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231: Australia Week: King Houndekpinkou on the influence of animism and ritual on his sculpture

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with King Houndekpinkou. King is a Franco-Beninese artist, based in Paris, who makes sculptural vessels that are covered with rich amorphous surfaces created by layering slips and glazes. In 2016 he started the Terra Jumelles project matching pottery centers in Se, Benin with partners in Bizen, Japan. This sister city format aims to create cultural exchange between two regions with abundant historical and contemporary ceramic activity. In our interview we talk about the influence of video games, animism and rituals, and Japanese ceramic culture.

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230: Australia Week: Keith Brymer Jones on upscaling production and the Great Pottery Throw Down

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Keith Brymer Jones. He started his career with an apprenticeship at Harefield Pottery in London, where he learned high production methods of producing hand made pottery. After learning the business, he started his own pottery selling through major retailers like Barney’s of New York and Heals of London. The Keith Brymer Jones brand has now expanded to include production centers in India and China, which help supply worldwide markets for commercial ceramics. In addition to his studio work Keith is an expert judge on the BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down.

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229: Australia Week: Kelly Austin and Joey Burns on finding community and setting up a studio

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Kelly Austin and Joey Burns. Both are emerging artists that are establishing themselves in the Australian ceramic community. Austin is based in Hobart, Tasmania, where she teaches at TasTAFE and maintains an active studio practice. Burns splits time as the studio technician for the Ernabella Arts Center in Ernabella, South Australia and a studio artist in Gundaroo, New South Wales. In our interview we talk about their educational paths, working in indigenous communities and developing multiple bodies of work.

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228: Australia Week: Owen Rye on the shifting landscape of Australian ceramic education

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Owen Rye. An elder statesman of the Australian ceramic community, Owen has made significant contributions through his research into wood firing and his time teaching at Monash University. Before starting his studio practice he spent ten years documenting the ceramic practices of Pakistani potters laying a foundation for a PHD focusing on versatile porcelain bodies. In the interview we talk about his time in Pakistan, the need for ceramic history in today’s universities and the development of the woodfire community in Australia.

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227: Australia Week: Glenn Barkley on his philosophy of curation and transition to full time making

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Glenn Barkley. He served as the head curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia from 2008–14 and curator of the University of Wollongong Art Collection 1996–2007. During these years he developed a curatorial style that questioned art world hierarchies by showing artists outside the mainstream, focusing specifically on giving voice to marginalized populations. For the last four years Glenn has focused on his own ceramic practice making work that references popular music, gardening, and ceramic history. His vessels are covered with sprigs and obsessive mark-making that are highlighted with saturated pastel colors. In the interview we talk about his philosophy of curation, the role of ceramics in major Australian collections, and his current body of work.

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226: Daniel Johnston on making traditional pots for contemporary installations

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Daniel Johnston. Based in Seagrove, NC, Daniel is an compelling mix between a traditionally trained potter and a contemporary artist who makes ceramic vessels to utilize their conceptual potential. He studied under NC pottery luminaries J.B. Cole and Mark Hewitt before traveling to Thailand to learn large vessel making. His recent work is installation-based and features numerous jars that are arranged within gallery spaces to modify the viewers perception of light and scale. In the interview we talk about learning to communicate verbally to combat dyslexia, studying big pot making in Thailand, and his One Hundred Pot project.

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225: Tip Toland on the empathetic potential of figure sculpture

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with figure sculptor Tip Toland. In the interview we talk about her 2014 Portland Art Museum exhibition, which featured Tanzanian children that are both revered and persecuted because they have Albinism. For the exhibition Toland created twelve larger than life size busts that show the complex emotional landscape of persecuted peoples.

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224: John Gill on dyslexia and creativity

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have the second of two interviews with John Gill. In this episode we continue with a conversation about the lineage of teachers at Alfred and discuss how John’s dyslexia has influenced his creative problem solving.

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223: John Gill on teaching

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have the first of two interviews with John Gill. John is one of the truly unique thinkers and educators in American ceramics. Gill started teaching at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred in the mid 1980’s and has helped shape a generation of ceramic artists pushing the boundaries of the field. In our interview we talk about his early influences and teaching philosophy, developing a personal sense of touch and becoming a “visual journalist”

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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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