Artist: Jenn Demke-Lange

I have had a prolonged pottery crush on Jenn Demke-Lange. About year ago I posted about her asking if anyone had more information on her work, as I had purchased two wee mugs from the Alberta Craft Council Gallery and was in love with what they added to my esspresso and almond milk mornings. I was also intrigued with then having “Canada” inscribed on the bottom. I later learned on a visit to Medalta (a Canadian clay mecca, see Medalta post for more) that this was because of her participation in a International Craft Biennale as opposed to her own predetermined prerogative (it is an interesting forced predicament of patriotism that intrigues me.) Since that post a year ago both of her wee mugs have hit the dust due to moving and clumsiness. Potters can be the most brutish owners of vessels- use the darned things!  Now and then I long for them. The happy news is that there is a website up and running where we may ogle new her work: It is a lovely one at that complete with layered and evolving triangles. I am a sucker for a bright off-color triangle…

 I am therefore very pleased at the current trend of such brightgeo motifs and happy Jenn had the foresight to refine and explore the movement. Let’s take a look at some of her work shall we?

Also just a reminder, if you make nice work you are bound to be someone’s desktop or screensaver at some point… possibly the geekiest from of flattery out there! This is currently mine.

And frankly any gal with such an entertaining complied vimeo video gets my vote (Though you almost lost me with that MIA track):

Critique: A set.

Today we set out to critique Jason Lawfer’s Whiskey Cup Set and Cathi Jefferson’s Nine Yunomis posted yesterday. Both sets are displayed on similar crate like shelves. They make a nice spread in the “500 Cups” book. But why display them on shelves?

I have to admit right here and right now that I am a fan of displaying pots on fixtures found around the home or studio, when done well. It is my belief that functional pottery displayed in a setting such as that within our lives ought to be conducive photograph documentation. Here we have a conumdrum. Things are better in isolation. Just look in any gallery or museum or blog or etsy store. Objects when given space focus us our attention on the imidiate object, is not muddled by context. The context imposed upon the item is all cerebral. I have come to realize how presentations with hints of a greater context can be beneficial. There is, however, a fine point where the object is absorbed by it’s surroundings. I feel this phenomenon is displayed in with this page spread. I would argue that Lawfer’s Whiskey Cup Set is about the ensemble and Cathi Jefferson’s Nine Yunomis set is about the cups. Now here is the kicker, I like the photo of the whiskey cups better than that of the Yunomis but feel the Yunomis set is more cohesive. Once again, the photo of the Yunomis set is about the pots (fine intricate motif laiden wares) and the photo of the Whiskey cups (lovely shotties with a variety of sizes and firing surfaces) is about the installation. Potter vs. curator.

If displayed full on in the home and given time I foresee my constant scrupulation of the varied and subtle whiskey cups vs. the prologed bfatuation with the stunning Yunomis. The subtle is often what lasts and works in a modern day home.

Here we have a great example of perhaps bring off topic. If in a crit some mediator could graciously say “that is very well as good Miss Bridget but, what about these throwing lines? What about that foot ring? What about the discrepancy of height and motif with in the set?” I want to talk about shelves. But do you really care about the shelves? Do the makers really care if the best photo from the photoshoot happened to be the one involving the shelves? Is there a statement here? Can we discuss what constitutes “a set”? The question, “What makes something a set?”, has always been hard for me to answer. All sets are made or amalgamated in so many ways for so many reasons.

What makes a set to you?
What do you think of these pots?
What do you think of those shelves!?

Jenn Demke

If anyone has any information (website, galleries, blogs?) about Jenn Demke please let me know. I can’t find anything about her on the web, other than via the Alberta Crafts Association. When in Edmonton I bought two of her cups for tower this season they are perfect for matcha (see above). Charming simple, possible press molded forms, her work conveys a sensibility I strive to have in my own pieces. Lovely pots.

(The top two mugs in the right hand photo our Demke’s, the bottom two are mine, a good example of the Canadian I was referring to in the last post.)