I have had the honor of sharing a beautiful space for the past 3 years with a dozen or so other local artists here at Local Color in Joplin, Missouri. We are an artist cooperative that is run and manned by the artist themselves. This allows us a direct connection with customers purchasing our art and the ability to offer more affordable art because we don't incur the normal high art gallery commissions. I think we all are very proud to be apart of it and the art community here in Joplin.
Here is a sampling of my current work available in the Gallery.
I hope you will stop in and support our LOCAL gallery of artists. If you can't stop by in person check us out at www.localcolorartgalleryjoplin.com
It was toward the end of last year a customer visited the Local Color Gallery in Joplin where I show my work and purchased several pieces. As it turns out, she was the owner of the Island Gallery on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. www.theislandgallery.net
She had like my work and wanted to know if I would be interested in having her represent my work in her Gallery. I was so flattered. I thought about if for a minute or two and said yes! She wanted some dinnerware to start that she had seen here at my local gallery. www.localcolorgalleryjoplin.com. The dinnerware would be for a seasonal event they were having. I shipped off 4 place settings like the ones below in the annoucement.
Since that first shipment I have shipped a second round of dinnerware like the first with some color differences and simpler design details (pictured directly above). They are also currently trying some of my new rustic Moroccan mugs.
Please check out the Island Gallery on the web and their online store!
I recently sold several of my rustic plates out of my ETSY Shop but the catch was I needed to agree to ship them to Australia! I often feel it is to risky to send ceramics that far in the post but this time I decided I would give it a try. It was 3 plates after all! I doubled boxed and I bubbled wrapped and for almost $100 in shipping they started their journry.
About 10 days latter I got the nicest note back that went like this:
"OMG.. i received my parcel today .. your ceramics are amazing.. thank you! I have attached a iphone pic i did of one of the rustic plates.. please do you make other types, that are not listed ?"
A few months back I decided that I wanted to try to create yellow dinnerware that had a soft rustic quality. I knew I wanted to make it with a dark stoneware clay because of the way glaze would break over stamped textures like on my white industrial chic dinnerware. There was no commercial glaze I tried that gave the look I wanted. My only choice was to create my own glaze. I began mixing using various minerals and mason stains. My first attempts gave me a much too bright and saturated yellow, but my second round of tests allowed me to dial in something I started to like.
Someone recently asked me if I was a professional potter and after wanting to say no I found myself saying, yes I am. You see, I have been telling everyone it's just a serious hobby, but when I told them how many custom orders I have and that I am selling all over the world online I had a bit of a realization that it's true - I am a professional potter.
As a professional potter I have realized the importance of an online regular presence. I have been doing this with Facebook and Pintrest and have meet so many new people - some even like the work I share enough they have purchased or even ordered custom ware. It has been really rewarding, but I have neglected my blog and my fans here. My blog is we're I really can share and I am newly committed to be here on a weekly basis sharing new work, commission and gallery news.
In recognition of my newly found professional status I felt it important to have some new professional photography done for use on line and new print pieces I have planned. I asked photographer Jeffery Sweet to come out to the studio from Springfield and do his thing - he specializes in portraits.
Please start watching for my weekly posts and send me ideas for future posts.
I have been busy building entire towns out of clay and throwing them into the Raku kiln. They are handbuilt and range in size from 1" tall to 3"tall. They are simply glazed using mostly white crackly glaze.
These little buildings are great for filling up small areas in the kiln and are really fun to build - takes me back to my childhood.
It is fun to know that my little house have found homes not only here in the U.S. but also in Australia and Canada.
I just recently expanded my building to include factories.
I have been busy learning the "art" of Raku. One of the forms I enjoy making are bowls that are large, around 15". These large bowls are the largest diameter pot I can fit in my Raku kiln and I have been told that these thin large bowls can be some of the most difficult to nurse through the firing process without thermal shock causing them to crack or worse. I've had few of those broken ones but also have had more success's than failures. These bowls have been a good seller for me in the Local Color Gallery in Joplin were I show my work.
Here are a few examples.
Above is a shot of my Raku kiln during firing. It's heated with propane and takes about 45min. These large bowls fill the entire kiln so they must be fired individually.
History: North Star Pottery was begun in 2004 out of the simple pleasure of working with clay. Putting my hands to work creating objects has always given me greatest personal satisfaction. My work tends to be functional and simple. I am educated as an Industrial Designer and currently also working as a Furniture Designer.
Values: Every piece is hand made in my rural Missouri studio and made with a spirit of exploration and one of constantly striving to improve my craft.
Why: It is the skill, art and chemistry that I find so interesting. It is the process of taking moist clay, forming it, applying glaze and subjecting it to intense heat to create something that has purpose and beauty that inspires me. It is the uncertainty of every time I open my kiln and not knowing what I will see, except that each piece will be different is what satisfies me. I would do nothing else.
Dream: My Dream would be to have North Star Pottery become more than a busy hobby studio. A studio focused on quality of craft, original glazes and beautiful simple forms. A studio that simply makes good pottery for even better people.