Ceramics News Briefs International

1st issue, Montreal Herald, 1811. Source- Wikimedia Commons

WEST INDIES: Caribbean Pirate Life: Tobacco, Ale … and Fine Pottery, Live Science – “Based in 18th-century Belize, they were real ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and now new research by 21st-century archaeologists is telling us what their lives were like.” Twenty years of archeological research is creating a realistic picture of what life was like for the pirates who lived at the Barcadares. Pottery finds include delftware, Chinese porcelain, and stoneware. “Why the pirates would keep such impractical things in their camp is a mystery. Finamore pointed out that there were no legitimate trade routes in fine pottery that would have reached Belize at the time the pirates were living there.” For photos, click here.

UNITED STATES: A Chosen Path: The Ceramic Art of Karen Karnes opens at the Currier Museum of Art, Art Daily – A new show celebrates “Karnes’ more than 60-year career at the forefront of the studio pottery movement. From her dramatic salt-glazed pottery of the 1960s and ‘70s, to her more recent complex joined sculptural pieces, Karnes (born 1925), of Morgan, Vermont, is one of the medium’s most influential working potters and is a mentor to several generations of studio potters.” A show curator said that she is “one of the originators of the art pottery movement in the United States.” The show runs at the Currier Museum of Art from August 27 through Dec. 3, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

CANADA: Stylish ceramics with Spirit, Abbotsford Times – There is a large valley east of where I live. Yarrow, BC, lies the center of the Fraser Valley and it is a little town that is an artist’s haven, especially for potters. This story is about a Yarrow resident. “She’s been living in Yarrow for less than a year, and developed her Sun Spirit Studio with the help of Community Futures workshops, an initiative endorsed by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. Morrison designs and manufactures ceramic architectural pieces, such as backsplashes, fireplace displays, archways, signs, tabletops and mirrors. All are made in mosaic, earthen plasters and unique handmade tile.”

AUSTRALIA: Gretchen plunges into art, Weekly Times Now – Featuring the porcelain jewelry line of Australian fashion designer Gretchen Hillhouse… Good feature that talks about her life and her family. “She had her first child, earned her diploma of metal-smithing and jewellery fabrication and had another child three years later, exhibiting and teaching all this
time.” After her life stalled, she found a new direction after reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way. I can personally attest that this is a powerful book that can have a profound effect on something who works through it with vigor.

UNITED STATES: Golden Valley Artist Wins First At State Fair, Golden Valley Patch – “Golden Valley resident Mike Norman’s ceramic piece “Tibet Sunrise” sits in the middle of the Fine Arts building at the Minnesota State Fair.” The 72-year-old artist pursued ceramics at the University of Minnesota when he was young. The first prize sculpture sold for $1500. “‘Tibet Sunrise’ was part of a larger collection he made, thanks to a McKnight Foundation grant. Much of the work features decorated or drawn with imagery of animals, birds or people.”

MALTA: The first Malta Ceramics Festival, Malta Independent – It looks like many things are in store during this country-wide festival that celebrates ceramics. The event runs from Sept. 7-10. During that time, there will be an official festival opening, an exhibition opening, a seminar, demonstrations, lectures, discussions, and workshops. “The festival reaches its climax on 10 September when Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Tonio Borg open the festival in the Attard village core, which will last from 7pm till midnight.”

UNITED STATES: Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti : The City in the Image of Man, International Business Times – The desert utopia is, in part, funded by the sale of the famous Soleri bells. Soleri worked as a ceramic artist in Italy and designed a big ceramics factory. Located in the desert, 70 miles from Phoenix, “Arcosanti is the study of the concept of arcology, which combines architecture and ecology.” While I have yet to see Arcosanti, I would like to one day. It is rare that a dream that has been brought to fruition. Soleri, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, he and his family moved to Arizona in 1956, and established Cosanti. Arcosanti was begun in 1970.

ENGLAND: Sotheby’s Islamic World arts sale to feature exceptional ceramics from the Collection of Harvey B. Plotnick, Art Daily – “Sotheby’s announced that the forthcoming Arts of the Islamic World Evening Auction will feature for sale 27 exquisite Islamic Ceramics from the Collection of Harvey B. Plotnick. Estimated at £2.6-3.6 million, the 27 pieces represent the first offering of a three-part-sale of the collection at Sotheby’s.” Sales Schedule: Part One in October 2011; Part Two in April 2012; and Part Three in October 2012. Part One, collected over a 20-year period, focuses on Iraqi and Iranian cultures, “as well as the trade routes between the Mediterranean and Central Asia.”

UNITED STATES: Witness A Unique Experience: Ceramic Sculpture from Around the World, PR Web – The Ceramics Annual of America 2011 Exhibition and Art Fair takes place October 7-9 at Fort Mason, Festival Hall, San Francisco, California. “The Ceramics Annual of America (CAA) is an ambitious exhibition and art fair spotlighting the quality and diversity of contemporary ceramics from around the world including works from China, Korea, Mexico, Australia and Italy. It is the only event of its kind in the United States and the goal is to encourage the education and enrichment of the public, cultivate a fertile art market, and foster dialog between collectors and makers of ceramic sculpture.” Click here for the website.

About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
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