Beautiful art should be part of everyday life and not just something hanging over the couch. Art nourishes our spirit the way food nourishes our body. That’s what makes functional pottery so special; it combines the two. Pottery is part of our rituals: the start of the day with a morning beverage, or special occasions around the dinner table.
Ken’s pots are made, using a technique (called sgraffito) that is similar to relief printmaking. Unlike printmaking, there are no copies. Each piece has to be individually carved by hand. The time consuming process requires a special touch, because the clay is still unfired and extremely fragile.
Ken’s latest pots are made from porcelain, the finest of clays. It’s able to be thin and translucent, while still being strong and durable. They are made with non toxic materials, and are safe to use with food. These are unique and one-of-a-kind, so treat them the way you would the rest of your fine china. Use caution with microwaves or dishwashers.
I’m no good at keeping secrets. My original idea was to keep these new handmade porcelain pottery a secret, and surprise in-person guests to my upcoming hybrid virtual/in-person exhibit at the Pendleton Art Center.
it’s been almost 6 months since my last kiln opening, and I couldn’t wait to show off the latest kiln firing.
I still don’t sell pots online, so you’ll have to come see me in-person to add one to your collection. I try to take the best photos I can, but a pot (especially porcelain) needs to be picked up and held to really ‘know’ if it’s the right one for you. Large plates are $80. Cups and the small sandwich sized plates are $40 each. They will be available to view, along with new paintings, at the Pendleton Art Center September 21 and 23 from 11am-7pm at studio 400 (4th floor) Send an email to make a reservation.
Swipe or click the arrows below to see all the pots
I haven’t shared this story because it highlights one of my many shortcomings.
A few months ago, one of my hand made shelves collapsed, causing an overwhelming mess in part of my studio. I cleaned the worst of it, but the whole experience was so discouraging, i left the space in dysfunctional disorder, and decided to just close the door and take a break from making that kind of art (especially since spring had started, and it was time to go outside and paint nature’s beauty!!!)
…well, today, it’s just too hot to go outside and paint, so I’m going to give this part of my studio some TLC, and who knows? maybe I’ll even make something, if i can get this chaos organized in time?
Do any of you remember what I use this space for?!? Give me some thumbs up and/or cheerful encouragement, if you are happy to see me going back to this kind of art making. Stay tuned!!!
if you think i am hard to keep up with, JOIN THE CLUB! EVEN I DON’T KNOW what I’m going to do next. 2 days ago, i never would have guessed that I’d have 11 porcelain cups that need trimming and handles…well, if i’m not predictable, at least I hope it’s interesting.
POTTERY UPDATE: they still need some finessing, but all my cups are trimmed and have a handle.
They are all handmade and unique. Which is your favorite form?
I just opened the kiln, and have some new porcelain pots!
I don’t sell pots online. I try to take the best photos I can, but a pot (especially porcelain) needs to be picked up and held to really ‘know’ if it’s the right one for you. You can see them on my front porch in Old Washington. Large plates are $80. Cups and the small sandwich sized plates are $40 each. First come, first served. The porch has a ‘half off’ table with perfectly functional pots, that have slight flaws.
If you are looking for a good reason to come visit: this weekend March 27, 2021, we are having an Art And Chocolate festival in our little historic village of Old Washington from 10-5pm.
I was commissioned to make a porcelain plate to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my dear, dear friends, Ginny B and Dickie Butler. The church carved in the plate is where they were married! Happy Anniversary!!!! This was so much fun and an honor to be asked to make. Thank you Emily Butler and Richie Butler for thinking of me!!! Photo by Emily Butler
The pandemic put a damper on 2020 in person wedding celebrations, but thanks to vaccine rollout, friends and family are starting to get together again. Congratulations Jeff Wendling and Dale!!! Thanks Ginny B Butler for including one of my custom porcelain plate as part of the celebration!
Good morning! Today I was looking at my ‘work in progress’ pottery shelf, and felt really proud of myself. The top shelf are cups ready to start decorating. The bottom shelf, upside down cups, ready to be trimmed. The thin walls, and fairly well defined form of the bottom shelf is an example of how much more control I have achieved when throwing on the wheel. A year ago, I couldn’t do that. Definitely not in porcelain.
When the pandemic started almost a year ago, I decided learning to throw porcelain would be my COVID project. Porcelain takes some extra care to throw on the wheel, and I have always been intimidated by it. I’ve also had to learn a little bit about glaze chemistry and the scientific method, to make sure my glaze played nice with the clay. I can’t emphasize enough how much the ARTS helped me get through this time. Being so close to my one year quarantine – a -versary. I’ve been going through a lot of feelings. Some of it anger and sadness for everything we have had to give up. The progress I have made as a potter is a small victory, but one of the good things that came from this challenging year. Thank you everyone for your encouragement, support and cheering me on over these months. The social interaction – even if virtual – has been a saving grace for me. Ok, time to trim the bottom shelf!!!
Green Cup Update:I have 2 layers of green on my cups (2 more layers to go) then I will carve the decorations. My friend, Lauri Aultman gave me an idea of raising money for the flood victims in Eastern Kentucky, so I am going to donate %50 of the sales of these cups to help. I normally sell them for $40 each. when i sell all 5, it will total $200 = a $100 donation to the flood relief. Since these pots will take at least a week or two before they are finished, I’m going to go ahead and give the $100 NOW, because people need help NOW. I need to do some research on where to send it, because i know some charities use donations better than others, but I will send today or tomorrow and let you know how it goes.
UPDATE: I have buyers who have committed to the 5 cups. If you feel inspired to give, you don’t have to buy a cup from me, do some research and give directly to your favorite charity. there is no shortage of people in need right now, and every little bit helps!FINAL UPDATE: UPDATE: I decided to give the donation to Cindy Faye who is doing boots on the ground flood relief work in Oneida, KY. You can visit her profile to get some idea of the work she is doing. If you feel inspired to help, reach out to her. Remember Mr. Roger’s advice “look for the helpers. You will always find people helping”
Green porcelain cup update:I have come up with 2 designs for the green cups. A frog and leaves. Both represent the arrival of spring, and look good in green on white porcelain. To the four folks who offered to buy a cup to help with ky flood relief, which design do you want for your cup(s)? Narda Arnett MillerJane E BresserStephanie McCoy GastauerLaurie Watt ? The colors will be a lot brighter once it is fired in the kiln. See the test tile on the left.
Spring is almost here! I spent the morning walking around the lake, then carving mugs with green leaves. I love how the light in this photo highlights the carve marks in porcelain. The green will be brighter after going through the kiln
I just opened the kiln, and have some new porcelain pots!
I don’t sell pots online. I try to take the best photos I can, but a pot (especially porcelain) needs to be picked up and held to really ‘know’ if it’s the right one for you. You can see them on my front porch in Old Washington. Large plates are $80. Cups and the small sandwich sized cardinal plate are $40 each. First come, first served. The porch has a ‘half off’ table with perfectly functional pots, that have slight flaws.
I just opened the kiln, and have some new porcelain pots. This batch had a lot (6) of plates, which take up a lot of space in the kiln, so this firing does not have as many pots as firings in the past.
I don’t sell pots online. I try to take the best photos I can, but a pot needs to be picked up and held to really ‘know’ if it’s the right one for you. You can see them on my front porch in Old Washington. Plates and the ‘Peace On Earth bowl’ are $80. Cups and the small sandwich sized cardinal plate are $40 each. First come, first served. The porch has a ‘half off’ table with perfectly functional pots, that have slight flaws.
If you watch much news, the beginning January has been a high anxiety month. I’ve always been a little bit hippy dippy at heart, and pottery for peace has been my theme for my latest batch of pots. They still need to be fired, but you can get an idea of the surface design from this photo.
stay tuned to see how they turn out–and be nice to each other!
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, and pottery. He considers himself to be a 'lifetime learner' and he uses art as the vehicle to explore and learn more about the world around him. Much of his work reflect his optimistic views on rural folk culture, river life and simple pleasures.
Before the pandemic, You could visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. Now, he's mostly sitting on his front porch ,keeping a social distance, in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.