I've been coiling clay for nearly 7 years. Historically, I've left the clay raw on the outside with just a hint of glaze between the coils to highlight the designs I painstakingly roll out with my hands. I love the natural look of the vitrified red clay, the texture and warmth beneath my fingers as I savor a cup of coffee. It's always felt so potterly to me. However, I know that the raw clay-ness isn't for everyone, and honestly, there's always been this little part of me that hungered for a bit more color in my work. Individually, my brown pots are intriguing; as a group display they lack that pizzazz that draws people over. Through the years I've experimented with different glazes and glaze thicknesses to encase my vessels, with disappointing results. More often than not the glaze has obliterated all or most of the coil lines, leaving a plain surface, which is obviously not the intent of my work.
2018 has been a chaotic year so far--around the world and in my personal life. I've felt the need for change, for hope, for simple pleasures to distract from the chaos. Not all of those needs are rapidly achievable, but in the grand scheme of things, some pretty quick gratification can happen in the clay studio. Over the last month I spent my studio time coiling a silky-smooth white stoneware--a soothing change in itself. I've been adding assorted shapes to break up the spirals. It's been a cold winter of late in Bellingham, bringing thoughts of warmer days to the forefront of my mind, thus flowers, butterflies and dragonflies have made an apperance, in addition to cheery stars and hearts. I did some research and selected glazes guaranteed to highlight the coil lines, in colors that sing out spring. Today I held my breath and opened my kiln and then, with glee, brought forth a new era of Kulshan Clayworks: Color Magic.
Winter Warmers~ Every January at Good Earth Pottery we like to give back to our community in a show of appreciation and sharing the love, for keeping us going all these [49!] years. This year, we raise a mug to you and ask you to raise a mug for your neighbors: Good Earth Pottery will donate 10% of every mug purchase in January to Maple Alley Inn, the Opportunity Council's hot meals program. Warm drinks, warm bellies, warm hearts. Cheers, Bellingham (and beyond)!
I spent much of my summer making a new body of work for my September feature at Good Earth Pottery. Here is a small sampling--you can visit www.goodearthpots.com for more pictures, or better yet, come on down to the gallery to see them in person! I'll be having an opening reception on September 9th from 4-7pm. I'd love to see you there!
I just shipped my three favorite cups from a recent wood-firing to the 2017 Juried Cup Show at Clay Arts Vegas, juried by Nolan Baumgartner. I feel very honored to have had all three cups selected, and I can't wait to see the show on their website when it's up in February, since alas, I can't get to Vegas myself.
I took my Clay Coil Illustration workshop down to Moshier Art Center in Burien, WA over the weekend. I had 12 very enthusiastic students coiling away their day--some of whom had never rolled a coil. They did amazing work. It's fascinating to see all of the different ideas that come forth from people using the same technique; how I inspire them, and how they inspire each other. These ladies were supportive and nurturing of each other. Every time one of them flipped their work to the right side, everyone gathered around, oohed, ahhed and cheered. It was great fun for us all--and I think some of these gals are now hooked on coiling!