Tuesday, December 2, 2008

view from the 7th floor

Today was given to a drive up to New Haven to meet with Dean Sakamoto, curator of the Yale Architecture Gallery. The group show New Suburban Landscape, curated by Andrew Blauvelt (Walker Center) and Tracy Meyers (Carnegie Art Museum) that originated at the Walker and is now at the Carneigie, and is traveling up to Yale in March.
Blue skies dominated throughout the day with some cloud action. Downtown New Haven is sweet with Yale buildings by Rudolph and Kahn... The refreshing view from the 7th floor of the architecture building became magical as Christ Church chimed Christmas carols on the hour.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

barrel 'o fun

What a perfect day for a barrel firing! Spent the day with Jane Craven who had invited me to fire with her & crew. Horse manure and pine needles in hand I showed up at 10 AM. First we prepped pots by wrapping them in metals and natural materials to produce interesting surface effects. By 11:15 we were outside, and spent the next five hours firing. This was a first for me and I enjoyed it immensely! Leaves, pine needles and corn husks thrown onto the work at the end resulted in heavy reduction and beautiful smoky effects. Pulling pots out at the end, we wrapped some with horsehair which sizzled and burned in beautiful black curly lines.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

finishing up

Saturday at Tony Moore's Kiln started early with a warm hello from Dan Greenfield. He's solo on the night shift for the entire four day firing. I arrived at 7:30AM and shortly after Tony appeared. Then Flo and Heather. Temps were holding just below 2200. We pushed them over 2300 and then shut the kiln down.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

tony day

Saturday was day one loading for Tony Moore's autmnal anagama firing. I picked up designer and potter Paul Boucher on 92nd St. W and we headed up to Cold Spring in rolling blankets of fog with boxes of clay works in tow. Rain came on and off, and as the day wore on patches of blue opened up the sky. Spent good time with friend Jane Craven, sculptor and potter, stacking thousands of her tiny thrown vessels. She's invited me to do a pit aka barrel firing with her in the next two weeks.

Loading at Tony's continues today (without me !). The firing happens this week. I'll be stoking on Saturday, the last of the four days. Two week cool down period, then unloading on December 6th. Tony's high standards and careful attention to all aspects of the firing process results in consistently excellent product.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Boson Exotic

Rupert Ravens has curated yet another blockbuster show in his immense (purported to be the largest commercial gallery under one roof in this country) gallery in the heart of Newark.

"As protean transporters of invisible force, "Boson Exotic" artworks radiate phenomenological complexity. Each work becomes a saturated moment. The often arcane beauty of the exotic here trumps the arid, banal one liners prevailing in much current contemporary art.
The elusive boson particles are theoretically poised for unveiling in the largest machine ever constructed. Likewise the hard to pin down work in this exhibition, beckons discovery within a 20,000 sq ft phenomenon. In fact, acceleration of assertion posits Newark in a new art vangard."
IMG_7683 by franland13.
photo by Frances Pelzman Liscio
For an excellent preview of works, check out photographer Frances Pelzman Liscio's posted slide show on Baristanet.

I still hear people talking fear about being in Newark. Hey, since mayor Corey Booker has arrived on the scene, the city has been going through a true renaissance. He has made priorities of safety and cultural growth , and you can feel the effects of his work when walking from Penn Station (path train) to the gallery at 85 Market Street. Parking is easy -- in the evening there are always spots right in front of the gallery. So venture down and check it out, it's worth the trip!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


image by Frances Pelzman Liscio
image by Frances Pelzman Liscio

Rupert Ravens Contemporary opened yesterday with a group show entitled BOSON EXOTIC. This is a happening place -- 30,000 sq ft of space filled with art from NYC metro area.
This show marks my debut exhibiting work in clay. Entitled "Valued", the piece consists of 100 terra cotta casts of trash, glazed and gilded to mimic porcelain. One cast hangs on the wall, referencing value assumed when we view art on a wall. Eight feet away from the wall 99 casts are piled up on the floor referencing a trash heap. The work asks: What has value? When do we assign value and why? When is value lost? Viewing the pile of casts, familiar forms emerge of oft seen objects, packaging and discards such as egg cartons, carry-out containers, newspapers, candy trays and more. Discards all, they've become porcelain imitators, eye candy, not willing to go gently into the night.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

battered and cracked

This piece was loaded into the front of the firebox. It's one of my favorites from this firing. It was constructed with a press mold, out of dark stoneware. Cracks and ash enhance and enrich this pyramidal form.

splendor in the grass

The kiln was unloaded in the reverse order to which it was loaded. The work is laid out on the hill beside the kiln so that all can see the range of effects that occured in various parts of the kiln.

August 12th

A first look at the battered work in the front of the kiln. This image doesn't show off the rich color that much of the work sported.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Firing began on Friday evening August 9th and continued around the clock for five days. Heat built up gradually in the firebox. This image was taken on the second day of firing, temperatures were rising quickly over 1000 F. . Work can be seen behind flames, in the back of the firebox.
Its the fourth day. Bruce Dehnert, Director of Ceramics at Peters Valley, stirs the coals to promote even burning and help raise temperature. Temps were over 2200, on the way to 2350 F. 3 teams worked 6 hour shifts with 12 hour breaks. By the end of the firing cycle we were all pretty ragged out.
8' foxtail plume of flame rages out of kiln chimney on the last day of the firing. Temperature was reached at 7PM, and then the kiln was sealed. After five days of cooling the Kiln opening happens Sunday August 17th. Stay tuned for images of the opening and the fired work.

Friday, August 15, 2008

anamania4: before the fire

Loading took place over two days, August 8th and 9th. Mouth wide open the belly of the beast contains 1000+ objects. Firing commenced Friday evening, August 9th. Alison, studio assistant at Peters Valley, painted the Norwegian flag on the door hanging over the dragon's eyes in honor of our esteemed visiting artist, Torbjörn Kvasbø.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Torbjörn Kvasbø looks into the anagama at Peter's Valley. The firing begins today, August 8, 2008. Nine people will be working in shifts, stoking round the clock for five days. Torbjörn is a specialist in woodfirings, and has worked with kilns from Norway to Canada, the US, China, Australia and more. He is legendary for his aggressive approach to firing.


Bruce Dehnert, director of Ceramics at Peter's Valley, holds a tablet created in 1980 to commemorate the first firing of the PV Anagama kiln and signed by luminaries in the field who were part of the first firing, including the legendary Peter Voulkos.


I've been working at Peters Valley for a week with ceramic artist Torbjörn Kvasbø. Torbjörn is this year’s lead artist for PV’s anagama firing. Torbjörn is an amazing sculptor/philosopher with impeccable credentials. I hereby proclaim him a national treasure of Norway and consider myself fortunate to be working with him.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


An articulate review of the New Suburban Landscape at the Walker Center by Fred De Sam Lazaro was aired on PBS The News Hour with Jim Lerher, Thursday July 24th 2008.

A clip with reference to my work:

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Other artists have thrived alongside, or inside, the successful big box stores, where the displays include the candid photographs of Brian Ulrich and the sculptures of Stefanie Nagorka in the aisles of Home Depot.

TRACY MYERS: Initially, it was sort of guerilla art. She would kind of go in and build these things without permission. Then she started photographing them.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: These sculptures are now acclaimed after their humble beginnings.

To read the entire article click here

Sunday, June 22, 2008

stairway to heaven

Alice Aycock's Stairs (These Stairs Can Be Climbed)(which I did), 1974/2008
is part of a rockin
show at the Sculpture Center in LIC, NY. In the middle of today's sudden rainstorm I ran over to catch Decoys, Complexes, and Triggers: Feminism and Land Art in the 1970s. Its worth the trip.

Monday, June 9, 2008

worlds away

Bloomberg tv news has run a piece on the Walker Art Center's group show "Worlds Away". Action shots of me building this sculpture, as well as interview footage are featured.

bisque bust

Several pieces broke in the weekend bisque firing. Made more and hope to have them ready for the loading at Cold Spring this Saturday. Practical commitments have eaten into prep time. I'm looking forward to increased summer production time.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

meditations on form

Here is the first of bisqued pieces for the June firing at Tony Moore. Moving into sculptural forms: mediations on Brancusi, platonic solids and bricks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Altered porcelain vessel(4.08.03) was dipped in slip. Carbon trapping abounds on this surface; slip was wiped off bottom portion, resulting in beautiful coloration.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

more from Moore's kiln

The beauty of woodfiring: fire blasting this porcelain vase (4.08.02) produces a matt finish on one side, contrasting with the high gloss on the other. Warm colors come from the slip applied before firing. Carbon trap markings further enrich the surface.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

altered amphora

I've been working on developing ways of swelling classic shapes. This stoneware amphora(4.04.01) is one of ten that I made for Tony Moore's April wood firing in Cold Spring, NY.


Word has it this was one of Tony Moore's most successful firings to date. Unloading happened on Wednesday April 16. I missed it, arriving Saturday to pic up work. And oh, what a day it was. Sun shining, temps hitting 70's. And the black flies were out in droves. Many were present grinding glaze off shelves in preparation for upcoming June firing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

waiting game

Temps are rising in Tony Moore's kiln in Cold Spring NY. Firing will be finished within the next day. Then it's cool down time. Kiln unloading happens April 13th.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

reconfiguring brick city

Reconfiguring Brick City
Terra-cotta, cardboard
10" x 11" x 18" 2008

Newark, also called brick city, is exploding with art and new culture venues. Rupert Ravens Contemporary, 85 Market Street, opened last fall, bringing museum quality shows to the largest exhibition space in the region. This piece will be included in a show at NNPAC celebrating the Newark Arts Council.

spring awakening

After a long winters break, the woodfiring season is back.
Here are some pots on the table getting measured for a firing at Tony Moore's kiln in Cold Spring, NY. Drove up yesterday to deliver some ten pots. My mind and hands have been on other work this winter. Sculpture work trumped potmaking.