5.30.2009

Regional identities, the Spleth/Walker challenge, and lots of vines





Im back after a week of travel. I often find that well timed breaks from my studio are just as valuable as work time because it gives me fresh perspective on what Ive been doing. Separation and inspiration often go hand and hand for me. My current work is based on my perceptions and nostalgia for the south. This is represented by my drawings of flowing vines that are so plentiful in the south. I started this work when I left for Colorado a few years ago. I could not have started the work while still in the south. It comes from the place of being an outsider and claiming a different regional identity then the one you are currently living in. The objects I make are often markers for places and times that I want to remember when I can no longer experience them in person.

In the fall of 2007 I went to a lecture by David Picton(renowned African Art Historian) who told a story that made me have an "Ah ha" moment. He told of a well respected African artist being asked “What is the place of Africa in your art?” The man said “ To hell with Africa”. Picton was shocked but the man followed and said that his work was about “ Being African in another place”. They were in Germany so the African artist was an African expatriot living in Europe. By living away from his home he had an African identity to the European but he didn’t try to put that out. He was just expressing his influences which are African.
I realize that displacement will create an idea about home that is the sum total of our experiences while we were at home. It’s a nostalgic response to being displaced.

I think the work I'm making doesn't always scream southern to everyone. Some people don't immediately pick up the influence. I do think though that I could ask 10 viewers and at least 9 will say that my work doesn't come from Upstate New York, southern India, or any other place. It might not have southwestern Va written on it but it still points to that area of the country. A sense of place is often defined by what areas it doesn't represent. This subtlety is good enough for me at this point.

Ive been working with hand built forms recently as a way to break the dependence I have had with the wheel. This has been a great challenge because I used to make a living as a production wheel thrown potter. When I was at Odyssey, Tom Spleth and Holly Walker came to do a critique with the residents. They talked about forcing yourself to not use your favorite tool as a way to restructure your making process. Change the making process and you will change the idea/conceptual process. At the time I thought it was a crazy suggestion. I mean no one asked Coltrane to put down the sax and pick up the trumpet so that he could get better. Over the years I have thought about this suggestion but said I would do this later after I had already become successful (I'm not sure what success had to do with it). I even found myself planning to switch to hand building if I ever hurt one of my hands bad enough that I couldn't throw. After taking Tom and Holly's suggestion for the past six months I have changed my mind. I would recommend that all artists stop using their favorite tool every five years or so.

Ive found when I hand build I consider the minutia differently. The tilt of a rim is more deliberate because I have to consciously put it there. With throwing I am often turning off my awareness and going off the thousands of pots I have thrown before. The good and bad thing about wheel throwing is that I have ideas about how things should look. With hand building I'm open to any and all solutions.The form above is a medium sized bowl that is about 12 inches across. The decoration is based on a french roller print that I have talked about before. I like the print because it thick, energetic, and it reminds me of the way all vegetation grows in Florida.

5.16.2009

My First YouTube video

Check out this handle demo from a recent workshop I did with Pat Coughlin at Art Center West in Roswell GA. Click Here. One of my audience members took this with her cell phone as I was demonstrating. We live in the future! After watching this I realize I have an accent. I cant deny it, I'm from Virginia.

Blitzen Trapper and Wolfgang's Vault

A friend just posted about this band last week so I had to check them out. I have not been disappointing. NPR's Live Concerts from All Songs Considered has a show from Austin TX's South by South West. They are a rowdy band from Portland Oregon. Twangy singing, distorted guitar licks, country western rhythms, and the ghost of Bob Dylan's Harmonica, whats not to like? One of their more mellow songs that grabbed me is called "Fur". Great song.
They can also be found on one of my favorite all time sites: Wolf Gangs Concert Vault

Sat May 16




I decorated six mugs today. It took most of the day, which in hind site seems ridiculously slow. I have taken the challenge to design my surfaces on paper first so that each piece has a definite composition. This premeditated design is new for me. Until now I have been what you call an intuitive decorator. I always tried to do what I thought other potters meant when they said, "Look at each pot and see what that pot needs." This on the spot method of decoration has created some nice looking pots but it left me unaware of why I was making some of the design decisions I made. I would literally get done decorating at the end of the day and not be able to explain what I was trying to do with the decoration. When asked, what does this decoration do on this form, I have been known to answer "ah...um...decorate it?"

I spent three days this week in my studio only sketching. By sketching I mean designing my 2d spaces on paper, not designing the pots by drawing contour sketches. I already had 3d forms that I was designing for so all I had to do was plot out space. It was surprisingly hard, but not because the process was complicated. There is nothing complicated about crayons, color pencils and newsprint. It was hard because I love clay. Anytime I spend in my studio not touching clays feels like I'm cheating on my high school sweat heart. I have to get over this because I know sketching can be a great tool. Kind of like suicide sprints minus the sweat.
So after three days I have many, many, 2 x 3 ft pieces of newsprint filled with full scale sketches. Im posting pics to show what Ive been up to. If you look at the group mug shot you can see the same honeysuckle pattern that I developed in the sketches. The honeysuckle pattern has a lot of promise. I had to do honeysuckle because its blooming right now around Gainesville and it smells great!


This is one of my favorite new patterns. Its developed from a french roller print pattern that appears on page one of Susan Meller and Joost Elffer's seminal pattern book "Textile Designs:Two hundred years of European and American Patterns...yada yada yada.." Any body that is interested in pattern should definately check this book out. Its about $15 used on Amazon.

5.14.2009

Spoon It! Fork It! Cut It Up!

I was fortunate to be in this show at Baltimore Clay Works. Follow the link to the slide show. Im in there somewhere. Its great to see everyone interpretations of Gail Brown's utensil challenge.

Spoon It! Fork It! Cut It Up!
A Salon Show of Domestic Ceramic Implements
Gail Brown: a Curator of Contemporary Craft
April 25–May 30, gallery closed on May 25
Opening: April 25, 6:00–8:00pm

Click Here

Square Dinner Plate




This plate has many of the same qualities that I appreciate in quilts. I try to build in multiple layers of detail and pattern. Floral and geometric patterns are placed on the square plate in a similar way as stitching is applied to a quilt square.

Center Diamond Amish Quilt 1915



This Center Diamond Pattern is from Lancaster Pa around 1915-25. I appreciate the contrast between the simplicity of the over all geometric pattern and the complexity of the stitches and colors. The color scheme is a triad of a purple, green, and blue contrasted with a brilliant red. Each color has a seperate stitched pattern with in its square. From a distance you see the color but up close you see the individual stitches. I try to create this relationship of distance/detail in my own work.

5.08.2009

Episode 51- 60 of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast


Click the player above to stream the latest episode. To find a list of all episodes click "menu", then "more episodes". You can also automatically download the podcast from iTunes. Type "Tales of Red Clay Rambler" into the iTunes search box, then "subscribe for free" and you will automatically download future episodes to your iTunes. 





For descriptions of episodes 1-10 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 11-20 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 21-30 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 31-40 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 41-50 click here. 


Ep. 60 Mark Hewitt on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with Mark Hewitt. Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, to a family who worked for Spode China, Hewitt has been around ceramics his entire life. During college an encounter with Bernard Leach's "A Potter's Book" set him in the direction of studio pottery and towards the apprenticeship system of education. A major proponent of the system Hewitt spent years training with both Michael Cardew and Todd Piker. Upon finishing his training he moved to Pittsboro, NC where he has maintained a studio since 1983. In the interview we talk about his time with Michael Cardew, the value of an apprenticeship, and developing the confidence needed to run a major workshop. For more information on Mark's work please visit www.hewittpottery.com



Ep. 59 Ben Owen on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with Ben Owen III from Seagrove, NC. He has been potting since the age of eight and is the sixth generation of the Owen family to work in clay. In addition to a childhood steeped in the family pottery tradition, Owen studied ceramics at Eastern Carolina University and has been a resident artist in Tokoname, Japan. In our interview we talk about the history of Seagrove, the art of story telling, and becoming an advocate for craft in North Carolina. To see examples of Ben Owen pottery please visit www.benowenpottery.com.



Ep. 58 The Owens family talk about Jugtown on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast


This episode features an interview with Vernon, Pam, and Travis Owens. They run the Jugtown Pottery just outside of Seagrove, NC. Jugtown's history stretches back to 1917 when the founders Jacques and Juliana Busbee started buying pots from local North Carolina potters to sell in their tea room in Greenwich Village, NYC. Although Jugtown has gone through many transitions in it's nine decade history the Owens family has been a main stay for much of its development. Vernon started working at Jugtown in 1960, for then owner John Mare, and has been working there ever since. In our interview we talk about the Busbee style, the stewardship of the nonprofit Crossroads Inc., and the evolving nature of tradition. To see examples of the Jugtown pottery please visit www.jugtownware.com.



Ep. 57 Sid Luck on the the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with fifth generation potter Sid Luck. With his wood-burning groundhog kiln, he continues a family tradition of pottery making that has existed in the Seagrove, NC area since the early 19th century. Sid started making pottery for JB Cole in 1957 and though he has had other professions he has never stopped making pottery. In the interview we talk about whiskey jugs, war, and the evolution of the Luck tradition. For more information on Sid's work please visit www.lucksware.com.



Ep. 56 Live at the NC Potter's Conference with Brian Jones

This live episode was taped at the North Carolina Potter's conference. The episode features myself and Brian Jones presenting on Pottery, Podcasting and Posterity to a wonderful audience at the Sunset Theater in Asheboro, NC. In the interview we talk about creative competition, social media as ceramic advocacy, and developing a podcasting style. Brian Jones is a ceramic artist and podcaster based in Portland, OR. You can find out more about his work and podcast at www.brianrjones.com. You can access his podcast directly by subscribing to the Brian R Jonescast on Stitcher and iTunes.



Ep. 55 Lisa Orr on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Lisa Orr. Based in Austin, TX she makes colorful earthenware pottery reminiscent of a garden in full bloom. She has developed a unique method of turning pots in bisque molds on a potters wheel. This achieves a soft uniquely manipulated form, which is then colored with runny translucent glazes. In the interview we talk about the influence of Betty Woodman, color synesthesia, and Lisa's documentaries on Mexican folk pottery. You can see more of Lisa's work at www.lisaorr.com.



Ep. 54 Lisa Stinson on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist and educator Lisa Stinson. I had the great pleasure of studying under Lisa at Appalachian State University. In the interview we talk about her teaching philosophy, why its so hard to make a good pot, and the creative tension that comes from collaboration. You can see more of Lisa's work at the Appalachian State University faculty gallery.



Ep. 53 Tommy Frank on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Tommy Frank. His current body of sculptural work uses the childhood piggy bank to address consumption in the American economy. His pig armies fill gallery spaces asking the viewer to question how we teach children the value of hoarding in our society. In addition to his studio practice Frank is the studio manager of Red Star Studios in Kansas City, MO. In the interview we talk about pop culture, masculinity, and the growth of Red Star Studios. You can see more of Tommy's work at www.frankarts.com. For more information on Red Star Studios please visit www.redstarstudios.org



Ep. 52 Asheville Live Ramble with Josh Copus, Alex Matisse, and Lindsay Rogers

This live episode features a panel discussion with Josh Copus, Alex Matisse, and Lindsay Rogers about the crossover between farm-to-table dining and the ceramic world. In the interview we talk about the basics of farm-to-table, the search for authenticity, and designing site specific ware for a restaurant setting. Josh Copus is a studio potter and co-founder of the Clayspace Co-op in Asheville, NC. You can find our more about his work atwww.joshcopus.com. Alex Matisse is a studio potter and founder of East Fork Pottery in Madison County, NC. You can find out more about his work at www.eastforkpottery.com. Lindsay Rogers is a studio potter based in Asheville, NC. You can find out more about her work at www.lindsayrogersceramics.com. The discussion was taped live at the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts in Asheville, NC. To find our more about the programs the Odyssey Center has to offer please visit www.odysseyceramicarts.com.



Ep. 51 Kline, Carpenter, and Philbeck on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features a panel discussion with Michael Kline, Kyle Carpenter, and Ron Philbeck on the nuts and bolts of making a living as a potter. The conversation covers a wide variety of topics including building an audience, saving for retirement, and dealing with health insurance. Michael Kline maintains a studio in Bakersville, NC. Along with making pottery he teaches workshops and maintains the popular ceramics blog www.sawdustanddirt.com. For more information about his work please visit www.klinepottery.com. Kyle Carpenter lives in Asheville, NC where he runs a studio in the historic river arts district. For more information about his work please visit www.carpenterpottery.com. Ron Philbeck operates a studio in Shelby, NC. For more information on his work please visit www.ronphilbeckpottery.com. All three of the panelists are active on Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of social media.



5.07.2009

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Episodes 41- 50 of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast


Click the player above to stream the latest episode. To find a list of all episodes click "menu", then "more episodes". You can also automatically download the podcast from iTunes. Type "Tales of Red Clay Rambler" into the iTunes search box, then "subscribe for free" and you will automatically download future episodes to your iTunes. 


 


For descriptions of episodes 1-10 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 11-20 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 21-30 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 31-40 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 41-50 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 51-60 click here.


Ep. 50 Matt Jones on the Tales of Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with potter Matt Jones. During his time as an apprentice potter, Jones was deeply influenced by Mark SkudlarekTodd Piker, and the British studio pottery lineage that traces back to Michael Cardew. Jones currently maintains a studio in Sandy Mush, NC where he wood fires functional ceramics that draw inspiration from 19th/20th century American pottery, and other forms of ceramics that could be loosely defined as "folk" pottery. In the interview we talk about the value of the North Carolina pottery scene, the relevance of folk art in contemporary life, and his relationship with ceramic critic Garth Clark. In 2011 Jones used his blog (Critique of a Critic) to engage Clark in a lively discussion about the role traditionally made objects, and their makers, have once they enter the fine art world. The discussion fueled Jones to push his work in new directions, yielding his "Country Funk" style. You can read more about their discussion and find out more about Jones Pottery at www.jonespottery.com.



Ep. 49 East Fork Pottery: Alex Matisse, John Vigeland, and Connie Coady on the Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with the members of East Fork Pottery; Alex Matisse, Connie Coady, and John Vigeland. Alex founded the pottery in Madison County, NC after training with both Matt Jones and Mark Hewitt. East Fork Pottery's strongly thrown functional forms and slip-trailed motifs reference English slip ware, southern American ceramics, and an aesthetic that has become intimately linked with North Carolina. In the interview we talk about the rites of passage that are embedded in the apprenticeship system, the athleticism involved in making big pots, and romanticizing the life of a country potter. For more information on East Fork Pottery please visit their website www.eastforkpottery.com.



Ep. 48 Emily Galusha on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with Emily Galusha, the Director Emeritus of the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN. She contributed to the NCC organization in many ways including service on their board of directors and seventeen years as the executive director. Under her leadership the organization changed locations, increased membership, and expanded its ceramic programing on both a regional and national level. In the interview we talk about developing a leadership style, approaches to pricing art objects, and NCC's signature event, the American Pottery Festival. For more information on the programs NCC has to offer please visit www.northernclaycenter.org.



Ep. 47 Sarah Jaeger on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with Sarah Jaeger. Known for her highly decorated porcelain pottery she has maintained a studio in Helena, MT since 1987. Her functional pottery has been exhibited widely and she has taught workshops throughout North America. In the interview we talk about the human desire to create meaning through hand made objects, as well as her love of pattern and volume, and the early days when she would skip class to spend more time in the clay studio. For more information on Sarah's work please visit www.sarahjaeger.com.



Ep. 46 Steven Hill on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with Steven Hill. A potter for over forty years, Hill has transitioned through many phases in his ceramic career including selling at art fairs, having gallery exhibitions, and managing a community studio. Hill was the founder of Red Star Studios in Kansas City, MO and is now a member of 323 Clay in Independence, MO. Hill is a much sought after workshop instructor who has taught in schools and craft institutions across the United States. In the interview we talk about learning to make pots in the hippie era, the artist ego, and being on the workshop circuit. For more information on Steven's work please visit www.stevenhillpottery.com.


Ep. 45 Minneapolis Live Ramble with Linda Arbuckle, Doug Casebeer, and Alleghany Meadows

This live episode features Linda Arbuckle, Doug Casebeer, and Alleghany Meadows. Our discussion centers around the variety of forms that mentorship can take in the life of an artist. In the interview we talk about how objects, travel, and relationships with other artists have influenced each of the panelist's artistic development. Linda Arbuckle is a studio potter and Professor of ceramics at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. You can find our more about her work at www.lindaarbuckle.com. Doug Casebeer is a studio potter and the artistic director of ceramics and sculpture at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, CO. You can find out more about his work at www.andersonranch.org. Alleghany Meadows is a studio potter and gallery owner based in Carbondale, CO. You can find out more about his work at www.art-stream.com. The discussion was taped live during the American Pottery Festival at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN. To find our more about the programs that Northern Clay Center has to offer please visit www.northernclaycenter.org.



Ep. 44 Meredith Host on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Meredith Host. Her functional pottery is inspired by a myriad of disparate influences including mid-century modern furniture and patterns taken from the stippled surfaces of toilet paper. She is a full time studio artist and entrepreneur based in Kansas City, MO. In the interview we talk about creating art that walks the fine line between attraction and repulsion, drawing inspiration from low brow culture, and experiencing an inherited sense of nostalgia for past eras of design. For more information on Meredith's work please visit www.meredithhost.com.



Ep. 43 Martha Grover on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with Martha Grover. She creates gestural porcelain pots that reference botanical forms and the female body. She says of the work, "I think of the fluid visual movement around a piece, as a choreographer would move dancers across a stage. Transmitting desire - there is a sense of revealing and concealing, a layering of details that serves to catch our attention immediately and then the details draw us in, to make a closer inspection." She currently lives in Helena, MT where she is a full time potter and the education coordinator at the Archie Bray Foundation. In the interview we talk about mining your own personal history for inspiration, finding a niche in the clay world, and traveling the workshop circuit. For more information on Martha's work please visit www.marthahgrover.com



Ep. 42 Paul Berglund talks about the Bachelor Farmer on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with Paul Berglund the executive chef at the Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis, MN. Since 2011 the restaurant has garnered high praise for its Scandinavian inspired cuisine. In 2012 it was named to Bon Appetit's Hot Ten List of best new American restaurants and was nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award for best new restaurant in America. In the interview we talk about the farm-to-table concept, the benefits of serving fresh local food, and how design can accentuate the dining experience. For more information on Paul, or the Bachelor Farmer, please visit www.thebachelorfarmer.com.


Ep. 41 Evelyn Craft Belger on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with Evelyn Craft Belger. She is the executive director of the Belger Arts Center and Red Star Studios in Kansas City, MO. Evelyn has been instrumental in the growth and display of the Belger Arts Collection, a private collection of thousands of contemporary art works, that is managed by the Belger Foundation and housed within the Belger Arts Center. In 2010 the foundation partnered with Red Star Studios to expand their facilities and increase their programing in the Kansas City area. In the interview we talk about establishing a mission/vision statement for an art organization, the history of the Belger collection and guiding Red Star into its newest phase of growth. To learn more about the Belger Collection please visit www.belgerartscenter.org. To find our more about the programs Red Star has to offer please visit www.redstarstudios.org.







5.06.2009

Episodes 31- 40 of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast


Click the player above to stream the latest episode. To find a list of all episodes click "menu", then "more episodes". You can also automatically download the podcast from iTunes. Type "Tales of Red Clay Rambler" into the iTunes search box, then "subscribe for free" and you will automatically download future episodes to your iTunes. 


 

For descriptions of episodes 1-10 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 11-20 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 31-40 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 41-50 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 51-60 click here.



Ep. 40 Kansas City Live Ramble with Cary Esser, Tommy Frank and Meredith Host

This episode features a panel discussion with Cary Esser, Meredith Host and Tommy Frank. Each panelist is a ceramic artist that balances their art career with a business oriented profession. Our discussion centers around how creativity is an asset in the business world. Cary Esser is a professor and chair of the ceramics department at the Kansas City Art Institute. You can find our more about her architectural tile and sculpture at www.caryesser.com. Meredith Host is a full time studio artist and entrepreneur who has developed the Dot Dot Dash and Folded Pigs lines of dinnerware. You can find out more about her work at www.meredithhost.com. Tommy Frank is the studio manager of Red Star Studios. You can find our more about his sculptural ceramics at www.frankarts.com. The discussion was taped live at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, MO. To find our more about the programs Red Star has to offer please visit www.redstarstudios.org.



Ep. 39 Richard Notkin on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This double episode features an interview with ceramic artist Richard Notkin. Known for his protest art Notkin has approached a variety of subject matter during his career including the folly of war, the nuclear age, and global warming. His teapots and tile work can be found in numerous museums around the United States including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and the Mint Museum of Craft and Design. In the interview we talk about establishing a visual language, the influence of the Vietnam War and developing a collector base. For more information on his work you can visit Richard's Art Axis page or click here to see the PBS Craft in America segment that featured Richard's work.



Ep. 38 Steve Lee on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Steve Lee. At first glance his porcelain ceramics appear to be traditional Asian vessels but a closer glance reveals pop culture icons and contemporary subject matter. His most recent body of work, "Deconstructed", questions the relevance of an object that fails at its original function. For this series he harnesses the fickle nature of porcelain to create vessels that partially collapse as they are fired in the kiln. In the interview we talk about living in China, the role museums play in shaping culture, and his relationship with the Archie Bray Foundation, where he has been the resident director since 2006. For more information on Steve please visit www.stevenyounglee.com. For more information on the Archie Bray Foundation or the residency programs they offer please visit www.archiebray.org.



Ep. 37 Bobby Silverman on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Bobby Silverman. Throughout his multifaceted career he has been an educator, designer and maker. He currently manages Alsio Design, a Brooklyn based company that produces ceramic tile for residential and commercial markets. In the interview we talk about the pros and cons of higher education, developing a ceramic design company, and the relevance of the traditional pot in contemporary society. For more information on Bobby please visit www.alsiodesign.com.



Ep. 36 Tara Wilson on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with wood fire potter Tara Wilson. The fly ash patterns on her functional pottery often reference the worn surfaces of geologic formations while her altered forms display a sense of volume often found in the animal world. She says of the work, "The rich surfaces of the vessels represent the natural world. Nature also inspires form, in some cases quite literally, as river rocks become saucers. Other pieces speak of this passion more subtly. Bases reference the landscape, evoking a sense of space and awareness of the land. Parallels can be drawn between geological processes and the atmospheric firing process. Pots physically capture and record their firing process similar to the way sedimentary and metamorphic rocks speak of their history." In the interview we talk about putting down roots, sustaining a career, and wood firing as a way to build community. To find out more about her work please visit her website www.tarawilsonpottery.com.



Ep. 35 Mel Griffin on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Mel Griffin. Her functional pottery and large scale tile work use animal and landscape imagery to talk about human behavior and the way we relate to our surroundings. She says of the work, "Making and drawing allow me to investigate fluid and profound relationships between the body, handmade objects, and landscape, both inside the home and out in the world. Through imagery and metaphor, line and clay, I am exploring the manner in which corporeal experience, mindfulness, memory, and mood combine to create meaning in both everyday and imagined environments." In the interview we talk about the roots of creativity, incorporating sport as a component of an artistic life and the animal side of human behavior. To find out more about her work please visit her website www.melgriffin.com.



Ep. 34 Chris Pickett on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Chris Pickett. His slab built pottery consists of inflated sculptural volumes decorated with saturated colors and low relief patterning. He says of the work, "With the appearance of being freshly constructed, the fullness of form allows these vessels to evoke a sense of play and ease. The generous volumes are metaphors for our own bodies that reference both the comforts of physical intimacy as well as childlike items, such as toys and stuffed animals." In the interview we talk about utility vs. function, the power of habit, and the influence mid-century modern furniture has on Chris's aesthetic. For more information on his work please visit www.chrispickettceramics.com



Ep. 33 Eva Champagne on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast 

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Eva Champagne. Her hybridized biomorphic sculptures highlight the infinity variety and unifying order that occur within the natural world. She says of the work, "By synthesizing abstracted formal references to animals, plants and geologic sources, I create intentionally ambiguous ceramic sculptures that exist in the fluid margin between categories. My aim is toward something composite that will challenge the habitual presumption that the object must be either one thing or another in favor of a more open “both/and/maybe” interpretation of form."
In the interview we talk about living overseas, the intellectual and spiritual interpretations of her hybrid forms, and her upcoming residency at the Gaya Ceramic Center in Bali. Eva has started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund her trip to Bali. To support her project visit her Kickstarter site by clicking here. To view more of Eva's work please visit her website eva-champagne.com.


Ep. 32 Courtney Murphy on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with potter Courtney Murphy. Her functional earthenware draws from a variety of influences including "simplified abstractions of nature, children's artwork, folk art, mid-century modern forms and shapes, as well as textiles, patterns and historical pots." She maintains a studio in Missoula, MT were she is an artist-in-residence at the Clay Studio of Missoula. In the interview we discuss our mutual love for Western North Carolina, her approach to pattern and form, and her experience making the rounds of the ceramic residency circuit. For more information please visit www.courtneymurphy.net, or to purchase her work please visit her Etsy site www.etsy.com/shop/courtneymurphy.


Ep. 31 Panel discussion on climbing the career ladder in Ceramics

This episode features a panel discussion on ceramic career paths with Mel Griffin, Mathew McConnell, and Peter Christian Johnson. The conversation starts by questioning the premise of an established career ladder in ceramics and evolves into a discussion about success, living a mobile life, and creating your own career path. Mel Griffin is a potter and tile artist living in Helena, MT. For more information about her work please visit www.melgriffin.com. Mathew McConnell is a sculptor and educator living in Fayetteville, AK. He is currently a visiting assistant professor at the University of Arkansas. For more information on his work please visitwww.mathewmcconnell.com. Peter Christian Johnson is sculptor and educator living in La Grande, Oregon. He is currently an assistant professor at Eastern Oregon University. For more information on his work please visit peterchristianjohnson.com. All three of these artists have been long term resident artists at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT where the interview was conducted.




5.05.2009

Episodes 21-30 of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast


Click the player above to stream the latest episode. To find a list of all episodes click "menu", then "more episodes". You can also automatically download the podcast from iTunes. Type "Tales of Red Clay Rambler" into the iTunes search box, then "subscribe for free" and you will automatically download future episodes to your iTunes. 




For descriptions of episodes 1-10 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 11-20 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 21-30 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 31-40 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 41-50 click here.

For descriptions of episodes 51-60 click here.


Ep. 30 Sean O'Connell on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with potter Sean O'Connell. I met Sean in 2010 while he was making five hundred plates for the Salad Days Residency at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts. He focused on a lobed plate form as a canvas and set out to experiment with hundreds of solutions for surface decoration. I admired his methodical approach to such a monumental assignment. I continue to see the same dedication to visual inquiry in his current body of work. He says of the work, "My curiosity is satisfied through the idiosyncrasies of each individual arrangement of form, the visual splendor of color and pattern, and the spontaneity of brushwork."In the interview we talk about developing self critique, assessing the value of a new opportunity, and the ongoing cycle of disappointment and reward associated with making art. You can find his work on Facebook and Etsy. For more information on Sean please visit www.seanoconnellpottery.com.



Ep. 29 George McCauley on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with artist and Renaissance man George McCauley. Over his 45 year art career he has made pottery, mixed media sculpture, metal work, as well as being a cowboy, carpenter and movie producer. His self described "casual" approach to art making highlights the emotive quality of gestural mark making and loose brushwork. In the interview we talk about developing a unique artistic voice, the evolving nature of student/teacher relationships, and the film that he recently made about his mentor Ron Meyers. For more information on George please visit www.georgemccauley.com.



Ep. 28 Adam Field on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with potter Adam Field. Based in Durango, CO Adam produces a wide variety of functional ceramics ranging from intricately carved porcelain forms to massive Korean Onggi jars. He says of the work, "I am fascinated with antique artifacts, the way they can speak of mastery of lost peoples, places, and cultures. This inspires me to create works that both radiate history and capture my own place and time." In the interview we talk about developing a market for your work, using social media to build community, and the year he spent apprenticing in a traditional Korea pottery. In addition to his clay work Adam is an accomplished videographer and photographer. You can find his images and videos on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook. For more information on Adam please visit www.adamfieldpottery.com.



Ep. 27 Matt Kelleher on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with potter Matt Kelleher. He designs utilitarian ware with a keen eye for the architecture and edge quality of his hand built forms. He combines layers of slip with the soda firing process to create rich translucent surfaces that capture the mood and density of the Western NC landscape he now calls home. In the interview we talk about cultivating curiosity, escaping the boundaries of the artist statement, and working through the challenges a new life experience can create. For more information on Matt you can visit www.mattkelleher.com. You can also find him on Facebook.



Ep. 26 Merran Esson on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist and educator Merran Esson. Her recent body of work springs from a two week excursion she took to a remote part of western New South Wales, Australia. She says of the trip, "I have always had an affinity with the land, having spent my childhood on a farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, however, the geology and vastness of this recent exploration has brought a more organic resolve to this work. My interest in the collision between man and nature continues." This collision manifests itself through her sculptural vessels, which are at once reminiscent of the earth's crust and man-made metal structures, such as machinery parts and corrugated water tanks. In the interview we talk about learning to trust one's inner voice, capturing the passage of time within an object, and her role as the head of ceramics at the National Art School in Sydney Australia. For more information on Merran's work please visit www.merranesson.com. You can also find her on Facebook.


Ep. 25 Vipoo Srivilasa on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podast

This episode features an interview with sculptor Vipoo Srivilasa. After immigrating from Thailand to Australia Vipoo has used ceramic sculpture to explore the similarities between his native and adoptive culture. Over the past 16 years Vipoo has developed a body of porcelain figurines that mixes the blue and white traditions of East Asia with contemporary symbols of Australian identity. His work has been described as "a playful blend of historical Figurative and Decorative art practices with a health dose of Contemporary Culture." In this two part interview we discuss the artist's ego, the gallery system, and breaking into the international art market. For more information about Vipoo's work please visit www.vipoo.com.



Ep. 24 Jill Foote-Hutton on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist and curator Jill Foote-Hutton. Her totemic sculptures reference gods, monsters, and heros. She is interested in the psychological role these archetypes play in our society. She says of her work "There is an interminable distance between one human and another. In attempts to bridge the distance we climb through hierarchies and assumptions to find there are no monsters and there are no gods. Simultaneously we realize there are only monsters and there are only gods." In the interview we discuss how art can be a catalyst for social engagement, the role collaboration plays in her art, and her curatorial practice. For more information about Jill's work please visit www.whistlepigstudio.com. When not in the studio Jill is the gallery coordinator for Red Lodge Clay Center. To find our more about Red Lodge Clay Center please visit www.redlodgeclaycenter.com.



Ep. 23 David Hiltner on the the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist David Hiltner. His functional pottery and sculpture references the farming landscapes of the midwestern United States. He says of his work "I am interested in rural landscapes, silos, rolling hills, and furrowed fields. The patterns, textures, and colors translated into the vessel are memories, moments, and thoughts frozen by fire. These vessels are created to celebrate the land that inspires and sustains me." In the interview we talk about his recent exploration of corn as a symbol for commodization, his love of the great outdoors, and his experience founding the Red Lodge Clay Center. In 2005 he left his position as an Associate Professor at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas to create a full service clay center in Red Lodge Montana. The clay center has grown to include an artist-in-residence program, gallery, and community clay classes. For more information please visit www.redlodgeclaycenter.com.


Ep. 22 Julia Galloway on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast

This episode features an interview with ceramic artist Julia Galloway. Her functional porcelain pottery spans a wide range of subject matter and decorative motifs from architecture to cloud forms. She says of her work "A need for beautiful domestic objects and an instinctual drive to create things are tremendous dance partners for idea and desire." In the interview we talk about the role ceramic history plays in her life as an educator, her work ethic, and the way her visual language changed after moving to Montana. She currently serves as a professor and director of the School of Art at the University of Montana. For more information on her work please visit www.juliagalloway.com.


To celebrate the one year anniversary of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I am featuring a compilation of excerpts from season one of the podcast. While all of season one's episodes are unique and enlightening in their own way, these clips raise topics that I haven't been able to shake out of my head. The episode features excerpts from interviews with Matt Long, Chandra Debuse, Christin Johansson, Nina Hole, Willow Neilson and Jason Burnett. I am eternally grateful to all the artists who took part in season one of the podcast.