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.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Dawn Soltysiak. Among her many areas of entrepreneurship, Dawn runs a farm, two galleries and a café in the Fennville, MI area. The goals of each businesses converge on teaching visitors to value hand made goods and local sourced food.
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.
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.
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.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with four ceramic artists that live in the Goshen, IN area; Justin Rothshank, Dick Lehman, Marvin Bartel, and Mark Goertzen. They share an educational lineage that starts with Marvin Bartel, who came to Goshen College in 1970. Lehman and Rothshank were students at Goshen decades apart and both talk fondly of his experimental teaching techniques. Goertzen worked for Lehman for many years in his studio before later purchasing his studio at the Old Bag Factory in Goshen.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Bill Kremer and Zach Tate. Kremer has been the professor of ceramics at Notre Dame since 1973 helping to develop the undergraduate and graduate programs at Notre Dame. Tate came on as Ceramic Research Associate/Visiting Professor in 2014 and shares teaching and administrative duties. In our interview, we talk about the history of Notre Dame summer school, which hosted many of the nation’s premier ceramic artists of the 1970’s, Kremer’s teaching philosophy and the development of the MFA program at Notre Dame.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Justin Rothshank. Justin applies floral patterned custom laser, luster and commercial decals over wood fired functional pottery forms to create a unique depth of surface. In addition to that body of work he produces politically themed tableware that features portraits of past presidents and historic figures. In our interview, we talk about his role in cofounding the Union Project in Pittsburgh, PA, his Mennonite faith as it applies to social responsibility, and the growth of his online business from his home base in rural Indiana.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Brooke Rothshank. Her vibrant watercolor compositions of people, objects, and scenery are rendered as small as a 1-by-1 inch scale. The expert skill of her paintings draws you into the subject matter creating a precious emotional quality that her patrons seek in the portraits she paints of their loved ones.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Jeff Chown. He shares the dual role of North American representative for Blaauw Kilns and teacher of material science at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Gail Kendall, Raven Halfmoon, Brant Weiland, and Jared Peterson. The group are linked through the Advanced Student Project Network at Red Lodge Clay Center. Each year five emerging artists are chosen for a three-week residency that is guided by an established mentor in the ceramic field. Kendall was this year’s mentor working with Weiland and Peterson. Halfmoon participated in the ASPN residency three years ago before returning as a long-term artist-in-residence. In the interview, we talk about setting goals after school, adjusting to the increased talent level at a major art institution and the characteristics that make for a healthy community studio.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a behind-the-scenes look at how the podcast gets made. My wife Melissa Brzycki steps into the interviewer role to ask me about the evolution of the show and my favorite interview moments. This minisode is released in conjunction with the launch of my Patreon fundraiser, which allows you to help with the production of the show in exchange for access to patron-only perks including podcast swag and exclusive recordings. To become a patron, visit www.patreon.com/redclayrambler.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Matt Fiske. His sleek pottery forms are glazed with raw materials he collects during hiking expeditions. With a family history in mining, Fiske has developed a process of acquiring and processing parent rocks into raw glaze materials.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Maggy Rozycki Hiltner. Her most recent exhibition, What Lies Beneath, features large scale quilted fabric pieces made from found embroidery. The body of work uses skeletons, devils and other characters to question social norms about gender, class and death. In our interview, we talk about her interest in found embroidery, how she develops a character within the narrative of an exhibition and how her family history with religion and the occult has affected her aesthetic.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Forrest Middelton, Arash Shirinbab, and Raeshma Razvi. Middelton, a ceramic artist, and Shirinbab, a calligrapher, have been working for the past two years towards an exhibition titled “To Contain and To Serve.” Their dialogue centers on the interplay of hospitality, morality and justice in contemporary cultural and media landscapes. The objects produced during the collaboration are calligraphy-inscribed ceramic tableware and tile inspired by the Persian ‘Nishapur’ tradition. Documentary filmmaker Razvi has been shooting the collaboration for future use in a film. In the episode, the artists use the question “Is creativity inherently spiritual?” as a jumping off point to discuss the introspective nature of craft and how cross-cultural exchange can provide a solution for political discord.
192: Brian Harper on building sculpture and community. Special guest Carole Epp on The Crafted Dish.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a double interview featuring Brian Harper and Carole Epp. In the first segment, I talk with Carole about her work on the book The Crafted Dish. In the second segment, I talk with sculptor Brian Harper. He creates complex architectural forms by joining thousands of premade modular ceramic units. The scaffold-like forms are built around commercial ceramic objects that represent the uniform predictability of high-volume, low-cost manufacturing. In the interview, we talk about the concept behind his sculptures, the easing of his political anxieties though creativity, and the mission of Art Axis, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that Brian founded to promote the professional pursuits of artists in the field of ceramics. Brian is an Associate Professor of Fine Art and the head of the Ceramics Program at Indiana University Southeast, and is the Executive Director of Artaxis.org.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Sue Tirrell. Her functional pots feature animal and landscape imagery created with underglaze and sgraffito drawing. She uses a recurring cast of barn yard animals to create simple narratives that speak to the humor and complexity of human relationships.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a panel discussion with Liz Myers, Kaden Meyrs, Krista Botsford, Paul Stokstad, Trever Foss, and Carter Pasma. The group of potters participated in a two-week wood firing workshop with Simon Levin at his Mill Creek Pottery in Gresham, WI. In the interview, we talk about collaborative learning and the multiday process of loading/firing an Anagama kiln.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Jacob Meer and Ian Connors. The two are connected through apprenticeship training with Simon Levin and specialize in wood firing. In the interview, we talk about the value of an apprenticeship, living in rural Wisconsin and learning to fire wood kilns.
Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Simon Levin. His interest in wood firing has led to over 20 years of active research into Anagama, Cross draft and Train style kilns. He uses the turbulent flame path inside these kilns to create rich surfaces on his ceramic vessels.