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256: Mark Campden on reduced luster ceramics

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Mark Campden. He makes two distinct lines of functional pottery at his studio in Co Kilkenny, IE. The first a majolica line featuring decoration pulled from his surrounding landscape, and the second a lusterware line featuring dense geometric patterns based on fish, butterflies and other fauna. In our interview we talk about the influence of his father Edgar Campden, who worked at Aldermaston pottery with Alan Caiger Smith for over thirty years, and the science behind making reduced luster pottery.

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255: Ireland Week: Making a living in rural Ireland with Cork potters Sara Roberts, Charlie Mahon, and Darren Francis Cassidy

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with members of the Society of Cork Potters: Sara Roberts, Charlie Mahon, Darren Francis Cassidy. The group started in the 1970’s with the aim to create the exchange of information between ceramic artists working in County Cork. In our interview we talk about making a living in rural Ireland, the value of working with an artist group, and dealing with the effects of the Great Financial Crisis.

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254: Ireland Week: Gallerist Mary Gallagher on the state of craft in Ireland

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Mary Gallagher. She opened the Blue Egg Gallery in Wexford in 2011 and shows a variety of craft artists from Ireland and abroad. In our interview we talk about the Norman history of Wexford, the state of craft in Ireland and how she uses large art fairs, like Ceramic Art London, to help her curate shows for the gallery.

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253: Ireland Week: Susan O’Byrne on the empathic potential of sculpting animals

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Susan O’Byrne. Susan creates ceramic animal sculptures that convey the complex emotional landscape of human relationships. She sculpts around a wire armature using layers of paper clay before surfacing the forms with mosaic-like patterns. In the interview we talk about her building process, creating a life in Glasgow Scotland, and how she used animals to represent family history in her traveling exhibition “The Five Sisters”.

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252: Ireland Week: Gus Mabelson on Ireland’s Ceramic Skills and Design Course

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Gus Mabelson. In 1991 Gus came to Thomastown, Ireland to start a one year throwing course that would provide trained workers for the booming Irish ceramic field. Twenty-seven years later he continues to shape generations of Irish artists with the course. In the interview we talk about the education principles that he prioritized when setting up the program, generating momentum for craft in a rural location, and hosting Prince Charles for a visit to the school.

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251: Ireland Week: Tina Byrne and Elaine Riordan on advocating for Irish ceramics

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Tina Byrne and Elaine Riordan. Both are talented ceramic sculptors that are dedicated advocates for Irish ceramics. Tina is the editor of Ceramics Ireland magazine and an organizer of the International Festival. Elaine is a member of the Ceramics Ireland organization, helping to organize the festival, as well as year-long programing that supports visibility of Irish artists. In our interview we talk about their recent bodies of work, the development of the Ceramics Ireland magazine, and how Irish ceramic artists are gaining more visibility in the global ceramic world.

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250: Ireland Week: Isobel Egan on building with paper-thin porcelain slabs

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Isobel Egan. Her geometric forms are constructed from porcelain slabs that appear both fragile and immense. Her recent work spans multiple feet in diameter and is made by combining modular box forms that are arranged in patterns that reference cityscapes and architecture. In the interview we talk about her porcelain hand building process, pricing work that is labor intensive, and how showing at large art fairs, like Ceramic Art London, has helped propel her career.

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249: Darien A-Johnson on the computer glitch that changed his life

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Darien Johnson. In his most recent body of work he uses digital and manual mark making to create complex surface imagery that shifts as the viewer moves around his sculptural forms. In the interview we talk about how a computer glitch changed his creative practice, his experience living in Denmark, and how he gives visual form to the foggy business of remembering the past.

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248: In Tribute: Warren Mackenzie on a lifetime in clay

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a rebroadcast of a 2015 interview with an icon of the American studio pottery movement, Warren Mackenzie. After an early apprenticeship at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall (1949-1952), Mackenzie became a ceramic professor at the University of Minnesota (1953-1990). During his nearly four-decade tenure at the school, he influenced generations of students including Michael Simon, Randy Johnston, Sandy Simon, Mark Pharis and many more. In the interview we talk about his time at the Leach Pottery, pricing for domestic wares, and his thoughts on what makes a good pot. Warren passed peacefully in his Stillwater, MN home on December 31st, 2018.

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247: Liz Zlot Summerfield on establishing work-life balance to encourage health and creativity

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Liz Zlot Summerfield. Her hand-built pots are created in small groups, or collections, using color and pattern to create visual interplay between the forms. She says of the idea, “Within a collection, everyday objects have the ability to gain importance as members of a whole. They start to become more than the sum of their parts, subtle nuances are noticed, and there is the potential to give value to valueless objects.” In our interview we talk about the psychological impact of color, building a bisque library of forms, and establishing work-life balance.

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246: Marty Fielding on the influence of Frank Gehry and postmodern architecture on his ceramic vessels

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Marty Fielding. His ceramic vessels live at the scale of domestic pottery, but often feel monumental with their architectural volumes and angles. In our interview we talk about his love of Frank Gehry’s architecture, building up layers of underglaze to create abstract fields of color, and how music has shaped his creative practice.

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245: Amy Sanders on using patinas over Terra Siggilata to create rich low fire surfaces

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Amy Sanders. Her hand-built pottery is decorated with stamped patterns and layers of terra sigillata that reference her love of vintage clothing and fabric. In our interview we talk about developing low fire surfaces, using the 80% rule in the studio and the value of an artist’s group. Amy is a member of Thrown Together, a group of four artists who exhibit together and provide feedback on each other’s work.

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244: Ronan Peterson on the influence of comic books on his colorful work

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Ronan Peterson. The surface of his pottery is decorated with colorful terra sigillatas and bright glazes that reference the cycle of growth and decay in the natural world. In our interview we talk about the influence of comic books on his aesthetic, learning to critique his own work, and pushing a body of work until it lives in its own reality.

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243: Live from Nashville: Liz Zlot Summerfield, Ronan Peterson, Amy Sanders and Marty Fielding on developing low fire ceramic surfaces

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a live episode featuring Liz Summerfield, Ronan Peterson, Amy Sanders and Marty Fielding. Our wide-ranging conversation includes advocating for handmade through arts education, creating engaging low fire surfaces and why potters seem to dress like their pots. This episode was taped in front of a live audience as part of the Red Handed Symposium at the Clay Lady Campus in Nashville, TN.

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242: Linda Arbuckle’s Terracotta Manifesto

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a lecture by noted potter and educator Linda Arbuckle on the merits of low fire Terracotta. She delivered this talk as the keynote speech at the Red Handed Symposium, held in May of 2018 in Nashville, TN. In her lecture Linda talks about her introduction to terracotta at the Cleveland Institute of Art, historic traditions that utilized low fire materials, and how to make a functionally sound low fire glaze.

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241: New Zealand Week: Richard Stratton on the importance of technical research on aesthetic development

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Richard Stratton. He uses late 19th century industrial ceramic techniques to make sculptural vessels that are steeped in the aesthetics of modernist architecture. In our interview we talk about how mud larking on the banks of the Thames reignited his interest in English industrial ceramics, the importance of research on aesthetic development, and selling ceramics in the NZ fine art market.

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240: New Zealand Week: Nicole Kolig on harvesting local ceramic materials for sculpture

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Nicole Kolig. Nicole’s studio and farm are nestled into the side of an extinct cinder cone volcano that rises above the surrounding Otago Peninsula outside of Dunedin, NZ. In our interview we talk about her time working with indigenous artists in the Kimberly region of Australia in the early 1970’s, harvesting local ceramic materials for sculpture, and the history of the Ceramic Association of New Zealand.

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239: New Zealand Week: Cheryl Lucas on creativity as a counterpoint to cultural trauma

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Cheryl Lucas. Throughout her ceramic career she has worked in many formats including functional pottery, sculptural installation and architectural work. In 2011 multiple earthquakes hit her home area of Christchurch, devastating the city and creating a turning point in Cheryl’s work. She has reacted to the destruction and subsequent rebuilding of the city with multiple bodies of work that deal with the events. In our interview we talk about making art as a way to make sense of tragedy, transitioning between the technical and conceptual aspects of making, and helping to rebuild the city by making large scale chimney pots used on historic buildings.

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238: New Zealand Week: Tatyanna Meharry and Gwen Parsons on New Zealand’s Distance Learning program

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Tatyanna Meharry and Gwen Parsons. A large part of our interview focuses on Otago Polytechnic's Diploma in Ceramic Arts program, which is a distance learning program with satellite campuses across New Zealand. Tatyanna is the head of the Christchurch satellite, where she facilitates a two-year program guiding students through the ceramic’s curriculum, and Gwen is currently a second-year student in the program. In the interview we also talk about the history of ceramic education in New Zealand, diversifying the income of a business, and rebuilding Christchurch after the 2011 earthquakes.

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237: New Zealand Week: Chris Weaver on twenty-five years of exploring the teapot form

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Chris Weaver. After rediscovering his grandmother’s Iron, he started making teapots that referenced its angular form. This has led to twenty-five years of exploring the form through a variety of firing techniques and forming methods. In our interview we talk about incorporating wooden parts into his functional ceramics, keeping the teapot form fresh, and making tools to create specific marks in clay.

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