The Month in Clay: August 2009

This piece by Roberta Massuch is on display as part of “2009 Artists of NCC” at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The panic about the impending winter always hits me at around this time every summer. It seems like July was only five minutes long and summer is almost over! But I am going to try to combat my winter panic by making the most of the rest of the summer. And you can too with the August installment of the Month in Clay! There is a world of ceramic art out there to see and we have a few highlights from all around the globe right here.

Plus, you can check out the Ceramics Monthly calendar for a more comprehensive listing. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Ferrin Gallery ( presents “TEAPOTS: Interpretations,” a group show group show of teapots and artwork in all media featuring the iconic form of the teapot, through September 5. The exhibition features more than thirty works (including Deborah Schwartzkoph’s teapot, shown at left) in all media including sculpture, painting and photography that depict or explore the teapot form. In addition to conceptual artwork, there will be a selection of functional teapots by over thirty artists and potters from throughout the country.”In the past 30 years, the contemporary American teapot has become the most significant object of decorative and applied art being produced and collected. Thousands of artists, working in all media, have embraced the teapot, creating individual testimonials to this appealing form. With passionate collectors active and now several museums acquiring and exhibiting teapots both within larger collections and as a separate theme, this form continues to develop and draw new interest.” Leslie Ferrin from Teapots Transformed: Exploration of an Object.
Newport, Rhode Island
Featured gallery artist, Allison Randall (work shown at left), will be teaching a series of workshops throughout August at Newport Potters Guild ( Join Allison in the Newport Potters Guild Studio to explore organic forms through the method of handbuilding! The workshops take place August 8, 15, and 22, 10am-1pm. The fee is $190.00. Students will explore different handbuilding and finishing techniques through the creation of a finished piece of work. Emphasis will be placed on organic form, texture, and color. Multiple building methodologies will be presented (pinch, coil, slab, and press molds), as well as different low-fire surfacing techniques (cone 04 slips and glazes). Non-fired surfaces will also be explored.
Santa Monica, California
The Frank Lloyd Gallery ( will feature an exhibition of sculpture by six major West Coast artists August 1-29. While each sculptor will be represented by recent work, all artists included in this show made innovative American sculpture during the 1960s.Ken Price (work shown at left) produced a remarkable series during the early and middle 1970s known as the “Geometric Cups”. Glazed with bright colors over a substrate of fired clay, the intimate sculptures combine the artist’s interest in sensuous color, immaculate finish, and inventive architecture. Price is represented in this exhibition by a rare and refined Geometric Cup

Download your free copy of Emerging Ceramic Artists to Watch: New Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture now to see more great work and hear what up and coming artists have to say about their motivations, inspirations, and career plans.

Geneva, Switzerland
“Swiss Ceramics: 1959-2009,” a juried exhibition featuring the work of young Swiss ceramic artists of talent, is on display at Musee Ariana ( through October 4. Seven young artists, all members of the association and with less than eight years each of ceramic experience, were selected by a specialized jury. The chosen works illustrate the diversity of the Swiss ceramics scene: containers, sculptures, and installations. The pieces on view are diversified and refreshingly original. These young ceramists–Perrine Durgnat, Marianne Eggimann (work shown at left), Maurizio Ferrari, Laure Gonthier, Maude Schneider, Simone Stocker and Ursula Vogel–all learned their skills at the Swiss professional training centers in Bern, Vevey and Geneva.
Port Chester, New York
The Clay Art Center ( is proud to present “Andrew Coombs: I Want to Show You Something,” a solo exhibition featuring utilitarian pottery by the Clay Art Center 2008-09 artist in residence, through August 15. Marking his residency experience, this body of work explores the intersection of function, content and beauty.About his work, Andrew states, “I am a potter. I intend for my work to be used. I strive to address the subjects of presentation, utility, beauty, and craft in my work. Although I seek to make work that stands on its own, I feel that a piece is not truly complete until it is in use. The pot and its contents should exist symbiotically, each elevating the other to heighten the enjoyment of a meal.”
Sydney, Australia
“Terra Anima,” an exhibition of work by Avital Sheffer, is on display at Robin Gibson Gallery ( in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia through August 12. The exhibition is an umbrella event of the 2009 Australian Ceramics Association Triennale (”My work is informed by an investigation of my Middle Eastern and Jewish heritage and an ongoing engagement with the landscape, architecture, languages and wisdom of that part of the world, and that way of being in the world,” said Sheffer. The world of antiquity, in its diversities and dichotomies, is a passion and an infinite source of inspiration. Ancient ceramics, glass, metal ware and calligraphy employ universal aesthetic principals yet reveal intimate aspects of human idiosyncrasies and needs that are relevant to the present. I am interested in the frayed edges of religions and mythologies, where dialogue and cross-fertilization with other cultures takes place. Personal experiences of conflict, migration, dislocation and renewal intersect with the dilemmas between traditions and modernity.”

If you’d like to see more of what is going on in the clay world,
don’t forget about Ceramics Monthly magazine, which features exhibition coverage, exhibition reviews by noted art critics and lots of images of ceramic art.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
“2009 Artists of NCC,” a group exhibition of resident artists, is on view through August 30 at Northern Clay Center ( Once every two years, Northern Clay Center turns the exhibition spotlight on its many talented teachers, students, resident artists, and clay camp-goers. This exhibition is an opportunity to view the wide variety of art making that goes on at NCC: functional and sculptural works, made with low- and high-fire clays, traditional reduction glazes and soda-fired surfaces, and everything in between.”I handbuild with a combination of firm and soft slabs: pressing and folding each component together, easing the clay into place,” states Roberta Massuch (work shown at left). “This technique creates tension within the form, allowing soft pillowing areas to flow into more defined seams and contours. I cast my focus on line and volume, almost as if each piece I create is a contour drawing brought to life. I intentionally leave the unglazed clay as the primary surface because it allows the quality of leather-hard clay to be carried into the finished piece. I enjoy how it draws you in, inviting you to investigate each object through touch, through use.
Tacoma, Washington
“Something Different,” a solo exhibition featuring new ceramic and stained glass work by Dick Weiss will be on display at Traver Gallery Tacoma ( August 15-September 6.. Representing two years of studio time, Something Different pairs more than fifty of the artists new hand painted ceramic pieces with a new series of small leaded  glass hanging works. Known primarily for his work in glass, the artist has maintained an interest in clay that has evolved over the past 20 years.



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