The Month in Clay: February 2010

The February 2010 Month in Clay is coming at you a little early because we are devoting next week to presenting the finalists in our Studio Tour Video Contest (so excited!!!).

You can take advantage of this early Month in Clay post to get ahead on your Valentines Day shopping! So get out to the galleries and get your sweetie a little sweetie, like the teapot shown here by Jen Allen, on display at the Gandee Gallery in February. Or, better yet, send this link to your sweetie, so they will buy you a little sweetie!

There’s more sweet stuff to browse through or be inspired by below. Plus, as always, the Ceramics Monthly calendar can give you the full picture of what’s happening in ceramics in the coming month! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

Washington, D.C.
A group exhibition of white ceramic sculpture by four artists is on view through March 5 at Cross Mackenzie Gallery ( in Washington, D.C.

“United by their use of a pure, snow-white clay body, these artists create unique expressions with different techniques and subjects,” states Rebecca Cross, the gallery’s owner. The plasticity of clay and its power to assume any shape and mimic any material is demonstrated in this collection. Whiteness reflects and delicately modulates the light, sometimes having the luminosity of marble or the transparency of fabric. In each sculpture, the monochromatic limitation is applied to dramatic effect.”

The piece at left by Christa Assad will be on view as part of Snow White.

Learn more about the best in ceramic sculpture with Contemporary Clay Sculpture: A Collection of Four of Our Favorite Articles on Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture.
It’s free to Ceramic Arts Daily Subscribers!


London, England
A three-day exhibition of contemporary ceramics, Ceramic Art London (, is on view from February 26 – 28 at the Royal College of Art in London, England.Works from 76 exhibitors from the UK and further afield, selected by a committee of industry experts including Amanda Fielding, Research Fellow in the Crafts for the V&A, will be on view.

“My work is based on our everyday interactions with ceramic objects, how we handle and use them from day to day,” states Maria Wojdat, one of the exhibiting artists. “Specifically, I have looked at using the pestle and mortar developing making techniques based on these actions. With large plaster pestles I pound into solid spheres and hemispheres of clay creating the gently bellying curves and hollows of the forms. Together, the pieces lean and connect, moving towards and away from each other exploring relationships between line, form and color.”

Melbourne, Australia
“Chinoiserie: Asia in Europe 1620-1840” is on display at The National Gallery of Victoria ( through March 14. The exhibition includes a superb collection of Asian and European decorative art from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and features works in a range of media including ceramics, furniture, glass, textiles, painting, prints and drawings.Chinoiserie will include over 180 works drawn from the NGV’s Asian and European collections, as well as key loans, and will illustrate the historical development of the style in Europe. The term Chinoiserie was coined in the nineteenth century for a decorative style that takes its inspiration from Asian art and design but ultimately reflects European visions of Asia.

“European fascination with exotic materials like lacquer, silk and porcelain, combined with a lack of accurate information on Asia, gave rise to “Chinoiserie,” said Ms Cains. Chinoiserie in Europe gained its momentum in the mid-eighteenth century where it informed some of the most delightful and beautiful artistic productions of the period, becoming absorbed above all in the whimsical taste of the Rococo.

Claremont, California
The Scripps College Ceramics Annual, the longest running exhibition of contemporary ceramics in the US, now in its 66th year, is on view through April 4 at Scripps College’s Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery ( in Claremont, California.Wayne Higby juried this year’s exhibition, and chose the theme Material Matters to express the idea that the relationship shared by material, process, and idea is a factor crucial to understanding any work of art.

Howard Kottler’s “Pinky Apostles,” a porcelain platter with altered commercial decals and luster, is on view in the Scripps College Ceramics Annual.

Fabius, New York
“Domestic Flourish: Recent Work by Jen Allen” is on display at the Gandee Gallery ( January 22 – February 28, 2010.Jen Allen is a passionate potter. She proudly proclaims, “Handcrafted pottery has the capacity to nourish the home, the hand and the mind.” Her goal as an artist is to keep the handmade an integral part of the contemporary home. Allen’s beautifully crafted pottery, on view at the Gandee Gallery, reflects this philosophy.

Allen’s utilitarian pottery forms “describe contrasts between modesty and generosity, grace and awkwardness” while they relate to her love of sewing through details such as folds, seams, darts, and pillow-like handles. The exterior surfaces, inspired by a fondness for textile design, juxtapose bold pattern with quiet, glazed expanses. All of her work is created with porcelain because of the material’s inherit brightness and luminosity.


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