Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Our Prairie in Fibre Exhibition

Included in the exhibition is a silk dress that I dyed with flowers and leaves from plants that provide beauty, nourishment and healing. These were gathered primarily from my garden and the person's who commissioned the dress. Eleven yards of silk were dyed with comfrey, peonies, crab apple leaves and hollyhocks. If you come across an old homestead, these plants will be probably still be growing.

The curator, Monika Kinner-Whalen sent participants this message: 

"My goal was to walk into a room full of prairie inspired art and pride in our homeland.  My secondary goal was to provide the wide array that fibre art has to offer. I was humbled to see an unexpected third theme emerge.  I overlooked the influence of the fact that all the pieces happen to be created by women.  There is an undeniable thread that runs through the collection - of woman's connection to her prairie.  (*As an artist, I am struggling to find the right words to describe how I feel about this show.)  Thank you so much for providing your stories.  They help to shed light on personal meanings that I feel enable the viewer to connect deeper to each piece, and ultimately to our beautiful prairie".

"I am happy to say that all seasons are represented, as well as the elements of fire, earth, air, water and spirit.  With nearly 40 pieces chosen, I think I have every major type of fibre art represented.  It is a very well rounded exhibition".

Here's an in situ photo of Cindy Hoppe's poncho.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Thrift Store Find ~ Robin DuPont

Today I just missed out on buying a mug made by Robin DuPontAs I was about the enter the store, Robin's and my friend, Jeff Stewart (pictured) was leaving with this mug in his hand.  I'm glad he was able to add it to his collection, which includes pots made by Luke Lindoe

I first met Robin when I visited Jeff in Banff; Jeff had studio space at The Banff Centre's ceramics area.  Robin stopped by Jeff's apartment with a book he had just purchased on wood fired kilns. He was oohing and awing about the kilns while I was more interested in the pots. Robinhad some very good stories about building kilns and firing with road kill.

One thing I know for sure, Jeff definitely got a bargain. He wanted Robin to know that his mugs are "going for a lot of money". I think the price was so low since there was wax in the mug. Not sure what era this mug is but it's not recent.

Here's a mug of Robin's that resides in my cupboard when I'm not using it. It is perfect for me since I use one finger to hold mugs. Robin is one of the best soda firers around.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hitomi Hosono's Coloured Porcelain Sculptures

Today I was introduced to Hitomi Hosono's incredible carved porcelain sculptures on Carole Epp's blog Musing About Mud. Hitomi use gold leaf on the interior of some of her vessels. Anyone who has used gold leaf knows that it takes a lot of practice and persistence to do a good job. 

This piece reminds me of hoar frost. It's been extremely cold here in Saskatoon (the magical -39 C where it meets -39F) so seeing images of work inspired by coral and tropical flowers is just what I wanted to see. 

Hitomi and I share a fascination for testing though I'm sure she is more organized that I am about keeping records. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Canadian Ceramic History

I found these articles fascinating and informative. Canadian Ceramic History tells of the first pots made in Canada and there are good images of decorative techniques and forming methods at  

Here's a photo from a website featuring good images of Iroquois pots . The image above is from this site. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The ceramics world has lost another artist. Yoshiro Ikeda has passed away.  

Here's a link to an article in Ceramics Arts Daily about his use of building up the surface with multiple firings. I agree that the method is more important than recipes. Experiment, have fun and keep records. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Students' Pots

Yesterday the students from the Beginner's Throwing Class I taught at the Saskatoon Potters Guild picked up their pots. Here are some pots made by people who have never thrown before. I'm impressed and glad that they persevered. Learning to throw isn't easy. Thanks to the returning students who offered encouragement.

I derive a great deal of satisfaction from sharing my skills and helping people learn. Of course I always think I have the best students. Kudos to the class coordinators and technicians. 

The pots on top were glazed with a white glaze and then dots where applied using raspberry (a chrome-tin) glaze and spearmint from Mastering Cone Six Glazes.  Floating Blue, an old standby and very popular with the students, was applied to the pouring bowls.

Rhonda, whose plate is picture above has been taken a few classes before, has attained her goal of making plates. She made a sprig mold from a metal dragonfly magnet. Glazes on the plate are spearmint and shino.