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Ceramics News Briefs International

Web-fed offset press printing newspapers

A web-fed, offset printing press in use to print a newspaper. The plate cylinder, visible at bottom with ink, contains the image in positive form and transfers it to an offset cylinder that then deposits the ink on the page. By Tom T, via Wikimedia Commons

UNITED STATES: Warriors with a difference, Helena Independent Record – Today is Chinese New Year, an appropriate time to begin the week’s briefs with a story about a Chinese artist. Wanxin Zhang builds life-size sculptures of humans with “the coil and slab method from the ground up, hollowing out the clay, cutting the piece into sections, firing the sections multiple times and then gluing them back together.” He has created his own terracotta warriors, however, they are not what you’d expect. Take a look…

ENGLAND: Julia Carter Preston obituary, The Guardian – This is a beautiful and moving tribute to a talented woman who left quite a legacy. She “single-mindedly revived the art of sgraffito...”

UNITED STATES: Scientists team with art designers to restore Año Nuevo Island, a place where animals reign supreme, Silicon Valley Mercury News – A tiny sanctuary for seals, sea lions and birds became a project for ceramic students at the California College of the Arts. They began constructing ” bird condos — bird bunkers” and last year, 33 pairs of rhinoceros auklets into their new ceramic homes.

MEXICO: 1,300 Year Old Kiln Used by Ancient Zapotecs Discovered in Mexico, Hispanically Speaking News – Found in an archaeological zone in Oaxaca, the kiln is a “link between the pre-Columbian pottery tradition and the artisanal ceramics currently made in the community of Santa Maria Atzompa, establishing the connection between today’s inhabitants and their ancestors.”

UNITED STATES: We need to recognize the folk art talent in our own backyard, Barrow Journal – This is a sweet little story. It’s a love story, in a way, a love story about a community, a locale. in it, reporter Mike Buffington writes about artisans in northeastern Georgia, where he lives. He writes about them person by person, town by town, and county by county. About halfway through the story, he begins talking about the people who make traditional pottery. It’s worth a read; take a boo…


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Ceramics News Brief International

Woman in Black Reading a Newspaper, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp. By Ophelia2 via Wikimedia Commons

UNITED STATES: ‘Absolutely Nobody,’ Discovering Old Ceramics, New York Times – This feature is about a husband and wife team and their pursuit of “freelance ceramics scholarship.” Their experience has been gained through just that, experience, 15 years of it. Their house is full of “full of gilt-rimmed Haviland vases,” they’ve “restored porcelain to the White House,” and are published authors on the subject.

KOREA: For young Peruvians, K-pop links to economic growth, Korea Times – A story about Peruvian students at the School of Ceramics in Ccorao, near Cusco. They are learning to make Korean style Ceramics, thanks to government funding from South Korea. While this is quite obviously a promo piece for Korea, it is interesting to read about how this Asian country considers itself, regarding its impact in Peru.

ENGLAND: Wei Wang Wins Zabludowicz Future Map Prize, Art Lyst – A ceramic purse? Who would have thunk? A student graduating from University of the Arts in London, has won the third Zabludowicz Collection prize. At first glance, the hand bag in the photo looked like a raku piece, with its characteristic white, with black crackle effect. I don’t know if it is or isn’t, though, and raku seems like it’d be much too fragile. “Wei Wang graduated from the MA in Fashion Artefact, at London College of Fashion in 2011. This course explores the studio practice of leather, metal, plastic and wood to create fashion artefacts that push boundaries.”

UNITED STATES: Selected works from the collection of Peter Voulkos’ daughter on view at Frank Lloyd Gallery, Art Daily – A terrific story for anyone who is a fan of Voulkos’ work. The show covers his work from 1954-1959, during a time when he taught at the Los Angeles County Art Institute, later renamed the Otis Art Institute. ““For anybody who doesn’t know who [Voulkos] was, he’s the hero of American ceramics. He’s the guy who essentially liberated the medium from the craft hierarchy that was controlling it up to that time.”

JAPAN: From picnic cups to vessels of the future, Japan Times – An interesting historical piece covering post-war Japanese ceramics and how its style differed from pre-war standards. “…the new collectives stressed the individual stylistic freedom of their members.” The reader also learns of Japanese ceramic associations…Ikeyan, for instance, which is a group of ceramists from all parts of Japan. The group “aims to carry out ceramic research, consider the good and bad aspects of the often rarefied ceramic world and drag the art form’s classical image into the present.” The show, “Ikeyan,” appears at Tomio Koyama Gallery, Kyoto, and runs till Jan. 28th. Admission is free and the gallery is open from 1 1 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Sun. and Mon.

UNITED STATES: A Local Life: Malcolm Davis, 74, pastor-turned-potter ministered through clay, Washington Post – Malcolm Davis, a minister in the United Church of Christ moved to D.C., and became chaplain at George Washington University during the heyday of the anti-war movement. He was a leader in the peace movement, but in 1974, a neighbor invited him to a ceramics class. “In a matter of weeks, I was transformed. It was as if there was that potter in me all my life just waiting to get out and just never had the opportunity.” He resigned, set up a studio and devoted his life to clay.


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Ceramics News Briefs International

2008 reading 2477046614

A cook sits in a cafe reading a newspaper. By Garry Knight from London, England, via Wikimedia Commons

UNITED STATES: Eva Zeisel, Ceramic Artist and Designer, Dies at 105, New York Times– Zeisel’s death is by far and away the biggest news for the Art World’s year’s end. Zeisel survived the Nazis and Stalin, then went on to become a hallmark of 20th century design. In 1946, she broke the glass ceiling: she was the first woman to have a one-person show at the Museum of Modern Art. Her contribution to ceramics and Modern Art can’t be under-emphasized and we pause to reflect and honor her at her passing. (Click here to read a short article and a video about Zeisel by Jane Street Clayworks.)

ENGLAND: Gladstone Pottery Museum receives £350,000 to restore bottle kilns, This is Staffordshire – If you have been reading JSCW‘s news briefs, you are familiar with the goings-on in Stoke-on-Trent and the revitalization of pottery history in Great Britain. What is happening there is very heartening and this story reports on the newest efforts along that line. I might add, this article also has a short but powerful slide show that gives the reader a good idea of the size of the project. “We must value our heritage and make sure that the legacy of the pottery industry lives on through these kilns.

ENGLAND: Scientists study ancient Greek pottery to improve spacecraft tiles, Mail Online– Rocket scientists from Getty Conservation Institute, Stanford’s National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Aerospace Corporation have teamed up to study Greek ceramics. They are interested in the fact that “the ceramic pigments in Attic pottery can not only withstand searing heat, but remain chemically stable.” This article is accompanied by beautiful representations of Greek amphoras and a video about the project. A Greek USA Reporter article stated that the “Project leader Karen Trentalman emphasized that while Attic pottery is very old – dating back to the fifth and sixth centuries BC – it can definitely be useful in improving modern technology and design.”

UNITED STATES: Homes of the Future, On Sale Now, Forbes – This story covers many Jetson-style homes that are now on the market. Our interest centres on the next to the last house mentioned, the Pottery House, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The inspiration behind the house was Frank Lloyd Wright. If you are interested, it is currently listed for $4,750,000 (MLS #: 201105413). “The Pottery House’s design hinges on concentric circles.” No humble brick cottage. “About 24,000 adobe bricks make up the structure and Scandinavian ship builders were actually brought in to craft the ceiling.” The real estate agency handling the deal is Santa Fe Properties and you can see the listing by clicking here. Take a look…it’s gorgeous!

INDIA: What’s the highlight of your wall?, Deccan Herald – This is a home interior style feature about the use of RAK Ceramic tile in your home: “wall stylers, a more decorative variant of wall tiles.” The story talks about the use of “tiles with different designs or graphics against plain backgrounds” for kitchens and for bedrooms, soft colors along with borders, “designs, patterns or even beautiful scenery.” The treatment for tiles in the bathroom is such that it makes “space appear larger, while incorporating colour into the design.” Click here to see the RAK Ceramics site. As a tilemaker, it’s always nice to see new applications for tile work…


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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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