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Ceramics News Briefs International

Obama reading newspaper

Obama reading newspaper. By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche via Wikimedia

United States: Pottery given to Goodwill may well be prehistoric, The Buffalo News –  A most bizarre story…  An artifact from an Indian burial mound that was pilfered in 1970 was given to a charity recently. Though the vessel has yet to be dated, it could be 1000 years old. The charity in Buffalo New York posted it on its website, after which it was recognized. The upshot is that an Oklahoma Indian tribe has reclaimed the piece…

England: Commemorative ceramic ware for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is being turned out in rapid fashion. Here are a couple of links to stories about what’s being made and by the companies that are making it…
Diamond Jubilee causes surge in Stoke-on-Trent pottery sales
Ceres pottery’s jubilee goblet
Middleport Pottery plans £7.5m expansion to create 50 jobs,
Aussies going potty for ceramic artists, and
Lovely – Jubilee Events in Staffordshire!

Mexico: An Entrepreneur at the Vanguard of Pottery, The New York Times – A good feature story about Angélica Moreno. “She has been celebrated here in Mexico and worldwide for being the first to widely market a form of this region’s traditional handmade Talavera pottery that features contemporary high-end design.”

United States: Bobbleheads aren’t just for baseball, The Los Angeles Times – Let’s hear it for fuzzy dice and bobble heads! When I think of the latter, the classic  nodding doggy comes to mind, but now you can have a custom-made one for $100 if you have time for a month’s turnaround.  A fun story…

Vietnam: Passion for antiques, Vietnam Net Bridge – This is an interesting story about a collection of ceramic oil lamps owned by a Catholic priest in Vietnam. He has about 1400 pieces from 20 countries. “The lamps were made of various materials, such as clay, copper, iron, silver, glass, ceramic and porcelain. They were used indoors, outdoors, or on a train, a ship, a horse cart or a bicycle, or for religious ceremonies.”

Canada: Flora and Fauna: 400 years of artists inspired by nature at the National Gallery of Canada, artdaily– From now until September 9th, 2012, the national gallery is exhibiting a show entitled “Flora and Fauna: 400 Years of Artists Inspired by Nature.” “This is an exceptionally varied installation in terms of medium, scale and style. It includes drawings, prints, paintings, photographs, sculptures and ceramic works, ranging from the quiet and contemplative to the bold and the audacious. All the works except four are drawn from the collections of the National Gallery. Many great Canadian and international artists are represented, including Lorraine Gilbert, Aganetha and Richard Dyck, Geoffrey James, Bertram Brooker, David Milne, Lucian Freud, M.C. Escher, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frederick Evans, Camille Corot, and Rembrandt.

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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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Ceramic Newsbriefs International

Starr and Co in Riga

Latvian newspaper, Starr and Co., Riga, via Wikimedia Commons.

MEXICO: Mexican folk art in Oaxaca, The Guardian– A lovely feature story which, in part, explores the famous black pottery of the area. “It is the most ethnically diverse of the country’s 31 states, with 16 indigenous groups (the largest being Zapotec and Mixtec), and in a small area, there are dozens of villages making unique rugs, pottery and wooden carvings.”

UNITED STATES: On View: ‘Common Ground’ at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, The Los Angeles Times – “With more than 300 objects by 53 artists, “Common Ground” is the largest survey of SoCal ceramics in recent years.” The show is at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California. According to the article, one man, Millard Sheets, created a stir and attracted many world-class ceramists and potters. “”Common Ground” is a who’s who of the postwar ceramics world. ”

IRELAND: Floor tiles that kill pathogens feature at EU innovation summit, Silicon Republic – I am always entranced by incredible technological breakthroughs…maybe it’s the idea of such ingenuity. I can see it could have many applications in public venues, especially hospitals. “The Irish exhibit will showcase tiles…with an antibacterial coating that kills pathogens when exposed to light,” tiles which are “99.99pc efficient at killing the hospital ‘superbug’ MRSA, E. coli…”  The tiles were developed by a “team at the Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology (CREST) at Dublin Institute of Technology along with ceramic manufacturer VitrA Ireland.” The invention appeared at the first European Innovation Convention, which took place in Brussels last week.

AUSTRALIA: Revolutionary Ceramicos, The Northern Rivers Echo – An excellent read about working with Indigenous Hermannsburg Potters in Central Australia. Inspired by the people, their work and the dogs that inhabit the area. “Drake artist Cassandra Purdon found artistic inspiration for her ceramic series Story Dogs.” Purdon joined Clare Urquhart, a fellow artist, for the adventure. “The Hermannsburg Potters have their own unique style and they like to hand build their pieces…the women use vibrant colours and have their own firing techniques… The women paint them when they are green (unfired) and then fire them at a low temperature. The resulting colours on the terracotta clay are intense.”

UNITED STATES: Think Big, Build Small: Inventors’ Prototypes, The New York Times – Ceramics is but one topic covered by this story but it is so fascinating, I’m including it. It is about 3-D prototypes submitted with invention patent applications.”The collection soon overwhelmed government storage spaces.” One man, inventor Alan Rothschild, collected “some of the stranger and more elaborate prototypes. Clusters of his 4,000 antiques are now on view in two museums.” One show, at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, “Get Your Gears Turning … the Curious World of Patent Models” runs through Jan. 1. Go see it first if you can because it ends before the other one: Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, they are in “Inventing a Better Mousetrap: Patent Models From the Rothschild Collection,” running through Nov. 3, 2013.

ENGLAND: Industry stymied by energy firms’ demands for upfront payments, The Guardian – This is an excellent story about how the economic downturn has affected potteries in England. It appears that many have closed because they’ve been unable to pay for energy costs needed to fire kilns. Others are being deposits in the neighborhood of £200,000. It brings up interesting questions about the power (no pun intended) utilities wield and the demands they can get away with making when times are bad.

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