meant to move

"Emotion fills me when I see perfect forms in nature, from the cracked conch shell on the beach revealing its perfect spiral, to the milkweed pod burst in the field, its brilliant airborne seeds streaming into the sunlight. The ordered symmetry and asymmetry of nature’s forms reveal the growth of life, the movement of life." Jennifer McCurdy

martha's vineyard potter jennifer mccurdy relies on translucent porcelain, the influences of the natural world and meticulously carved patterns to create light-shadow messages in her vases, bottles and vessels. i think the absence of color is effective in conveying a feeling of calm and peace. it allows us to concentrate on the form. i can almost hear the rustle of grasses bending in the wind and if i gaze long enough i can see the dancers swaying to the soft sound. and you? what do you see? do tell...



"Color outside the lines, bend the rules, and think outside the box. It makes life more interesting." Carol Milne

con·tort: to twist, bend, or draw out of shape. aren't we all contortionists in some way? what lengths will you go to conform, to fit in? glass artist carol milne's 'slave to fashion series' incorporates the humor and play on words that almost always accompany her subtly carved sculptures. the shoes carry a strong statement about our penchant for looking good and fitting in at any cost.

the year is coming to a close. this is a good time to reflect: are you living to look good and fit in? are you on a path that makes sense to you or just a path that makes cents? are you stuffing yourself into an ill-fitting life that is decidedly uncomfortable? change is hard but necessary and you could be pleasantly surprised. it might feel oh-so-good. you know, like taking off a pair of tight shoes.


license to dazzle

"Rusted license plates and wire, radiator cans and the hubcaps off a '36 Ford have, for me, the strength to evoke the smells, sounds and tastes of my own places of becoming. These are places that could spin yarns about first cars, first times and how treasures become broken. I believe that sharing with others the things that have made us who we are enlarges our understanding of what it can mean to be human." Steven Hansen

i found steven hansen's work on a site about recycled art. looks like a teapot made with recycled metal parts and old license plates, right? that's what the author of the site thought too, but the realistic battered-sign pots and vases are actually ceramic. more than just interesting to look at, he works with a coded language of symbols to "blur the boundaries between art and commerce, between craft and art." hansen wants his work to be read on mulitiple levels, beginning with the concept of a simple, well crafted object and continuing all the way through to the not-so-hidden statements about history, advertising and commerce that wrap around many of the pieces.


great bowls of fire!

"Each Great Bowl O' Fire is hand cut from scrapped propane tanks. There's a poetry to this that just makes me giggle… using a torch to cut flame designs into a flammable gas tank in order to hold bonfires. That's kind of layered metaphor I enjoy most about working with reused or recycled materials." John T. Unger

committed to sustainable design, john unger works mostly with recycled materials. he handcuts every bowl, never repeating the same pattern. the bowls weigh in at 175 pounds each and are built to last for generations. but unger doesn't stop there. from scrap oxygen tanks he cuts tiki torches; from propane tanks, he fabricates patio grills and portable grills and from tin cans he makes lanterns. the names of his fire line product and the tone of his blog make me think he's quite a character: canterns, blaze o' glory, pot-de-feu grill and great bowls o' fire. his stuff sizzles!


cushy cabinet

"Soft Cabinet is about organizing your mind by organizing your things. The drawers are designed according to a matrix system that allows me to make any given piece – desk, side table or cabinet – on request." Kiki van Eijk

young dutch designer kiki van eijk's playful twist on traditional design caught my eye. the drawers on this impressive cabinet look soft and inviting, like padded, tufted cushions waiting to be poked. yes?

no! though the cabinet is wood, the drawers are handmade completely from ceramic. beautifully done and functional too. kiki describes it as a 1001 drawer cupboard to store all of your favorite things. ooohhh, a place to store her furniture-inspired handbags, yes - that will work!


sheepish shakers

every vessel that i highlight makes me smile broadly, laugh out loud and say "wow" or sit quietly absorbing the surprise. the work of skip horton and donna beverly made me do all three. well respected glass artists, the pair are known for their sensational hand-blown salt and pepper sets.

with a product line that includes climbing frog wall sculptures, butterfly topped perfume bottles, colorful snail ornaments and a barnyard full of salt and pepper shakers, i'm guessing that this husband and wife team also share a love of animals. elegant venetian artistry meets contemporary sensibility. and a touch of whimsy. the result is magical. see more of their work here



"I am utilizing the culmination of formal elements and aspects of allusion of corsetry and garters to express sensual softness. My flower boats and vases suggest beauty holding beauty and my boxes, intimacy holding the intimate." Kristen Kieffer

cor·set n. - close-fitting undergarment worn to support and shape the waistline, hips, and breasts.

the corset helps to emphasize a curvy figure by reducing the waist, thereby exaggerating the bust and hips. for some women it is a positively painful experience, but studio potter kristen kieffer has found a way to make corsets sexy again. her corset-shaped flower boats are suggestive, feminine, intimate and rich with soft, sweet curves. try one.

many thanks to amy crawley for this delightful find.


bottled up emotions

"I am a product of the Golden Age of Hollywood as my father wrote many of the hot comedy shows of that time. My mother came from the theater world in New York and her father owned the largest costume company in the world so I guess all this has influenced the look of my work." Kate Stern

antique bottles + your beloved photograph + kate stern = a unique work of art. stern's love of old bottles and photographs inspired her to find a way to combine the two. this is the stuff of classic, vintage nostalgia.



"My work to date is all hand made. It is important that this is seen, so the raising marks, uneven rims and unfiled solder seams are left. The majority of my work is about portraying different feelings and emotions by combining various materials and manipulating their many qualities to express the intentions." E J Mahony

ej mahony uses materials that are contradictory. silver, an enduring metal and steel which is decidedly not precious as it rusts and literally eats itself away. contradictory? maybe, but it works. he creates the form and leaves the function up to you. these are roughly hewn, bold, strong and take me back to medieval times. for those with a more delicate taste, the tea sets also make a beautiful statement.


home ec

"I have always loved the lustrous, seductive qualities of silk, and have used varying weights and weave structures to create textured effects." Dorothy Filshie

as a home economics teacher, food and fabric influenced dorothy filshie's daily routine for decades. now retired, she still dreams about the dupioni silk and tulle used to sew the beautiful gowns that swish softly around the dance floor. but these days filshie isn't thinking about teaching students to sew. instead, she is imagining the lush fabric transformed into the exquisite sculptural jugs she sews by hand. i can see that retirement agrees with her. yes.


nourishing alma

"Sculpture is made to be touched. These pieces were made with my hands and I want people to feel the weight and the shape of them. That's the point." Alma Allen

i have a never-ending hunger for vessels that feed my soul. when i discovered alma allen's work i knew immediately that his wood, stone, bone and shell carved vessels would feed that hunger. the texture of each bowl includes natural fissures that crack the silky smooth surface, inviting the viewer to touch, hold, feel. it is fitting that alma means nourishing. it also means soul. i've been fed, nourished, nurtured. soul-food indeed.


capturing light

"The inspiration for the LightVessels first came to Darryl many years ago on a sun washed day at the trout stream. He was intrigued by the play of light on his fishing line and how it glistened and sparkled on the water. Since fishing and basketmaking are closely woven parts of his life, he wanted to put that special mood into a basket." Karen Arawjo

husband and wife team darryl and karen arawjo weave clear or colored monofilament over hand split white oak and hickory to create their award-winning light vessels. each translucent basket captures the light and shines delicate, ethereal rays into the room creating a calm, soothing mood. a welcome break during this season of hustle and bustle.

thanks to alison lee for the link



"In design I seek the symbiosis of decoration and form – they communicate together and create a fulfilling entity. My design language is minimalistic but I combine simplified form with generous decoration surface." Heini Riitahuhta

i had to show these pictures of a large-scale sculpture/painting by finnish designer heini riitahuhta. she 'painted' the picture using ceramic cups! ok - the picture isn't a vessel, but it was created with vessels - thus scoring points with this vessel-as-art diva. see more of riitahuhta's work here.


penny pinching

montana artist penny hall is under the magical spell of molded leather. she pinches, shapes and molds the leather until these elegant bowls emerge. i did a double take - thinking at first that they were turned wood vessels. aren't they woderful? she draws her inspiration from big sky country. it's easy to see that montana has cast its own magical spell on her - lucky for us.


wired for fun

i've admired jeff dever's work for some time now. his double-walled, hollow polymer clay vessels are vivid examples of masterful engineering. i took a two day technique workshop with him a few years ago and i walked away scratching my head, still wondering "how did he do that?" my comment is not a reflection of his teaching ability-dever is a gifted, generous teacher with a great deal of patience. his meticulous attention to the details of construction and his mastery of the medium just rock.my.world.

somehow jeff's new work slipped right by me - he is now mixing wire with his pod-like, abstract polymer forms - adding another dimension to the world of baskets. many thanks to toby goldsmith for the link. enjoy!



"I dream that others will catch a glimpse of what I have seen in the earth and the plants and the water when they experience what I make. That through my own striving, I can capture the heaviness of that stone, the struggle and balance of nature, and the rightness of that wiggling curve, and somehow place that into the mind of another human being." Scott Chatenever

toby goldsmith fed my penchant for all things organic when she sent along this link to ceramic artist scott chatenever's work. his vessels, like this heart shaped pod, definitely speak to me. don't ask what they are saying, it's a private conversation.


spirit vessels

"It is my desire that my Spirit Vessels evoke a sense of sacred space and sacred time. As objects of contemplation, and as musical instruments, the Spirit Vessels are intended to be reminders of the need for balance and harmony in our lives." Robin Hodgkinson

robin hodgkinson has been making music for more than twenty five years, using bamboo, exotic hardwoods, metal tubing and clay. each material has its own voice and he says the best material is really a question of individual taste and mood. the unusual spirit vessels round out a product line that includes simple flutes and ocarinas. the marriage flute pictured here plays a chromatic octave in harmony. the right hand plays the chromatic scale while the left hand plays the 1st, 3d, 5th, and 6th intervals. how refreshing - the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. i'm listening.


wearable collage

"While my work falls in the category of jewelry, I prefer to think of these pieces as wearable collages. My influences and inspirations stem from an appreciation for nature and family. Monochromatic colors, diverse surface textures, and repetition are commonly used to create a harmonious and soothing unity among varying objects." Jaime Jo Fisher

jaime jo fisher mixes traditional silver work and collage. bits of plastic, glass - even dryer lint makes its way into her wearable beaded vessels. contemporary yet timeless. perhaps due to fisher's willingness to combine the possibilities of found objects with more traditional jewelry techniques? yes, i think so.


mixed marriage

"People talk about the element of risk in their work. I recently heard a story of a Cambodian painter who was told to paint Pol Pot with the stipulation that if the painting was no good he would be killed. That's risk. I'm more interested in wandering from idea to idea propelled by curiosity, not fear. There is a large amount of suffering in the world. If, when somebody sees my work they feel some pleasure, that is success." Bennett Bean

new jersey's bennett bean is described as a studio potter, sculptor and a fine artist with decades of experience in several media. 'mixed marriage' is just one example of his ability to paint across separate pieces, giving them the appearance of unity and continuity. although best known for his pit-fired earthenware bowls, the sophisticated, sleek series of pairs and triplets are definitely worth ogling. thanks to teapot-lover toby goldsmith for the link.


pucker up

"The same soft, flowing curves in my earlier sculptures are evident in my handbags. They beg to be touched and have a very sensual nature to them. I also try to incorporate the human form in my handbags whenever possible with a humorous aspect to them." Kimberly Chalos

indiana wood sculptor kimberly chalos worked for a furniture company for ten years before becoming a handbag designer. kimberly's obvious skill and mastery of the materials is coupled with a quiet sense of humor. the purse above is part of her 'gabby' series. get it?



finnish designer maria jauhiainen's graceful lehti (leaf in finnish) tray looks so delicate...like it might float to the ground if a strong gust of wind blew through the window. but we know what they say about looks. this etched brass tray is quite durable and flexible too - it bends! the organic inspiration for the almost weightless trays? the skeletal remains of a leaf she found while putting the trash out. i'm going to have to put the trash out more often - maybe my absentee muse will make an appearance...


on a wing and a prayer

"I have studied art at Birmingham Southern College, architecture at Auburn University and ceramics at The Penland School of Crafts. This training has given me the inspiration to create work that I find both symbolic and delightful." Holden McCurry

i was in the klay gallery last week and happened upon a charming arrangement of small, richly textured ceramic towers, complete with muted colors and architectural details. they looked like lidded vessels, so i picked one up and tried to take the lid off. no luck. i was surprised to see that what looked like a lid...wasn't. exploring a little further, i found that the little vessels had no bottoms either! the reason? inside each tower, alabama ceramist holden mccurry has hidden a paper for the owner to write a prayer or a wish. i've got my wish ready...can you guess what it is?


off the wall

"When I sit at my table in front of a blank shade or my lighted easel with a chandelier, all thoughts leave me. With no sense of time or place, I just begin to paint. Often, I am the one most surprised when I see the finished glass. I feel that I have given myself to a greater power. I really did not do the painting but, instead, just allowed my higher consciousness to flow." Ulla Darni

ulla darni's wall sconces are created using the ancient style of painting referred to as 'reverse-glass painting'. darni paints her designs on one side of the glass knowing that they will be viewed from the other side. to do this, she paints what appears closest to the viewer (the details and highlights) first rather than last. the image is backwards while painting, because the paint is applied on the backside of the glass. when she finishes painting, the glass is turned over and viewed through the other side.

darni's chandeliers, her signature pieces, are owned by royalty and celebrities alike. beautiful designs, bold use of color. light up your life.



"Our everyday life is a compound of private, social and political events. Some are insignificant; some are hard to shake off, leaving a deep mark. Consciously and subconsciously I draw my inspiration from those events and channel them into my work. My work is my way to connect with the world. I’ve always had trouble expressing myself with words. My language is clay. I create words on the potters’-wheel, and then combine and shape my sentences by hand. " Lilach Lotan

lilach lotan pottery is the seamlessly blended work of team-in-life partners lilach & ron lotan.

this body of work has a roughness i like and the puzzle bottle fit my mood today: puzzled by life and the rough edges of a world gone crazy.

toby goldsmith's been quite a dear, sending along links like this...thanks so much toby.


bygone era

"I create forms with many components, often recreating objects and placing them out of context. For example, I frequently use a tap as a mug handle or a teapot lid. Their surfaces make reference to utilitarian wares from industrial ceramic history, including mocha ware, Cornish ware and blue and white porcelain." Virginia Graham

quirky, familiar, comfortable, precious, ordinary. all words that come to mind when i look at virginia graham's sweet, ceramic vessels. comfy, yes. nostalgic too. i'll take six please.



"I work primarily in crochet, but it's not what most people expect to see. I invented my own technique for working with this medium by crocheting on top of trapunto quilting." Irene C. Reed

teapot? handbag? teapot? handbag? ok, i get it now: irene c. reed's richly detailed forms are teapot shaped handbags. she quilts the bags and uses cotton and metallic threads in her trapunto details. for those who aren't 'in the know', trapunto is a quilting technique that produces a raised surface on the quilt. reed's innovative adaptation is simply brilliant. my name for it? trapuncro.


the band

"I glue rubber bands together in a spiral and form different lacy structures, stretching the elastic at certain points." Elodie Blanchard

elodie blanchard glues rubber bands together. lots of them. what do you get when you glue oodles of rubber bands together? basketlike bowls. they aren't fancy, but they are fun. she also makes lamps and vases with the bands. see her work at elasticco.com


playful design

"I draw from a belief that modernism does not mean minimalism, that contemporary does not forsake tradition, and that technology does not abandon people and senses." Tord Boontje

dutch designer tord boontje is a player. no, not THAT kind of player - he's a family man. a daddy even. but the man combines a highly developed sense of play with impeccable design skills to create wondrous, playful, colorful, artful items for house and home. the laser cut, metal floral fancies above are actually jar covers - place over any old jar and you have an instant fabulous vase. i think i'm in love!

boontje doesn't stop there - his die-cut, tyvek (yes, the stuff they use to make envelopes) floral lamps and garlands are enchanting and he recently wowed the design world by transforming empty wine bottles into stylish glassware- don't miss it.


curiosity rules

"I am an artist who delights in creating forms that celebrate the texture and color dimensions of both traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques." Colin Schleeh

curiosity gets the best of canadian artist colin schleeh. curious to see how thin he could make a vessel that would hold water, his impossibly thin wood vases are the result. simple. elegant. unadorned. flexible and paper thin, he waterproofs each piece with clear resin. while you are on his site, don't miss the bowls he fashions from 35 mm film - equally beautiful and unusual.


paper taper

"My lamps are decorative, mood-enhancing and are perfect as an accent in a dark hallway or neglected part of a room. I prefer lower wattages for a soft ambient light that showcases the details of the distinctive papers." Mark Porter

mark porter is an art-director-turned-artist. his uplifting, hip, wood and hand-made paper lamps make me smile. scandinavian meets asian meets craftsman, if you know what i mean. porter's business cards read: "cool paper lamps". truth in advertising? i think so.



"The idea is to make objects that look as though they might be the kind of things that faeries would own and use" Fiona Gall

fiona gall specializes in sculptural wirework: hanging goblets, wall sconces, candelabras and chandeliers like the one pictured above. her work has a cobwebby, ethereal quality to it. seems just.out.of.reach. - like the faerie world she loves so much. she often incorporates reclaimed glass in her wireforms and though it might take a few moments to figure out how to navigate her website, it has much to offer. delicate, gossamer vessels of light...



"The starting point for each piece of work is a single piece of metal. I either add or remove any elements. I simply have to work with what is there. I find my inspiration in the restrictive work process itself and the challenge to stretch its limitations." Ane Christensen

ane christensen's metal bowls are ming boggling. constructed from a single sheet of copper or steel, she creates them by following the strict set of self-imposed rules that have become her trademark. the two shredded bowls pictured here are fruit bowls - part of a negative space series that explores optical illusions...seems to be a theme this week.


optical illusion

"I want my work to look old. I love the colour palette I can achieve in copper and brass and gilding metal" Jenifer Wall

jenifer wall creates striking works of art in metal. i had a difficult time deciding which of her pieces to highlight. the unusual bowls and platters? or the evening bags that look like they were formed over a rock? i finally settled on the eyeglass cases because i've never seen eyeglass cases that were so lovely and inviting. reminescent of stones. some as smooth and comforting as worry stones.

the coastline is her inspiration and her description of this craggy muse made me wish i was there: "pebbles and stones from different beaches; rows of battered and worn-down breakwaters, encrusted with tiny stones; crumbling cliffs with slipping layers of strata; a line of quartz running through dark stone." i can see it, can you?



"The silk vessels I create are both transparent and translucent which hold mysteries. They have been transforming into a new sculptural form, one more akin to the human body, another container with its own mysteries." Kiyomi Iwata

kiyomi iwata sculpts luxurious, translucent silk containers that appear wispy and delicate, but as we know looks are often deceiving. reinforcing the silk with a cobweb-like labyrnth of wire threads, the weightless containers are strong and resilient, not unlike the artist herself. many of the stitched seams and openings are intentionally torn, adding to the mysterious nature of these secret-keepers...i wonder what long-held secrets have escaped?

many thanks to alison lee of craftcast for the link to kiyomi's work.


sea of change

pat kazi's fish-o-war teapot

pat kazi is inspired by fairy tales. fairy tales and mythology. fairy tales, mythology and history. her porcelain teapots and mixed media sculptures are fantastical. some intriguing, others provocative, and all perfectly captivating storytellers.

there will be no fairy tale ending to the war we are fighting today. it has changed our
history and created it's own mythology, but now that the elections are behind us, we can at least hope that there will be a sea of change ahead.



"By parodying sumptuous upholstery and rich textured fabrics which even when old and sagging suggest comfort and luxury, I use porcelain to make functional pieces for the home such as jugs, vases and lamp bases and bowls." Sarah Grove

sarah grove's translucent porcelain vessels remind me of the deep cushions of my grandmother's couch - the plush fabric of old, stuffed upholstery. her teapots, vases, mugs, jars are also deceiving. they look like i could squoosh them...sink in and stay awhile. sarah speaks about the contrast between the "soft pillow forms of the fabric and the cold, unyeilding nature of the porcelain" here. mmmmm....well done.



"I believe that everyone is capable of changing or touching someone’s life. I feel that everyone deserves a chance, respect and the opportunity to be included in a society. The women of Cia do Lacre and 100 Dimensão might think that they have gotten something from us at ESCAMA, but I think the contrary. I have witnessed, first hand, what makes someone strong, hopeful and resilient. All of that is in their faces, in their everyday lives. I am the one that have gotten something from them!" Socorro Leal Schwiderski

andy krumholz, socorro leal schwiderski and eric pedersen are three friends who had an idea, and they ran with it. as owners of escama, they partner with brazilian women's cooperatives to manufacture handbags from recycled materials. fashionable and functional, the bags are hand crocheted using recycled aluminum pop-tops. the handbag pictured above was made with over 700 pop tops. we hope that this novel concept becomes mainstream very soon. incredible.


defining shirk

"The landscape and my response to it have strongly influenced my holloware for the last 15 years. In each piece I try to create the feeling of sensuousness, strangeness, and vitality that I find in the natural world. I enjoy the challenge of physically manipulating metal, of constructing the three dimensional object and then manipulating its mood with color to suit my intention." Helen Shirk

shirk: to avoid work or duty. a definition that doesn't even remotely fit renowned san diego university art professor helen shirk. shirk hammers copper into intriguing holloware vessels. inspired by plant forms and life cycles, she uses prismacolor pencils to color the pod like vessels, adding patina as a finishing touch. now retired, she taught at sdu for more than thirty years, most recently as the head of the jewelry/metals program. shirk created a body of work that has garnered her numerous awards including a fulbright grant and two national endowment for the arts grants.

time for a new definition. shirk: the ability to create spectacular vessels that celebrate nature. yes, this.


singing in the rain

"Through methods of weaving, waxing, trapping, embedding and stitching I create unusual materials, which are then developed into garments and accessories. I often utilise plastics, papers and fabrics into my pieces. The work is non-functional and aims to encourage people to speculate on the nature of value. I enjoy the idea of working with disposable organic materials that are transient in nature, imbuing them with worth and creating something intriguing and of great beauty." Jennifer Collier

i suppose i couldn't actually sing in the rain wearing a pair of these galoshes, but they are awfully adorable. jennifer collier's paper shoes are creative and thought provoking. the boots above are made from tea bags. tea bags. she makes shoes from sheet music, maps, book pages and vintage dress making patterns. oh, and speaking of dresses, be sure to look at the one made from used postage stamps. you go girl!



"My grandmother had a dress shop in New Orleans. My favorite place was the attic of the store, where the alterations were done. To a young child, the sewing machines, scraps and threads of all colors, hooks, eyes and all types of scissors were mysterious, rich and tempting. After my grandmother died most of the sewing accessories were mine. In addition to the visual inspiration they provide, I use some of these tools when constructing my porcelain sculptures and incorporate some of the threads, fabrics and buttons in the finished work." Laura Peery

her grandmother's passion for dressmaking offered laura peery more than just sewing lessons. the countless hours she spent in her grandmother's shop helped peery form a lifelong fascination with fabric. today she fabricates whimsical teapots and shoes by cutting porcelain clay from patterns, pressing fabric into the clay to capture delicate texture, draping the clay and adding seam lines - resulting in teapots that look like they have been carefully sewn together. the finishing touch? colorful polymer clay flowers that dot the surface of these joyful pots.



“I was always interested in working with natural materials. I was raised on a farm in Idaho, so I guess you could say I grew up surrounded by future possibilities. My focus on working with alternative materials was to process them so that I could retain the natural beauty and texture of the material.” Jan Hopkins

jan hopkins makes art. she is also raising a family of four. and she runs her husband’s business. it makes me tired just thinking about the logistics. this master multitasker has an eye for unusual natural materials, transforming discarded citrus peels, sturgeon skins and lotus seed pod tops into sculptural baskets that often take on the human form. an innovative approach to basket making that draws on well developed traditional basketry skills. notice the emphasis i put on the words innovative and multitasker - it is well deserved.


blind spot

“Modern as it is in some ways, my work also harks back to the kind of dignity and pride that were possible for a craftsperson before the Industrial Revolution’s mass production methods obscured individual skill and ingenuity” Rob Dobson

venetian blinds, plastic strapping, tyvek envelopes, metal tape measures, garden fencing. these are just a few of the found materials
rob dobson uses to craft his unusual baskets. his inspiration? the human ability to improvise. he enjoys the thrill of the hunt as he searches for materials almost as much as he enjoys watching disparate elements come together and take shape. his work is edgy, fresh, with a decidedly urban feel.


harvard grad

"My farm house and much of the furniture inside was made entirely from lumber cut from the surrounding woods. During the winter, I was warmed twice. First by the act of cutting and spitting wood, then by burning wood for heat." Tom Harvard

tom harvard is a farmer first. though talented artist comes a very, very close second. farming since the 1970's and turning wood since 1997, he carves and paints each piece with the same quiet, patient determination that kept his farm alive for years. the verdigris ikebana vases above are quite clearly a labor of love. beautiful.



"I am inspired by earthy imagery. Vegetative growth such as tendril, flower, fruit, seed connects my work with the traditional uses for baskets as they have been used daily in agricultural and domestic life over many millennia. Traditional bronze baskets are a very ancient mingei form and to me have always simultaneously evoked the primitive bronze age and the refinement of apprentice-based craftsmanship in the Far East. I see my baskets as a contemporary manifestation of these age-old crafts." Ema Tanigaki

ema tanigaki's rebirthing basket seems to be symbolic of the rebirth she experienced when she finally healed from an illness that limited her mobility for an extended period. originally a jewelry artist, her newfound health has allowed her to experiment with larger pieces like the basket pictured above. she combines her skill in traditional techniques such as crochet with modern materials to create graceful, lovely baskets.


6000 poppy seeds

"How can anyone possibly imagine what 6000 of anything looks like, let alone people. What would 6000 names struck from the pages of a phonebook look like? What would it look like in terms of their handprints, their footprints, in terms of the number of people that miss them? It's like nothing we can imagine. This was my attempt to imagine." Bird Ross

i like the way bird ross thinks. and the way she interprets ordinary materials. in 2001, as we grappled with the impact of 911, she set out on a path to try to understand this enormous tragedy and her profound 6000 project is the result. on the opposite end of the spectrum, her grapefruit skin vessel series will make you smile and the paper vessels that she makes from maps will make you wish you were back in school (well, almost...). yes, i like the way bird ross thinks.


journey to destiny

"What do I do? I put a soul into every piece I create. I don’t make objects; I create characters. If the viewers can pick up on that soul, I’ve accomplished it. Creating figurative and abstract imagery on delicately pierced wood vessels opens the doors for me to share my life and interests. There was a period of time that I looked through the window and asked myself the question, "What is it like on the other side of that window?" I then just let my imagination go." Binh Pho

binh pho tried four times before successfully escaping from vietnam in 1979. he is no stranger to perseverance and persistence - attributes that served him well as he studied woodturning in his adopted country. the painstakingly etched and painted details on these vessels tell the stories of his life. they are an original fusion of traditional asian and contemporary art. intriguing.