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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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236: New Zealand Week: Michael O’Donnell on the spiritual aspect of ecology

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Michael O’Donnell. A longtime resident of the Coromandel region, Michael is an environmental advocate that uses ceramic sculpture to tell the story of the local ecology. His role as artist, story teller and spiritual seeker has been spurred on in defiance of multinational mining corporations that are working in the region. In our interview we talk about the influence of Barry Brickell, creativity as an antidote to depression, and Maori spiritual beliefs about water.

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235: New Zealand Week: Duncan Shearer on experimental kiln firings

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Duncan Shearer. His interest in atmospheric firing has led him to build kilns from nontraditional materials, such as wood blocks, telephone directories and ice. These performance firings captivate audiences and have informed the kilns he has built at his studio in Paeroa, NZ. In our interview we talk about firing as a communal activity, the geologic diversity of the Coromandel Range, and his interest in the Albarello form used in medieval Europe.

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234: New Zealand Week: Greg Barron on building homemade ceramic equipment

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Greg Barron. In the 1970’s he started building his own ceramic processing equipment to make plastic clays for use in his studio. He applied this same ingenuity to build an energy efficient home and studio in Whangarei, NZ, that is made from compressed adobe and other ceramic materials. In our interview we talk about the effect deregulating ceramic imports had on New Zealand studio potters in the mid 1980’s, how his priorities have shifted with age and experience, and his do-it-yourself philosophy for running a business.

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233: Jack Troy, Carolanne Currier and Amy Burk on kiln design, creativity and the Strictly Functional Pottery National

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Jack Troy, Carolanne Currier and Amy Burk. We came together at the home studio of Jack and Carolanne to talk about their careers in ceramics. We had a wide-ranging discussion on wood kiln technology, the founding of the ceramic program at Juniata College, Jack’s passion for writing and the ceramic history of the region.

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232: Cynthia Bringle on educating your audience on the value of handmade

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Cynthia Bringle. Since moving to Penland, NC in 1970 she has been a pillar of the art community, influencing many generations of artists and helping the Penland School of Craft to become a mecca for ceramics. In our interview we talk about educating your audience on the value of handmade, the evolution of studio pottery since the 1960’s and the growth of the Penland School.

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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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