"I like to work with items that society deems 'useless'. I take these pieces of ephemera and redefine them as sculpture. Each material I use has a history attached. This history speaks to the viewer on many different levels." Elizabeth Lundberg Morisette

elizabeth lundberg morisette purchases people's collections and spins them into art. she spent a year acquiring items on ebay that she later used to explore the human need to collect and what our collections say about us. what did she make? well, her own collection of vessels of course.

morisette brings new meaning to the old saying "one (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure." safety pins, keys, paper clips, hairpins, plastic curlers, swizzle sticks, twist ties. it's all fair game for this
innovative artist.

though crafted from a variety of materials, many of the vessels maintain an organic feel. the basket pictured here? old zippers. the work is quirky, and offers plenty of room for reflection and observation. quirky i tell you - just like us.


face it

"My work is primarily figurative. I like story and detail." Page Candler

in her south kentucky studio, page candler takes slabs of clay, cuts shapes freehand and builds a variety of functional and decorative art. she then pinches the facial features into the vase, each one with a unique personality. grouped together, the vases make a rather interesting statement.

link via ample sanity


microscopic organisms

when fine wood artist louise hibbert and jeweler sarah parker-eaton realized that their individual inspiration had a common theme, they combined their respective talents and a shared fascination for microscopic plankton to create an original series of vessels that is both technically excellent and visually exciting.

the plankton series showcases an impressive attention to detail. the pair worked together to discuss, sketch, and fully realize each design in its three dimensional form, guided by a month-long study of the minuscule plankton under a microscope.

you can read more about hibbert and parker-eaton's collaborative efforts on polymer clay notes.

many thanks to catherine verdiere for passing along the link.



fletcher and myburgh draw on inspiration from the rolling hills and curving lanes of their childhood terrains in south africa and surrey to create the ultimate personal vessel: cocoon-like swings. the copper swings boast names like moon (because it is shaped like one), bubble (because you appear to be sitting inside a stream of bubbles), and my favorite, mypod, pictured above.

the artists describe the swings as 'useable art installations' that offer an escape from the norm and challenge people's perceptions of what a swing should be. functional sculpture. i like it.


the clash

"My work is inspired by my love of nature and the outdoors. The quest for each stone is part of the intrigue and the integral piece of the process of transformation that each rock undergoes. I transform each rock into something not intended by the forces of nature, a container of mementos, ceremonial cups, commemorative jewelry and the ritual of tea making. The work references memorial ceremonial rituals in our lives." Julie Jerman-Melka

colorado metalsmith julie jerman-melka carves river rocks, often pairing them with semi-precious or precious stones such as diamonds, pearls, sapphires and garnets to create her jewelry and commemorative vessels . the work has a distinctive, organic feel and she describes this coupling of materials as "a clash between the intrinsic and what is perceived as precious or valuable".

for the locket above, jerman-melka carved a pocket in the stone and added garnet, agate, pearls, fine silver and sterling silver. strong, yet delicate. rough but soft. feminine, with a touch of tomboy.


school of thought

"Critics say that woodturners are wasteful, leaving the bulk of their wood on the floor as shavings or chips. For this piece I started out with a block weighing 900g (2 lb) and finished with a piece weighing 6g, meaning that I turned and carved away 99.3% of the original mass. This has to be the ultimate in wastefulness!" Malcolm Zander

for thirty years malcolm zander was a biochemistry professor at algonquin college in canada. in 2000, shortly after retiring, new zealand born zander started turning wood. two years later he was winning awards and a mere seven years later he is at the top of his game. his bowls and vases range from earthy, rough-edged and organic to precisely cut, lacey, delicate, intricate vessels. make sure to spend some time looking at his most recent work, where you will find some real gems. looks like the biochemistry world's loss is the artworld's gain.

via k style


message in a bottle

"My 'Poet's Bottles' poke fun at marketing and warning labels, but their whimsy also resonates with core truths." Jeff Crandall

with short & sweet snippets like HOPE - warning: do not abandon and one of my favorites,MOAN - a varietal alternative to wine. this product sold by volume, not by weight. please keep it down, jeff crandall has sandbasted and etched a niche for himself in the artworld. sounds like he took the advice on one of his bottles seriously - DREAMS - drink deeply and believe. you can find crandall's poet's bottles at vetri glass.


the whole is greater

"I try to make my art reflect the peace and harmony off the beautiful environment of the Teton Mountain Range. I choose to live in the midst of beauty, and try to create lyric vessel forms which reflect the sublime quality of this fabulous place." Lauri Thal

the collaborative relationship between lia kass and lauri thal demonstrates that the whole is greater than sum of its parts. kass and thal, already talented and acclaimed artists in their respective media (fine art painting and hot glass), have created a captivating body of work that combines lia's beautiful drawings with lauri's sandblasted sculptural bowls and vases. simply stunning. graceful. textural.


carving a niche

"We first worked as jewelers, carving in wax and precious metals with flexible shaft power tools. We realized with some modifications that we could carve larger sculptural wood pieces using the same technique. We wanted to carve something different, changing an every day item into a work of art. We enjoyed carving pieces that looked like fabric." Nielsen & Worthington

denise nielsen and george worthington have been working together for more than a quarter of a century. that's carved in stone. and wood. the pair carve hats, shoes, purses and flowers from a variety of wood and alabaster.

both artists began their careers as jewelers and those skills serve them well as they bring minute details to life in their intricate wood and stone sculptures. nielsen and worthington also happen to be married. perhaps that's not carved in stone, but it certainly appears rock steady.


boxed in

"Because pottery itself abstractly expresses—through clay, glaze and shape—nature’s landscape, it can be as spirited as a spring day or as barren as a raw and sullen winter afternoon, barely touched with color. I am aiming for distillations from nature, historically alive and poetically inspired. Clay processes are intertwined with extensive drawing, painting and collaging on paper." Catherine White

potter catherine white has other not-so-hidden talents. white's cup box series offers a glimpse of her softly sketched illustrations. her website offers a more extensive catalog of both 3d and 2d art. i was drawn to white's work for obvious reasons - both the cup and the box are art vessels. love it.


choreographing a different kind of dance

"I want viewers, when seeing these pieces, to write their own stories; creating metaphor and allegory for and from their own lives." Milon Townsend

self taught glass artist milon townsend studied dancers in new york city for ten years - those intense studies are apparent in the details on the figures that grace the vessel above (click here for more pictures of this vessel).

though not vessels, you won't want to miss townsend's
deco series - simply sublime - the sculptures look like ethereal figures dancing to their own private music. oh, to be there among them...

townsend's art glass sculptures, goblets, martini glasses and vessels are clean, crisp, collectible and in addition, this talented artist has written books about flameworking, marketing and philosophy; produced eight technique focused videos; taught at several well respected institutions and continues to write columns for three periodicals. i wonder what's next?

toby scores again! thanks for the juicy link.


into the forest

born and raised in japan and now living in new york, yuken teruya is trying to raise the consciousness of people all over the world with his unusual vessel sculptures. his vessel of choice? the lowly shopping bag. meant to draw attention to the growing problems of excessive consumerism and separation between the haves and the have-nots, teruya carefully carves miniature treescapes on the interior of the discarded paper bags. his bid to make the world a little bit better makes a big impression.

you can see more of yuken teruya's work online at the saatchi gallery and the josee bienvenu gallery


silly string

israeli designer yaron elyasi processes recycled plastic, creating bowls, furniture and lighting with a decidedly different aesthetic. elyasi's bowls are made by fusing bottle caps, shampoo bottles and industrial plastic waste, creating a plastic string that has a fiber-like appearance. the string is heated and dribbled onto a form in a freestyle manner and the results are different for every piece. could it be that elyasi has developed the adult version of silly string?

toby's finds are the coolest, don't you agree?


landscape reports

"I make vessels because I am fascinated with form and structure. I look for inspiration in the natural world, and then allow technique to mesh with these visual ideas to create something new. I enjoy all aspects of this process: the appreciation of the world around me that suggests ideas and the search for a method of construction that allows my ideas to take shape." Mary Merkel-Hess

influenced by the iowa landscapes of her childhood, basket artist mary merkel-hess uses paper and reed to recreate the swaying grasses that dominate the midwestern horizon. merkel-hess developed a technique to make the unusual basket sculptures that combines paper mache and three dimensional collage. she uses glue to apply small pieces of paper to a mold, creating a form that she then further manipulates, bringing her memories to life.

many thanks to libby mills for this link.


a pocket for your dreams

"The construction of each piece begins by looking at the materials I have gathered & taking into mind the color, texture & shape. Then preferring to work without putting too many limits on myself I let the alchemy of art evolve in its own way. By using traditional metalsmithing & sculpture techniques such as forming, carving, soldering & sanding I create unique sculptural jewelry" Rone Prinz

in italian, tasca dei sogni means 'a pocket for your dreams.' jewelry artist rone prinz found the inspiration for these dream-pocket wearable vessels from cultures around the world that use pouches and other containers to hold their prayers. she combines semi precious stones, fused and soldered copper, brass, 18 karat gold and sterling silver to create these little gems.

toby goldsmith, aka 'supersleuth' uncovered these earthy delights!


hidden from view

"I was fascinated by boxes, and still am. Isn't everyone? ... boxes contain things and, more importantly, HIDE things from view. Human nature being what it is one naturally wants to know what is inside a closed box - so a natural reflex is to open it, and if it's locked you really want to open it. What is it that is being so carefully protected, or hidden - what can it be that justifies this special treatment, particularly if it is an elaborate and valuable box." Andrew Crawford

andrew crawford is an author, musician, teacher and fine box artist. he has spent years following his bliss and it shows. this wall-mounted inlaid wood artist's case is a tryptch style box that holds more than 200 watercolor pigments. constructed of walnut with a burr maple circle that is meant to be representative of a color wheel, the case is an intricate example of his fine woodwork.


financial responsibility

"True inspiration and creativity comes more readily when you learn to enjoy the journey through your art, no matter what direction it might take you. Learn to follow your artistic voice as well as guide your Art to its completion." Mary Hettmansperger

mary hettmansperger's basket makes me want to cut my credit cards up and use them to make art. fantastic idea. everybody should do it. a recent description of her book 'fabulous woven jewelry' states that she reveals the secrets of traditional basketry techniques. think she might reveal a secret or two about losing our credit cards?


inner light

"These small objects with light are the result of an inner search, my origin, my myths, my legends: my past." Nicolas Estrada

nicolas estrada uses the unlikely combination of vegetable ivory, silver, seeds and electrical components for his unique wearable vessels. drawing inspiration from his columbian roots and the creation myths surrounding the sun, earth, moon and stars, he creates the mysterious vessels, embedding a small light bulb and battery case inside each one. turn it on and watch the interior glow "revealing unexpected silhouettes, textures and forms." an enlightened expression of his history.


a fine mistake

"Most of the new stuff that's done in any field is often arrived at by mistake." Nikolas Weinstein

innovator, curious being, nature lover. appropriate descriptions of nikolas weinstein. masterful artist also describes this glass blower, well known for 'pushing the artistic envelope.' weinstein creates small, sensuous pieces like the bowl above, and large scale works that will take your breath away. while still glowing hot, he cuts and peels parts of the glass back, allowing other parts of the vessel to collapse. organic, pod-like wonders emerge. watch the artist at work on a large scale installation in this video.

another great find from toby goldsmith.


art is therapy

"Childhood rituals have grown with adult veneers and have turned into a manifestation of obsessive compulsive order. Art has been added as a legitimizing manifestation that allows a semblance of sanity. The collections themselves have become a source of raw material for manipulation. Materials are assembled in vast numbers so that they take on form and substance beyond the single unit appeal." Clare Graham

after writing a post about jeanne rhea for polymer clay notes, i poked around a bit on her blog and came across a tiny blurb about clare graham's artwork. the link led me directly to an extraordinary imagination. graham embraced a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder by spinning it upside down and making it work for him. he clearly understands the significant value of mass collections of a single item and discarded materials as not-fully-explored art mediums. the vessel above was made with pop tops from cans. in addition to pop tops, his vessels, sculpture and furniture are crafted from buttons, soda cans, tin can lids, yard sticks, scrabble tiles and dominos. see for yourself.



"My Appalachian childhood environment was rich with examples of handmade works. My mother and grandmother provided our family with hand constructed garments, quilts, crocheted laces and embroidered linens. There was always work in progress; creativity was an integral part of daily life. This tradition continues in my own adult home. " Linda Fifield

a 250 acre backyard full of appalachian hardwood keeps linda fifield supplied with wood and a lifetime of inspiration. a wood turner and bead artist, fifield encases her elegant hollow form vessels with thousands of glass seed beads using nylon thread and an ancient netting stitch. she has spent more than two decades striving to perfect the stitch. i give it a perfect ten.

toby goldsmith found this gem.


shedding light on things

"In our contemporary lifestyle where mass consumerism plays a central role, packaging plays an inseparable role with the product it packages, both aesthetically and commercially. Cardboard is an everyday material that symbolizes transition, mobility, transience, fragility, instability and obsoleteness. Cardboard boxes are usually used more than once and one can follow their various uses by their labels. My cardboard boxes have gone through one more stage to a final and permanent stage and now the only thing they "hold" is light. The light is meant to emphasize their emptiness and the material they are currently made from." Einat Cohen

when ceramic artist einat cohen puts porcelain paper clay and slip through its paces the resulting slab construction artwork is transformed into social commentary. necessary observations about the excessive consumerism that continues to permeate every facet of our society. cohen's humble still life II series is breathtaking in its simplicity and the monochromatic color scheme adds drama...the ultimate punctuation mark.


not ruled by tradition

"Music was my first passion. It gave me a vehicle for expressing deep feelings, and it taught me the necessity of bringing discipline and clarity of vision to my work. Sculptural coiling allows me to create a kind of visual metaphor for the music of my life." Debora Muhl

rule-breaking fiber artist debora muhl spent two decades strengthening an artistic voice that now sings a sweetgrass melody. as she sets each basket free from the constraints of traditional techniques, the coil stitched vessels seem to take on an energy all their own. you can almost see them swaying gracefully, muhl's musical composition playing oh-so-softly softly in the background.

this link was sent in by toby-the research maven-goldsmith.


natural impression

“Aged 4 or 5 years, I recall seeing some men throwing pots on a wheel and being captivated by the magical transformation of the clay – from ball to cylindrical vessel. Ever since then I have had a desire to work in clay and experience the plasticity of the material.” Liz Emtage

liz emtage inlays organic materials such as rice, grass, parsley, lasagna, eggshells, lentils, wheat and spaghetti into porcelain clay that has been mixed with paper. the paper and organic materials burn out in the firing process, leaving a delicate translucent vessel with a natural impression. the luminaries, pendant lamps and wall sconces that emerge offer a warm, subtle glow to light your home or office. emtage utilizes a muted color wash, asymmetrical shape and organic texture, resulting in vessels that light the way for a calm, peaceful experience.


pipe dreams

perhaps the ultimate unusual empty vessel: dasparkhotel is a set of three repurposed drain pipes that have been transformed into individual, freestanding hotel rooms. hostel meets hotel meets recycyling. each room comes complete with bed, linens, lamp and table. set up in a public park in austria, guests have access to public bathrooms and nearby restaurants. interesting concept. at least it won't drain your wallet.


bag lady

" I began beading in 1990 when I taught myself to bead on a loom. I knew immediately that I had found my passion. I soon fell in love with broadcollars after seeing the Virginia Blakelock book, "Those Bad, Bad Beads". From there I experimented with bead knitting and sculptural peyote stitch. My current obsession is bead embroidery." Julia Pretl

julia pretl is an accomplished bead artist and author, well known for crafting interesting vessels like the 'bag lady' pictured above. looks like this lady is on a journey. don't you want to know where she is trying to go? and you - where are you going? wherever your journey takes you, i wish you safe travels my friend, safe travels.


on living/living on

"I use plants, sea forms, and human anatomy to talk about life, disease, and the will to live. My intention with this work is to make references to the process of survival. The work is not meant to dwell on the concept of dying. The pieces are about living. I hope to show the beauty that can be found in nature, and in doing so, wish to make the viewer more aware of the life around them." Bonnie Seeman

bonnie seeman walked through her days viewing the world through one lens. then a loved one became gravely ill, a loved one died. now seeman sees the world through a very different set of lenses and the difference is reflected in her ceramic art as in her life.

life is fragile. life is hard. life is short. embrace all of it.

thanks to natalia for sending the link to this thoughtful artist.


women's work

"I have acquired a habit of thought that conceives of each form as having a biography, revealing stories that are as varied as each view." Michelle Holzapfel

achieving acclaim and success as a wood turner is no small feat for a woman. michelle holzapfel spent two decades honing her skills in this traditionally male-dominated medium before the art world took her seriously. with a quiet determination, this self-taught artist expresses the every-day life of women today. the bowl above simulates draped cloth and gives us a hint at holzapfel's skill. but it is her carved wood vessels that scream TALENT AT WORK. they are elaborate and exquisite storytellers. see the artist at work and hear her speak about her philosophy in this video clip


leaving his mark

"I draw on functional forms because I want permanence and longevity for my personal history. Just as we know much about our cultural past from the pottery created thousands of years ago, I want my pots to tell those who may discover them in five thousand years what was important to one person living in the twenty first century." Tim Christensen-Kirby

tim christensen-kirby uses the sgraffito method to draw pictures on his porcelain vessels. each vessel is made with layers of contrasting clay colors. as he carefully carves a drawing the top layer slowly peels away, revealing the layer beneath. although he gets excited by the notion that the kiln process could easily turn a piece back to dust again, his work is clearly about permanence and leaving his mark on the world at large.



"I have to push the envelope constantly. Every new piece represents an opportunity for me to learn and to master something new. I want to go a step further every time." Meryl Ruth

meryl ruth's functional teapot handbag series is sweet, funny and well done. this five time niche award finalist has a charming sense of humor and style. her work is a standout because she pays meticulous attention to minute details as she manipulates the clay. she's also having fun and it shows.

toby goldsmith sent the link and a few laughs to boot. thanks again toby!


hats off to ingenuity!

he thinks everyone should be sporting one. "wear wood, it does you good." that's his motto.

vermont woodturner
johannes michelsen had an idea, spent years thinking about it and then developed two unique techniques that allowed him to move his idea from concept to reality. armed with these new techniques he set out to craft sleek wood hats. he has been turning them for more than 16 years now. these wooden wonders weigh between 6 and 9 ounces - the same as a fabric hat, and he will custom fit one so that you can wear it comfortably. i'm not kidding. watch his process here. the artist's work is in the permanent collection of amost every major wood collector in this country. talk about turning things around!



"Drawing inspiration from age old Venetian glass techniques coupled with my own playful interaction with glass as a material, I work with geometric and organic shapes and colors to create whimsical new glass forms. Utilizing my delicate hot glass skills and passion for the material, I add character and unique personality to each piece I create." Jen Violette

jen violette's animated vases capture the speedy splash of liquid droplets in brightly colored glass. her work reminds me of another artist who also delights in preserving the drips and drops, the splishes and splashes, the specks and spots. fun.


silver linings

“I weave contemporary vessels in contemporary times using materials gathered from both ancient grounds and castoff domestics” Shannon Weber

embracing life - the good, the bad and the ugly - has paid off for self-taught basket artist shannon weber. she began weaving baskets as a diversion when her children were still babies. years later, the fishing lodge that she and her husband owned flooded when a pipe burst, bringing more than just tragedy to her door. the insurance adjuster quickly fell in love with her lively baskets and he happened to have connections to a highly reputable crafts market. when he invited her to show her work, she recognized the opportunity and her career was launched. a few years ago weber was in a debilitating auto accident. as she grappled with another difficult life experience she shifted priorities and direction, spending some time reorganizing her life and art and coming back strong once again.

the common denominator in moving this talented weaver's career ahead might be dark clouds, but don't discount weber's soul-shifting ability to laugh out loud and jump into the fray. after all, 'it started with a giggle.'

the link to this living-life-out-loud-artist comes from toby goldsmith.


collaboration, cohabitation, cooperation

"An early addition to my wood pieces was the incorporation of my wife, Kaaren Wiken's finely detailed embroideries. Her colorful works of fiber art brings another level of meaning to my works, a collaborative effort that has taken us in directions we never would have imagined separately." Tom Rauschke

husband and wife team tom rauschke and kaaren wiken have been collaborating for more than 30 years. he turns and hand carves wood, inlaying kaaren's detailed embroidery into the intricate vessels. sky bowl, pictured above, took the pair several years to complete. kaaren's continuous embroidered landscape scene, inlaid all the way around the black walnut bowl, depicts one entire day from sunrise to sunset. this elaborate and subtly colored embellishment is truly a labor of love. collaboration, cohabitation and cooperation at its finest.



“The shoes are getting me places, taking me places.” Joanne Bedient

a shopping trip with her daughter that garnered a pair of vintage, tomato-red pumps worthy of miranda (the 1950's miranda, not the sex-in-the-city miranda) sparked a new attitude and a new subject for joanne bedient's art. she handbuilds the raku-fired shoes, creating textures that resemble the fabric, buttons and buckles found on the real thing. bedient makes bodacious bottles too. check them out here.


meaning more

ok, i admit it. one look at this cup and my inner-activist popped out. it was too easy. maureen and michael banner's hand wrought sterling silver holloware is contemporary and sleek. their sculptural yet functional teapots have long, sinewy handles with graceful curving lines. their work is stunning.

they also made this kiddish cup. while every bit as attractive as the others, it bears a title that could have more meaning than they anticipated, given the current state of affairs in washington. the name of this work? 'burning bush'. remind you of another expensive 'piece of work'? stunning too, for sure, but he stuns in a boggle-the-mind way. burning bush. enough said.


new year's revolution

"We are the true revolutionaries in this society because we value the work of our hands; we value tradition and history. We understand very deeply that the handmade object is what connects us to the people who buy from us. The object is imbued with our souls." Judy Stone

drawing inspiration from the garden that surrounds her studio, california artist judy stone
fabricates fractured vessels by cutting and rejoining metal with woven copper wire, rivets and tubing. she taught herself enameling, the process of fusing glass to metal, in the late sixties while working on a fulbright scholarship in germany. more than three decades later, stone continues to teach enameling worldwide and remains a fierce advocate for the revival of her beloved craft. now that's a revolution worth joining this year!


more than meets the eye

can you tell that this chair is only four inches high? four inches! and it is chock full of surprises. to see what i mean, click here and scroll down the page. although best known for her anodized titanium still-life and landscape pins, noel yovovich jumped outside of her comfort zone to create this box. it took her more than a year to complete. ingenious.


an element of surprise

"Boxes have always intrigued me, the idea of interacting with an object, lifting a lid and perhaps discovering something inside. I enjoy seeing peoples faces as they tentatively lift the wings of one of my birds and smile when they find a fish or a shell neatly tucked underneath." Nicola Henshaw

a new kind of heirloom is peeking out of garden gates and gazing up at us from the corner of living room floors. nicola henshaw's carved animal boxes, tables and benches come complete with stories worthy of passing down through the generations. henshaw happily provides us with the first sparks of storytelling conversation with descriptions taken straight from age-old fables, like the one below that accompanies her blue crane table

“The crane, resolved to mortify his insolence, took occasion to say, that peacocks were very fine birds indeed, but that he thought it a much nobler thing to be able to rise above the clouds, than to strut about the ground, and be gazed at by children”.
Aesops Fables

henshaw spends hours at the london zoo studying the habits and movement of animals, sketching and pondering before she begins a piece. once carved, she applies color using water based stains and then seals the wood with shellac and bee's wax. her woodcarvings are sculptural and functional, contemporary and folksy, light hearted and seriously beautiful.


consuming conversation

"Like recurring conversations with friends over cups of tea or coffee, this works reflects the consuming conversation of our consumer society. The recycled tin containers used to construct this work are diverted from a destiny as trash, revitalizing the mundane into the extraordinary." Harriete Estel Berman

harriete estel berman crafts teacup stacks from recycled tins, adding sterling silver or brass handles and tucking a magnet inside each cup so that the stacks can be rearranged. her body of work is a powerful statement about consumer consumption's toll on our culture. one of the conversations sparked by berman's beautifully crafted recycled teapots, cups and jewelry is that creativity might very well be at risk of getting caught in the far-reaching net cast by disposable commodities. well said.


like butta'

"I sometimes think of my botanical work in stoneware as preserving a type of fossil record of biological diversity. My functional pieces are rooted in the rituals of human culture and are reminders of our absolute dependence on the natural world." Suzanne Crane

suzanne crane gathers wild plant specimens and presses them into the still-wet clay as she forms each piece of functional stoneware in her virginia studio. all of her wheel thrown pots, baskets, vases, ceremonial cups, pitchers and bowls bear the fossil-like textures of plants from creek beds and blue ridge mountain slopes and a familiar earthy color palette that complements. the butter and cheese domes above feel like a walk in the forest...


shapely solution

david coddaire's oversized 'tall iron vases' have people personality. offering a shapely solution for artfully displaying flowers, some stand almost five feet tall with curvaceous human silhouettes, dusty-pigment patinas, sizzling energy and generous, smiling mouths. i wonder how this rambunctious bunch of ranunculus would look in one of coddaire's iron vases? very sexy.


branching out

"My love of nature, trees, and quiet is perhaps most evident in my pieces incorporating branches. I start my process of creation with an inspirational walk in the woods. I gather fallen branches in just the right stage of dryness. After lugging them back to my studio, I study them for the form that they speak of." Jan Jaque

after forming the basic clay shape, new york potter jan jaque adds an element of surprise by incorporating the fallen branch that inspired the vessel. the slab and coil construction process utilized to create 'teapotnot' is slow and deliberate and includes paddling, scraping, shaping, sanding, coloring and pit-firing the clay along with sanding, carving, staining, fitting and sealing the wood. her patience for the process allows almost total control over the materials. teapotnot is appropriately named - instead of a teapot, i see the graceful curves of an other-worldly dancer practicing at the quintessential ballet bar. sweet.



"Nerikomi, the traditional Japanese technique of creating patterns with colored clay is the inspiration for my work. Colored clays are sliced and stacked repeatedly to form patterns and color/textures in the clay itself, resulting in a single block or loaf made up of thousands of overlapping layers. Cross-sectional slices are cut from the block and joined together to form the vessels. The many layers are thus revealed as fine undulating lines embedded in a surrounding color. The pattern becomes the substance and structure of the form itself rather than just a surface embellishment." Thomas Hoadley

ceramic artist thomas hoadley uses an ancient japanese pottery technique to create his exquisite bowls and platters, but the work is contemporary, refined and elegant. the process is time consuming and labor intensive - the results are worth it. a magical manipulation of materials.