Research Entry: Colo(u)r


It has been a week of color testing and experiment. A much needed week of color testing and experiment. What does color mean? These colors are a celebration. Yet they are extreme bright colors. Colors that often attract or repel. In song birds bright flamboyancy says come hither, I’m your man. In constructed space it means beware pay attention. What does it mean for pottery?

Either way these are the colors that get me. That I desire- dense pale oranges, yellows, pinks and reds. Color and color application have to exploit “ceramic color” play with flux, melting, layers and the difference between stagnate clay molded or applied with a brush then subjected several times to fire, forced to move and change to be a new thing: ceramic materiality.


Artist: Kalika Bowlby

Kalika is a wonderful potter who hails from my home town of Nelson BC. It seems that from time to time potters of interest get lost in the file folders of my mind, to surface when a nice big storm shuffles them all up (there are lots of fun storms in the area right now). In Kalika’s case, it has been two years since I took a look at her work and am pleased to see it evolve interestingly and elegantly. Check her out:

Kalika Bowlby Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 2.16.37 PM Kalika Bowlby Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 2.16.46 PM Kalika Bowlby Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 2.16.30 PM

I love the process of reinterpreting traditional pottery forms with a contemporary voice. It always comforts me to consider how long objects such as cups and bowls have been a part of life and culture. The pottery I make is made to survive the rigors of daily life while uplifting the daily events of eating and drinking. This current series of wheel-thrown work is made from mid-range red stoneware and embellished with patterns created from computer derived symbols used in repetition. I make each object from concept to completion in my home based studio in Nelson, BC.

Kalika Bowlby Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 4.02.05 PM Kalika Bowlby Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 4.05.11 PM Kalika Bowlby Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 4.02.20 PM

This series of wheel thrown, press molded and soda fired work was made with a concentration on tangibility.The weight and texture of this series of work is exaggerated to remind us of the importance of our physical lives.There is a consideration of the body and the senses within each piece.To nourish our bodies, senses and minds is to acknowledge our humanness.Our need for sustenance and care is a common experience which can bridge the distance between individuals providing a space for compassion and understanding.We can all relate to hunger, thirst and the desire for intimacy. Pottery can act as a reminder of our basic needs, revealing both our tenderness and vulnerability.

Artist: Holly Walker

Holly Walker has a lot going for her- a long and fruitful careers is just part of it. Her work is brand new to me and I have stumbled upon it at the most perfect time when my urge to combine thrown and pinched section has become bearable and I can no longer ignore my urge to add splashes of bright block colors here and there a la high school layout editor style. Bright and brave and perhaps simple these pots speak to my sensibilities. Do they speak to yours?

Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 3.58.44 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 3.59.05 PM

Nope that photo isn’t the wrong way. These platters hang on the wall. Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 3.59.28 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 3.59.42 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 4.00.01 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 4.00.21 PM

(The one above is my favourite.)Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 4.00.32 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 4.00.42 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 4.00.50 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 4.01.13 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 4.01.44 PM

Artist: Ron Philbeck

Hang the Wash Out to Dry...Hang the Wash Out to Dry...

I have stumbled across Ron Philbeck and I am so so glad I have! Here is a bit about him:

He makes charming slipped earthenware pots that tickle my senses and notions (as seen above). A salt firer gone earthenware is far and few in between. His blog is full of tidbits to tantalize any potter or lover of pots. He has all his bases covered in the digital world- blog, online gallery, some drawings, etsy, even you tube videos (see below)! Check out his website indeed.  How did I stumble upon his charming blog and work? By searching for another great potter’s work, Michael Simon. This was the post that Google hit:

I too make a celebration of Sunday morning coffee. It is tradition in the making of early Sunday morning contemplation and conversation. It is nice to know that others do so too and continue to contemplate pots at the same time. Michael Simon was going to be the artist for the week but as the world and times are a change’n- Ron gets the spotlight. Enjoy!

P.S Folks remeber that links are indicated in grey text and that you can always go to older post by clicking the prompt at the bottom of the page or by searching in the sidebar or having fun by clicking tag over there too!

Techno-ology: Thermoluminescence Testing

Do you remember the that earthenware stag from 10thCentry Iran that I posted on Saturday? Ever wonder how they know how old a pot is and subsequently the age of the civilization it came from? Well, one way to discover just that is by thermoluminescence testing and the Asian Art Museum is wonderful enough to explain it to us on the label of that fabulous stag:

It is extremely rare to find one deer vessel, let alone two, that are really from the second millennium BCE. One of these is from that era and the other is modern. Small samples were drilled from both deer vessels and sent for thermoluminescence (TL) testing. (The pink powder in the sample container next to the deer vessels shows the size of sample necessary for a TL test. Samples must be taken under strict conditions to avoid contamination, which can interfere with testing.) The principle behind TL testing is that some of the minerals comprising ceramic materials, such as the terra-cotta of the deer, absorb natural background radiation at a predictable rate. When the clay is fired during manufacture, these minerals release this radiation. This sets the TL “clock” back to zero, and the minerals again begin to absorb radiation. As the samples from the deer vessels were heated to over 400 degrees Celsius during the TL test, the absorbed radiation was released and measured. This told us approximately how long it had been since each vessel had last been fired. The TL test is not precise enough to give an exact date of manufacture. Instead it provides a range of dates. If the apparent age of the object falls within this range, the TL result is said to be consistent with the suggested period of manufacture. The TL data show that one of the vessels is around three thousand years old and the other is less than a hundred years old. Can you tell which is which? (Lift the flap to see if you’re right.) The deer vessel on the right was made between 2,100 and 3,200 years ago, while the deer on the left was made less than 100 years ago.

There you have it. Yay technology. Yay.

Porn: Stag

Online collections are the most wonderful things. I have half a mind to spending a morning a week once I get back civilization and to unlimited internet use, just surfing the world’s great emuseum’s collections.

The Asian Art Museum in San Fransisco has a great ceramics collection and a bevy of it is online.

I am in love with this burnished earthenware stag, from 10 Century Iran.

Artist: Carole Epp (WebCreateDesign Part3)

What is WebCreateDesign and who is Carole Epp?

Web Design Create is a class I am taking this semester at ANU. If you are more interested in the pretense of the class, there is a class blog set up that breaks down various concerns for artists bloggers. This and the  three other posts with “WebCreateDesign” in the title are posted as an off shoot of an in-class assignment to take three artists using Web 2.0 technology successfully in their businesses. I have chosen to follow and critique three potters: Ayumi Horie, Marty Fielding and Carole Epp.

Carole Epp interests mr more for her blog following than for her work. Her blog is well known all over the world. She is a Canadian lady and subsequently all her posts are very relevant to my practice.



I was surprised to see that Carole’s website differs from her blog. I was first introduced to her work via her blog, and it is certainly not the focus her blog. Still I wonder if someone else designed the website. Either way it is easy to use, clear and attractive.



Musing About Mug is the blog that I rely on the most in all of the blogs in the blogging world. Actually most of the things I apply for either before or after I get the notion about them existing this blog helps me out. Carole posts application deadlines for residencies, shows, publications. She promotes events and shows giving all the appropriate info and links. She also lets us see snippets of her processes in the studio from time to time…It is one of the two blogs on my blogroll and it was the only one for a long long time. If you are at all interested in ceramics read this blog!



Carole has links everywhere to her Etsy site. It seems to be a way of selling that suits her well.



Carole has facebook, but for personal means, funnily enough her current profile picture has pottery in the foreground, potters are potters after all.



I am not a user of twitter- I just am not about to jump on that bandwagon, but Carole has (the only one out of the three I have chosen to check out).


She’s got it going on and on and on. Carole is a google friendly artist!

Artist: Marty Fielding (WebCreateDesign Part2)

What is WebCreateDesign and who is Marty Fielding?

Web Design Create is a class I am taking this semester at ANU. If you are more interested in the pretenses of the class, there is a class blog set up that breaks down various concerns for artists bloggers. This and the  three other posts with “WebCreateDesign” in the title are posted as an off shoot of an in-class assignment to take three artists using Web 2.0 technology successfully in their businesses. I have chosen to follow and critique three potters: Ayumi Horie, Marty Fielding and Carole Epp.

Marty Fielding uses some web 2.0 technology such as a blog and etsy, oddly enough I first came across his work in a book then looked him up from there. his work is sturdy yet light, geometric yet fluid, dark yet light. It is full of balance.



Marty has his website domain forward to a wordpress blog ( This is a great example of an artist finding a permanent domain as a convention necessary but for what ever reason preferring a blog.



Marty doesn’t have a Flickr account but, I would like to take this spot up to show that Marty is represented on Flickr- or rather, his pots are. Even if he isn’t participating someone is promoting/cataloging work which includes it. Web 2.0 interfaces serve greatly as a quick, hopefully concise, network and potters of a certain caliber and circle have a presence, even if by indirectly.



Where I first found Marty on the net. It is nice to see his prices and what work he posts. There was a jug I wanted to badly for such a long time alas it is gone, I guess that means this interface is working for him.



155 Fans, I searched him and it didn’t work- then via a google search eureka. He has good images and comments frequently enough.



This video is horrid- poor Marty this gallery has taken his work and made this monstrosity- still he is “on the scene”.



It works, it worked when I couldn’t find Marty on facebook…