Studio 1: Pamela Timmons
These days, I dream in shapes— bowls deep and sweeping or shallow and wide slung. I also dream in glazes, Staley’s Red, Ancient Jasper and Floating Blue. In bed at night before sleeping, I scour Pinterest for interesting clay sites and videos. Yunomis, altered forms, slab built designs, they all delight me. And that is before I get my hands on the clay, which is finally beginning to behave in my hands, allowing me to shape it into intentional forms. I am exceedingly grateful to be a student of this vast art form, and to have found a new community that loves to play in the mud. I am home!
Studio 2: Studio Gallery
The focus of my creations is nature and growing things: always looking at the detail, textures and patterns of the world around us. I share my relationship to nature through my art, and hope to share that beauty.
I am an artist. I am an artist because I see. I see real things or experience events in my living which inspire me. I represent the things or events in clay.
I came to pottery after 32 years of working with people and not doing anything with my hands.
It didn’t take me long to learn that I was primarily a hand-builder to form my pottery, and that I loved the immediacy and the effects I could obtain through the raku-firing process.
My work is primarily raku-fired one-of-a-kind wall hangings, although I venture into other forms and types of firing on occasion.
Studio 3: Fox Knoll Pottery
Romelle Frey, a potter with her own studio, also teaches and heads the ceramics department at Ella Sharp Museum of Art & History in Jackson MI. She’s a member of the Jackson Pottery & Clay Guild and Jackson Civic Arts Association. Romelle has a University of Minnesota BS in Design and fell in love with pottery in San Diego in 1977.
She hand builds, throws, carves and combines techniques. Her work including 2D, functional, non-functional and alternatively fired clay, can be found at East End Gallery in Marshall MI and Orange Peacock Gallery in Jackson.
Julie Cohen: Getive Tile
Julie Cohen is a tile artisan from Ann Arbor, Michigan who worked primarily in printmaking while earning her BFA from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. She credits her passion for tile making to her years of study with Karim Motawi, formerly of Motawi Tileworks, during which she discovered great gratification in the slow process of hand-carving each design from a slab of clay and patiently refining form and line. She finds many satisfying parallels between the processes of printmaking and making tile. She enjoys the similar paths of developing an image, the ability to create multiples that allow for playing with color through glazing, and creating something beautiful that is widely affordable and can be used in a number of ways.
Her current body of work is inspired by design motifs adapted from other art forms such as metalwork, carvings and textiles from cultures around the world.
My most recognized work deals with the horse as subject matter. Since pre-history, the horse has fascinated artists. Using traditional ceramic practices, I construct my sculpture from the ground up. Building is a series of decisions, adding pieces one at a time. There are forms I have not imagined as a unit, yet they evolve from my hands. Each separate decision contributes to something larger than the sum of those decisions. When I look at a finished work, I am often surprised. Because I am focused on the process, when I step back, I have a sense of seeing the piece for the first time.
Brent and Julie Heerspink
Studio 4: Krouse Studio
My work as a clay artist consists predominantly of functional wheel-thrown bowls – yarn bowls, tea bowls, plate-lidded bowls and serving bowls, as well as plates, sauce dishes, casserole vessels, mugs and even a sink basin. My hand-built pieces include folded-square bowls and large serving platters, fired to Cone 10, as well as faceless raku-fired warrior goddesses. I am deeply inspired by Japanese motifs, though these goddesses are adorned in not-so-traditional kimono and obi. They honor the fragmented memories of my “Japlish” upbringing. Like my mother – also a potter – who emigrated to the United States in the late 1950s, they represent the quiet power, courage and will of every woman, everywhere. A portion of my sales will be donated to End Violent Encounters (EVE) and Helping Women Period.
Studio 6: Red Cedar Studio
Blake Williams and Amy Brown
Art is about vision. As simple as mindful observation or as complex as living an imagination. My art is inspired by aspects of the environment, man-made and natural, color, sound, smell …and by the medium itself. In this case clay. Allowing the clay to be clay-like, my hands leave their marks to share with others the process of creation. To me it is incidental that the object is functional, when it is however that functionality allows the piece to become fully integrated in the world. Usage precludes dust and makes people happy.
The Valle Family
Bob Valle: I am interested in pottery that becomes part of homes and my environment. I like to make vessels for use as well as expression. Clay gives me the freedom to form objects from a lump of dirt.
Studio 7: Red Barn Pottery
Since my childhood days when I searched for hunks of clay on the Lake Michigan shoreline, to my formal studies of ceramics in college and graduate school, I have always been fascinated with clay. I love its plasticity, its forgiving nature and unforgiving nature, its response to human touch, gravity, and centrifugal force. My work is an exploration of all of these as well as my interest in clay vessel making for functional use and as a means of visual expression.
Working in clay has been my passion from a very early age. From sandbox and mud creations to legitimate clay work in high school, college and beyond, I have followed a path toward works of art that are aesthetically appealing yet functional. I enjoy the challenge of using different clay bodies, glazes and glaze techniques and firing processes. Each phase in creating a piece of pottery holds its own particular intrigue. I am rarely disappointed in the results because each aspect of the process leads to new exploration and perhaps a different end result. That is the excitement for me.
Studio 8: Mark Chatterley Sculpture Studio
My ceramic work consists of hand built and thrown bowls, plates, vases and cups. Surface tension, texture and color are important aspects of my work. I am strongly influenced by far eastern ceramics, most notably Chinese and Japanese. This has drawn my interest to wood fire and its atmospheric magic. For many years, I had access to a wood kiln, but now I work out of my home studio and fire in a small soda kiln to cone 6. Whatever the firing method used, I am always fascinated by surfaces.
Presently I am work concurrently on two different series. Although different in appearance they are the same at the core – at my core.
The animal pieces are my responses to contemporary issues. These pieces are handbuilt and fired in my gas brick kiln I built behind my house.
The Flint Water Crisis is my response to the other theme. Wheel-thrown and fired in an electric kiln, visually are quite different.
Humor is evident in both series, but I am quite serious.
I grew up in Kyiv, Ukraine, and have been fortunate to travel and live in Europe and the United States. In my view, the challenges of not being a native speaker, the novelty of being in a foreign country and in unfamiliar surroundings attune one’s senses to appreciate those little things to which we can relate. One might see a skyline or a piece of tree bark, hear the laugh of a child, or smell a blooming plum tree and suddenly feel at home in unfamiliar places.
It’s even more amazing to see how a gesture of a drawn line, or a form, or an artistic expression can transcend borders between countries and can resonate over and over again through the centuries.
In my work, I love to explore these connections of new and old, distant and local, and interweave my daily reflections with old ceramic traditions. Clay itself is a material with strong memory, which invites one to listen to the inborn character of the developing form. When we respect its character, clay grants us freedom to and allows us to express and reflect ourselves through it.
Studio 9: Cassaday Pottery
I discovered the joys of clay when I turned fifty and wanted more art in my life. I am hooked and usually in my studio whenever possible. My pieces are both hand built and wheel thrown, ranging from a slight obsession with rabbits dressed as all sorts of people to cutting up wheel thrown forms to make odd shaped vases or just small tea sets, anything to get my hands dirty. In addition to my own home studio in Michigan, I clay with a group every winter in Arizona and thrive on the comradery known to those who love the process.
Pottery is a dynamic process; a dance between the potter’s hands, the imagination and the elements of earth and fire. Adding natural elements such as leaves and the infinite variation of shape and texture keeps me passionate about pottery. My work is created to be used and enjoyed. Whether it is a votive where the light can move in and out of the carved parts or a piece of table ware, each is made with science and mystery. Working collaboratively with a church to create holy vessels is always an honor and blessing for me.
Studio 10: DeLind Family Studio
Studio 11: Whitney Pottery
Currently, I am a working artist and a Ceramic’s Instructor at the Flint Institute of Art (FIA) in Flint, Michigan. For the last 12 years, the FIA has been a huge opportunity for me to develop and be effective as an instructor while developing more insight and skills as an artist. Below is a short narrative of how I came to this point in my career.
I first fell in love with clay during high school at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art and have been pursuing my passion now for over 20 years including earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI, working and learning from some of the best ceramic artists from all over the country including those at Pewabic Pottery of Detroit. Every job, every person, every life encounter (challenging or not) has led me further and further along my “ceramics” path of triumphs, exciting accomplishments, experiments and failures and made me a better artist and teacher.
Teaching inspires me. There are amazing students that I have connected with and fabulous and talented people that have inspired and improved my processes in many ways. This passion is centered on an absolute wonderful and addictive medium to explore. It is 2D & 3D all in the same breath. It can act as a canvas, a paint, a sculpture, a functional piece, a structure or even the ground we walk on. As society is changing, so is our environment as well as our clay materials. This change keeps my mind running, researching, thinking and solving, perfecting and flowing. Clay is my “calm”. There is such an immense sense of fulfillment involved with clay and glazes from start to finish. When a clay piece turns out and fulfills that aesthetic desire that we all yearn for…..you just know it. It makes you want to continue the process, explore and push the limits even more.
So that is how I came to Konkelclay. After having 2 children, I could continue to explore that creative path but see it in such a different light; through the eyes of my children. I am inspired by my children and their excitement as well as my supportive and creative husband. I am inspired by nature, texture, detail, pattern, fabric, motivation, color, glitz and glamour, fire and most of all….. love and patience.
In everything I do, I start with a thought or idea and then it evolves. It changes as the clay starts to take a mind of its own. So, I grew with it ….and sometimes not. Driven to create something beautiful and striking, natural and organic with raw materials, I strive for form and function with an artistic flair. It makes me happy to create. It makes me even happier for someone else to feel that excitement and sense of beauty and purpose about something that is created. This is my inspiration.