Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ceramics Now

Ceramics Now is available digitally or in paper. Consider subscribing.

I was introduced to Brian Kakas's work via Ceramics Now. Wow.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yunomi/Chawan/Tea Bowls

Lots of great info and eye candy:  The D.A.G. Yunomi Collection

Above is an exquisite tea bowl by B.C. master potter Wayne Ngan. I can just feel it in my hands and on my lips.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Art of Managing your Career

The Art of Managing your Career  is a resource guide for self-employed artists and cultural workers in live performing arts; writing and publishing; visual arts and craft; film, television and broadcasting; digital media; music and sound recording, and heritage.  It is put out by the Cultural Human Resources Council

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pit Firing at Coshise College

This is an incredible video of an Extreme Pit Firing  at Cochise College.  Stephani Stephenson, an amazing tile maker, is currently subbing at the College.  Lucky students.  Here's one of her fountains.

Get on your dancing shoes and enjoy the video.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Clint Neufeld and his Family Connections

I met Clint Neufeld at Lydia's Loft during a concert a year or so ago. He told me about his work and I was intrigued. Clint's multi-piece cast ceramic sculptures are amazing and have deep personal meaning to him. 

Bart Gazzola wrote "the works presented by Clint Neufeld in “Grandpa used to washed my hands in gasoline” are both beautiful objects, and very meaningful objects, and they speak to notions of art making, beauty, and identity politics on both a national – and very regional – level: and all very much situated from a masculine place."

Chris Buhler, from Floating Gardens, who sells beautiful, tasty heirloom veggies at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market, was my booth neighbour on Wednesday and we got talking pots, food and more. Chris is Clint's brother-in-law and we had a quick peek at Clint's work on my laptop. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Art Biz Coach/auctions

Alyson B. Stanfield's website http://artbizcoach.com/ is a goldmine of info. Her latest blog post http://www.artbizblog.com/ is on art auctions.

Artists receive frequent requests for donations. I only donate to causes that are important to me. While I prefer "artist friendly"* auctions I do donate to others, such as a recent one for a women's shelter, and of course to raise money for friends who are facing difficulties. .

* Artist friendly: reserve bid, promo for the artist, portion, at least 50% of the sale goes to artist.

I'll be donating this piece to an auction for a cause near and dear to me, the Jack Millikin Centre.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cup: The Intimate Object VII

A cup is the most intimate piece of pottery we use. Cradled in our hands, held by our fingers using a handle, there are so many ways people hold a drinking vessel. And then of course we raise it to our lips to take nourishment and comfort from the beverage.

Here are some delightful pieces on Charlie Cummings Gallery that illustrate the variety of mugs/ cups/ tumblers made as well as the imagination and skills of makers.

This mug by Sarah Jaeger is a favourite and I would love to add it to my collection. The graceful form begs to be held. I really like the colours and the decoration. This mug has a lot of happiness in it.  I so enjoy drinking from handmade pots. It's like a visit with another potter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Matt Long Workshop

Lately I've been thinking about much I've benefitted from workshops that I've attended. There is no end to what can be done in ceramics and I'm grateful that others share their experience and knowledge. Matt Long is an incredible potter, storyteller and instructor.

I've been enjoying the tall Matt Long tumbler I purchased at the salt-firing workshop at Martin Tagseth's in May. It was the perfect vessel for iced coffee this hot summer. Now I drink water or hot coffee out of it.  I would have really liked to purchase the mug below as well.

Here's Carole Epp's post: Musing about Mud.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bob Reimer

Just read about this loss to the ceramics community. Bob Reimer was a warm person and very knowledgeable about ceramics. Decades ago I saw a teapot of his that he slip-glazed using clay from his back yard (70 clay/ 30 neph sy). I really liked the form, the surface and the simple glaze formula. It was probably the first honest pot I ever saw.

I will always treasure the visit with him last year when he came to Medalta.

Good for chuckle

Another slow day at the market. Had a good chuckle watching this video.

Friday, October 21, 2011

BBC video "Ceramics - A Fragile History"

"No art form tells us more about our ordinary lives than ceramics" is the introduction to a wonderful video  Ceramics - A Fragile History.  I enjoyed the hiss of the draw ring, seeing Lucie Rie and Bernard Leach's "potters' nod". Great visuals and lots of information.

Above is an image of Lucie and her work.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The "Madly Curious" Mama of Dada

Since first reading of Beatrice Wood I've been intrigued.  Beatrice was a true free spirit.  Her approach to glazing was intuitive and experimental. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guy Wolff's Steve Jobs story

Guy Wolff is a traditional potter who lives in Bantam, Connecticut who makes a lot of flowerpots for historical gardens. He apprenticed at older shops in North Carolina, Wales and Northern England.

Guy posted the following on Facebook: 

"A decade back I had a great article in Horticulture magazine on my garden flowerpots and the day it dropped I got a phone call from Steve asking if his plantsman could come for a visit so we could plan out some pots for his garden . The visit was made and the pots started but with the size of the order and size of the pots the order took the greater part of the season to get going on and with humidity I became bogged down . Clinton was in office and Steve called to ask what my email was so he could keep abreast on his order . Being a potter my answer was "What is Email"? Steve very kindly offered me one of his computers but at the time I had no idea how helpful this would have been for keeping my unorganized shop a little more together and the size of the gift seemed undeserved . Since then I have taught myself how to use his machines for designing pots here in Connecticut and making them all over the world .OH .. and I have just made a folk music CD using nothing but Garageband and planed to send Steve and Lauraine a copy to thank him for all he has done for home made music. Thanks Steve for your kindness to me."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ceramics Now

 Carole Epp is featured in an interview in Ceramics Now.  I have always been intrigued by Carole's sculptural pieces. She is really pushing boundaries, communicating her concerns and ideas through her work. And she is one of the most delightful people I know.

Check out her blog where she brings the world of ceramics to you.

Here's a pic of Carole and her pal Brendan Tang at her opening at the Mendel Art Gallery

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Creat8 .. Saskatchewan Craft Council's members exhibiton

There will be lots of interesting, well made fine craft at this exhibition at the Saskatchewan Craft Council's  Infinity Gallery -- and it's all for sale.

The piece featured on the invitation of one of Paula Cooley's creations. I've known Paula since the mid 90's when we were students together. She has really grown as an artist...always exploring new techniques and very dedicated to her craft.

I'll have a drum and this plate in the show.  Hope you can come to the reception on Oct. 20, 5 - 7 p.m. and meet the artists.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mr. Gould to the piano please

My father was a fan of big band music so I listened to a lot of Glenn Miller, songs like In the Mood. While I'm glad I was introduced to that music at an early age I missed out on classical music. Thanks to CBC I've been able to listen, learn about and appreciate classical music.

It will be a real treat to listen the "other Glenn", on CBC's upcoming series on Glenn Gould. Thank you CBC. Here is a video of Gould playing the Goldberg Variations.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Imagine -- Emmanuel Kelly, The X Factor Auditions

Imagine is a song that has deep personal meaning to me. This version is sung by teenaged Emmanual, orphaned and born in a war zone in Iraq. I do believe that we are one and that we can live that way.  

Emmanual has been axed from the Australian X Factor competition but Yoko Ono  put up his Imagine performance on her web site and told the young singer her late husband would have been proud of him. 

The lyrics were printed on a friend's memorial card and we sang the song over and over at his wake.
Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wise Words from Jim Malone

June Perry posted this video of Jim Malone. June has a great blog...you will be inspired in the studio, the garden and the kitchen.

 I totally agree with her comments about the video. Great quotes, images and philosophy. The best pots are born not made.


Monday, September 19, 2011

We are what we eat off of

These last few months of abundance from the garden were enhanced by the "collection" in my kitchen. This July I visited Mary Fox and purchased one of her peasantware bowls. Yes, food does look and taste better when served in a hand crafted vessel. The colour of the glaze isn't quite right so do take a look at the peasantware link on her portfolio.  I really like how the bare clay feels and I enjoy the sparkling mica on the exterior. Mary said it develops a patina and becomes more lovely over time.

There will be a lot of gatherings coming up where we celebrate with friends, family and food.  Why not make it a tradition to use unique, handmade ceramics? It's like having the artisan join you.

This thought provoking article by Shax Riegler, author of Dish, (I want this book) is well worth reading. There are links to other websites so enjoy the eye candy.

Ellen Mulligan commented: "Handmade ceramics truly can change the temper of a day, and the potter joins us at the table and sets the tone."
Here's a platter I made and soda fired at Medalta.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cats Walk Alone

I found this article useful and hope you do as well.

Cats Walk Alone

by Carolyn Henderson

We can, however, choose to be superb artists, whether or not we are invited into the middle of the circle -- and indeed, the likelihood that we reach our potential as artists increases when we decrease our dependence upon the group, the group's policies, the group's likes and dislikes, the group's approbation or censure. [...]

Read the rest of this article at:

This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

For a complimentary subscription, visit: http://www.fineartviews.com


Friday, April 22, 2011

Dark Eyes by Cam Neufeld

Wow, Cam and the band do a great job. This is a fun video with music to move to.  Throughout the years I've know Cam he had grown and developed as a musician.  His travels to Turkey and Asia did good things for his music.   http://youtu.be/HDdBbmbe3QI

Check this out and enjoy more good music: http://www.reverbnation.com/camneufeld

Forgetfulness by Billy Collins

animation by Julian Grey.

"Drifted out of a love poem you used to know by heart".  I so enjoy hearing a poet read their work.

I trust I'll never forget how to swim or ride a bike.  I do forget authors names and book titles.

another teabowl video

I really like how Dirtkicker makes a very controlled form then loosens up by cutting the rim to undulate it and then carries on having fun decorating.

Some of the tools such as the cutting wire with green handles and the stick with balls on the ends are from http://www.mudtools.com/ 

I think teabowls are a form that I will need to make 1000 of before I am competent.  So grateful that I'm a potter and can send myself on this quest.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Matcha Chawan Teabowl, Trimming etc. by Cory Lum

This will be a good exercise for me to loosen up my throwing and trimming just in time for a salt fire workshop.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f64J6C48ZSo

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kitchen Makeover

I wanted to enter a kitchen makeover contest but I seemed to be in the wrong time zone.  Leaving things to the last minute!!!  Here's my pitch:

When I purchased my house it didn't have a kitchen! No sink, stove, fridge, counters or cupboards. The kitchen had been taken out by the previous owner when the maple flooring was installed.  It was difficult to figure out how to proceed since what I wanted was over budget.
The kitchen space is 2.8 meters from the windows to the wall (where the stove, fridge, cart and small metal unit are) and 3 meters long.  There are a few design challenges, one being the slope of the stairs to the basement (seen under the table at the far end of the photo).
My goal is to create an efficient, simple, pleasant working space with places to display china inherited from my ancestors and my collection of contemporary pottery made by myself and other ceramic artists.
Comfortable work space is limited to 8.32 square feet of counter height on three different surfaces, which because of lack of storage also have a kettle, dirty dishes (the dishwasher pictured is nonfunctional), etc.  Many items are stored in the basement and in a purchased pantry presently beside the metal stand.
Being able to have pull out shelves to store pots, pans, appliances, etc. will help me prepare food to daily meals along with processing the harvest from my home and community gardens.  
Easy to use storage for recyclables, a pantry, cupboards, a quiet energy efficient dishwasher, and better lighting will help me be organized, productive and enjoy working in my new kitchen.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Nancy Gallagher's pottery blog

I've been enjoying Nancy Gallagher's blog.  It's very informative and I like her pottery. This is an image of Nancy's engobe and sgrafitto decorated teapot.  I'm looking forward to seeing a picture of the glazed piece. 

Squared Lasagna Dish

Bill Van Gilder gives excellent instructions for this project. The idea of making lines to indicate where handles will be placed was an "ah ha" moment for me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Multi-Sectional Vases

Another great video from John Britt

Winterfestival Juried Art Show, Mann Gallery, Prince Albert

Each February the Mann Art Gallery, formerly the Art Gallery of Prince Albert, gives local and regional artists the opportunity to exhibit their work in an exhibition during Winter Festival.  All the work is shown; the juried pieces are exhibited in the main gallery and the rest are displayed in the Fringe and Studio Galleries. The juried art is up until March 27.

The juror this year was Sandra Fraser,  Associate Curator, Extension Coordinator at the Mendel Art Gallery

Since the mid '90s when I was an Applied Art, Ceramics student at Woodland Campus I've entered work in the exhibition.  Bonnie Bailey was also in the program.  She started before me and was warm and welcoming.  I was thrilled when she was awarded the ceramics prize for the second year in a row.  Here she is with her winning pit fired piece. While I no longer live in Prince Albert I enjoy taking part and reconnecting with the vibrant arts community there. 

Mel Bolen received second prize for his beautiful salt fired vessel. Mel is also known for his decorative gas fired ceramics. Some day I will acquire one of his art pieces, but for now, I'll have to be content with the mug and plate in my "collection".

Both my pieces are in the juried show.  "Refuge", shown on the left, was purchased by someone I knew from my days in P.A.  I know she will give it a good home.  The other piece is a soda fired drum.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Prairie Excellence Exhibition -- June Jacobs featured artist

The exhibition,  Prairie Excellence, at the Affinity Gallery, 813 Broadway Avenue, Saskatoon, will be closing on February 27th.  If you haven't already seen it, it's an incredible show.  I'll be back at least once more before it closes to spend more time enjoying all the pieces. 

Above is June Jacobs' sculptural hand felted piece "About the Process" which was selected for Prairie Excellence.

June Jacobs has been active in Saskatchewan crafts for more than thirty years in a variety of capacities, including fibre artist and exhibitor.  She has owned and operated The Handwave Gallery in Meacham, Sk for 28 years.  As well, she is an educator, mentor, workshop participant, adjucator and juror, an active Saskatchewan Craft Council and CARFAC Saskatchewan member, president and member of the Saskatchewan Professional Art Gallery Association, as well as a member of fibre guilds.  She also coordinates many arts related activities and is dedicated to her art practice.

June has recently completed 3 art residencies: Banff, Vallauris, France and Quebec City.

Recent exhibitions include Body Skins, A.I.R.Vallauris, France 2008; The Eye of the Hurricane, Convergence 2008 Tampa Bay, Florida,: Interface 2009, Mysteria Gallery, Regina; Unity and Diversity, Cheongju International Craft Biennalel 2009, South Korea; Plein des Bras, Contemporary Textile Museum, Montreal, Quebec Dec’09 and  Jan ‘10

Saskatchewan Craft Council, Puck Janes, ceramic artist

The Saskatchewan Craft Council has a new website. http://www.saskcraftcouncil.org/

There is lots of good information in the easy to navigate website.  Enjoy the  eye candy in the Membership Directory.  Here's an example of what you'll find there: 

Puck Janes is a ceramic artist who I went to school with.  We both spent a lot of time testing glazes and Puck has developed a wide palette of surface decoration.  She celebrates the Prairies with her stunning landscape pieces.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Greenlandish/Danish Ceramics by Gukki Møller

Over the past 15 years since we were students together Gukki Møller has really developed his large ceramic pieces.

Back then Gukki was working on double walled vessels and employed precise, interesting surface decoration.  I'm thrilled with what how the seed of his ideas has grown.

His heritage is very

important to him. It's

wonderful to see it

celebrated in his work.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

John Britt throws a bowl

If you ever have a change to take a workshop with John Britt DO.  Last year at MISSA John really added to my experience there even though I wasn't in his class.  He's fun, creative and freely shares his vast knowledge of ceramics.SS

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

Faceted Bowl

I'll give this a try, but will add my own twist.  Don't think I've ever used a round trimming tool or have seen anyone else use as many different trimming tools as I do.

BBC The Craft of the Potter, part 1

With decorating master Alan Caiger Smith 

Handbuilt Tumbler

Charan makes wonderful, colourful pots.  He's a generous soul as well; he shares a lot of his techniques on his blog and esty shop.  Here's one I really enjoyed.

Check out his Esty shop for more of his delightful work go to http://www.etsy.com/shop/creativewithclay and visit http://www.creativewithclay.com/

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Love with the Mystery -- Ann Mortifee

Inspiring, beauty full, wise and comforting.  Ann received a calendar featuring Indian sage Paramahansa Yogananda from her husband, musician Paul Horn which was the seed of her new book and cd.

"Do not be afraid of losing your way.....wait, and a miracle will appear".

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Living with Nature, employment opportunity

From Elizabeth Bekolay,
Living with Nature Network - - I have just been approved for funding to hire 2 people to help with the ecological salvage work this summer. See below and attached for all the details of the projects.
I need one more person starting end of April.
Please recommend this to anyone who is:
- Age 17 - 30 years (funding requirement)
- Has NOT been on EI (funding requirement)
- looking for meaningful employment for the summer (minimum wage with potential for increase, 30hrs/wk)
- is keen about local biodiversity and sustainability
- has a valid driver's license
- can work long hours in all conditions
- doesn't mind mosquitoes and blackflies
Thank you,
Elizabeth Bekolay

Lichen Nature

Artist Resale Rights

To find out more about artist resale rights:


Canadian artists, if you aren't already a member of CARFAC http://www.carfac.ca what's stopping you?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Creativity YouTube

Just "discovered" Jay Smooth http://www.illdoctrine.com/.  Really like the quotes he collected and shares on this video:

Gillian Jug Birds

Gillian shares her method of creating wonderful, colourful slip decorated jug birds.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Horses at Play

Two WWOOFERS (willing workers on organic farms) who are currently at Carol Mariott's Ravenheart Farms http://www.ravenheartfarms.com/have created this lovely youtube horse video (below) a few days ago, when they captured on camera the horses at play. It's really a sweet video to watch and enjoy! May it bring peace to your heart and a smile on your face.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Health Meditation in Saskatoon

Workshop in four sessions

with Francine Niekus
Learn simple concentration and breathing techniques to create calm and focus in your life!

Location: Yoga Mat Studio, #4-501 Gray Ave, Saskatoon
Time: Saturday mornings: 11.15-12 15 pm
Dates: January 8, February 12, March 12, April 9
Fee: donation only

The Workshop
During the workshop we will focus on learning and practicing the techniques of health meditation (see below). The goal is to create for oneself a set of practices best suited to one's individual need and aspiration, and get started. There will be opportunity each session to ask questions and share and discuss your experience with other participants. You will be provided with handouts describing all practices in detail.

To register email: sask.meditation@gmail.com 

Image of Nobel Peace Prize nominee,Thich Nhat Hanh, who wrote:

The function of meditation practice is to heal and transform. Meditation helps us to be whole, and to look deeply into ourselves and around us in order to realize what is really there. The energy that is used in meditation is mindfulness; to look deeply is to use mindfulness to light up the recesses of our mind, or to look into the heart of things in order to see their true nature. When mindfulness is present, meditation is present. Mindfulness helps us to understand the true essence of the object of meditation (whether it is a perception, an emotion, an action, a reaction, the presence of a person or object).
It may be possible for you to meditate on your own, without a teacher or a Sangha, a community of practice. But it goes without saying that to practice with a teacher and a meditation community is more advisable and much easier. A teacher is someone who has had the experience of the practice, and has succeeded in it. A Sangha is a meditation community where everyone follows more or less the same kind of practice. Since everyone is doing the same practice, it becomes easier for you to practice too, because the group energy emitted by the Sangha is strong and very supportive. You can also learn a great deal from individual members of the Sangha. There are many things you may find difficult to do when alone, but in the presence of the Sangha you can do them easily.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Paul Soldier

Paul Soldier, artist and inventor, died on Monday.  He'll be remember for his creativity, his contribution to the ceramics community and his controversial ads.