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262: International wood firing extravaganza with Lindsay Oesterritter, Nancy Fuller, Robin Dupont, Zac Chalmers, Tristan Chambaud-Heraud, Shikamaru Takeshita, John Neely and Linda Lid

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a mega panel discussion on the state of wood firing around the world. We start by talking about gender dynamics in the artists home countries before moving onto the environmental impact of firing and finding one’s voice in the process. The panel features Lindsay Oesterritter (USA), Nancy Fuller (SCT), Robin Dupont (CAN), Zac Chalmers (AUS), Tristan Chambaud-Heraud (FRA), Shikamaru Takeshita (JPN), John Neely (USA), and Linda Lid (NOR).

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261: Scott Ross on ram casting solid clay sculpture

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a lecture from Scott Ross about building large scale sculpture for wood kilns. He builds his work by ram casting laminated layers of solid clay, which he then manipulates into geometric forms. In the lecture he discusses ram casting methods and the logistics of moving a 900-pound piece into a wood kiln.

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260: John Neely on the development of the Train Kiln

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a lecture from John Neely about the evolution of the Train Kiln. Neely developed this unique style of wood burning kiln to achieve similar aesthetics to Japanese Anagama. Neely’s design however is easier to build and more environmentally friendly, generating heavy ash surfaces using less wood and man power than a tube kiln.

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259: George McCauley on low temperature wood firing

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a lecture from George McCauley. Over his 50-year career he has made pottery, mixed media sculpture, and metal work, as well as being a cowboy, carpenter and movie producer. His self-described "casual" approach to art making highlights the emotive quality of gestural mark making and loose brushwork. In this lecture he talks about his experience with low fire wood firing.

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258: Sandy Lockwood on collaborating with uncertainty

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a lecture from Sandy Lockwood. A gifted clay worker for many decades, Sandy discusses how morphogenic making and bodily learning can be a foundation for understanding the practice of wood firing. The lecture was given at the Cultural Confluence Wood Fire Symposium, held in Helena, MT in October 2018.

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257: Josh Deweese on the history of wood firing in Montana

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a lecture from Josh Deweese on the history of wood firing in Montana. During his talk he recounts stories of historic Montana kilns and the influential artists who fired them. The lecture was given as the keynote speech at the Cultural Confluence Wood Fire Symposium, held in Helena, MT in October 2018.

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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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