Currently teaching at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Susan Dewsnap exhibits her ceramic work nationally and internationally with awards from The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Biennial, the World Ceramic Biennale Korea International Competition, and Best of Show in the Strictly Functional Pottery National Exhibition. Her work is currently represented in Schaller Gallery, The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and Akar Design. She shows in Maine with the June Fitzpatrick Gallery, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Dow Street Gallery and Craft.
"I am primarily a functional potter. I work predominately in porcelain, although not from a traditional perspective. My forms are defined by functional simplicity and the white surface of each piece is decorated with abstract designs in blues, browns, and grays. I am also exploring the contrast of the white porcelain surface with a matte black glaze. The development of this glaze has allowed me to explore new forms of decoration on the clay surface.
Along with the white/black contrast, I am using a matte/glossy contrast, in techniques of dripping, pouring, and spattering. This new work is vastly different than my traditional approach of brushwork on the white glossy surface. "
My current work combines elements of manufactured porcelain and Japanese pottery, particularly Shigaraki stoneware. Fine porcelain is highly processed and purified, mass-produced, and fired in a controlled manner using saggars, effectively removing any evidence of an individual artist. In contrast, Shigaraki ware is typically handmade stoneware with feldspar inclusions fired in an anagama kiln, the only decoration coming from the randomness of wood ash. The connection between the potter’s touch and the fire’s effect on the final piece is retained.
"My experiences and environment are reflected in the shapes and surfaces I create. My original inspiration continues to drive forward through a passionate relationship with the materials I use.
I not only continue to search for new ideas outside the studio, but also to push the existing boundaries of what my clay and hands can do in the studio.
Life and nature are beautiful, inspiring, unpredictable, and steadfast. I hope to express this same character throughout my work with clay."
Opening with the artist June 16th, 5-8
He has exhibited his work in well over two hundred exhibitions. His work has been recognized by numerous grants, awards and residencies, including residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation, Penland School of Crafts and at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan.
The things that influence me pertain to the natural world. My organic forms, warm colors and lively imagery feel authentic and personal. Old painted wood and mossy rocks inspire my surfaces. Birds are the imagery I most prefer to reference with their fragility, innocence and whimsy. I think my experience as a field guide in South Africa with a specialty in birds is the prominent theme of my work. Other influences include overseas travel to third world countries and the pottery of indigenous people. I work intuitively; letting things that are important to me at any given time find their way into the work.
Heesoo Lee’s work explores the vulnerability of the human condition through the metaphor of the natural world. Her artistic language, formed by observations of material, nature, and place, engages with themes of identity, connection, and time. In describing subtle variations of light, texture, color, and shadow as they exist in nature, Lee is, fundamentally, illuminating a range human emotions and the humbling reality of being a feeling person in a vast and changeable world.
Opening with Artist - Saturday, February 17th, 5-8pm
I love the process of stoking the firebox. There’s a connection there. You stay right with it from beginning to end. Wood firing means allowing this process to take some part in the aesthetics of the work. The variables are infinite and one gives in to chance. There are two to three months work in every firing and there are no guarantees. It’s continual risk. Wood fired pots are traditionally earthen colored, subdued, reserved and muted shades which are beautiful. My goal, however, has been to achieve color in wood firing - colors which combine with the conventional wood firing hues to create surfaces not unlike those found in nature’s wildest fauna, flora and oceans!
When I make pots it is with the hope that they will nestle comfortably into the lives of the wild and wonderful artists and farmers and musicians all around me and beyond, who seem to be forever raising the bar of what it means to walk around on this earth in a good way. I aim to create simple, sturdy tableware that feels and looks pretty good, and is equally at home on an intimate dinner table or on the floor of an old pick-up truck.
My pots and tiles are made with a specific intent – a function. Plates, cups and tiles are ubiquitous, recognizable. The vases and their multiple spouts are curious when empty, when filled with flowers their function is revealed. The tile is a background or canvas. The cup provides a counterpoint – the curves and movement of the form interact with the surface pattern and imagery. The parameters of the functional pot simultaneously create boundaries and endless possibilities.
Ron Meyers is one of the most influential artists and educators living in America today. He's helped revitalize the American studio pottery, has brought about new sculptural approaches and has singularly influenced several generations of young artists. Working with red earthenware, Ron's functional pots are made in a casual and spontaneous manner reflecting the juiciness of the material as well as the pleasure of the process. His narrative, colored slip paintings of rats, fish, bats, rabbits, chickens, etc. that float on the surface in a gestural expressionistic style can be both provocative and confrontational.
Noel was born and raised in Southwest Colorado. He has a M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a B.A. in Art Education from the University of Northern Colorado. He has had several residencies at Laloba Ranch Clay Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado as well as an apprenticeship with Potter Bill Wilson, of Montrose, CO.
Reception with the artist Saturday 10th, 5-8pm
I make hand-built earthenware vessels that draw on the quiet, minimal forms of basic function, such as basins, bread troughs and baskets.
Form and Line drive my making. Line accents the changes in direction of rims, feet and form. These lines are physical and engage the user, but also serve to break up the pot visually.
Opening reception on June 6th 5:8pm
This show is about the varying degrees that wood as a fuel and or glaze effect can impact ceramics. It includes work from a broad range of techniques and artists who are known for their expertise in this specific type of work. There are examples of what happens when decal images are wood fired; the amount of ash and ash glaze that a long firing will deposit on ceramics; how speed-fired work can get the same effects as a long wood firing; and as always, just some great looking work. The artists include; Justin Rothshank, Will Dickert, Ron Meyers, Steven Schaeffer, Jason Hess, John Britt, Jason Bonhert, Joey Sheehan, Ken Sedberry .... Come by and see the show - you won't be sorry.
Reception with the artist Saturday 6th, 5-8pm
"I grew up in Northwest New Jersey with a ferret, horse, dog, cat, bird, iguana, lizards, snakes, and rabbits. Drawing and painting was my first love and I continued to search for the perfect marriage of image and clay while completing my MFA at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. "
Julie Wiggins is a full time studio potter living and working in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Po-Wen Liu is a studio potter and educator. Po-Wen received his BFA degree in ceramics from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and MFA degree in ceramics from Northern Illinois University.
As a gardener, cook, mother, and potter, I think a lot about food. It makes me so happy to serve something I know to be nourishing. I think that is why making pots seems so special to me. I love setting a table full of different bowls and plates and trays containing wholesome foods.
Crafting an object that can potentially exist beyond my own intention allows me to be a part of someone’s daily ritual or individual escape. The intimacy of a cup or bowl becomes something the user can abide by and confide in. In turn, the discipline of making these objects of integrity becomes a safe haven of my very own.
Asymmetry reflects the human touch, not the soul-less machine. Wabi Sabi celebrates the beauty of imperfection and the evidence of life. Marks made from the hand of the artist harbor a mysterious spirit which emotes the wisdom that impermanence emits. These concepts provide layers of depth, and serve as my compass as I explore the balance between chaos and calm.
Although I enjoy ceramics, I know that it’s just a material. What I absolutely love to do is to make things - and clay has the ability to take just about any given shape; it can be added to and taken away from, molded, sculpted, thrown, and fired to rock hardness. It is durable, malleable, and accessible. There’s a directness you get when working with clay that you don’t get painting or woodworking. You are in contact with the material physically, not separated by a brush or machine. It gets under your fingernails and stains your clothes. It’s what remains from history for us to examine and learn from and what we use every day on a regular basis. It is the material of some of the most expensive art work in history and in the finest collections as well as the most common and inexpensive objects we see and use daily. And it is because of all these factors that I was drawn to using ceramics as one of my main mediums for creation.