The Month in Clay: June 2009

Work by Lowri Davies will be on display as part of The Welsh Table. See below for details!

Although the official start of summer isn’t for a few weeks yet, I am definitely finding myself in a summer state of mind these days. My days of hibernation are behind me and I am itching to get out and about. If you are feeling the same way, you’re in luck because there are a ton of things to do this month related to clay. To give you an idea of what’s going on this month in the ceramics world, I have pulled together a smattering of events from around the U.S. and abroad as Ceramic Arts Daily’s June Month in Clay feature.

But, as usual, these events only scratch the surface of what’s out there. Be sure to peruse the Ceramics Monthly Calendar to see what else is going on. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

Denver, Colorado
Ruth Borgenicht: Stoneware & Porcelain Sculpture will be on display at Translations Gallery ( June 12-July 24, 2009.

Borgenicht uses the chain mail pattern and other woven patterns to create ceramic works that conjure up a sense of permanence and defensive concealment. Like the ancient armor, her pieces are made of a fabric of movable interlocking rings. Using clay to make a protective mesh is contradictory; for how can it defend anything, much less itself? Visually stonelike, the pieces appear strong and impenetrable, belying their inherent fragility.

Surf City, New Jersey
“Pat Swyler and Karen Swyler: Mother/Daughter” will take place June
27-July 31, at M.T. Burton Gallery and 19th St. Clay Studio
( conjunction with the exhibition, Karen Swyler will be presenting a
throwing and altering demonstration on Saturday, June 27, from
9a.m.-4p.m. Swyler will demonstrate ways of exploring new possibilities of form and function in porcelain by cutting, altering, and reassembling wheel-thrown components.

Pat Swyler will present a press molded figurative sculpture demonstration on Wednesday July 15, from 9a.m. – 4p.m. Pat will demonstrate how to make a press mold to help speed working in a series and how to use surface treatments with acrylic media.

Cumbria, England
“Making a Statement: Raku Ceramics by David Roberts” is on view at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House ( through July 5. David Roberts has established himself as a leading international practitioner in raku ceramics. He is acknowledged in the community of ceramicists as being responsible for introducing and promoting modern, large scale, raku in Britain. In his exploration of a technique which has its origin in the making of small vessels for the Tea Ceremony in late sixteenth-century Japan, David Roberts has transformed it into a vibrant and contemporary art form.
Mesa, Arizona
Androgyny: New Work by Sergei Isupov is on display at the Mesa Arts Center ( through August 2, 2009.Born and raised in Stavrapole, Russia, Isupov’s eastern European upbringing provides him with a unique prospective of the world that translates in his ceramics, drawings and prints. The exhibition features Isupov’s latest body of work, including twenty largescale heads and numerous drawings. Hidden surrealist and dreamlike vignettes appear on the bottoms of every piece (as shown above), adding to the overall narrative of the represented character.

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

Washington, D.C.
The Welsh Table, an exhibition celebrating the work of ten leading contemporary makers of domestic studio ceramics from Wales, will be on display June 22 – September 21 at the Ripley Center at the Smithsonian Institution ( in Washington, D.C. The artists featured are: Justine Allison, Lowri Davies (work shown above and at left), David Frith, Margaret Frith, Virginia Graham, Morgen Hall (work shown at right), Walter Keeler, Claudia Lis, Micki Schloessingk, and James and Tilla Waters.
Palo Alto, California
An exhibition of works by members of the Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California ( is on view through June, 2009, at the Palo Alto Research Center ( following ACGA artists are included in the exhibition: James Aarons, Bil Geisinger, Jane Grimm. Nina Koepcke, Tuppy Lawson, Janet Leong Malan, Linda Hansen Mau (work shown at left), Lee Middleman, Fay Miller, Phyllis Pacin, Sara Post, Barbara Glynn Prodaniuk, Inge Roberts, Janice Rowell, Tachina Rudman, Jan Schachter, Barbara Sebastian, Ericka Clark Shaw, Cynthia Seigel, Penelope Comfort Starr, Cuong Ta, Cheryl Tall, Carolyn Wang, Carol Wedemeyer, Fred Yokel, and April Zilber.

See Linda Mau’s post “Paper, Clay, and Steel: Combining Three Disparate Materials to Create Strong Yet Lightweight Ceramic Sculpture” in the Ceramic Arts Daily Archives.

Columbus, Ohio
Works by Curtis Benzle are on display at Sherrie Gallerie ( through June 10. The exhibition features Benzle’s new body of porcelain work.”The purpose of my art is to embrace the illusive, emotional content of traditional beauty,” said Benzle. “I aspire to communicate the feeling behind magical moments – light filtering through leaves that make memories of a sun-filled afternoon.”
South Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Chris Gustin will be hosting a fundraising event to benefit the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts ( located in Newcastle, Maine. Chris has invited 120 ceramic artists from the USA, Canada and Australia to send their work to be fired in his three-chamber wood-fired kiln. The Gala Benefit Wood-Fire Exhibition, Raffle and Auction will take place on June 20th. A select group of pieces will be chosen for an online auction. The auction will go online June 15 and end the afternoon of June 20. Visit for the link to the auction portal. Becca Van Fleet, whose plate is shown at left is one of the participating artists.
Venice, California
“Ben Jackel: Compliance Solutions” will be on display at L.A. Louver ( through July 3. The centerpiece of the exhibition is an installation of 256 Greek warriors created from clay. The 6 inch-high figures – each a unique combination of stance, helmet, breastplate and shield – hold a metal-tipped mahogany spear, and are presented in battle formation.

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