The Month in Clay – November 2009

Great pots like this earthenware tumbler by Ben Carter will be a part of Winterfest at Baltimore Clayworks.I am way fired up, folks. I just got back from the Potters Council Expressive Surfaces workshop at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. This workshop was EXACTLY what I needed to get motivated about getting into the studio (plus, I got some great video, which I will be sharing with you down the road!). Not only were the workshop presenters, Lorna Meaden and Mark Peters, superbly awesome, but Red Star has such a great selection of work for sale in their gallery (and overflowing out of the main gallery space into other areas of the building) that it was just plain inspiring to take it all in. That’s why I advise you all to get out there and look at work. Lots of work.

To help you do that, I am presenting some highlights of what’s going on this November. The Holiday Sale season is getting underway, and I think we all agree that it is always a good idea to buy handmade! So check out the holiday sales I’ve highlighted below. In addition, I have included highlights of some great exhibitions stretching the gamut of what is possible with clay. Plus, the 15th annual SOFA (Sculptural Objects & Functional Art Fair) takes place in Chicago, and our own Holly Goring, assistant editor of Ceramics Monthly, will be there handing out free magazines! Stop by and say hello. And check out the Ceramics Monthly calendar for a more comprehensive listing of ceramics happenings.


Vases, by Magdalene Odundo, on view at Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool, England.Liverpool, England
Magdalene Odundo Solo: The Elisabeth Zuckerman memorial exhibition is
on display through November 28 at Bluecoat Display Center
( Odundo’s simple assured forms are
handbuilt, primarily using a coiling technique. Several pieces are
produced simultaneously, often taking days or even weeks to complete.
When the work is leather-hard, each is laboriously burnished, covered
with slip, and burnished again. When dry, the pots are fired in a gas
kiln, first in an oxidizing atmosphere which turns them a naturally
bright red-orange, and often a second time, enclosed in a special
container filled with woodchip sand shavings where the reduced
atmosphere causes the clay to chemically alter and turn black.
<br />

Fabius, New York
“Fired Experience: Recent Work by Jack Troy,” will be on display through November 6 at Gandee Gallery ( in Fabius, New York. Troy’s work is fired in his two anagamas and continuously stoked for 3-5 days until they reach 2400 degrees, and are then “soaked” for up to 30 hours. Although this firing process is physically demanding, the results are entirely unique with no two pieces coming out the same. Troy has maximized his success rate by carefully studying the results from the kiln and formulating clay bodies that respond favorably to the atmospheric results in particular areas of the kiln. Troy believes that he is “one of the many potters who feel rewarded by orchestrating a dance between the tentative certainties and the inevitable mysteries of working with clay.”

If you don’t find anything going on in your area here, be sure to check out the
Ceramics Monthly Calendar!


Chicago, Illinois
Celebrating its 16th year, SOFA CHICAGO 2009 (, the critically acclaimed Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair, returns to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Avenue) November 6 – 8 to present masterworks from 68 top international galleries and dealers from 10 countries. The Chicago fair will also feature 5 special exhibits by renowned museums, universities and arts organizations, as well as 33 lecture series presentations, all included in the admission price.Debuting this year is SOLO at SOFA, a special section of the show floor featuring installations by cutting-edge artists outside of the more formal structure of the representing gallery’s exhibit booth. Ceramics Monthly’s own Holly Goring will be there handing out free magazines! Drop in and say hello!Work show at left by Brendan Tang.
Middletown, Connecticut
“Gifted Hands,” Wesleyan Potters 54th Annual Exhibition and Sale, Grand Opening & Gala Celebration takes place Friday November 28th from 10 am – 9 pm. “Cafe Nights,” featuring live music and light refreshments will take place the following two Friday evenings. “Gifted Hands features handcrafted items made by over 250 artisans including Wesleyan Potters members. The show and sale runs through Sunday, December 13th. For more details visit at left by Jerry Gavin.
This wood-fired mug by Shawn O'Connor will be a part of Wnterfest at Baltimore Clayworks.Baltimore, Maryland
The Fifteenth Annual Winterfest 2009, a utilitarian ceramics holiday invitational celebrating the gift of art, will be held at Baltimore Clayworks (  November 14 – December 30. The event features established and emerging ceramic artists. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, November 14, from 6 to 8 pm. Admission is free. The invited artists are Karl Borgenson (WI), Ben Carter (FL, work shown above), Steven Colby (CO), Andrew Coombs (NY), Molly Hatch (VT), Bryan Hopkins (NY), Sarah Jaeger (MT), Forrest Lesch-Middleton (CA), Steve Loucks (AL), Sequoia Miller (WA), Shawn O’Connor (MN, work shown at left), Brenda Quinn (NY), Emily Reason (NC), Mea Rhee (MD), Justin Rothshank (IN), Lauren Sandler (PA), Tim Sherman (MD), and Joy Tanner (NC).
Ceramic sculpture by Philippe Barde will be on display at the Ariana Museum on Geneva, Switzerland.Geneva, Switzerland
Works by Philippe Barde and PT Projects, his collaborative project with Japanese artist Toshio Matsui, will be on view through January 11, 2010 at the Ariana Museum ( in Geneva, Switzerland. “When Barde started on his artistic path at the end of the 1970s, the ceramics scene was dominated by enamelled stoneware, turning and modelling,” explains Roland Blaettler, exhibition curator. “The density of the substance and the technique of the person shaping it were often emphasized above all. Attracted by transparency and lightness (he initially worked with stained glass), the budding artist yearned for a form of expression that would show his thoughts rather than his hands, his intentions instead of his know-how: a way to understate the hard work in the studio, the complex and fastidious technical aspects of the medium.
Pottery by Gwendolyn Yoppolo will be on display at the Clay Studio of Missoula in Missoula, Montana.Missoula, Montana
Work by Gwendolyn Yoppolo, current artist in residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, is on display at The Clay Studio of Missoula ( The exhibition entitled “Linger: New Work by Gwendolyn Yoppolo,” is her first exhibition in Missoula and features a variety of functional works that fully exemplify Yoppolo’s distinct ceramic vision.In describing her work Yoppolo says, “the forms I make are holding environments for our moments of reverie and nourishment; they are made to increase human intimacy. The metaphoric power of vessels as containers for lived experience occupies my work, as my focus is on the intangibles of life: emotions, memories, dreams, and ideas.”
New ceramic sculpture by Micheal Moore is on view at Galerie Carla Koch in the Netherlands.Amsterdam, the Netherlands
New work by ceramic artist Michael Moore was recently exhibited at Galerie Carla Koch ( “Moore creates concave, hand-constructed abstract objects with references to the landscape,” states Carla Koch. “He usually uses clay in its natural fired colors white or red; he adds little to no dye. The surface of the objects is alternatively open and polished. He was inspired to do this by the American and Canadian Rocky Mountains. He discovered the Rockies when he was artist-in-residence at the famous Banff Centre in Canada. The interaction of light and shade is also very important in his work.”
Pottery by Tom and Elaine Coleman.Henderson, Nevada
Tom and Elaine Coleman are hosting a Holiday Ceramic Sale of their work at their home (1023 Santa Ynez, Henderson NV 89002) on Friday, November 27 from 6 pm – 8 pm and Saturday, November 28 from 10 am to 1 pm. They will be selling their one of a kind functional and art pottery, and also have a discount table for work that they would love to go to a good home. In addition, they will be selling some pottery from their private collection. 10% of the proceeds will go to the Las Vegas Catholic Worker, the Clay Guild’s Empty Bowls benefactor.
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