DISCLAIMER: All images which are not my own are cited with the source and are used here for educational purposes only. If you would like your images removed please contact me directly and I will remove them immediately. Thank you.
Find me more frequently for the time being at Folk-Art-Life.


Li Xiaofeng

Um. I don't really know what to say about his work. I'd heard of it before in the whole shebockle over the breaking a million pieces of antique/ancient pottery thing. (My opinion? Do you know how much Chinese pottery from ancient dynasties exists???) Seeing it now though, I am astounded.  I love the fact that Lacoste actually commissioned a piece from him. Ha! Awesome.

(found via Pinterest and images via artNet and Yatzer)


Off Subject: Thomas Campbell

Delicious. Colors, collage, painting, geometry, and thread. Love, love, love.

(images via Gregory Lind Gallery and Giant Robot)


Rob Sutherland

I have been lusting after Sutherland's pieces for a while and have had the dangedest time tracking down images to share.  Apparently there are at least three contemporary potters by the name of Robert Sutherland. Sheesh. Anyway, my favorite piece is the first, a series of which you can find more of on the artist's website.  I love the brain-glaze pieces as well though. Very sharp.

(images via the Clay Studio, Santa Fe Clay, and artist's own website)


Lora Rust

Absolutely stunning. Please take a moment and stop by Rust's website to view a million more beauties in an array of fabulous glazes... I am so jealous of the skill and patience it takes to carve such beauties. I'd love to know how she does it.

(images via artist's Flickr)


Off Subject: Miyuki Sakai

I fell in love with Sakai's work over the summer when I saw the pieces she contributed to a food spread in Martha Stewart's Living. She manages to capture the romance and delicacy of fine china so well with just her machine and some thread. Ah-mazing. Plus, how cool that this Japanese native now calls San Francisco her home. It's so exciting to come across local artists you admire but who you never realized were locals. 

(images via artist's website)


Masamichi Yoshikawa

Mmmm... celedon and copper carbonate... Oh yeah, these shapes are kick ass-- Look at the weaving effect on the center of the plate! These make me lust for a gas kiln again.

(images via Lacoste Gallery)


Hurry, "Best Foot Forward" Charitable Auction

Please take a minute to visit the Charlie Cummings Gallery website and see if you can participate in a charity auction that is being held in support of a student who was recently injured severely- to help with the insane hospital bills. An insane number of artist's have donated pieces to the auction including Kevin Snipes, Martha Grover, Ayumi Hori (above), Kari Radasch, Josh Deweese, and Lorna Meaden. Plus there are even subscriptions to Ceramics Monthly and pottery tools for those of us who wish we could give more.

The Auction Ends Monday, September 27th at 11pm.

Michael T. Schmidt

Super-rad and super appropriate for the current state of affairs.  We just received our latest issue of National Geographic- Special Report "The Spill". Anyone read it yet? I'm going to try to this week.

(images via artist's website)


Katy Krantz

This installation looks like it was interesting. It seems Krantz interpreted her collage-paintings into ceramic form for this piece. I love the wonky shapes, textures, and surface design. Right now I am really into the whole wabi-sabi, wonk factor in clay. It's so personal.

(images via artist's website)


(Mud)Shot: Sharon Virtue

Good morning, everyone! I'm so happy to share today's artist profile. Sharon Virtue is a gem of an artist- supremely talented, remarkably down to earth, and out of this world generous. I am so inspired by her vision and ability to bring art to people all over the world and still have time to create such a gorgeous body of work herself.  

So, I'll hush my gushing... you can all read for yourselves. Enjoy!

The Stats: Sharon Virtue @ Rubys Clay Studio with 23 years in clay…. www.virtuevision.org

Do you remember how or when, exactly, the clay bug bit you? In art school in the 80s in England, I was actually into film and tv, but ended up being frustrated by the lines for equipment, so I would go down to the clay studio, which was always empty.

Can you choose three words to describe your work? flamboyant, enigmatic, exciting.

I find that as ceramic artists we can get really focused on the ceramic art world and forget what’s happening outside of it. Can you name a non-ceramic artist whose work inspires you? There are many, and my own work spans many different mediums, Painting was my first love, and my work in community development around the world keeps me firmly grounded in the fact that what I do in my studio is not that important. I am inspired by Matisse, Micheal Jackson, Mythology and Magic…. and most of the sculpture from the ancient worlds from Africa, Oceania, Asia and Classical Greek/Roman Europe.

The directions you can choose as a ceramic artist are so many and so varied that we often have to choose a few areas to focus our expertise on. Is there a technique or skill, apart from your own, that you admire or aspire to? I have no formal training in ceramic arts, after my first NCECA conference I realized that most of these people have MA’s… so there are a million different technical things for me to learn. Better throwing skills, handbuilding skills, tricks of the trade, HANDLES….!!!

As makers, we are often surprised by what our audience likes best of our work. And our audience’s favorites aren’t always the same as our own. Of your own work, do you have a favorite piece or project? My sculpture, though I feel it is sorely neglected right now. I have so much more to learn and express, so many ideas never made manifest. the time that it takes to create a sculpture is so different to my process around smaller functional works that are easier to sell. My latest works I call Clay Poems, they are ceramic paintings, a bridge between my sculpture, painting and functional work.

Alternately, what is your favorite part of your creative process? (Sketching, glazing, pulling handles, installing, etc.) Working with form, from the wet to leather hard phase, and anything to do with surface pattern design.

Can you describe your studio space in a few words or sentences? Very small and dark. I call it the ‘Womb of creativity.’

What is the one tool you can’t live without? Sculpting tools… the ones made of bone with tiny little paddle shaped ends.

There are ceramic residencies, studios, schools, galleries, conferences, and museums all over the world. Where has your artwork taken you or where would you like it to take you in the future? My work as an artist in community development projects has taken me to Mozambique, Uganda, Brazil, and most recently Haiti. I have worked on several projects here in San Francisco. Searching for inspiration for my artwork has taken me on many journeys all over the world, the only places I haven’t been are Middle East, Japan, China, the Poles and some other countries in South America. My artwork has earned me residencies in Hawaii, Ghana and here in San Francisco, at the De Young Museum.

Artists are multifaceted people and we often have more than one passion. What is an activity outside of ceramic work that you really enjoy? Dancing, singing, sailing, roller scating, sketching, snowboarding , surfing, travel… just life in general, being alive is so special, we take it forgranted a lot of the time, how lucky we are.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from another artist? “Do what ever you want, you are the artist.” (Nick Cave after seeing his exhibition of costumes at the Yerba Buena Art Center)

Teachers always impress the importance of the sketchbook and designers often develop mood-boards as creative as their actual work. How do you collect inspiration? With my digital camera, and my memory if I don’t have a sketchbook.

If you could have a one-on-one workshop with any ceramist (living or not), who would it be? Akio Takamori (for now)… is he giving workshops?

How about some more preferences, perhaps a bit more trivial, shall we…

-Favorite color? the rainbow.
-Coffee or tea? nettle tea.
-Last good film or book? the lace reader.
-Minimalist or maximalist? both
-Dogs or cats? definitely CATS RULE
-Favorite season? they are all special, but I hate being cold.
-Music, silence, or NPR in the studio? depends on the mood, all of the above.
-Polka dots or stripes? Polka dots with stripes on them.

And a bit more personal… Sharon, aside from creating your own body of work, you make an impressive effort to bring art to other communities from right here in the Bay Area to places as far away as Rio de Janeiro and Mozambique. Primarily, these opportunities have been with disadvantaged youth. How have your relationships with these children, specifically, influenced your creativity? My life in general is inspired by the people I work with, but then for me the line between art and life is invisible, its a very holistic, symbiotic experience. My community development projects have helped me to realize how lucky i am to be able to make a career in the Arts. Working with both children and adults abroad and here in California I am made more aware of how important the arts are in our lives. I think most of all I don't take anything for granted and pay attention.

Do you have a blog we can follow? I have a website that needs to be updated but has more in depth info on my community outreach and my blog is http://virtuevision.blogspot.com.

Lastly, where can we see your work up close and personal? Ruby's clay studio, or my home.

Thank you so much, Sharon, for sharing with us. You are a total inspiration.

If you are interested in participating in an artist profile or studio tour, shoot me an email with a link to your website or blog.  :)


Chandra Debuse

Sweet! And the illustrations are so fantastic, like a child's picture book. I love how the shape of each piece and the illustration are so integrated. Very cool.

(images via artist's blog)

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