If you are curious about what im working on in the studio, here’s a sneak peek just for you (all). Hope you had a great weekend!
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.
Pottery On My Porch-Mugs
Good morning everybody! a big thank you to my friends who came over yesterday to support my “pottery on the porch” project. A handful of you told me you were interested in driving a long way to visit. I want you to come visit, but before you do, I wanted you to see the pots I still have.
They are one of a kind and unique, so if you see something you must have. Get in your car and come over. I won’t be at my porch, but at the Log Cabin Print shop, which is 4 blocks from my house. I’ll have the pots there from noon until 5pm. You can also make a print while you are here! if you don’t see the perfect pot yet, stay tuned, I’m working as hard as I can and will have more pots on the porch in about 2 weeks. Have a great weekend , and thanks again for all your support!
Pottery on my porch -ripley ohio stoneware mug
I’ve got some new pots out of the kiln! It’s hard to get the feeling of experiencing a pot through a 2d photo, so here’s a little video to show them off.
If you are interested in the Ripley Mug, which is being auctioned off to benefit the Union Township Public Library – Ripley, Aberdeen, Russellville contact them. The auction closes this Saturday evening at their fish fry fundraiser.
If you want to see more of my pottery, stop by my front porch the next time you are in Old Washington!
Sgraffito chicken bowl -work in progress
I have been working in the clay studio, and havent shared many work in progress photos. In part, because 3d objects, like pottery, dont photograph well. A 2d photo does not accurately give the impression of holding and looking around a 3d object.
I have been working with a technique, called sgraffito, where the design on a pot is created by carving. It has a lot of similarities to printmaking, which makes it very interesting to me.
The design goes all around the pot, so instead of sharing a photo, heres a short video of the carved bowl. All the carving is done, but it still needs to be fired, so it is a work in progress.
printing and handbuilding in the clay studio: 11 August 2019
Posted on by Ken Swinson — Leave a comment
I’ve been busy in the clay studio. It’s been a learning curve, but I have figured out the technique to transfer designs onto pots.
Now that I know what I’m doing I started a new design for rice paper transfers. The theme is Trees and houses.
Today’s burn didn’t work out like I had hoped, but I have another screen ready, and will try again tomorrow
now it’s time for a new color: Electric Blue!!
I love surface decoration. One of my favorite forms is the rectangle or oval. It’s almost like a canvas for a traditional painting. Today I handbuilt a small oval plate.
And I love my critters! Spent some time working on new ones:
Stay tuned to see the progress!
Painting/Printing on clay
I love jumping between and mixing mediums. I’ve recently been working in clay–after a long break.
I’ve been decorating with a technique, called sgraffito, where I scratch the design into the pottery before firing.
Here’s what sgraffito pots look like after the first fire. I love the contrast between the red and white clays.
As a printmaker, I have been curious about printing on pots. With the encouragement of a fellow artist/potter, I tried to print decals to apply to clay. After MUCH experimenting, I learned that relief printing does not give a thick enough layer of glaze, so I am taking my woodcuts and linocuts, and using them to make screens for screen printing
My only experience with photo transfer screen printing was a few years ago, when I took a workshop in Oaxaca, MX with artist, Marcos Lucero. In the workshop, we used the sun to expose the screen. It’s still taking some trial and error, but I am learning how to get a good exposure. Kentucky sun is different from Mexico sun–we have clouds!!
Once I master the screen print part of the process (i love learning new things) It’ll be time for a NEW thing to learn: how to print using glaze, and then transfer the designs to clay.
Of course , it’s also possible to PAINT on clay–as long as it isn’t being used for food. These critters are almost finished. I LOVE painting on clay. It reminds me of canvas painting, but the textures and shapes of clay give it a 3rd dimension
remember those sgraffito pots at the beginning of this post? Last night, i glazed them, and they are in the kiln cooling. We are going to open the kiln this evening, so stay tuned it’ll be exciting to see my first batch of pots…of course, the first batch is usually when I learn a lot of lessons, so hopefully the kiln gods are not too cruel.
Wallowing in mud
A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a book about transferring images into clay. As a printmaker, and ex potter, i was interested. Shortly after, they sent me ANOTHER book about printing on clay. Aat that point, i decided it was time to dust off my pottery equipment and make some things to try printing on.
I thought it would be fun to hand build some of the characters from my prints and paintings.
I have not thrown any pots, other than for the occasional empty bowls fundraiser, since 2007. And was curious if i remembered how to throw a pot on the wheel.
I did remember!!! Its like riding a bike!!!
Stay tuned! I hope to print and transfer some of my woodcuts onto these pots. Should be interesting!
Playing in Clay
I like switching between different media from time to time. Each media has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, and the change in perspective keeps it interesting for me.
It’s been awhile since I’ve worked in clay, so I thought I would try to create some painting/tile type characters in clay. My idea is to paint them once they are fired, so the finished piece will be a hybrid painting/sculpture.
One thing I love about clay is the textures…of my tools, my fingers, of the clay itself. It should be a really intersting surface to paint!
It’s also fun to ‘build’ something, vs, draw/paint. I find myself using both hands when I work in clay.
If you are in a creative rut, maybe it’s time to try something different?!? Works for me every time!
stay tuned for updates!
throwing pots is like riding a bike
it’s been 10 years since I’ve thrown a pot. I wondered if it is like riding a bike. will I remember how to do it? we are having an #emptybowls fundraiser for the food bank in our community next month, so i gave it a try. my first attempt passed for a bowl!
Arts Of All Sorts – Old Washington, KY
I made a short video of Old Washington’s recent: Arts of all sorts. The video was LIVE, so it’s a little bit shaky and I did do any editing, but it takes you into the moment of visiting our little village during an art activity. I’m so lucky to be a part of such a creative community. Thanks everyone for making it possible!
If you don’t have the time to watch the whole video, here are a few photos of the video’s highlights.