nothing’s ever simple in
this world, and that includes eutectics.
As for your black glaze, it’s rarely successful
to replace a complex raw material like Albany or
Alberta slip with a man-made substitute. Rather
than try to recalculate a glaze like yours from
unity, it would make more sense to try the
additions of lithium carbonate or Gerstley bo
rate. Begin by mixing 500 grams of the glaze in
a blender, then add the flux a little at a time. Mix
well after each addition, dip a tile, then add a bit
more. If I were using lithium, I would add it in
1% increments. For Gerstley borate, I would
add increments of about 3%.
Assistant Professor of Art
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
have this client for whom I made a dinnerware
set, who is complaining about the bottoms being
too rough. Is there any way of polishing or coating
the bottoms with anything to smooth them? I
throw on Formica!chipboard bats and there is grog
in the body. To me, this set seems like typical
stoneware. And yes, this is afussy client. What can
I do to please him ?—S.R.
Any unglazed foot surface will be rough, no
matter what the clay body type—even if there
is no grog in the clay body or if you have used
a fine-grained clay body, such as a white stone
ware or porcelain. It is possible to glaze the feet
entirely, then stilt the piece for firing, grinding
off stilt marks afterward. However, plates and
other large-diameter pieces may warp if stilted.
Pin setters are used in industry to support the
plates at three points under the rim. The result
ing glaze blemishes are ground off afterward.
There are a few ways to effectively smooth
unglazed feet. After the firing, you can try
rubbing the feet with a small piece of kiln shelf.
Another way is to use a solution of silicon
carbide powder and water with a small piece of
kiln shelf. Sand paper, specifically emery cloth,
is a very effective way to smooth out the surface.
In our shop, we have a variety of adhesivebacked sanding disks in a variety of diameters
on plastic bats. When we remove ware from the
kiln, the feet are immediately ground smooth
using an 80-grit disk, or sometimes a 100-grit
disk, on a potter’s wheel. Afterward, we remove
the sanding dust with a damp sponge, and the
work is ready for shipment.
Ceramic Design Group
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Have a problem? Subscribers’ questions
are welcome, and those of interest to the
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Mail to Ceramics Monthly, PO Box 6102,
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Discovering Clay Therapy by Leslie A. Ihde
My pots are a record of my life, as articu decision about what to make and to be
late as any diary for those who can read the director of that process—at least
shapes. I’ve been a psychotherapist since enough to create a pot.
1984 and a potter since 1986. My dis
When I established a private practice
covery and application of the language of in 1987,1 was able to start doing pottery
shape in pottery making to the work of with clients and colleagues. The discov
psychotherapy began with myself. I was eries were immediate and obvious. My
so gripped by the sense that there was a first “clay therapy” client was a young
great deal of meaning to be found in woman who had an eating disorder, along
deciphering my different clay efforts with tremendous conflict with her friends
that I knew, if I could become clear on and family. Although she willingly sat
this, I would have an advantage in my down at the wheel for her first lesson
work as a therapist.
with me, within minutes she had had
After days spent speaking with enough. “This is too difficult,” she de
troubled people, I seemed to need to clared, and that was the end of it.
unburden myself in the evening by throw That moment told me a great deal
ing pots. In my relationship with clay, I about her personality, though. I knew
escaped the trial of caring about clients that we would not get anywhere without
who, despite the intimacy and depth of addressing her low threshold of tolerance
the client-therapist relationship, con
for fallibility. If she could not immedi
tinued to struggle in ways I was often ately succeed, she felt she had to with
helpless to alter.
draw. This attitude informed her life,
Soon I found myself familiar enough and in many ways was at the root of her
with the language of form to make pretty current troubles.
much any shape I wanted. But then I
One client clearly intended to control
encountered my first obstacle: I really and boss the clay. Another, inclined to
didn’t know what to make.
ward dependency, needed constant en
Why not? It seemed clear to me that couragement and reassurance about her
this was a significant question. I was ex careful projects. Often, the client’s rela
cited by the plastic quality of clay, but I tionship with me seemed to be the
lost interest the moment the shape was significant factor: One woman struggled
completed. What interested me was the for months, only succeeding when she
infinity of possible forms, not the com felt angry with me. Then a quick, effi
cient little pot would emerge, unlike the
I was beginning to discover the im
other globular attempts.
plicit relationship between the core issues
Are there advantages to discovering
of therapy and pottery. It was amazing to and articulating attitudes through pot
me that this obstacle in my development tery? I believe the answer is clearly yes:
as a potter could point out such a funda the difference between “clay therapy” and
mental life interest. My allegiance is to ordinary therapy is twofold: On the one
the fluidity of formlessness, not the fini- hand, people are not as likely to have
tude of completed shapes. Transcending strong emotional attitudes about pottery
difficulties in determining shape required as they will about their marriages or con
recognition of my own attitude.
flicts or personal struggles. This is impor
In all efforts at self-reflection and tant, because a person’s tendency to feel
change, the first task is the entrance into at fault, or believe that another person is,
exploration. The patient—or oneself— can often prove an obstacle to looking at
begins with a complaint: something he his or her own attitudes and actions. If it
or she cannot do, face, endure or com is possible to separate the attitude from
prehend about his or her life. This is the emotionally charged incident or ac
where the exploration begins. Similarly, tivity, the person may be more inclined
in pottery, my first obstacle was learning to take a peek at the grounds of his or her
to direct the clay. I needed to make a own difficulty.
tion. While speaking with an adolescent what I may have convinced myself was
girl, I would visualize a cautious little pot going on at the time.
with an opening bending in toward itself.
Robin Hopper has a wonderful series
Or when meeting with an angry diabetic of illustrations in his book Form and Func
Secondly, the simple and uncompli
cated act of making clay art (just the man, sharp, phalliclike pots would come tion that show the genealogy of pots based
“doing”) may reveal an essential difficulty. to mind. I was thinking pots.
on the circle and pots based on the square
As any therapist knows, it is sometimes
This phenomenon repeated itself in or rectangle. In as much as shape is lan
hard to avoid letting the therapy be swal my dreams. A design might appear, com guage, the square and circle must be the
lowed up by the details of the clients plete with surface treatment, along with most basic words. The circle or sphere
story and the particulars of his or her life. a clear sense of how it might technically represent wholeness and completeness.
The pottery activity strips the session of be achieved.
The cube or rectangle indicates the rela
the accidental aspects of his or her troubles I also found myself going through tionship between horizontal (“earthy”)
and brings out the more fundamental phases. There was the platter phase, the and vertical (“spiritual”) dimensions of
ones. Reported struggles with learning square-plate phase, the tall “plum blos our own lives. I’ve learned that making
the slcill of pottery speak loudly, perhaps som” vase phase, and so on. I couldn’t pottery can be an effort of the soul to
more loudly than the clients own de
immediately see how these phases re
speak to itself. Its imagery is like a waking
scription of him- or herself might.
flected my life. I made platters when I dream waiting to be addressed.
As a therapist, I try to help my clients felt warm and generous—or when I felt
In Art Is a Way of Knowing, Pat Allen
help themselves by changing and grow guilty for not being warm and generous. describes addressing her paintings, speak
ing in ways suggested to them by their Squared bowls and plates seemed like ing to them and trying to hear the mes
own inner calling. Pottery lends itself to explorations of the mandala—the ancient sages they have for her. In a similar way,
this end, revealing the individuals own effort to square the circle, reconcile the my pots have spoken to me. As a thera
personality traits and inclinations.
opposites. If I was observant, I could read pist, I hope to teach my clients to listen
In my own pottery making, I noticed in my shapes the mood and spirit of to their imagery as well.
another phenomenon emerging in the myself at a given time.
language of form. Sometimes when speak My own development was echoed in The author A counselor at the Binghamton
ing with a person, the image of a pot my shapes as I encountered and over
University Counseling Center in New York
would appear in my mind. Somehow, came inward challenges. These pots are City, Leslie Ihde also maintains a private
that image would always be the correct thus my clearest and most eloquent di practice, where pottery making is frequently
representation of my mood or percep
ary, far more accurate and honest than a part of therapy.
Index to Advertisers
Alfred University........................ 107
Amaco .......................................... 33
ACerS.....................95, 109, 117, 118
Amherst Potters.......................... 108
Anderson Ranch................. 110, 119
Armory Art Center....................... 114
Bailey............................. 1,6, 7, 27, 89
Brown Tool .................................. 86
Ceramic Millennium 99................ 79
Ceramics Monthly...... 100, 110, 112
Clay Art Center (WA).................... 82
Clay Art Center (NY).................. 108
Clay Factory.................................. 86
Clay Times.................................... 98
Clayworks Supplies ...................... 86
Contemporary Kiln..................... 112
Continental Clay............................ 93
Del Val........................................... 84
Derek Marshall ............................. 90
Dolan ............................................ 86
Functional Ceramics..................... 96
Gordon Ward................................. 84
Great Lakes................................. 114
Hammill & Gillespie.............. 82, 96
Highwater Clays........................... 10
Jepson........................... 9, 13, 19, 85
Pottery Making Illustrated............88
Pure & Simple............................... 96
Laloba Ranch................................ 30
Lark Books.................................... 32
MBF Productions.......................... 84
Miami Clay................................. 119
Mile Hi.......................................... 36
Minnesota Clay USA..................... 99
Modern Postcard........................ 107
Sapir Studio................................... 97
Scott Creek.................................... 84
Sierra Nevada College...................96
Standard ..................................... 119
NCECA................................ Cover 3
New Mexico Clay....................... 112
New Orleans Clay..........................94
Nidec-Shimpo...................... Cover 2
92nd St. Y....................................114
North Star Equipment......... 17, 113
Peter Pugger.................................. 21
Philadelphia Pottery...................... 94
Potters Guide................................. 81
Potters Shop................................ 112
U. S. Pigment ............................... 99
West Coast.................................. 110
Whistle Press............................... 110