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Find me more frequently for the time being at Folk-Art-Life.


Lack of Updates

I'm sorry ya'll I've got to take a break for a moment. I've come down with a nasty cold and the end of the semester is approaching like an avalanche...

I'll be back soon, I promise.


Jesse Lu


Yoko Sekino-Bové

I know many of you are probably familiar with this Japanese-American potter. But I just had to share some of her work because it is so damn brilliant. Sekino-Bové's illustrative skill and trademark silhouette style are so dramatic and luscious. I think this is something I might try in my own work at some point... decorating with black underglaze and coating in bright, colorful, transparent glazes.

(images via Gallery Up, Northern Clay Center, Fetish Ghost's blog, and Isadore Gallery)


Odd Pots: Ewers

(late Umayyad period ewer, left, and the America's Cup trophy, right, the oldest trophy still in use today)

Some time back, while chatting with my friends in the studio, the subject of ewers came up. It became clear to me that some folks might not be familiar with this type of vessel, it's shape, usage and history. I thought it might be fun to show some contemporary (and not) examples of this piece of pottery and explain why you might come across it quite often but not be quite sure of its purpose.

Simply put, a ewer is a vase-shaped pitcher. Now, that doesn't exactly tell you much, especially considering the examples I've shared below.  In contemporary terms, the shape of the vessel has been unhitched from that narrow definition and is more commonly related to its usage. Historically, a ewer was a nearly-closed pitcher used for thousands of years across the globe for the transportation or storage of liquids. Some cultures used them for transporting olive oil, keeping water by a basin for washing, or even kept in a bathroom to flush toilets. 

Nowadays, ewers are mostly used to store water (as on a nightstand) or for decoration. Today, I think what defines a ewer from a pitcher or teapot is one of a few possible characteristics. A ewer might look like a tall teapot or a squat pitcher with a spout. It may or may not have a lid, but surely any openings will be small so as to keep out dust and bugs.  It might have a long neck or a long body so as to be more appropriate for storing beverages than brewing them. The most defining characteristic that make this vessel what it is, however, is the classification by the artist. As long as it has a spout and a small or covered opening, if the artist calls it a ewer, it's a ewer.

Now you tell us: Do you make or use ewers? Why and for what purpose?

(JoAnn Schnabel, left, and Sam Chung, right)

(Tom Rohr, rest in peace)

(Shawn Spangler, left, and Sharon Virtue, right)

(Simon Levin, left, and Donn Hedman, right)

(Markus Urbanik, left, and Lora Rust, right)


Off Subject: Dan Flavin

Freakin' awesome. I learned about Flavin from watching PBS's Art21 series. (If you aren't already familiar with this series, I highly recommend it.)  These pieces are incredible. I love how such a distilled combination of light and color and space can still evoke such powerful feelings. Just incredible.

(images via the Tate, Pacific Standard, Grammar Police, Asymptotia, David Byrne, and axmk.com)


Melissa Mytty

Super funky take on The Cup. I really like the concept of the pedestal, especially when it's used to elevate a more simple or 'everyday' object and even more so when it is so brilliantly incorporated into the sculpture itself. I'm trying this in my own work right now with perfume bottles. We'll see how they turn out.

(images from artist's website and Santa Fe Clay)


Off Subject: Pogo

I know this is really stretching it as far as being relative to the main purpose of this blog, but I just had to share. I haven't come across something that made me feel this bubbly inside in a while. I am so driven in my own work by the idea of whimsy, and so projects like this completely blow me away. I hope you enjoy these treats as much as I do.

(via Pogo's YouTube)

Hayne Bayless

An expert in form and pattern. Right? Plus I love that Bayless uses hinges for his teapot lids. How unique and clever.

(images via Crismon Laurel Gallery, Plinth Gallery, City-Wide Open Studios)


Donna Flanery

The composition on these pieces is so fantastic. I really enjoy the way the illustrations reach over the edges. And paired with such gently wobbling shapes, the line quality and brushstroke in the drawings feel so whimsical and relaxed without being overly childish. That mug is especially wonderful.

(images via artist's flickr)


Debra Fritts

Debra Fritts is a contemporary ceramics A-lister. Her way with texture, color, incorporation of other sculptural materials, figure and countenance, are all so very alluring. I especially love the details I see in her work... for instance the little yellow dot on the knee of the figure above. How fantastic! Has anyone seen her work in person? What is it like in person?

(images via Santa Fe Clay and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts)


Mug of the Month: October

Here is my October mug made by my friend and studio-mate, Amy Horn. Amy is an incredible thrower and is especially talented when it comes to shaping pots.  I fell in love with this mug the minute I saw it come out of the kiln, though, to be honest I didn't get my hands on it until this past Monday night. It will, however, forever be my SF Giants World Series Mug! I was drinking from it the moment the game was called and I will never forget that night or this entire season! 

The GIANTS are Number One, baby, and so is this lovely mug!

And a little bit more of a close up... :)

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