Visited the American Crafts show this weekend and saw a lot of inspiring things.
A great find was work by ceramicist Chandra Stubbs. She creates playful, considered and lovely work. My favorite piece was called "N is for Nightingale." It had two small owls that sat atop a boat-shaped vehicle (she calls them "road boats" at her site). The wheels were found object, rusty little wheels--and the juxtaposition of clay and hardware was delightful. On top of the boat there was a small silver cage soldered around a tiny red heart with a Nightingale image on it. The vehicle also came with a polka-dotted, hand-felted egg. I loved everything about it. Especially the egg; it just made the entire piece come together. It's also quite appealing that many of her sculptures are interactive, with parts to place or move about.
The artist was kind enough to spend time chatting with me about her process and glazes. I enjoy hearing about work behind the scenes--and I love speaking with other artists who are as passionate about their art as Chandra was. Great stuff there. From her site (linked above), here's a piece similar to the one I liked so much:
Another high point was meeting & talking with bird artist James Mullan. There were two really great large-scale works, in addition to his individual birds. One was a bird on an antique, doll-sized blue chair with an egg on the seat, the other was a sort of magnifying device with a bird sitting on one end, and inside the magnifier was a scientific illustration of a bird's head drawn on glass. Both were quite different from each other.
Here's a picture I found online of a fairly typical example of his bread & butter pieces. Small birds on balls, opera glasses, birds with wheels instead of feet, etc. I haven't been able to find examples of his larger and more complex pieces.
This guy's got it going on. He sells through galleries, Anthropologie, Uncommon Goods and museums. His work has diverse appeal, is small and portable. I need to think about this. My work is huge and incredibly heavy. I know this is one reason why it's a hard sell.
Becky and Steve Lloyd of Lloyd Pottery had some intricate and delicate vessels at the show. This image is similar to items they had at the Craft show. The small cups were just gorgeous. I like functional art.
They carve motifs drawn mostly from nature into porcelain. The interior has a rich, luminous, golden-brown glaze that contrasts strikingly with the mat, black & white exterior of the containers. The ones I saw were less heavily ornamented--more white showing with fragile leaves and swirls carved on their sides. I like the wood-block look these vessels have.
There were quite a few other artists whose work I liked, but I'll end with Pozycinski Studios. This couple (Georgia and Joseph Pozycinski) makes really amazing bronze & glass sculptures. Their work appealed to me in particular due to their use of glass. It's so dense it's nearly opaque, but has a light, translucent quality that's sort of magical. Here's an image I got online:
"Crow Boat" by Georgia & Joseph Pozycinski
It feels like an Egyptian funerary process, or something equally mythical, but small.