Sunday, October 12, 2008

Flashback to the 70's

I guess I'm staying with the 'back in the day" theme.

While in the states I visited a dear potter friend, Bacia Edelman, now in her 80's and still potting.

She lived in London during part of the 70's. While there she visited many of the potters of the day and based on her photos and interviews had a series of 3 articles published in the American ceramics magazine, Ceramics Monthly.

These are a few of the her photos that I scanned while I was there.

Many of them have departed and are missed. I thought people might enjoy seeing these.

They are (not in order) Eileen Lewenstein, Ray Finch, Mick Casson, Michael Cardew, David Leach fluting a bowl, Robert Fournier, Sheila Fournier, David Leach and his Kiln,

Monday, October 6, 2008

Leach St Ives Pottery

This is a visit to the Leach Pottery back in the 50's. It's terrific to see 'the great man' in action as well as David and all the other leach potters.

If anyone knows who all the potters are, please let me know. I figure that "Bill" is Bill Marshall but I'm not sure and haven't a clue about the others.


I got the video from a friend of mine, he doesn't remember where he got it and I have been unsucessful in finding who took it.

I've been very lapse in working on the blog; been traveling and basically just too busy but I'll try to do better. I have some wonderful pots I've been looking at lately that I'd love to put up. So expect posts a bit more often.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Priscilla Mouritzen Pinched Bowls

Priscilla Mouritzen is a South African Potter living in Denmark. She does other work as well but I really prefer her simple pinched, wood fired porcelain bowls.
I first came across them last year in Pittsburgh at a very small show called "Nordic Wood Fire", hosted by Standard Ceramics and part of the 2007 NCECA conference.

I really love good pinch pots, especially simple bowls and admire anyone who can manage to sell them. I've made a lot of pinched bowls and have only managed to sell them to potters. Non potters don't seem to understand them.

I'm kind of in awe of people like Pricilla, who's had two shows of her bowls at the Galerie Besson in London, Jimmy clark, Paulus Berensohn, Mary Rogers and others.

Berensohn is the master and wrote the best book on pinching pots, "Finding One's Way With Clay: Creating Pinched Pottery and Working With Colored Clays". It was back in print a few years ago but seems to be out again. It's worth looking for.

I discovered the book while I was still at university and it changed my life. I spent the whole next term pinching pots. I found that my throwing was very much improved when I returned to throwing, the next semester. I'd developed such an intimate sense of the clay.

Berensohn notes, in his book, that it's very difficult to make decoration work on pinched pots. A unity of form and decoration is especially important. In his case, he did this by going to colored clays. I think, with her wood firing and simple decoration, Pricilla has really achieved this. They are wonderful pots!

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Elise Winters: Artist and Innovator in Polymer Clay

You are not going to always see pots here. There is a lot of inspiration to be found in all kinds of work, even Fimo clay.

I'm not sure how I found this artist but I'm sure glad I did. It's really hard to believe that this is Fimo. I've never seen this kind or radiance from any polymer clay I've ever seen. Could you imagine glazes like this?

The forms beautiful, sometimes fantastic. The colors are mesmerizing. I would wear this (if I could afford i t)!

It happens that she started out as an earthenware potter, pnotographer and Sumi-e painter. She spent time in Japan and says that the Japanese reverence for nature and subtle design have become her influences.

As I said earlier, I was 'raised in the "Leach-Hamada-Cardew-Reduction-High-Fired-Stoneware-With-Little-Decoration-School" popular in the 70's when I was in schoole. Mostly that meant BROWN. Brown and gray were popular, it was also considered natural. In addition, whole food, natureal food were also popular at my school. These were the early days of this food movement so people weren't really being very creative, yet. Brown food, with bits of what seemed like wood in it. Raisins were added for interest.

Brown Pots, Brown Food. Sad times. People talked about natural colors too. More Brown, just different shades.

My ceramics teacher Billy-Eddie Strickland, pointed out that nature contains some of the most wild, vibrant colors you can find. Electric blue and hot pink are also found in nature.

Isn't color grand!

You can see more at her website:

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Book: 500 Plates & Chargers

Just got my complimentary copy of Lark's latest ceramic book; "500 Plates and Chargers"

The plate on the cover is by Josh Deweese. "That's a luscious pink, Josh!"

The book was 'juried' by maiolica potter and University of Florida professor, Linda Arbuckle.

She's done a great job of selecting the pots for this book. A lot of variety and some really fine work from all over the world. It's more than just 'eye candy'.

The book is definitely worth spending some time with.

Lark Books is based in Asheville, in the piedmont area of North Carolina which is one of my favorite areas for pottery. Seagrove is the area that gets all the publicity and all the tourists. And you do have some great potters there and some of the famous pottery families there as well, such as the Owens', the Meaders, etc. but, in truth, the best work is elsewhere.

Around Asheville, you can find a lot of great potters in the Bakersville area, Roan Mountain and, of course around the famous Penland Crafts School.

If you can't buy it, find a bookstore that has it, find a chair, browse and absorb.
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Jennifer Lee, 1956

Jennifer Lee makes these wonderfully quiet but strong hand-built vessels. She incorporates oxides and sands into the body to give the colors and textures. The oxides, which she gets from all over the world can be coarse or fine, each giving it's own texture and feel. Occasionally the interaction of two ajoining oxides will create a halo effect.

The base is pinched to about 1/3 of the height and the rest is built up in tall bands.

Some of her signatures are the asymetrical 'ledge' like rim on the top pot and, lately, a diagonal band of inlayed colored clay.

You can find images of her work on-line, she's represented by the Galerie Besson in London and the Frank Lloyd Gallery in the US.

There is also a very informative YouTube video of her talking about her pots at last year's SOFA exhibition in the states at

I would love to have one of her pots but, starting at $3000 they're way out of my price range. She says she only makes about 18 pots a year which I suppose helps keep the value up.

Still, I can dream.

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