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191: Sue Tirrell on developing narrative imagery on clay

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.

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190: Learning to fire the Mill Creek Anagama

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.

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189: Jacob Meer and Ian Connors on their apprenticeship experience

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.

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188: Simon Levin on understanding the dynamics of wood firing

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.

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185: Tyler Lotz on the circular nature of creativity

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Tyler Lotz. An accomplished vessel maker and sculptor Lotz often uses geometric tessellations and modular units in his work. His work spans a variety of scales from intimate handheld pottery to four-foot tall sculptures. In the interview, we talk about cultivating patience while planning a new body of work, exploring the same content from multiple angles, and how teaching feeds his studio practice

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184: Birdie Boone on the emotional qualities of color

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Birdie Boone. Working from her studio in Abingdon, VA she creates hand built tableware glazed in rich translucent colors. Her research into rare earth colorants has led to a broad spectrum of colors that are uniquely subtle and emotionally impactful.

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183: Live story telling from Kansas City!

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a special live episode taped at KC Urban Potter’s Midwest Pottery Fest. Guest host Mo Dicken’s guides ten storytellers through their stories about the ceramic community, including hilarious tales of street fairs gone wrong and spooky haunted studios. Don’t miss this special recording taped live at the Drug Store in Kansas City, MO!

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182: Forrest Middelton, Arash Shirinbab, and Raeshma Razvi on their collaboration “To Contain and To Serve”

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Forrest Middelton, Arash Shirinbab, and Raeshma Razvi. Our discussion focuses on the collaboration between Middelton, a ceramic artist, and Shirinbab, a calligrapher. They have been working for the past year on an exhibition and performance titled “To Contain and To Serve.” The exhibition mixes functional ceramics with Persian calligraphy and Twitter posts to generate dialogue around political and social issues in Iran and America. Razvi is a documentary filmmaker that has been shooting the collaboration for future use in a film.

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180: Thor Thoreson on Marguerite Widenhain’s Pond Farm School

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Thor Thoreson. A student of Marguerite Wildenhain from 1970-73, Thor talks about his time at the Pond Farm School and the influence of Wildenhain’s modernist teachings. He came to Pond Farm at the suggestion of Dean Schwartz, a ceramics teacher at Luther College who sent many students to study with Wildenhain. Schwartz later compiled the comprehensive text on Pond Farm, titled Marguerite Wildenhain and the Bauhaus: An Eyewitness Anthology. In addition to the interview, this episode features an audio tour of the surviving buildings at the Pond Farm School given by Thoreson.

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177: Double episode: Matt Metz on mining the subconscious to develop personal iconography and Brian Jones on the relaunch of the Jonescast

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Matt Metz. Based in Alfred, NY he makes black porcelain pots that are covered with slips and carved through to reveal patterns in low relief. Over more than three decades he has developed a personal iconography that includes floral, geometric and figurative imagery. This episode also features a mini interview with Brian Jones about the relaunch of his ceramic podcast called The Jonescast. For more information visit www.jonescast.com.

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175: Bill Carty on teaching artists to think like ceramic engineers

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Bill Carty. He is a professor of ceramic engineering and materials science at Alfred University. In addition to instructing future ceramic engineers he teaches art students how to develop problem-solving skills for their art practice. In our interview we talk about using data-based experimentation to dispel ceramic myths and how to remedy common issues such as crazing.

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174: The graduate school experience with Brown, Newman-Wise and Lee

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Cory Brown, William Newman-Wise and Yeh Rim Lee. The three are currently in their final year of graduate school at the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred. In our interview we talk about practicing effective time management, developing relationships with faculty, and reckoning with Alfred's ceramic traditions.

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173: Andrea Gill on challenging students to dig deeper

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Andrea Gill. Her large-scale hand-built forms reference historical European vessels, patterns and the figure. Her most recent body of work springs from an ongoing fascination with the patterns of Chinese export ceramics. In the interview we talk about gender dynamics within the ceramic world in the 1960’s, knowing how to get a student to dig deeper in the studio, and her time teaching at the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred, where she has been on the faculty since 1984.

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172: Wally Higgins on teaching at Alfred University and his time as a Tuskegee Airmen – Special guest Roberto Lugo

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a double interview featuring Roberto Lugo and Wallace “Wally” Higgins. In the first segment I talk with Roberto about his Instagram project "Our Villages Baby," in which he raises awareness of artists of color and their contributions to the ceramic field.In the second segment I talk with Wally Higgins about his military and ceramic career. In his late teens he enlisted in the Army before going on to serve as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in what is now the U.S. Air Force. He served in Saipan and Oakinawa before returning to the states to get a BFA in ceramic design from Alfred University. After a few years working at the Glidden Pottery he came back to Alfred as a teacher, where he taught glaze materials and mold making. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1985. Among his many laudits, Wally has been awarded the WW-II Victory Medal, New York State Medal for Merit and two Congressional Gold Medals, the highest honor bestowed on a civilian in the United States.

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