Spring Semester Ended

Spring term and practices are over now. If your pieces didn’t make it out of the kiln by the last class, try stopping back during the Summer term for a post-session pick-up. Also, you can call the studio anytime to see if someone is available to help. (203-562-4927  ext 18)

Hope to see you again when we open for the Summer term on June 25th !

.…………………

Posted in Studio Update | Leave a comment

Our Pottery’s Assemblage Sculpture

Constructivist Sculpture at CAW’s Entrance

On your way into the pottery, take a good look at our assemblage sculpture at CAW’s entrance; its been part of the raised island in front of the school since 2014. Sculpture traditionally involves carving in wood, clay, or stone. But in assemblage, we bring together pre-existing pieces, use unrelated elements, and even found objects to create a new, unified whole. Each element has its own maker, personal history, and unique adjacent elements to contemplate. While contemporary in technique, the installation links back to sculptural poles first encountered by European explorers of the Pacific Northwest. The work is thus a synthesis of native American culture and modern artistic thought.

The overall plan called for a permanent installation of three poles or “totems” of different heights looking out over Audubon Street. The assembly was to consist of individually stacked pottery forms of different colors, shapes, styles, & function; all made without coordination; and assembled on top of one another with imagination and juxtaposition to create a joint identity. Elements could be rearranged, updated, or replaced at any time to create completely new effects.

The poles themselves are stainless steel, and each pottery element has a one-inch diameter through-hole so that it can slide onto a pole from the top.  Referring to the site plan below, the poles are embedded in concrete pillars linked by rebars for stability, and sunk into the ground near the apex of the triangular-shaped island. 

Totem Pole Site Plan

The project was inspired by an article in Ceramics Monthly years ago, and the Studio Potters decided that it would be a great addition to our front entrance. (Note: We have CM copies routinely available in the studio for anyone to browse.)  All the elements of each pole were designed and built by anonymous CAW potters. Any shape, form, color, or surface was acceptable; in fact, the more diversity was considered, the better !

If you were part of the project, let us know by leaving a comment below. We’ll add your name to a ongoing list of credits !   Here’s a view from a different angle that may help you identify your piece.  

Posted in Studio Update | Leave a comment

CAW Potter Featured at Exhibition

The 117th annual exhibition of the New Haven Paint and Clay Club is now showing in CAW’s Hilles gallery.  The show includes a sculpture by CAW potter Rosemary McClean entitled “The Hunter”, item 18 in the catalog, pictured below.  Rosemary is a well known member of Anita Griffith’s section (Thursdays 9-12), and has been featured earlier in our “Meet A Potter” series. (To review that article, click here. ) In her earlier work, you’ll see that Rosemary’s sculptures examined strong and exotic feminine forms.  

This particular sculpture is terra cotta, 9″ tall x 4.5″ wide x 5″ deep, fired to cone 05, and has a glossy clear glaze that reveals its rough textured surface. In elevation, the form is generally triangular, modeled from an assembly of coil and slab forms starting from the base. She began by developing a sketch to determine the broad outlines and proportions. Modeling was done with wood tools, followed by surface combing with a section of hacksaw blade to create narrowly spaced, shallow parallel grooving. 

This is a male, modern hunter, loosely inspired by native Inuit art. He carries a rifle and is dressed for the arctic winter in a heavy coat, hood, mittens, and boots. In this composition, he scans to the right for evidence of game while trudging forward through the snow. 

The Hunter

Entries into the exposition were judged by D. Samuel Quigley, Director, Lyman Allyn Art Museum. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture.

The New Haven Paint & Clay Club was formed in 1900, and is now one of New England’s oldest, and still active, arts organizations. They accept entries of two-dimensional artworks in any media, and sculpture with a provided stand.  However photography, crafts, and giclee pieces are excluded.

Posted in Studio Update | Leave a comment

Meet – a – Potter

We interview a CAW potter every so often, and post it under the Meet A Potter tab so that you can start developing connections, and we can all get to know one another better. Check out our latest interview, with Ulla Kasten, under the tab or click here.

Posted in Studio Update | Leave a comment

Song Dynasty Vase Auctioned for $14.7 Million

vaseThe vase shown here, recently auctioned by Sotheby’s, is a part of the official ware made for the imperial court of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) in Hangzhou. (Click to enlarge.) It has a tooled octagonal profile beginning at the foot, rising through the body, and continuing up its long tapering neck, which is divided into three segments. The rim, however, is circular, flattened to the horizontal, and extends outward to the approximate diameter of the neck’s base. Overall height is 8.5 inches. Judging from the color of the unglazed portion of the foot, the clay appears to be a type of stoneware. 

The glaze is an opaque, satiny, blue-green with modest pinholing and relatively dense crazing. Crazing generally develops in the kiln as it cools; however, it can appear, or continue to grow, over extended periods of time. (Craze patterns develop when a glaze shrinks somewhat more than the clay, putting the glass under tension.

In this case, it appears that a single glaze was applied to the piece, resulting in a monochromatic finish, without visible running, slumping, or overlaps.

A Sotheby’s expert describes the octagonal shape as “very architectural”, a design harkening back to early Chinese bronzes, adding that the Southern Song dynasty suffered from a shortage of bronze because most of it had been melted down for use in warfare. In the state rituals of the dynasty, after the court fled south, it was important to reinstate the political legitimacy of the ruler. Given the shortage of bronze, ceramics were used to copy bronze shapes. 

He further explained that there was a revival of neo-Confucianism in the late Northern and Southern Song dynasties. The values of humility were incredibly important, moving away from the ostentatiousness found in most Tang dynasty arts. This might explain the use of a stoneware clay body over porcelain.

Such a vase is “exceedingly rare”, even in the Palace Museums of Taipei and Beijing, according to Sotheby’s. It had been in a private collection in Japan for the past 40 years. Before that, with a collector in London, where it had likely been brought from China about a century ago.

Posted in Studio Update | Leave a comment

Kiln/ Firing Safety

Check out a new description of safety features associated with our kilns and firing process by clicking here , or navigate to the page by pulling down the Studio Info tab – scrolling down to Kilns/Firing – and over to the right to Kiln/Firing Safety.

.

Posted in Studio Update | Leave a comment

Pottery Equipment For Sale

One Shimpo Potter’s Wheel,
One Alpine Kick Wheel,
 & One Econo Kiln.

Need the room.
Make a reasonable offer, and come & take them away.

Contact Phil Levine
203-378-7118

Posted in Studio Update | Leave a comment