September 23, 2019 — Mike Poness Award winning architect Michael Poness will talk about his transition from architecture to ceramics and about his current process of making. He describes his work: “As an architect and ceramist, I am continuously fascinated by how one discipline informs the other. As an architect, I deal with form, closure, structure, penetration, finishes, hardware, etc. The basic forms at the potters’ disposal, the cylinder, sphere, cube, cone, and slab are the basis of many buildings as well. The notion of form and function similarly is applicable to both disciplines. The creative process and the rigor of architectural design are aspects of my work that I bring to creating ceramic vessels. In architecture, a statement of requirements, a program, usually precedes the building design. The process begins with rough sketches. The design is developed with more detail, models, computer-aided-design and finally technical documents for construction. It is typical for a building to take two or three years from the conceptual design to occupancy. The making of pots follows a similar linear process from start to finish, albeit in far less time. Virtually, all of my more complex vessels begin with a sketch of series or sketches. I try to work out the shapes and proportions before sitting down at the wheel with the clay. My pots typically have a strong base, middle, and top. This is the tripartite vertical organization found in buildings. I’m particularly drawn to lidded pieces which correlates to designing roofs for buildings. Another approach I use is to combine slabs with thrown forms. This combination of the plane or wall and the pure form has architectural precedents as well. A typical example of a vessel is a slab bisecting a cylinder. The slab then extends down to form one leg of a tripod base and up to form the lid and knob. I also enjoy lifting the piece with legs or feet, a gesture to columns in buildings. I draw on fine arts as an inspiration for surface decoration and texture”. Mr. Poness won “Best in Show” at the Creative Craft Council 2015 exhibition and honorable mention at this year’s 2019 CCC exhibition. He works out of the Glen Echo Pottery, Glen Echo, Maryland.
October 28, 2019 — Dana Lehrer Danze Dana will give a slideshow of her pottery, talk about design elements, and then give a demo. She will demonstrate applying Aftosa Black Wax and glazes from fine slip trailers, and the use of wax resist. Dana Lehrer Danze has been making pottery in Northern Virginia for 30 years. She works in red stoneware, frequently using the color of the clay as a backdrop for her contrasting designs. She has specialized in teapots, and using negative/positive leaf and swirl designs. In the last few years she’s added much more color to her work, adding decorative images such as butterflies, flowers and animals. Dana has a studio in the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA, a membership at the Lee Arts Center in Arlington, and teaches at the Alexandria Clay Coop. She has a degree in Visual Art from SUNY New Paltz.
November 25, 2019 – Lindsay Oesterritter
As the title suggests, it is focused on learning more about kilns and getting started in atmospheric firing. Lindsay says, “From the first time I fired a kiln to today, I am continuously motivated by the potential and happenings within the firing process. This book is an effort to share my knowledge, experience, and love of that finishing flame with you. It specifically focuses on smaller kilns and shorter firings, making it all that more approachable. Along with my perspective, there are also many talented feature and gallery artists that represent the remarkable potential of alternative firing.”
December 23, 2019 No meeting
January 27, 2020 – Yixing Teapots (and Report Back from MP Trip to China)
MP members who visited China in summer 2019 with Professor Bi will share highlights of the teapot workshop we took in Yixing, China. We will demonstrate the teapots we made and describe the techniques used. We will also share other stories and photos from our trip.
February 24, 2020 – Allison Coles Severance
I make pots that are meant to have a job – to be used on a daily basis and that hopefully enhance and add pleasure to the rituals of preparing, sharing, and enjoying food. The serving and prep of food for me (and my domesticity) play a vital role in my choices and consideration of the form and the surface of my pots as soon as the clay hits the wheel. Rims are left thick and handles generous for lifting pots in and out of the oven. I think my pots depict my less is more approach to surface decoration, since it is the food in the finished pot – whether held in the hand or sitting on the tabletop – that bring the pot to life. I will demo mugs, oval and square bakers, pounded plates, and serving bowls and other pots for good food.
“I finish my pots in my wood salt kiln because I love exploring the element of controlled chance. And I have always been intrigued by and admired and respected the mystical surfaces of pots decorated by fire, ash, and salt. It is important to me not only to carry on the tradition of creating pots using traditional and historical techniques but to work within the traditional role of the potter and make engaging and well-crafted functional pots. My pots are meant to have a job, to be used and held by many hands to enhance and add pleasure to the daily rituals of preparing, sharing and enjoying food. My goal is to make good pots for good food or art for food!”
March 23, 2020 – Speaker TBD Description TBD
April 20, 2020 – Speaker TBD Description TBD
May 19, 2019–Pot Luck Dinner We will meet at Chris Landers’ house for a potluck dinner from 1-4pm. In case of rain, the date will move to May 26, 1-4pm. The address will be included in the May newsletter.