The Holiday Sale is a great time to re-connect with artists who have previously sold pottery at NCC. It is also an exciting opportunity to introduce new artists to the gallery—keeping the cupboard full of fresh ideas and pots for our shoppers. NCC’s Gallery Manager, Karen McPherson (KM), interviewed a few of this year’s featured holiday artists.
Photos: Guillermo Cuillar bowls from his high fire reduction kiln (left) and new soda/salt kiln (right)
Community Member Profile
Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota (or as she often refers to it, San Pablo)
Years as a ceramic artist: 11
Matthew Krousey has worn many hats at Northern Clay Center over the past 4 years: studio fellowship recipient, teacher, gallery and exhibitions assistant, studio artist, and more. As of January 2013, Matt is a new addition to NCC’s sales gallery. Throughout his tenure in these many positions, he has also served steadily in the military. Gallery Manager Karen McPherson sat down with Matt to discuss his experience in the military, how this experience influences his ceramic practice, and affects his current role as a teaching artist with NCC’s collaboration with Veterans in the Arts.
“Somebody recently called my work ‘eye candy’ and I find that liberating….Why not create a visual crescendo?!”
Munemitsu Taguchi is featured as one of our March Artists of the Month. For this show, on view March 1 - April 1, Taguchi sent in all new work and asked that we send his old work back. I spoke with him about his new line of work.
NCC: What do you think are the biggest markers of this transition--new forms, new glazes, new markets?
Sanam Emami is a year-round gallery artist represented by Northern Clay Center’s Sales Gallery. She is an Iranian-born American who is currently a professor at Colorado State University. I spoke with Sanam to satisfy our curiosity about how she creates her surfaces. The interview, however, went well beyond talk of process to include the history of decorative crafts, storytelling, and the tension between the making of labor-intensive work and the marketplace for such pottery.
About the Work
Northern Clay Center gallery artist Matt Kelleher used to soda fire stoneware to cone 10, but recently sent in a shipment of cone 3 soda-fired earthenware. I spoke to him about this technical change and the challenges and benefits it has presented so far.
NCC: What was the impetus for you to go from cone 10 stoneware to cone 3 earthenware?
MK: I wanted to change the background of the pots. I started layering high-iron slip on stoneware before my flashing slip and it dawned on me, I could use a higher-fire earthenware body instead.
On April 14th, Northern Clay Center hosted the Minnesota Ichibana Society here to demonstrate flower arranging. In light of this event, I looked around the gallery at all our assorted flower vases and flower bricks. I thought to myself, what is the history behind a flower brick? How is it different from a vase? Below is an interview with two NCC gallery artists who make flower bricks, Margaret Bohls (MB) Kristen Kieffer (KK), to address these questions.
NCC: What does a traditional flower brick look like? Is it defined by a certain shape or amount of openings?