Tulipieres and Flowerbricks

London Delft Chinoiserie - this piece is circa 1750.  I love this form and the look of this particular piece.  It was auctioned off at Christie's for $4000.

Pair of Delft Flowerbricks.  What we think of when we think Delft.

Tulipiere 'lotus' shape with crane decor - I like this shape.
Tulipiere Towers - While fairly uncommon in modernity, during the 17th century tulipieres were common pieces of decorative art that could often be found in the houses of European elites. After the advent of large-scale global trade in the 1600s, numerous flowers from Asia such as the tulip, crocus, and hyacinth became luxury items in Europe and these cut flowers remained an exotic novelty until the end of the 17th century. Large floor-standing pyramid-shaped tulipieres were particularly ornate and were used as a status symbol to indicate the owner's wealth.

Tulipiere - matching set, a modern recreation in the 18th Century style by The Federalist

Glass 'Tulipier' - I love this form; decidedly mid-century but modern and curvy.  Love it. 

Deb Schwartzkopf  - I love her form and shape and color! 

Kari Radasch - two ideas on the form; fun, light - it really reminds me of summer at my grandma & grandpa's house in Sonoma!  go figure.

Martina Lantin - Again, reminiscent of Deb's form - but bustier, looser. 
Ayumi Horie - original take.  I love these pieces that Ayumi made; I don't know if she is still making them. 
Tulipier - delft - weird form.  Can't decide if I like it or not.  It's a lot like a clunky tagine...from "the north"  :)
Paul Donnelly - love the modern edge, feel and design with the soft colors.  I'm a big fan of his work. 
Flowers as decoration has some very obscure beginnings - there is some evidence it was used decoratively and ritually in Ancient Egypt.  The Greeks and Romans also used 'arrangements' in more ritualistic ways.  The use of flowers simply for pleasure had it's start in the Renaissance - tied to the beginning's of commerce and exposure to flowers from other parts of the world, it became a sensation, flower 'pot' design and the elaborate way to display them followed.  Only the very wealthy had large flower arrangements for their enjoyment.  I don't know how it found it's way for the ordinary citizen...
Toying with the idea of making some flowerbricks.  I am very attracted to historical forms and the idea of their obscurity.


There is a section in my library for death
and another for Irish history,
a few shelves for the poetry of China and Japan,
and in the center a row of imperturbable reference books,
the ones you can turn to anytime,
when the night is going wrong
or when the day is full of empty promise.

I have nothing against
the thin monograph, the odd query,
a note on the identity of Chekhov's dentist,
but what I prefer on days like these
is to get up from the couch,
pull down The History of the World,
and hold in my hands a book
containing nearly everything
and weighing no more than a sack of potatoes,
eleven pounds, I discovered one day when I placed it
on the black, iron scale
my mother used to keep in her kitchen,
the device on which she would place
a certain amount of flour,
a certain amount of fish.

Open flat on my lap
under a halo of lamplight,
a book like this always has a way
of soothing the nerves,
quieting the riotous surf of information
that foams around my waist
even though it never mentions
the silent labors of the poor,
the daydreams of grocers and tailors,
or the faces of men and women alone in single rooms-

even though it never mentions my mother,
now that I think of her again,
who only last year rolled off the edge of the earth
in her electric bed,
in her smooth pink nightgown
the bones of her fingers interlocked,
her sunken eyes staring upward
beyond all knowledge,
beyond the tiny figures of history,
some in uniform, some not,
marching onto the pages of this incredibly heavy book.

-Billy Collins

he is amazing.   just amazing.

Gwendolyn Yoppolo Workshop

Some current work; Gwendolyn Yoppolo via the Ferrin Gallery

Gwen did a 'working workshop' at Ruby's this weekend - meaning we all got a bag of Babu to knock around.  Funny how porcelain can freak people out!

About Gwendolyn's work; I've found no picture to do her pieces any justice at all.  The details in her shapes and forms are amazing; and the glaze can only be experienced first hand - it has a velvety lusciousness that would convert anyone - except that she talked about how challenging the glazes are.   Her use of microcrystalline-glaze is as much a part of the overall result as the shape and form - a perfect example of a good marriage.  Her process is "GLaborious"; such care and indulgence invested in each piece down to the minutest details. 

The thing that resonated with me was the discussion of focus being on the inside of a piece.  She is very interested in the socio-relationship to the service of food; the process of gathering and the process of serving and the use of the vessel in the ritual of eating, as are all functional potters, I suppose.  Gwendolyn described is kind of like a micro-philosophy - the inner world relating to the outer form.  The discussion about her primarily focus in building each piece from the inside out was something I had not really heard in this weay before.  The end result isn't the driver.  Instead of simply jumping to the end; the finished "look" - building, creating, designing is a contemplative exercise to imagine the end from the inside out...

Wow, I donahue-d that eh?

Here she is demonstrating this:

Gwendolyn is currently at the Bray - she talked a lot about the fabulous opportunity to work exclusively in studio to spend a lot of concentrated time on one direction. 

What else do you do in Montana!?

And, here's my clunkier model...


It was a great workshop.  I got a lot out of it; I'd recommend attending one of her demo's if you have an opportunity.

Farmering's smart revolution

WOW, good one, France! 

Farmer-ing the Champs-Elysees. 

BBC article and photos


I got to work this weekend and made some new large stacking serving platters with mishima decoration.  I like the mishima process A LOT!  I used to carve or stamp of course, but wait to fill in color in the bisque stage.  I like this more refined process - though it can be tricky. 

I used an exacto knife; I can see why it is both the best and not-so-best tool for the job - it's hard to "draw", to turn corners, to get a rounded off line.  But, by far, it is the best line quality. 

I usually use a pin tool, porcupine quill.  I also tried the speedball pen recommended by Molly and wasn't that into that.  I prefer the look of the exacto. 

Also, the tip about using natural sponges vs. commercial is dead on as well.  It's time consuming - but SO MUCH FUN!!

p.s. sorry for the craptastic photos!

I saw a whale while taking a walk yesterday

Bryant Austin website
Evan B. Harris
Wick Ahrens
Tom Neely


One of my wacky freeform platter-bowls overflowing with fruits was posted on FACEBOOK this morning by a friend.  I think about my pieces and wonder if they are having a good life :)  are they being used?


number one

Clark Sorenson
Hand built urinals and sinks etc.  Clark also does a lot of work in glass!

Pee-break anyone? 

visual stim...

Right now, it's all collage-y, flourishy, color plate illustration-y all the time.  Color. Texture. Pattern. Design.  My background is Graphic Design; hence the fanaticism for all of the above.

I don't know about you; I sometimes get so obsessed by imagry and design that it's all I can think about for days.  I process like mad.  As I gear up to start making some new pieces; I am on "Surface Decoration" visual stim overload; total IMMERSION.  At Mom's house on M-Day; I drew a bunch of drawings off the gorgeous floral tablecloth at brunch. 
(actually, I've made some small wall pieces to practice - so starting to make some test tiles to figure out what's coming with me)

Anahata Katkin - love this work - I keep going round about wanting to do some collage - and I'm really attracted to her crazy order of things, the graphic element, the something old, something new, vintage east and west; Anahata has such a unique style; she created a company around it! 

William Morris - genius

piece of fabric from Petit Trianon - a piece of fabric of Marie Antoinette's making it even more facinating to me for surviving, for being a tiny window into history. 

Kelchnerian and Gaskellian calligraphic examples - the flourishing calligraphic style reached some extravagant heights during the late 19th Century into the 1920's - what is late Victorian age - it's a bridge from the past looking into the modern industrial world.  And we've left so much behind haven't we.