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222: Morean Center for Clay resident artists talk about creativity and community in St. Petersburg

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a panel discussion with Tucker Claxton, Bridget Fairbank, Emmett Freeman, Amanda Bury, and Colby Charpenteir. The group are current resident artists from the Morean Center for Clay in St. Petersburg, FL. Our discussion covers a wide range of topics including their research interests and making it work in St. Petersburg.

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221: Jan Richardson talks about upscaling a small business through a distributed labor force

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Jan Richardson. From 1977 to 2006 she ran Windy Meadows Pottery specializing in collectible ceramic homes. The business started as a creative way to supplement her family’s income, but quickly grew into a business with 50 employees and a loyal collector base. In the interview we talk about keeping a production line fresh through yearly change, upscaling a small business through a distributed labor force, and knowing when to downscale after a boom.

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220: Tracy Gamble talks about how acting prepared her for teaching

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Tracy Gamble. After a long career as an actor and then librarian, Gamble now focuses on ceramics full time in her role as studio potter for the American Art Clay Company. When not working in her Plainville, IN studio she teaches workshops on glazing techniques at art centers and conferences. In the interview we talk about the value of repetition in learning, working for Amaco, and how to work a trade show without losing your mind.

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219: Jerilyn Virden & Lindsay Rogers talk shop and Arrowmont Pentaculum wrap up

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Jerilyn Virden and Lindsay Rogers. Virden makes dynamic sculptural vessels by bending slabs into shapes that look as if they have been eroded from canyon walls. Rogers uses local clays from the Appalachian region to create functional tableware with sharply contrasting white and black areas of geometric decoration. In the interview we talk about their time working together in Jerilyn’s studio in western North Carolina, developing successful methods for displaying ceramic art, and Roger's position as coordinator of the clay studio for the annual Arrowmont Pentaculum.

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218: Jeweler Sarah Rachel Brown on her podcast Perceived Value

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with jeweler and podcast host Sarah Rachel Brown. In our interview we talk about the benefits of the Penland School of Craft’s Core Fellowship, the concept behind her podcast Perceived Value, and why it’s important to demystify the financial and social realities of working artists.

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216: Steven Cheek on making vessels for the bourbon culture of Kentucky

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Steven Cheek. His carved porcelain pots are covered with landscapes, skulls and other imagery that addresses the environment, politics and social change. In our interview we talk about learning to be self-motivated early in his career, making serving vessels for the bourbon culture of Kentucky, and making political work that is both accessible and meaningful.

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215: Melissa Weiss on making pottery in a political era

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Melissa Weiss. She mixes native Arkansas clay with commercial clays to create rich earth-toned pots in her Asheville, NC studio. The combination of the iron baring raw material and her immediate building style leave her geometric patterned pots appearing both antique and contemporary. In the interview we talk about selling on the show circuit, dealing with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, and making pottery in a political era.

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214: Mark Errol on the growth of Plough Gallery

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Mark Errol. Based in Tifton, GA Mark wears many hats in the clay world. He is a functional potter, gallery owner and professor at Valdosta State University. In our interview we talk about the founding of Plough Gallery, creating a safe space for students to experience failure and growth in the class room, and developing a vocabulary of domestic motifs within his current body of work. 

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209: Live spoken word performance by Kane Smego

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a live spoken word performance by Kane Smego. In this dynamic performance he reckons with race, class and social expectation. This performance was recorded at the 2018 Pentaculum at Arrowmont where Smego was a writer-in-residence.

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208: Spoken word artist and rapper Kane Smego

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Kane Smego. We met at the 2018 Arrowmont Pentaculum where he was a writer in residence working on a forthcoming one-man show titled Temples of Lung and Air. Smego is a spoken word and hip-hop artist, a National Poetry Slam finalist, and co-founder of the youth arts nonprofit Sacrificial Poets. In our interview we talk about poetry slams, his time teaching with Next Level – a diplomacy program administered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Cultural Affairs, and the development of his one man show Temples of Lung and Air.

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207: Live storytelling from Michigan Mud!

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a special live episode taped at the Michigan Mud Clay Conference. This week’s storytellers talk about how working with ceramics has given their lives purpose and meaning. Don’t miss this special recording taped live at Albion College in Albion, MI.

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205: Ken Shenstone and the 1000 cubic foot Albion Anagama

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Ken Shenstone. A skilled potter and wood worker, Shenstone fires one of the largest Anagama kilns in the United States. His one thousand cubic foot kiln is fired once a year for ten days in addition to a smaller catenary arch kiln that is fired about every six weeks. To facilitate the labor of cutting wood, firing the kiln and maintaining his property Ken has encouraged a community of young potters and wood fire enthusiasts to develop around his Albion, Michigan studio. In our interview, we talk about kiln innovations that came from industrial steel furnace designs, the making and firing cycles of large scale kilns and learning organizational principles from the Grateful Dead.

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204: The history and unique mission of Pewabic Pottery

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a panel discussion on the history and mission of Pewabic Pottery with Steve McBride, Annie Dennis, and Alex Thullen. The pottery was started in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry Stratton in Detroit, MI. Over the years Pewabic has expanded to include a tile works, educational center, gallery and ceramic outreach program for the greater Detroit area. In the interview, we talk about the legacy of Stratton, the growth of Pewabic’s mission and how they meet the artistic needs of their local community.

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203: Deep dive on selling pots with the Schaller Gallery. Special guest Sunshine Cobb on her new book Mastering Hand Building

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a double interview featuring Sunshine Cobb and Anthony Schaller/Brittany Stecker Mason. In the first segment, I talk with Sunshine about her new book Mastering Hand Building. The book features practical techniques for hand building objects in clay, as well as, artists interviews and a section on finding your voice through making. In the second segment, I talk with gallery directors Anthony Schaller and Brittany Stecker Mason. They run the Schaller Gallery located in St. Joseph, MI.

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