Tag Archives: Arts & Crafts Movement

Ceramics News Briefs International


Man reading a newspaper in Norway. By Frrahm via Wikimedia Commons

ENGLAND: Roman finds will stay in North-East, Darlington and Stockton Times – It is an incredible find…over 2000 pieces found under two bridges, votive offerings to Roman gods. It was thought that they might be shipped to London and exhibited at the British Museum, but it appears they will stay in the locale in which they were found, in a museum, of course. “The collection was discovered by County Durham divers Bob Middlemass and Rolfe Mitchinson, in the River Tees, in Piercebridge, near Darlington.” They have been diving at key spots for 25 years, collecting the pieces over time. The find is important because of both its range andsize. Cataloguing will be done by “Dr Philippa Walton, the acting national finds advisor (portable antiquities scheme) at the British Museum.”

UNITED STATES: I’ve never done anything else, Jacksonville Progress – It is so inspiring to read about someone who found his calling at an early age and followed his heart. This story is about Old Farmhouse Pottery’s David Hendley, who hails from Jacksonville, Texas. His pottery is in a remodeled farmhouse, built in 1936, located on a 74-acre of land. He has been making ceramics since 1972, when “he was one semester away from graduating with a degree in psychology.” He took a pottery course and the rest is history, though he did finish the degree and went on to get an M.A. in ceramics, too.

ITALY: Call for Entries: 2012 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, Stone World – A call has been issued for the 2012 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. The event is sponsored by The Italian Trade Commission and Confindustria Ceramica, the Association of Italian Ceramics. “Now in its 19th year, the competition has recognized the outstanding work of North American architects and designers who have featured Italian ceramic tiles in their institutional, residential or commercial/hospitality projects.” Projects under consideration include work created from January, 2007, to January, 2012. Winners will be announced at a conference in Orlando, Florida in April, 2012. According to Dexigner, entries will be judged upon “overall design of the project; innovative use of tile; tile design; quality of installation; degree that tile enhances the setting; and the project’s sustainable attributes.”

UNITED STATES: The park, the Voorhees and a princess: The story of “Inwood Pottery NYC”, Manhattan Times News – People find the most amazing things on eBay. This time, someone spotted an “unusual artifact” and decided to investigate. What they found was a handbuilt ceramic piece from Aimee and Harry Voorhees’ Inwood Pottery. In 1916, “a New York couple…forged an artistic career living in a cabin in the wilderness of Inwood Hill Park, inspired by the ancient art of people living there centuries before.” They were inspired by archeological findings of indigenous people, middens, in particular. “Excavations yielded fully intact pots and other artifacts. The Voorhees incorporated the indigenous design into their pottery.”

CANADA: Provincial grant covers NSCAD’s $2.4M deficit, MetroNews -I pity the poor students and instructors at this art school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. But not its Administration. In a period of plummeting economies, the school went ahead and built a new campus on the waterfront, though it could ill afford it. “The university went ahead with the project despite failing to secure $4.75 million from the federal government.” The province has granted a three months buffer to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, after which it must present a “plan for financial sustainability.” It is a one-time $2.4-million grant. It is unclear what will happen “on March 31 if the province doesn’t approve of the fine-arts institution’s plan.” The story’s photo shows a student with work for a Ceramics Department Open House.

UNITED STATES: Strong selection of works in important 20th Century design sale at Sotheby’s New York, ArtDaily – It is an auction that would make any Arts & Crafts fan foam at the mouth, me included. Thirty-seven lots from the American Arts & Crafts movement include “designs by Gustav Stickley, led by An Important and Rare China Cabinet, Model No. 964, (est. $200/300,000), which was recently included in the retrospective exhibition on Stickley curated by the Dallas Museum of Art.” Other names: Harvey Ellis, Dirk van Erp, Harvey Ellis, Elizabeth Burton, Charles Rohlfs, Joseph Heinrich, and Grueby Faience Company. Also, “seven works formerly in the collection of Stephen Gray and exhibited in the influential show At Home with Gustav Stickley: American Arts & Crafts from the Stephen Gray Collection at the Wadsworth Atheneum in 2009.” Names: Arthur Wesley Dow, The Byrdcliffe Arts & Crafts Colony, Marblehead Pottery, Overbeck Pottery and Pewabic Pottery. Oh, my!!


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Open Studio Report, 3-29

STUDIO: It felt so good to be back in the studio again after a week’s down time because of a sore throat. I missed my projects and the conviviality of my studio mates. At this point, I am officially behind on my bird house and may miss spring nesting this year. If that happens, it’s okay, as it will still look nice hanging from our wide-leaf maple tree, but I’d rather it be done and up. Also, after I started undoing the wrappings on my project, I remembered I hadn’t looked up the dimensions for the hole in the bird house. Skipped that step and made the ball-shaped knobs that will go on the bottom and top and repaired a crack with homemade paper clay, slip and tissue bits. Think I’ll bring the project home and work on it over the week, as time is of the essence. On Tuesday, I also started experimented with draping and folding some terra-cotta. Rigged a temporary mold of odds and ends and worked with  a 1/8″ thick terra-cotta sheet, but even that was too thick. Now, I must investigate techniques for increasing malleability and rolling out very, very thin….

Bisquing: I finally placed my wheat tile and oil lamps on the Cone 6 firing shelves, so next week I can make a mold of the tile and start drying it. Maybe, just maybe I’ll make the mold this week. Ge a jump on it…

Plans: I liked the effect of white underglaze with Shino over it, so think that is what I’ll do when I glaze the original wheat tile next week…will look golden and beautiful with the wheat motif. Also, I’m going to start making smaller, thinner tiles, ones that will dry faster and cost less to mail. Beforehand, I will start developing some more Arts & Crafts motifs. Time, time, I am going to start dividing my time differently: working at home more. The focus of Open Studio time will change, be devoted more to things I cannot do at home: using the slab roller, glazing and firing. I want to pick up the pace a bit and I love working at home, so I look forward to these changes.

HOME: Today, I made three ‘trees’ tiles and a slew of brown sugar medallions. At least one of the tiles will become a “Snowfall,” but I’m not sure about the others. It’s spring after all! For the medallions, I used Cathy Camley’s suggestion for forming a nice rounded edge: place plastic over the clay, then push a cutter down over the plastic and the rolled clay. Works very well!

Plans: I also booted up etsy.com and will sign up for it after I finish this post. I am considering either joining a team or forming one. More on that later, but first I’ll join on my own. This week, I engaged WordPress‘ Happiness Engineers for a guided transfer from .com to .org. I had so wanted to go with Laughing Squid for a hosted service because it’s an indie that supports the arts. However, I am not a techie, it’s not a WP option for a transfer, so must forego it. Instead, I am going with Blue Host, which has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. I am also ordering my greenhouse kit today, so am very excited about that. That got me thinking about clay garden markers, but one thing at a time….

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Motawi Arts & Crafts Tiles

Today, I’m featuring my favorite group of artisans, Motawi Tileworks. Years ago, I learned about them in a magazine to which we subscribe, American Bungalow. I had been meaning to run something about them and you may have noticed them in my blogroll. They have a new write-up in the Winter 2010 issue of the magazine and it brought them to the fore again in my thinking. I am most strongly inspired by the  Arts & Crafts Movement and Motawi produces tiles in this style. If you’d like to read more about this movement, I have quite a few links in my Resources section. Of all the mass-produced Arts & Craft tiles currently produced, Motawi is the best. The designs and craftsmanship…well, you take a look!

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