New year’s greetings! I’ve been a very absent blogger since spring (especially as it turns out the one post I did write about my work I accidentally posted onto my travel blog instead of this one! Ah well, that’s history now).
I participated in a challenging and inspiring workshop last June, which shook me up even more than I hoped it would. I wanted to push my work in some new directions and as one might expect, I am initially rather at sea while I figure out where my new North is.
Susannah Zucker is a fabulous sculptor and teacher with whom I was privileged to spend 10 days, learning anatomy and how to make figurative work look more “believable”. That’s my goal. Not real, but believable, and more alive, while retaining the gestural and whimsical qualities I’ve cultivated. That means lots of exploration, without the pressure of a show to produce a large number of pieces for. So I am taking the year off from Ceramic Showcase, while I see where this all takes me.
Meanwhile many more familiar pieces are available now at the RiverSea Gallery in Astoria, Oregon. Great town and gallery, worth a visit!
With a bit of trepidation, these are my first studies since the workshop, several still works in progress. I am eager to see where I go from here.
As always I welcome your comments, and thank for taking a look.
Artists are in a unique position to bring attention to the events of their time. Many say it is our responsibility to do so. It has been said that all art is political, whether or not the message is overt, because art always reflects the interests and values of the artist.
Case in point: My sculpture typically has a lighthearted psychological bent. But much of my “making” time this winter was spent working out my first response to current events. Grief, fear, outrage, call to action. Wordsworth said that poetry is emotion recollected in tranquility, though this process has been anything but tranquil. They are first drafts, where my heart was right there on my sleeve, barely distilled, and uncensored. Poetry will come with time.
You’ll see my process, from shock and denial, in “First Response”, to preparing for activism in “Harnessing Love for the Fight”, and “Welcome Home”. I noticed that my figures and faces have been mostly white, and changed that. Out of the recesses of my twisted unconscious mind, the image of people with frogs on their heads came to stand for disbelief, or “You Can’t Make this (Shit) Up”, as well as “Endangered Species”, which recurs in several forms. Images I’ve used before show up again with new meaning, such as “Sanctuary”, and “Eternal Optimist”.
I hope some of you will manage to stop by and visit me in Booth 10, at Ceramic Showcase. We’re back at the Convention Center along with the Gathering of the Guilds, on April 21-23. As always, best selection is on Friday.
March 22- September 15, 2017 Broadway Gallery, Lincoln Hall, 1st floor, Portland State
ENTER THE BUILDING ON THE BROADWAY SIDE of 1620 SW Park Ave
The show is up and looks great! I’ve got 7 pieces of sculpture, showing with the work of Linda Bourne, Ken Pincus, Willa Shneberg and Maria Simon, and the late Betty Feves. What an honor!
This exhibition is curated by Willa Schneberg for the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. The pieces I’ve chosen to show are inspired by experiences of connection, to the natural world and to people. In some cases landscape shows up as the human figure.
Here’s the press release for a show I’ll be participating in during NCECA and through the summer. It’s a great honor.
“Ritual Unmoored: Celebration of Ceramics Past and Present in Exhibition of Six Oregon Ceramic Artists
in conjunction with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference
March 22-September 15, 2017
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 22, 5-7pm
Hours: 10am-6pm, Daily
PSU Broadway Gallery, Lincoln Hall, Ground Floor; 1620 SW Park Avenue
Ritual Unmoored features six noted Oregon Jewish artists who fashion vessels, abstract or figurative sculptures, and wall pieces, to reimagine the ritual object, and other traditional forms. Sponsored by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education and Portland State University’s College of the Arts and organized by Willa Schneberg, the exhibition includes work by Patricia Berman, Linda Bourne, Betty Feves, Kenneth Pincus, Willa Schneberg, and Maria Simon.
The ceramic artists featured are working in stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, and colored clay. Their work exemplifies the balance between utility and beauty, which lies at the heart of human creativity – how to adapt to the needs of everyday life while reaching for the sublime. Some pieces are oxidized and low-fired, others are wood-fired to high temperatures. Works are thrown, hand-built, carved, constructed, pigmented with terra sigillata, underglazed, glazed with ash, overglazed, lustered, and painted.
Some pieces are secular in nature, while others are informed by the celebration of the natural world and the feminine divine. Some adhere to Jewish tradition as re-envisioned forms unmoored from ritual tradition. All find final form, perfected over time, through each artist’s particular ritual: wedging, throwing, hand-building and carving, performed with practice and discipline in his or her studio space.
Ritual Unmoored: Works by Six Jewish Ceramists is presented by Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education at Portland State University’s College of the Arts Broadway Gallery, in conjunction with the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts conference in Portland, March 22-25, 2017″
A few pieces from the last months of 2016
Greetings! I’ve been busy in the garden, hiking in Oregon, Colorado and Maine this summer, but good things are happening in the studio too.
New work will be ready for prime time soon, but meanwhile please stop by the Willamette Ceramics Guild booth at the Corvallis Fall Festival, this weekend, September 24 and 25, in Central Park. 9 Guild artists will be showing our work. It’s always a wonderfully creative and interesting booth to visit
Hot from Susan’s kiln. Some wood, some gas, and a hint of soda made for lovely warm reds and oranges, and a smooth surface that feels good in the hand. These are 9 inches high and perfect for table use or flowers.