Saturday, 26 July 2014

emerging artist: Jessica Hodgson



Growing up on a conventional family farm in Southwestern Manitoba, I was raised with a fundamental respect and understanding of the environment and our food.  After moving to Winnipeg in 2006, I was surprised by how quickly I lost this sense of respect.  No longer getting my food straight from the garden or neighboring farms, I lost touch with the understanding I once took for granted, as it became easier and more acceptable to drive to the supermarket and fill a cart with convenience.
At a point where the public is becoming more aware and more alarmed by what is being labeled as food, I often find myself disturbed and confused by the information we are surrounded by.  Coming from a farming background surrounded by companies like Monsanto, paired with a concern for how safe many of the foods we are eating actually are, I find myself on a slippery seesaw of what is right and what is safe.
Frustrated by the topic, I designed the Stratum line in reference to the mysterious layer of chemicals, control and deception that seems to be veiling our food system today.  Typically the white surface of sterility that covers functional dinnerware is comforting and customary, providing us with a smooth, safe surface to present our food.  In Stratum however, this white surface is only superficial, draping over dark, organic sections, masking them in uniformity and perceived appeal.

Friday, 25 July 2014

guest post: "show us your influences" with Amanda Barr

So you may have noticed that starting last friday I've begun (what will hopefully become) another weekly feature on the blog. Inspiration comes from numerous obvious and sometimes less clear sources. Fridays will now be a chance for readers of musing to share what inspires them.  So drop me a line with a few lines about you, your inspirations (3 artists, not neccessarily clay based) and some images and join in the fun!
Thanks in advance

My inspirations by Amanda Barr:
Author Neil Gaiman
Molly Hatch
Jason Bige Burnett

My work is very much a reflection of my personality; bright, colorful, and highly imaginative. Reality has often been painful, so I and in turn my work, seek escape in other worlds. Seeing creatures in passing clouds, dreaming of alternate worlds, delving into books about eras long past make each day a new and fun adventure, for myself and I hope those who use my work.

Neil Gaiman writes some of the best science fiction and fantasy worlds in literature today. His writing is funny, sad, exciting and above all heart-felt. From his adult fiction (Startdust, Neverwhere, Anasi Boys, Sandman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane) to young adult and children's books (Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Chu's Day) he has never failed to capture me completely. His 2012 commencement address-turned-book "Make Good Art" is my go-to when I need extra motivation to keep going.

Jason's work has that blend of simple (form) and complex (surface) that has, since I first saw a piece several years back, called to me. Playful yet poignant, his work is everything I've strived to create. His subtle manner of storytelling is some of the best around, and of course he is as beautiful a person as his work.

Molly Hatch's work first spoke to me because of the historical references- I loved Wedgewood long before I ever began working with clay. Her more recent design work- moving into fabric, wallpaper, glassware- is something I am fascinated with and would love to someday do myself. What I love most about Molly is how she has elevated the functional pot into artwork with her displays of teacups and teapots in frames and of course her "plate painting" pieces such as Physic Garden with the High Museum. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

movie day: Alternative methods of ceramic shaping / The Blast / Adam Železný / UMPRUM

The Blast is a set of ceramics vessels that are shaped by a shockwave induced by controlled detonation. I am using a sophisticated system of explosive charges which – on basis of measurements and tests – determine the final shape of the bowls. As a result, I am presenting a set of different sized bowls which stand on the edge of fine and applied arts. The important point is the act of creation of the bowl. The blast, event, which itself lasts no longer than the actual detonation. A shockwave shaping the bowl is spreading at a supersonic speed and partially imprints itself into the ceramic mass. It is kind of a punk analogy to an industrial porcelain production, isostatic shaping, which is also based on the use of pressure. However with much lower costs and much different result classified as free ceramics.

Friday, 18 July 2014

charm by Gerry Wedd

guest post - "show us your influences" with Andrew Tarrant

 My work is heavily influenced by historical and mythological examples, in form,
use and decoration. I wouldn't class myself as a production potter, nor a
sculptor, if pressed I usually say I'm a vessel maker, or a maker of things.

I do not generally attribute any artists as a direct influence but rather the (almost) faceless artisans of the past. I have a simple Roman bowl that I
purchased in London when I was a student at ACA back in the late 80's. It sits on my kitchen table, I've put nuts in it during parties. I like that it was made in the first century (AD) and it is still in use in the twenty-first century. I like the longevity of clay.

I have major geek cred, I collect and have sold collectable sculptural toys,
comics and such. In the past we never knew the names of the toy sculptors but these days they are proudly printed on most of the packaging. As potters we are
known only by our marks, sometimes by our names, but always by the look of our art. I can usually tell if two different toys were sculpted by the same person.

Back to the late 80's again, where I met a jewelery student who practiced
martial arts like I did. We practiced together, exchanging styles, and became
close friends. Jeff deBoer is not so much an influence as a brother in design.
Once or twice we have even come up with the same designs at the same time. We
share a similar design sensibility, snobbery of single-malt, and sarcastic

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Domestic Frontier - a melbourne based collective

Melbourne based collective showcasing contemporary wares of the highest quality, handmade by Australian craftspeople for use in the home.

Domestic Frontier organises retail events with an evolving collective of selected local makers, who create innovative, high quality wares that are functional and designed to inhabit a domestic setting. These events aim to directly connect makers with an interested audience in a relaxed atmosphere where the focus is on highlighting complimentary elements in different mediums and offering visitors time to make an informed, non pressured choice so that the pieces they take home are things they will keep and treasure for a very long time.

 Where 19 Nicholson  st Brunswick East   
When     weds to sunday   20th-31 August          11am-6pm
Meet the Maker afternoon tea Saturday 30th August 2-4pm

@domesticfrontier on Instagram

Participant Name


Bridget Bodenham

Ceramic - Planters, vessels
Sandra Bowkett

Ceramic -vessels
Adriana Christianson

Ceramic -vessels, cushions
Sophie Moran
Ceramics - tableware, vessels
Vic Pemberton –
Bind and Fold
hand dyed textile, baskets, blankets, aprons
Georgia Clarke
- Housemade Studio
bespoke aprons, cushions,
Greg Hatton

Wood - furniture
Jo Ruchel

hand woven baskets
@joruchel on Instagram

new issue of The Studio Potter!!!

Get your membership today and don't miss an issue (Especially not this one! There's an article by yours truly in it!)

job posting: CFile Executive Director


Jobs | CFile Seeks Part-Time Executive Director with Fundraising Experience

CFile, the global community for ceramic creatives, is seeking a part-time executive director to help our organization with fundraising. We’re looking for a professional person who wants the challenge of growing a small, but vibrant nonprofit.
The hours are half-day. Applicants must be residents of New Mexico, living preferably in or near Santa Fe.
Starting Sept. 1, the director will be responsible for managing CFile Foundation and its fundraising program. Applicants must have some experience working for art organizations. CFile will also consider applications from suitably-qualified consultants.
The director may work from his or her home office (we do not believe in commuting) and he or she must be self-motivated.
To apply, please send a brief resume to CFile’s Chief Editor Garth Clark at

movie day: Justin Novak

Justin Novak from Emily Carr University on Vimeo.

Justin Novak has been an Associate Professor of Visual Art and Material Practice at Emily Carr since the Fall of 2007. He teaches in the areas of Ceramics and Illustration. After receiving his BFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, Justin spent fifteen years working as a freelance illustrator in New York City, for a range of clients (including The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Macmillan Publishing, Harper Collins, Tor Books, and the Book-of-the-Month Club, among others). A second career followed, as an exhibiting artist working primarily in the medium of ceramics. Much of his ceramic work, which has ranged from figurative sculpture to utilitarian design, has been developed within international residency programs, including the Kohler Factory in Wisconsin, the Walbryzch Factory in Walbryzch, Poland, the Arabia Factory in Helsinki and the National Workshops of Art and Crafts in Copenhagen.