Filed under: Community
Please visit our website for more info about the artists and upcoming events.
Brattleboro West Arts (BWA) is an association of artists and craftspeople working in the villages of West Brattleboro and Marlboro, Vermont, dedicated to supporting the artistic and economic growth of its members and community. BWA consists of artists and artisans working in a variety of media including painting, pottery, sculpture, woodworking, musical instruments, fiber, video, and more, practicing at the highest professional level of creativity, innovation and technical standards. Through monthly potluck meetings, we share ideas, resources and support one another as artists.
Snow Farm calls itself The New England Craft Program, and rightly so!!! It offers wonderful workshops, in a fabulous location with great food. It is a creative community that welcomes everyone. Best of all, it is only an hour away, in Williamsburg, MA. http://www.snowfarm.org/
Three BWA members teach there: Marta Bernbaum, Naomi Lindenfeld, and myself (Jackie Abrams). Come and join us for one of our classes.
Hexagonal Weave – Paper Weavings • June 21-23 • Jackie Abrams • (the class is full, a waiting list is starting)
Colored Clay • August 31 – September 2 • Naomi Lindenfeld
Baskets and Surfaces • October 6-12 • Jackie Abrams
Filed under: Uncategorized
A few weeks ago I attended a class in sequencing at the River Gallery School. Sequencing is a technique developed by Ric Campman to add freedom to artistic expression. According to the instructor, by doing three small pieces at once and using wax and paint and finger movements rather than brushes, the artist’s usual constraints play a lesser role.
I did find it liberating. The underlying wax layer made it easy to keep moving the paint and translucent colors kept the image bright rather than muddy. My last step was to scrape off some of the paint with a sharp wooden stick and a knife blade. This led to surprising effects as the colors on lower layers were revealed.
In my next post I’ll show the results when I went back to my studio and worked on three pieces at once.
Filed under: Uncategorized
This is Kittywhiskers urn made by throwing colored porcelain and then carving into the surface to reveal the striations. In the week before she died I pressed her paw into the clay so that she has her own mark in it (on lower left raised area). The glass kitty knob is made by BWA member, Marta Bernbaum. The glass has some of Kittywhiskers ashes rolled into it. Our dear kitty passed away on March 21st at the age of 19 and we now have this urn filed with her ashes (after scattering some) to remember and honor her by.
Here is my newest piece: Beneath II!
After weeks of dyeing various fibers (wool, alpaca curls, silk charmeuse, silk cocoons, silk yarns and more!) -all differing values of a particular green (mix the acid dyes: sun yellow and avocado to duplicate), I then wet felted up a storm. The resulting textiles had even richer and more intricate patterning and texture than my first attempt at this.
It’s a total joy to cut and sew felted material. You can cover any mistake (important for me!) and it’s just lovely to touch. Here’s a close-up:
Filed under: Process | Tags: Bird, Ceramic Art and Pottery, Ceramists and Potters, Crafts, Pottery, walter slowinski, wood-fired pottery
Doing some decorating
One of the benefits of firing with wood is that the flame, through ash deposits and “flashing”, itself can do a great job of decorating the pot. On many of my pots I apply no glaze or decoration on the outside, most of the others have a single glaze. The fire takes it from there, paints its own picture, jazzes things up, and creates a rich and wonderful surface.
But why not decorate a pot and then submit it to the flame?
I figured I’d give it a try. I am drawn to natural imagery, birds, trees, fish. Especially birds. A local Chinese calligraphy teacher suggested I copy forms over and over from an awesome book she had. A potter acquaintance advised practice, practice, practice. I got the ink stick, the tapered brush, set aside some time. I went through a lot of paper. Gradually the copied forms became my own. I enjoy exaggerating a particular aspect of the bird; big beak, long legs. Give it some attitude.
Painting on the clay surface is quite a bit different than painting on paper. There’s a learning curve. There’s no eraser.
My initial tests last year did well in the kiln, and have all been sold or have otherwise found good homes. I threw and decorated a couple of dozen vases for this next go round. They will be fired this Sunday.
Orchard Street Pottery
Filed under: Community
“Textile” series piece by glass blower Josh Bernbaum of BWA
Thanks to Gene Parulis, also of BWA, for the great photos of this process taken at my studio in September 2012:
Filed under: Artist, Community | Tags: audio, Brattleboro Vermont, nature, woodworking
Each month, a different member of Brattleboro-West Arts hosts a potluck in their home where the group gathers to share some food, drink and discussions about what inspires us. Hear what woodworker Jason Breen had to say about his process recently at the home of Janet Picard:
Listen to a clip (1:23):
“I sometimes think of myself as a collage or found-objects artist more than a woodworker, because I’m finding this thing that’s already made, by God or nature or whatever, and I’m using it in a piece.”