Monday, 31 March 2014

monday morning eye candy: Courtney Murphy

Courtney Murphy

Artist Statement

My designs are influenced by simplified abstractions of nature, children’s artwork, folk art, mid-century modern objects and textiles, books, thoughts and conversations.  More recently I have been looking at pattern and interactions of color. I tend to work slowly, and I’m attracted to clean simple forms.  I pay careful attention to line, both in my drawing, and in the profiles or outlines of the forms themselves.

I am intrigued by the details and imperfections found in hand-made objects, and the ways in which these marks reflect the maker of the piece.  A slight change in the profile or image on a cup determines whether a person will be drawn to one over another.  Bringing a new piece of pottery into my home brings a small clue into the life of the maker, what they were interested in, and perhaps what they were thinking at the time.  Subtle details that you might not notice right away become evident through the passage of time and continued daily interaction.

I love creating functional work because of the personal connection created when the work leaves my studio to become a part of somebody else’s  routine.  So many important moments in life are centered around the table.  Cooking and preparing food can bring people together in celebration.  The presentation of food can be enhanced and complemented by a beautiful serving piece.  Handmade pots can also play a large role in quieter times, when you share a cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend.  When I look in my kitchen cabinets, I am reconnected to experiences of the past few years.  Each handmade dish holds it’s own history and connection to a particular time and place.  It’s nice to have these personal objects help preserve the memories of the places I have been and the people I have met.

it's no April Fool's joke.....

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Tammie Rubin: Neverwhere & Nowhere April 8 - May 4, 2014

Opening Reception: 4:30 to 6:30pm, Thursday, April 10 with Gallery Talk at 5:30pm

The Gallery at Penn College
One College Avenue 3rd Floor, Madigan Library
17701 WilliamsportPA
United States
Apr 8, 2014 to May 4, 2014

"Neverwhere and Nowhere" is an assemblage of collected objects; the primary interest is transforming the familiar, disposable, and trivial into the mythic and fantastical. Rubin explores the wonderment of magical thinking and the charm of constructed forms and ornate contraptions. The conical shapes of her ceramics allude to a function of channeling, transmitting, or filtering, and reference conical forms that imply communication: voice pipes, megaphones, dunce caps, gramophones, steeples, and satellite dishes. Through process, she tries to satisfy her curiosity for sumptuous fluid surfaces, and ideas of accumulation and myth. Utilizing the amorphous properties of clay and exploring its inherent materiality, she creates fanciful objects that feel both familiar and alien. 
Tammie Rubin was born in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her MFA in Ceramics at the University of Washington, and received a BFA in Ceramics and Art History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she is now an Assistant Professor of Ceramics & Foundations. Her work has appeared in Ceramics: Art & Perception and Ceramics Monthly. 
There will be a "Meet the Artist" Reception on Thursday, April 10, from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. with a gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. The gallery will be closed from April 18 to 20.

job posting: Curator of Ceramics

The ASU Art Museum at Arizona State University invites applications for Curator of Ceramics, according to a University job posting. Founded in 1950, the ASU Art Museum was named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America magazine. The ASU Art Museum is an integral part of the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, a Research One Institution.

The Ceramics Center, a unit of the museum, was established in 2002 and houses the museum’s extensive modern and contemporary studio ceramics collection, considered to be the finest in the United States, the posting states. The mission of the Center is to present, interpret and research ceramics within the broader context of contemporary art and then disseminate these activities for ASU students, the Phoenix community, scholars, artists and visitors worldwide. By presenting exhibitions, making the permanent collection accessible and by documenting ceramic activity through its archives, the Center plays a leadership role in inspiring an appreciation of studio ceramics while connecting to broader communities, disciplines and ideas.

Candidates must have master’s degrees in art, art history, design or museum studies; strong interests in the history of craft and/or design with five years (assistant rank) or seven years (associate rank) experience in an art museum or related field; evidence of original research and publication in the field of contemporary ceramics and/or craft; proven records in attracting significant development support and funding; and proven knowledge of professional museum practices.

Applicants must send or email a letter of application, a resume with exhibition and publication lists and the names and contact information of three references to: Chair of Curator of Ceramics Search Committee, ASU Art Museum, P.O. Box 872911, Tempe, Ariz. 85287-2911 or

The application deadline is April 7, 2014; if not filled, every two weeks thereafter until the search is closed.

via Cfile Online

Five Lines: Annual Resident Artists' Exhibition @ Arrowmont

residency opportunity: The North Carolina Pottery Center

The North Carolina Pottery Center is offering a two year Residency for one potter/ceramic artist, beginning no later than August 1, 2014.
The Residency is designed to help the creative and financial development of an individual in pursuit of establishing their own studio practice.
A recent grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation has enabled the Pottery Center to reinstitute its Artist-in-Residence program.

Who can apply?
Candidates with BFA’s, MFA’s, or equivalent life experience, are invited to apply, by April 15, 2014
Where and what is the North Carolina Pottery Center?
Located in the central Piedmont town of Seagrove, NC, the North Carolina Pottery Center is the focal point of a bustling pottery community of about 80 nearby potteries.
The Pottery Center serves the wider community of North Carolina potters and pottery enthusiasts, and promotes public awareness and appreciation of the history, heritage, and ever-changing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina through educational programs, public services, collection and preservation, and research and documentation. Please visit

The Center sits in an attractive, wooded lot and consists of three buildings. The remodeled Voncannon House (pictured above), which contains living space (bedrooms, kitchen, laundry facilities, etc.) for an Artist-in-Residence and periodic interns, office space for the Seagrove Area Potters Association (SAPA), and a collection of resource materials.  
To the north, across a spacious parking lot, is the 6,000 square foot main Museum building, which contains exhibition space, a gift shop, offices, a kitchen, and rest rooms.
Nearby is the 1,500 square foot Education Building, with wheels, electric kilns, and other clay-working equipment. And on the hillside just below it are two working, wood-fired kilns: a traditional groundhog and a two-chambered catenary arch kiln.

Details of the Residency
The Artist-in-Residence will live in the Voncannon House, and will pay no rent, but will pay for utilities while there. They will be responsible for basic maintenance and cleanliness of the living space.
They will have access to all facilities in the Educational Building, including wheels, electric kiln and the two wood-fired kilns. Residents are encouraged to bring their own equipment.
All clay and glaze materials, and other pottery supplies for their own work, will be purchased by the Resident. A standard fee will be levied for each use of the wood-fired kilns, and residents will follow NCPC policies regarding repairs and tidy up.
They will be required to work for the Pottery Center 16 hours a week. This will include two half-days a week (8 hours) in local K-12 school programs, while schools are in session, and the remainder of the time in activities relating to the Pottery Center (like helping at exhibition openings, helping with educational and other research projects, and other tasks at the discretion of the director). However they may not find other supplementary employment outside of the Residency, and are expected to be full-time studio artists.
Engagement with the staff and the wider facility is encouraged.
Residents will be encouraged to network with the wider Seagrove community of potters for professional development and social activities.
They will be encouraged to sell work in area craft fairs and stores, and will be given an End-of-Residence Exhibition at the Pottery Center. They will also be able to sell work at the Pottery Center’s gift shop.
Their activities will be promoted on the Pottery Center’s website and social media outlets.
The Artist-in-Residence will receive $1000 a month for living and material costs.
The determination has been made that no pets, other than legitimate service animals, will be allowed.

Online Application Process
The online application process asks for the following information, please be prepared to enter that information.
1. Basic Information
2. Educational History
3. Resume
4. Artist Statement
5. Letter of Intent
6. References
7. Media - Ten images files will need to be submitted during this part of the process. For good image quality and a fast upload, your image files must be sized around 1800 x 1800 pixels at 72 dpi (approximately 6" x 6" at 300 dpi). Please do not submit images smaller than this. Each image should be no larger than 5mb. Image files must be named using the following pattern: first initial last name file number. (i.e., jsmith01.jpg, jsmith02.jpg, etc.)

emerging artist: Catie Miller

Loose, slightly humorous, and unsettling illustrations animate my ceramic artworks. I choose to draw portraits of people’s hidden lives, magnifying the people’s features and the private moments of their lives. Currently, I am exploring the obsessive collection of things—hoarding, and how this fixation interferes with the quality of daily life and relationships. Growing up, we had a lot of stuff; overflowing boxes of papers, small mountains of clothes, and a cat for every family member. Frequently moving throughout my life has forced me to evaluate my relationship with my possessions. I incorporate multiple layers of surface to create a crowded environment for the narrative. Much like hoarding challenges home as comfort, the addition of exaggerated ornamentation and form challenges the comfortable feeling of function, engaging the viewer to contemplate his or her relationship to objects.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Dallas Pottery Invitational

emerging artist: Zach Balousek

Artist Statement:
The most recent body of work has stemmed from a kind of ceramic folklore involving peoples' initial discovery of the material. Before people fired pots they were a mobile society of basket makers. As they began to cultivate the land and harvest a greater surplus of grain they required more containers that would be resistant to rodents and the open air. They lined their baskets with clay and in a serendipitous event a fire destroyed most of their material possessions but left them with some insight. The interior of that basket became the first ceramic pot. Beyond its potential as a prototype for their future, in its hardened exterior bore the impressions of their past. It became a fossil to an ephemeral and mobile society; a momento to a new culture that would seek eternal life carving their name in earth.

The range of information this object says about their society's soft culture has lead me to find new meaning in our material culture. If one can deduce that a mobile society produces impermanent objects from ephemeral materials, and sedentary society produces more permanent objects from archival materials; than what is to be inferred from a culture which produces disposable objects from permanent materials?

Friday, 28 March 2014

Rest in Peace John Chalke

"My interest has remained inconveniently multi-faceted in most things ceramic - from its misty prehistory, when only clay and gods mattered, to the subsequent historical offerings from many lands. Food and tea presentation, clay and glaze research, the art of throwing, the art of handbuilding, kilns, riverside shards, emissivity, the smell of old clay, on and on. The straight path to the studio from the house is necessarily most serpentine some days. Some months of the year, though, make it much simpler. When the days grow warmer I work much more outside, where pots dry more quickly. I become a potter and become familiar again with muscle and ache. From November on, when things are freezing solid outside, body activity slows down and more cerebral struggle takes its place. A farmer might go curling during this time. I suppose I go handbuilding. This sequence has been part of my making for well over 30 years. The only thing I can see that has changed is more honing, more reflection, more revisiting old and new places in my mind, and less guilt about the now petty."

- John Chalke

a site 2 see friday: Sculpties

About Sculpties
One cold winter day, a piece in progress captured his very own studio selfie, and began a new trend: sculpties.

Hello! My name is Jocelyn Howard and I will graduate in May 2014 with an MFA in Ceramics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Interested in themes dealing with gender identity, sexuality, public vs private image, duality, and jungian psychology, I enjoy exploring these themes when creating ceramic figures in hopes to create a personal mythology.

When documenting my studio practice and sculptural process, I noticed that the expressions, postures, and characteristics of each figure I created lent itself to being documented in the same way a person would take a selfie. What started out as a humorous documentation of my work has evolved into an exploration that applies the act of crafting self-image through taking selfie shots to literal crafted objects.

When I think about duality, specifically the difference between public and private personas, the first thing that comes to mind is the way in which social media asks two things of us. On one hand, we want to keep in touch with friends and family, let our hair down, and share things that are deeply meaningful in our lives through venues such as facebook, twitter, tumblr, and instagram. On the other hand, we want to curate a professional image that will help further a career. Websites are good for establishing a solidly professional boundary around our public image. But sometimes the line between public image and private image is blurred when an online presence becomes a cocktail of website plus instagram, twitter, tumblr, and facebook.

When I spend time to painstakingly document my work, I am crafting a professional public image for that work. I set it carefully on a grey graduated backdrop, arrange lights to capture every detail, and spend time adjusting each setting on the camera to compose the perfect shot. However, when I create and build my figures, I feel that they take on a life of their own in the studio. They let their hair down. And so, I invite you to join me on this journey of documenting my work behind the scenes. I hope you enjoy getting to know each character when they aren’t posing for my portfolio or getting gussied up for that next show application. And, please feel free to use the submit link to submit your own sculpties!

For each piece’s pro shots, please check out:

Help Rebuild The Peters Valley Noborigama Kiln

March, 2014

Dear Friends,

We need your help. Our Noborigama Kiln has been damaged after the structure that shelters it collapsed due to the weight of this winter’s extreme snow. We are in critical need of funds to help rebuild the collapsed structure and repair the kiln damage.

We ask you to please consider making a donation towards this effort.

Time is of the essence as we use this kiln not only for our regular workshop season, but also for special firings that help bring in critical funds to the program in our off-season..

We are firmly committed to rebuilding and repairing the damage.

The Peters Valley Noborigama kiln was built by the famous duo of Will Ruggles and Douglass Rankin during a Wood Kiln Construction and Firing workshop that they taught on our campus in 1992. It was then featured in an article they published in Studio Potter, Volume 22, Number 1 titled ‘The Rock Creek Climbing Kiln Part II’ and has become a huge draw for our program.

We estimate that we need to raise $20,000 to properly rebuild and repair the damage.

“In the few weeks since the collapse of the roof over our two-chamber wood kiln I have received many phone calls and messages of support. Needless to say, I’ve been struck by the generosity shown toward the School and the Ceramics Department in particular. Please know that we truly appreciate whatever amount you’re able to give.” Bruce Dehnert, Ceramic Studio Department Head

Any donation of $75 or more will receive a Peters Valley T-shirt as a thank you.

Your donation will go a long way to helping us restore this critical piece of our ceramic studio. With your support, our unique kiln can continue to benefit a diverse and inspired group of people from students, to artist instructors, studio assistants, artist fellows, resident artists, and Peters Valley visitors.

With Sincere Gratitude,

Kristin Muller Executive Director
Peters Valley School of Craft,
19 Kuhn Rd.,
Layton, NJ 07851

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Sunshine Cobb "Jeans and a T-shirt" @ The Plinth Gallery

Join us on First Friday April 4th, 6-9pm for a reception with the artist. Exhibition runs through April 26th

Sunshine Cobb's show title “Jeans and a T-Shirt” is drawn from a conversation with a friend and references the, “…everyday, comfortable, and ultimately utilitarian type of pots…” that she makes. 
Sunshine is coming to Denver from Helena, MT where she is currently a long-term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation.  She received her BA from Cal State Sacramento, and MFA from Utah State University.  Sunshine has been recognized as an “Emerging Artist” by Ceramics Monthly in 2012, and the National Council for Education in Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in 2013. 

Sunshine uses a red clay body and hand builds most of her pieces using soft slabs, coil and pinch techniques. She is known for her distinctive shapes and finished surfaces, which she creates by sanding, or often sandblasting, to show decay, “…wear and tear, a kind of broken-in look”. The combination of how the surface looks as well as feels is important in her work, it is the relationship between the visual and tactile. Sunshine says, “I always use the favorite T-shirt idea, I want my work to have the worn in feel to it, loved and used to the point it has your own personal history embedded in its surface." Enthusiasm and fun are major parts of her studio practice and we are excited to have Sunshine and her work at Plinth. We look forward to this casual and fun exhibition and we hope you will join us, wear your comfortable jeans!

 Sunshine Cobb Workshop
On April 5th and 6th,  Plinth Gallery will host a two-day workshop with Sunshine Cobb. This hands-on workshop will encourage experimentation with new forms and methods of construction. Geared toward creative expansion, beginners, intermediate and advanced students will use hand-building techniques such as coil and pinch methods and soft slab construction to generate a variety of vessel forms. Collaboration and fun is the goal. 
Price for the workshop is $250 per student which includes most materials and lunch both days. College credit is available through Adams State University. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged. For more information and to register, contact Plinth Gallery or call  303-295-0717.

3520 Brighton BLVD
Denver CO 80216

job opportunity - The Clay Studio

The Clay Studio is looking for a summer grad intern to complete a 10-week paid Fels internship that will involve updating the records for our permanent collection. We'll be photographing, researching and tagging works that have entered the collection since 2006--mainly from International Guest Artists and Clay Studio Residents.

The Clay Studio is a non-profit educational arts organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the ceramic arts and the work of new clay artists. As Philadelphia’s only arts organization dedicated exclusively to the ceramic arts, our mission is to provide diverse audiences with a unique learning environment in which to experience the ceramic arts.

The Clay Studio seeks a graduate intern to research, inventory and catalog our relatively small permanent collection of ceramic artwork for uploading onto The Clay Studio’s database and website. Responsibilities will include producing condition reports for each art object, tagging and photographing each piece, conducting research on the artist, provenance and significance of each work, and transporting research files and images into The Clay Studio’s database for publishing online. This project will help The Clay Studio develop an accurate catalog of the permanent collection and will develop an online educational tool for sharing the collection with the public.

The successful applicant will be a graduate student interested in the arts, archives, and research. A general knowledge of the field of ceramic art is preferred but not required. Strong organizational skills and intellectual curiosity are ultimately the most important factors in the success of the project. To apply, please submit a one page cover letter and resume to Garth Johnson at with “Fels Intern Application” in the subject line.

This 10-week internship is to be completed in summer 2014. The Samuel S. Fels Fund has provided a $6000 stipend for the successful completion of the project.

Garth Johnson @ Illinois State University

Coalescence by Brenda Danbrook

by ceramic artist Brenda Danbrook
March 29 - May 3, 2014

Opening Reception: 2-4 pm, Saturday, March 29

This body of work developed out of a passion for functional ceramics and interest in work that explores the ceramic narrative. The imagery and pattern used as an embellishment not only fits decoratively, but is placed intentionally to increase the sense of vitality.  
In a domestic setting a ceramic vessel has the opportunity to express a visual experience beyond the very useful and tactile qualities. This series honours the individual user and embraces the family by evocating groupings intended to be used to serve a specific function and to enhance a special event such as Sunday breakfast.  

"In my daily practice, I strive to find a balance between form, function and imagery that come together in unity to heighten an object's utility, which placed in the hands of the user, brings an experience or connection to their daily life." 

Danbrook owns and operates a pottery studio in Opal, Alberta. In 2006, with support from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Brenda began to pursue an education in visual art as a means of expanding and deepening her existing artistic practice in clay. She studied in Jingdehzen, China with the Australian National University, where she received a Diploma of Art (with high distinction). Brenda also received a Diploma in Visual Art from Red Deer College (2010), and a BFA (with distinction) from the Alberta College of Art + Design (2013). She has exhibited ceramics both nationally and internationally. 

Brenda's work is included in the ACC's group exhibition Potworks which has travelled to the Yuill Gallery, Medicine Hat, and will be at Red Deer College during SERIES this summer. Brenda's work is represented in various private and corporate collections including the Institutions she attended, the Canadian Consulate (Australia) and the AFA (2010). Brenda has also been the recipient of numerous awards, scholarships and grants, including the Illingworth Kerr and Louise McKinney Scholarships.

Coalescence runs in the Alberta Craft Council's Discovery Gallery, 10186 - 106 Street from March 29 - May 3, 2014 with an opening reception on Saturday, March 29 from 2-4pm.  
For more information on this exhibition contact Joanne Hamel
(780) 488-6611 ext 221  | or visit
ACC Discovery Gallery | 10186 - 106 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 1H4

call for entry: SPOON ME! @Medalta

This year we thought we’d switch things up. It all started in September 2013 with our SExSE invitational residency (South East Alberta by South East Asia) and the talented Vipoo Srivilasa. Vipoo challenged all of our residents to a spoon competition and we were all hooked. The spoons created during this competition travelled with Vipoo’s work to the Ceramic Top 40 exhibition at Red Star Studios and are now off to Boston with his project OBJECT:SPOON.

As all this was happening we started seeing spoons everywhere. With this object – that has gone in and out of fashion – making a serious comeback in studio ceramics, we decided to extend the challenge to our international invitational exhibition. Spoons are the New Cup!


  • Application Deadline: Monday, June 30, 2014
  • Exhibition: September 1 – November 29, 2014
  • Email Notification Begins July 15th, 2014
  • Accepted Work Due August 15th, 2014
  • Up to five entries accepted
  • Submission Fee: $20.00 (CAD)
  • All artists payments & sold/unsold work will be shipped in December 2014
  • Opening reception TBA
So this year send us your SPOONS, your ladles, your scoops and your servers. If a spoon is the feature of an object such as a soup tureen or a larger set, send us your soup tureens and sets too. We want to see what you come up with.

Not working in ceramics? No problem – this year we are opening it up to our friends in other craft mediums too … clay, metal, glass, wood & fibre.

We are very happy to be working again with the talented Musing About Mud blogger and Canadian ceramic rockstar, Carole Epp. She will have the hard task of Juror, narrowing down the entries and selecting the prize winners.

Speaking of Prizes! Last year we partnered up with Medicine Hat College, and together we gave away a free month long residency at Medalta with accommodation to the Grand Prize winner KyoungHwa Oh. We can’t wait to have her in the studios this June … she makes some pretty great spoons too.

This year we will have purchases prizes for the Medalta contemporary collection and several selected artists will be featured on the Musing About Mud blog. For last years featured artists & Carole’s fabulous coverage of the previous years show click here.

We’re cooking up even more prizes this year, we’ll update you here as soon as they’re cemented.. but we’re definitely offering a June 2015 residency at Medalta as our grand prize!
The entry can be done completely online below by uploading your images and information.


Carole Epp is likely best known for her work on Musing About Mud, ( an online resource of ceramic related content. She is a graduate of the Australian National University, produces two distinct lines of functional and sculptural ceramics, exhibits internationally, and at the end of the day is a mother to two charming young boys.


The exhibition is open to all international artists. Work can be either functional or sculptural so long as it addresses the idea of “the spoon”. Please submit only original work that has been completed in the last two years.

You can submit up to five entries, with the $20 (CAD entry fee). Entries could include 5 separate spoons, or any of the entries can be a set.  If the entry is to be juried as a set, please put set in one photo, all sets will be priced as a set and sold together.

Front and back views are not required, but if you feel it’s necessary to properly convey your piece using a front and back view then using a side by side shot as one of the entries/uploads is recommended.

Work must not exceed 2 feet in width.

All work must be properly prepared for exhibition, be durable enough to survive shipping and display, and come with exhibition/assemblage instructions and hardware if applicable.

Medalta reserves the right to reject any work that is not suitably prepared for exhibition or that differs from the original submission. Medalta reserves the right to use images and photographs of accepted works for the purposes of promotional materials, including postcards, calendars, local media as well as online promotion.


All artwork must arrive at Medalta no later than August 15th. Artists are responsible for all shipping and insurance costs to the gallery.


  • All entries must be for sale, (priced in Canadian Dollars).
  • Medalta will receive a commission of 40% on all sales.
  • All work will be available online.


GRAND PRIZE! One lucky artist will win one month in Medalta’s June 2015 residency!
We’re cooking up even more prizes this year, we’ll update you here (and Facebook & Twitter) as soon as we have more to report. So check back often!
Purchases Prizes will be awarded for Medalta’s Contemporary Ceramics collection.
Several of the selected artists will be featured on the Musing About Mud blog.
Awards will be determined by the juror and announced at the opening reception. Artists do not need to be present to win.

Visit their website to apply.

Any questions regarding this show can be directed to Medalta’s fabulous Exhibitions & Collections Curator …
Jenna Stanton
Curator, Exhibitions & Collections
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada