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301: Naomi Clement on how finding her grandparents love letters spurred her interest in cursive text

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Naomi Clement. In her current body of work, she decorates functional pots with layers of abstracted cursive text and loosely painted underglazes. The richness of her surfaces encourages the viewer to decipher the text and search for a larger narrative. In our interview we talk about the role pottery plays in daily rituals of observation and how finding her grandparents love letters spurred her interest in cursive text.

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300: Listener Mailbag to celebrate our 300th episode!

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a special mailbag episode consisting of questions sent in from listeners. My wife Melissa comes on to cohost the show and we discuss topics including historical influences, bloopers from past seasons, and a few thoughts about how the #MeToo movement might affect ceramic history. On this milestone I want to send a special thank you to my listeners who have supported the show along the way. I couldn’t have done this without you.

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299: Matt Ziemke on building engaging surfaces through multiple firings and Doug Peltzman on the Hudson Valley Pottery Tour

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Matt Ziemke. He abstracts the physical landscape to create planar structures that are covered with pattern and glaze. In our interview we talk about the effect technology has on the brain, working with the language of cartography, and building engaging surfaces through multiple firings.

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298: Mary Cale Wilson on using art to confront the inequities of history in the American South

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Mary Cale Wilson. Through her multifaceted art practice, which includes sculpture, vessel making, and painting, Wilson explores ideas of womanhood and labor. In our interview we talk about using art to reconcile personal privilege, developing a personal iconography, and the ideas behind her installation Betrayal at Ebenezer

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297: Brooks Oliver on using 3d printing as a prototyping tool for slip cast vessels

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Brooks Oliver. His refined ceramic vessels draw from the sleek aesthetics of design while maintaining the scale and proportions of handmade studio ceramics. In our interview we talk about using the 3d printer as a prototyping tool, developing a personal sense of color, and the growth of the Dallas Pottery Invitational.

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296: Ann Shaner on teaching in public schools, the early days of the Archie Bray Foundation, and her marriage to David Shaner

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Ann Shaner. Along with her husband David Shaner, she was instrumental in the success of the Archie Bray Foundation during the late 1960’s. In our interview we talk about 35 years teaching in the public schools, her time at the Archie Bray Foundation, and moving to Big Fork, MT, where she and David raised their four kids.

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295: Shalene Valenzuela on using slip cast domestic objects as a canvas for painting

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Shalene Valenzuela. Her slip cast sculptures feature underglaze paintings of women in domestic situations. In our interview we talk about the influence of mid-century advertising and film, using visual narratives to question women’s perception of themselves in our society, and balancing her studio life with her role as an arts administrator. Shalene is based in Missoula, MT, where she has an active studio practice and is the director of the Clay Studio of Missoula.

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294: Audry Deal-McEver and Jenn Cole compare the art fair circuit to selling in galleries

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Audry Deal-McEver and Jenn Cole. Both are studio potters making heavily patterned work in the greater Nashville, TN area. In the interview we talk about the fine line between appropriation and inspiration when referencing the patterns of other cultures, working in galleries, and developing confidence in the value of your own work. Both are members of Influx, a ceramic group that hosts exhibitions and events that educate the public on the value of handmade.

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293: Danielle McDaniel on creating “The Clay Lady Way”

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Danielle McDaniel. In 1982 she started teaching in the public schools of middle Tennessee focusing on short ceramic workshops that encourage creativity and confidence in children. As demand for her workshops grew, she developed “The Clay Lady Way,” an education program for teachers that includes videos, books, and ceramic curriculum. In our interview we talk about how secondary education changed during her career and expanding her business to include a physical location in Nashville, which hosts a school with 275 weekly students, an artist co-op with 65 artists, and the clay distributor Mid-South Ceramics.

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292: Josh Deweese on a life in clay in Montana

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Josh Deweese. His undulating functional forms are embellished with curvilineal handles and decorated with fluid high-fire glazes. In our interview we talk about the influence of his artistic family, developing a leadership style as an administrator and teacher, and using local materials to enhance his glazes. Josh was the Resident Director of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts from 1992-2006 and is now an Associate Professor of Art at Montana State University.

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291: Mallory Wetherell on how parenting and politics have changed her studio practice

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Mallory Wetherell. Her ceramic vessels are decorated with crisp drawings of symbolic elements, such as hair, internal organs, and clothing, which create a biographical sketch of her daily life. In our interview we talk about teaching in a rural environment, how an early interest in prosthetic design and medical drawing shapes her aesthetic, and how politics and parenting have changed her studio practice.

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290: Chris Staley and Kyle Johns on the intersection of boredom, expectation and creativity

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Chris Staley and Kyle Johns. Both were artists-in-residence for the month of May at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. During the month Staley was making a new body of sculptural vessels and Johns continued his exploration of keyless mold systems for slip cast vessels. In our interview we talk about suspending judgement when making, how boredom can create space for new ideas, and learning to use social media in a healthy and sustainable way.

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289: Joanna Powell on her recent show “Lay me in a hot bed and try not to drown”

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Joanna Powell. Her work spans many genres including ceramic sculpture, painting, and photography. In our interview we talk about her visual editing process, women’s beautification rituals, and the themes within her recent exhibition, “Lay me in a hot bed and try not to drown.” The show is up at Greenwich House Pottery’s Jane Hartsook Gallery until June 14th.

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288: Nick Danielson on using CAD to design templates for hand-built pots

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Nick Danielson. After an early interest in conceptual sculpture, Nick has been solely focused on making functional pottery for the last eight years. His work is an aesthetic blend of Korean Buncheong ware, color from contemporary graphic design, and the angular nature of computer aided drafting (CAD), which he uses to design the work. In our interview we talk about studying in Korea, balancing historical and contemporary influences, and using the CAD to get creative with his forms and surfaces.

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287: Chip Clawson on casting architectural-scale concrete sculptures

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Chip Clawson. In recent years he has been focused on making sculptural forms that are cast from concrete and adorned with ceramic embellishments. His piece, “Ode to Edward James,” features multiple twenty-foot columns that are bisected by horizontal cloud-like forms. In our interview we talk about planning large-scale sculptural works, the influence of Edward James’ “Las Pozas,” and Clawson’s time creating public art with inmates in Montana state prisons.

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286: Diane Charnov on shifting from political speech writing to art criticism

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Diane Charnov, this year’s Jentel Critic at the Archie Bray Foundation. After an early career as a political speech writer Diane has been focused for the last decade on art criticism and journalism. In our interview we talk about shifting between persuasive writing and journalism, funny moments from speeches gone awry, and how artists and institutions can better advocate for themselves.

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285: Chip Clawson on the history of the Archie Bray Foundation

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an audio tour of the Archie Bray Foundation with Chip Clawson. Chip worked for the organization for over 35 years and has compiled much of its history from its inception as the Western Clay Manufacturing Company in the 1880’s to the ceramic arts foundation that exists today. On our tour we visit the former brick and tile factories, as well as the beehive kilns that fired the wares.

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284: Perry Haas on embracing the challenge of a new body of work

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Perry Haas. He builds softly undulating vessels that are designed to pick up the light fly ash of the wood kilns he fires. His recent work is made with a speckled clay body that obscures the silhouette of the forms, blending the exterior and interior spaces into the same visual plane. In our interview we talk about being patient with yourself when starting a new body of work, the Montana residency circuit and finding work life balance.

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283: David Peters on working with Montana’s raw ceramic materials

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with David Peters. While studying at Utah State University, David discovered a passion for using “wild” ceramic materials to make functional pottery. For the past twelve years he has focused on developing clay and glaze formulas from ceramic materials dug in the mountains of Central Montana. In our interview we talk about the geology of Montana, how to test and adapt raw materials for studio use, and sorting through criticism when starting a new body of work.

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282: Steven Young Lee on his recent exhibition at the Portland Art Museum

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Steven Young Lee. Growing up in Chicago the son of immigrant Korean parents, Steve turned to pop culture as a touchstone for belonging. His current body of work blends contemporary and historical references on ceramic vessels, including a recently completed large-scale plate installation. In our interview we talk about early 80’s TV heroes, how social media affects the aesthetics of globalism, and the process of making work for his show at the Portland Art Museum.

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