Our website is currently getting a huge remodel by Kelly Curtis! So, while our site is down, I thought I would type something up. There is a lot of exciting changes happening in the Free Ceramics’ physical space as well. The electrician hooked up all the breakers and outlets for our four kilns. Only one kiln left to move-after the bisque is unloaded. It seems like a small thing, but it’s huge in our world. We will be able to fire our kilns whenever we want-and at the same time!
I finally finished up a few small hand built pieces last night. Lindsay is cranking away throwing pots and Matt is slip-casting like crazy in his studio. Next weekend we are a part of a Helena Area Open Studios Tour. Tickets are $15 each and you can find more info at www.helenapublicarts.com It’s going to be great! We have play with clay for kids, a painting tile project, Lindsay and visiting potter Joseph Pesina will be cranking away. I’ll be decorating pieces and it’ll be generally a busy, happening spot!
As we get ready for the holidays, I’ve been bringing back a few forms from the past. It took a visit to my friend Tiffany’s house. She has a french butter dish I made three or four years ago. Her family uses it everyday! It’ll be great to have a few of these available at Christmas time. New pieces, old forms, new space in old space-we sure are having fun!
This last Spring, Free Ceramics completed a special order for the Nicholson Family. Their set of 12 turned out lovely! We were so proud of it, I took some pictures of it on their beautiful table by Al Swanson. Now that Bobby Free is off on his own adventures in Sonoma and then Missoula, (check out his blog!)…I thought it was about time to show this set off. We will miss having Bobby so close, but look forward to future collaborations!
I was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Lived in Hawaii. Grew up in Oregon.
I was a serious runner starting at the age of 10 and did not decide to be a ceramic artist until I was in my junior year of college. At the time I found myself with a similar passion for clay as I had for running. It was a difficult, but necessary switch. I gave up my running scholarship and began my path in the ceramics field.
The images listed here include some of the artists that I was initially attracted to in my discovery of the arts. Rothko painted amazing fields of color and he also was of Russian decent and lived in Oregon. Anish Kapoor’s work continues to evolve is an inspiration to artists who are trying to look at the world from a different point of view. Kandinsky, another Russian, combined painting, color and music and created vivid playgrounds. Alberto Giacometti’s struggles to create seep from his work when seen in person.
As an artist looks at influences and reasons…for me the well is very deep. My parents running a printing business out of our house, Scottish Festivals, running meets all over the U.S., doilies and afghans made by my grandma, a love of sushi, growing up near rivers and the ocean, learning to throw with a strong Korean influence, an appreciation for old buildings and antiques, falling in love, having a kid. My next post will have images of work from my time in college at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
This photo is of Matt, Bobby and I at our Holiday Sale 2011. Today our Free Ceramics team officially grew. Future photos will now include Lindsey Carroll. Yay!!
Lindsey is going to start working with Bobby on throwing, Matt with plaster, and me with coloring (even though Matt does most of it). We are super excited to have her join us. I’ll be re-telling those who are on our email list, but for those of you that found this-you are in the loop!
Another cool development took place today. Liz Sparks, who has been a visiting artist at the Archie Bray Foundation, is going to move into a studio space at our Clay Club spot! She has a body of work to finish up this month and we are super happy to have her in the studio.
Both Liz and Lindsey will also help out with our Clay Club classes that are orchestrated by Crista Ames. If I were a kid-I would love to hang out with all these cool, enthusiastic ladies. It starts up next Tuesday-so click here to sign them up!
If you didn’t receive our email on January 31st-email me your email address and I’ll add you to the list.
Hope you all had a nice new year. Things are starting off on a super exciting note here at Free Ceramics! Welcome Lindsey and Liz!
The sandwich board sign has been ordered! We are meeting for set-up tomorrow night. The sale now includes 12 artists. Wow. This weekend is going to be amazing!
Last month a couple on the east coast were married. This probably happens a lot, but this particular couple I’m talking about, Beth and David, are special. They commissioned us at Free Ceramics to make them a set of dishes. 12 plates and 12 bowls. I wanted to photograph them and share them with you all-because I really like them. I hope you enjoy them too! And check out Beth’s amazing work. She is a jewelry artist. Her etsy site is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bethjewelry?ref=em
Thank you Beth and David and all your wonderful family and friends that support you and the arts!
We are cranking away getting ready for our Holiday Pottery Sale. In preparation, I’ve been updating the website and getting it flush with info for those of you who will receive our upcoming newsletter (that directs you to the website).
I still have ornament images to get on the website, but I did get the Ceramics Monthly article linked up! With special thanks to CM and here is the official wording….
Originally published in Ceramics Monthly (www.ceramicsmonthly.org), JJA
2011, pages 34-37. Reproduced with permission. Copyright, the American
What a great magazine. Enjoy the article!
This is a piece I made in Seattle at Pottery Northwest. Matt finished it with a great rainbow of colors. Available tonight at the Holter Museum of Art —Hoho Holiday Sale. Members preview tonight and tomorrow is the art walk. We’ll be at the Dancing Lotus Center next to the Parrot. Hopefully we will see you soon! ‘till then…
any tips for throwing white clay? i can never get it perfectly centered & i always have the hardest time making a cylinder
Throwing tips for white clay. There are so many different ways to throw. I start with a round ball of clay so centering is already half way there. Sometimes I’ll bury my right elbow into my leg to help keep my hand completely still while centering. Once you have the clay centered, when making a cylinder, keep the top diameter smaller then the base where it meets the wheel. After each pull up, cone it in a bit and put a little pressure or smooth out the lip with your fingers. This will keep the top of your cylinder from wiggling, making it easier to get it taller. Also, if your clay is really soft, let it sit out and get a little stiffer before throwing. Hope this helps. (YouTube has some great videos too….wish I could link some here-but maybe surf a little for some visual hints) Good luck!
Are you painting your lovely designs directly on bisqued porcelain and then covering with a transparent glaze or are the pieces bisqued and covered with a slip before you decorate them? Really lovely. I hope you have some new pieces on Etsy soon.
Hello! Thanks for the question. We’re bisquing the porcelain and then I decorate the pots with underglaze. I use a slip trailer for the black lines and then fill it in with colored underglazes using a paint brush. After they are decorated and colored a clear glaze is sprayed over that and then they are glaze fired. I think I have some images of each step…I’ll see if I can find some. Thanks for the comments! :)