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.
So far, i’m having a wonderful pottery intensive week. I’ve been able to stay in the ZONE for 3+ days, and hope to keep that momentmum going. My craftsmanship has really leveled up after the last two workshops at Arrowmont. These cups are JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG!!! I have beautifully decorated plates and bowls on the drying rack too.
And you will never guess what im going to start next week…but you KNOW it will involve pottery! I’m so excited and grateful!
At the Arrowmont School of arts and Crafts in Tennessee-learning to make screens in the darkroom, then screen printing with ceramic glazes with master printer Thomas Lucas at a mind blowing print on clay workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts . this is just one of many techniques we are learning.
This workshop is a double feature, with TWO instructors. In addition to learning from a master printer, we also have David Todd Trost. Not only is he like a walking talking encyclopedia in all things clay (and professional wrestling), but he’s also an amazing teacher-he explains and demonstrates what he knows in a way that’s just as entertaining as it is educational. I learned so much, and am super grateful to have had this opportunity to learn from them.
i’m back in the studio, testing on porcelain with some of the prints we made at master printer Thomas Lucas workshop…I’ve read all the books on printing on clay, and he has some refinements (that work better) to those techniques–and some new techniques I never even thought were possible. In all things ceramic testing is critical. one change in material (porcelain) can make a difference between success and failure.
Fortunately, in class, we had the opportunity to troubleshoot, and tom helped me understand what each component of the inks are doing, so I can refine and adjust to make sure I get the best results possible with my particular clay/glaze/temperature combination. Thanks to Tom and Dave everyone at Arrowmont and those who made this experience possible. I feel renewed and am filled with inspiration. stay tuned!
Already, the workshop has been a transformative experience for me -and the way I think about ceramic surface design. It’s been intense, working in the studio from morning until we are kicked out of at midnight.
I have to process the firehose of information she is sharing with us before I share any pictures of the pots we are making, but look who came to join us for lunch today!!!
I’ve never seen a bear in the ‘wild’ before. It was a magical experience! This place is an artist dream come true!
I decided the bears were my muse, and I used it as a model for some of my pots during Adero Willard ‘s workshop. These are early pots from the workshop:
An early pot from the workshop:
At this point in the workshop, i was learning about layers, wax resist and slip trails using Amaco Brent underglazes. I was really curious about firing the underglaze and redware pottery at that temperature (cone 2)…it comes out very lovely!
More pots from the workshop:
The main lesson (of MANY) that I took from the workshop was to be curious (what if?) and to experiment (try it!) while in the studio. While remembering to keep records and notes, so that we could duplicate the successful combinations, and avoid the not so nice ones.
If you are familiar with my work, you know this kind of mark making is WAY out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t easy to loosen up and just work with pattern and colors, but it sure was FUN, once I got into it! Don’t worry, i’ll still make cute little bears,goats and bunnys, but there’s a good chance there may be some new pattern and colors in future work.
a big thank you to everyone who made this wonderful experience possible!
I just opened the kiln–i had some wonderful goodies, like these little cream pitchers. I don’t know why they got me so excited, but they sure are cute!
Another exciting thing is that I’ve ben experimenting with greens, and have some new results.
Here’s a gallery that shows EVERYTHING that was in today’s firing. Click the arrows or swipe to see all the different pieces from the firing
if you are looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift, one of these pots might be the perfect thing for you!
I don’t ship or sell online. Pottery should be seen (and picked up) in person before you can truly know if it’s ‘the one’ for you. You can see them in person this Wednesday (February 9th) from noon- 6pm at my studio (studio 400) at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. Contact me me for more information–or you can visit this facebook link to RSVP:
the carving is done, now i just have to let it dry, put a clear glaze on it. It’ll go through the kiln twice, and if all goes well, this little fox bowl will be able to serve your morning oatmeal or soup, or whatever warms you up on these cold winter days!
stay tuned to see how it turns out!
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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 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.
You can visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati or by appointment.