Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peter Lenzo - Cousins in Clay- May 2011

Peter Lenzo - Face

3rd annual "Cousins in Clay" - May 28 and 29 , 2011
Bulldog Pottery - Seagrove, NC

We are excited to announce another "Cousin in Clay" guest artist Peter Lenzo, to our May 28-29 pottery weekend at Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove. He will be joining Jack Troy and Micheal Kline here with us (Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke) for the two day event. Peter is a sculptor living in Columbia, SC. He makes these incredible and thought provoking heads encrusted with porcelain finials.

There are videos and images from a workshop that were posted on jbf times blog.

To see more of Peter's work from 2008 visit Michael Baynes website. Michael has posted many images of Peter's face scupltures that they worked on together in 2008.

To read a little bit more about Peter Lenzo click to Mo' Coffee.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jack Troy - Cousins in Clay-May 2011

3rd annual "C0usins in Clay" - May 28 and 29 , 2011
Bulldog Pottery - Seagrove, NC

We are very excited to announce our 2011 "Cousin in Clay" guest potter --- Jack Troy. He is a potter, teacher, and writer from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

There is an interview of Jack Troy on his local NPR station that aired on September 24, 2010. Jack is firing his wood kiln and getting ready for his Saturday, October 30th (noon - 3:00) fall pottery sale along with his partner Carolanne Currier. A local potter, Edge Barnes from Raleigh, NC can be heard during the radio interview, helping Jack fire his kiln.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cousin Bruce

Bruce Gholson has been an influence and hero of mine ever since I began making pots way back in 1983. My teacher at UT/Knoxville, Ted Saupe had a bunch of Bruce's pots and in particular a little set of fluted cups that were my obsession for quite a while. As a matter of fact I drank my morning of coffee out of one of them for a long time. I was fascinated by their weight, their handles, the zig zag fluting, and their beautiful shino glaze. I'm sorry that I don't have any pictures of them to show you.

Bruce continues to inspire me with his wonderful forms and beautiful glaze surfaces. It is an honor to be in his company and as he and Samantha's guest at Cousins in Clay this weekend. I can't wait to see their latest pots! And we hope to see YOU!

Read the (Mud) Bucket interview of Bruce and his partner, Samantha Henneke here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cousin Val


Val Cushing, retired from Alfred University in 1997, taught for 40 years and has a legendary career as an influential and highly regarded ceramic artist and teacher. Cushing makes strong and harmonious functional pottery forms that are inspired by nature and he continues to show and lecture around the country. Val will be bringing his beautiful pots to Bulldog Pottery for this weekend's "Cousins in Clay". We hope you will take advantage of this special appearance by our world famous cousin!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Allison McGowan

Concord, North Carolina potter Alison McGowan will be joining the 'Cousins' this summer! Allison will be joining Carol Gentithes and Fred Johnston at their showroom in downtown Seagrove! Here is an excerpt from her artist statement:

I have found that, in clay, I am able to tailor my forms to maximize the volume while keeping them relatively simple. Finally, the Art Nouveau style of uniting nature and structure gives me ideas for the basic form and function of my pieces. I marvel at the architectural elements of continuous lines that softly join different sections of a doorway or balcony and somehow invite one to enter or linger.

Come to Seagrove on the 5th and 6th of June and check out Allison's pottery as well as all of the other cousins at their 2nd Annual Cousins in Clay sale!!

Cousin Fred

From Fred's artist statement:

My origins in clay are rooted in the southern folk pottery traditions of North Carolina. Growing up in the rural south has given me access to its colorful history and characters, which serves as a catalyst for ideas. Yet my work also draws from many cultures: Greek, Korean, Chinese, Pre-Columbian, European and Mimbres. The idea of dipping my ladle in many historical and cultural wellsprings is an adventure, my journey.

I question how I can extend the tradition of pottery. What can I contribute? I am not interested in pots that are mindless, shallow imitations and replications of the past. I believe in the idea of cross-fertilization and playfulness. The mixing and matching of different cultures, motifs and art styles are fertile ground, a place to cultivate.

Cousin Carol

Carol Gentithes

From Carol's artist statement:

To me, art is a visual language. The origins of my artistic language emanate from life's experiences, readings of literature and mythology, and visual interpretations of art history. Often this language focuses on the absurdity, the unpredictability and the unruliness of life. Like a classical language, the vocabulary that I create has many layers of meaning. I leave it with the viewers to derive their personal interpretations.

"Back from Extinction"

"Golden Goose"

Carol is a new "cousin in clay" this year along with her partner, Fred Johnston. Both will be showing at their Johnston and Gentithes Art Pottery show room in "downtown" Seagrove, the weekend of the 5th and 6th of June at the 2nd Annual Cousins in Clay Show and Sale! Their guest this year will be Allison McGowan.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cousin Michael

Michael Kline will be showing and selling his work at Bulldog Pottery on June 5 and 6 in Seagrove, NC. He fires his work by using wood for his fuel in a small mountain town called Bakersville located near the famed art and craft school called Penland. He has a wonderful touch with clay and creates graceful vine grass reed patterns with the brush on his pottery. You can view some of his techniques on You Tube. Follow and read Michael's famed blog called Sawdust and Dirt and read about the news from his pottery shop. Michael's work belongs in every one's collection as his pots are ones that are wonderful to use as well as to put on display for their artistic merit. He shows his work across the country and has a show up presently in Massachusetts at the Artisan Gallery with his neighbors Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish called "As the Crow Flies".

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cousin Samantha

Samantha Henneke born September 26, 1970 in Tallahassee, Fla.

From an interview on the blog, The Mudbucket, on when Samantha caught the pottery "bug":
Yes I remember very clearly. When I went to Virginia Tech I was trying to find what I was interested in doing for my “career” in life. My folks always said every semester take a class that I really enjoyed. I signed up for an art class every semester and figured I might as well get a minor in art. I needed another semester's credit and went to the sculpture class. Apparently it was full, but I was told to check out the pottery class next door. To tell you the truth I was not that enthused about taking a pottery class, but there was room and I needed the art credit. Funny to think that this pottery art class would end up being my “soul” focus in life.

Samantha transferred from Virginia Tech to the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred University where she met her partner, Bruce Gohlson and completed her BFA in 1995.
In 1997 Samantha and Bruce moved to Seagrove, NC to set up their Bulldog Pottery.

Again from the Mudbucket interviews,

I really like to work on my glaze paintings. I focus my compositions on the insect, and recently I have started to add a bit more fantasy narrative and figurative imagery into the work. Soon we will set up a painting studio and I plan to work out more ideas on paper.

For the complete (Mud)Bucket interview click here!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

On Living in Seagrove, North Carolina

"On Living in Seagrove"

The land around Seagrove offers a prodigious array of quality clays and raw geological material. The American Indians were the first to discover this useful resource, they were mound builders and their material culture is found in the form of arrowheads and pottery shards throughout the area dating back to more than 3,000 years ago. These American Indian potters learned to make functional and ceremonial objects from local wild clay and flint rock.These ancient pieces are among the most important artifacts of the area’s early civilization. In the late 18th century many English immigrant potters arrived from Jamestown, Virginia to this region to make pots for a burgeoning agrarian society.

To think in 2010 that we are still making ceramics in the same geographic footprint is remarkable. Today the Seagrove pottery community is home to an array of individual artistic talent. There are few places in America where such a continuum exists. There have been over the years a few Seagrove artist potters who have had the courage and talent to push the envelope and to break from the tradition of anonymous ceramic production. These artists helped create the emergence of the studio art pottery movement in Seagrove. Perhaps their appreciation of folk pottery or the art pottery movement and their connection to academia, an informed awareness of world ceramic history and a love of making began the catalyst of change.The variety and quality of their work continues to evolve and is collected passionately by many ceramic aficionados and museums.

One strong connection that has influenced some of these potters is their tie to the famed Alfred University located in upstate New York. The university’s ceramic program was founded in April of 1900. It has trained and educated some of the most recognized and celebrated ceramic artists in the country today: Robert Turner, Karen Karnes, Norm Schulman, Val Cushing, Ken Ferguson, and Cynthia Bringle to name just a few. Their ties to North Carolina and Seagrove are many. Robert Turner was a founding member of Black Mountain College and later a ceramic professor at Alfred University. Karen Karnes was an artist at Black Mountain along with choreographer Mercer Cunningham and the avant-garde composer John Cage. The names Cynthia Bringle and Norm Schulman are synonymous with the Penland School of Craft in Spruce Pines, NC. Alfred University’s ceramic engineering department trained some of the first ceramic engineers in the country. These engineers were instrumental in developing the commercial ceramic stains used by Seagrove potters in 1920s & 30s who were trying to survive the economic effects the industrial revolution was having on their pottery business.

Basically by the 1930’s the business of making and selling Pots for an agrarian culture was over. The future and survival of many Seagrove potters would depend on their ability to transition to the active and colorful glazes of the Art pottery movement. Of this ilk was Charles Maston, a glaze expert employed by the Auman family pottery in Seagrove around 1930. It is believed he was a student of Charles Harder, the chair of Alfred University’s ceramic department. Some potters view the relationship between folk and academic as a symbiotic one, uniting the inherent folk traditions with the insights of scholarly academic research. Having knowledge of an array of historical and cultural perspectives enriches the possibility that one may contribute to the great and noble tradition of making pottery.
In 1989, Fred Johnston was working in Seagrove as an itinerant potter where he became friends with many members of the old pottery families. It was here that he developed a deep appreciation for the history of the region’s pottery industry. During this time, Fred was enrolled at Montgomery Community College. At the suggestion of his ceramic teacher, Mike Ferree, Fred transferred to the New York State School of Ceramics at Alfred University. To pay for school Fred would return to Seagrove in the summers to make pots for an array of Seagrove potters who paid him by the pound to make their shapes. While at Alfred he met ceramic student, Carol Gentithes, his future wife and business partner. They became friends with fellow student Samantha Henneke and a bit later potter Bruce Gholson. Bruce was a visiting instructor for one semester at Alfred University. He was a sabbatical replacement for Wayne Higby and then the following year Bruce applied to and then attended Alfred to obtain an MFA in ceramics.
Carol and Samantha nearly froze to death while modeling for the student drawing classes.Alfred was no place to go for warm weather. Fred talked much and with great enthusiasm about the potters in Seagrove. After receiving an MFA from Penn State and year long residency at The Arrowmont school of art and craft, Fred bamboozled Carol into living in Seagrove by taking her first to a Starbucks in Chapel Hill, placing a bag on her head and then driving her quickly to the town of Seagrove. To her chagrin, she soon realized that Starbucks was not within a short driving distance of their future home and studio. Seagrove potters, David Stuempfle and Ben Owen welcomed the couple to the community and encouraged them to stay regardless of the coffee situation. Upon leaving Alfred, Samantha and Bruce decided to visit Seagrove with the possibility of also setting up a studio. Carol assured them that Starbucks would soon be coming to Seagrove. All four artists are the first Alfred University graduates to establish their own studios in Seagrove. They share a deep appreciation for quality and beauty as well as aesthetic sensibilities and a strong commitment to their work.
"Cousins in Clay" phrase is attributed to fellow potter Michael Kline who referred to a visit to his “clay cousins” Bruce and Samantha in Seagrove, on his blog Sawdust and Dirt. This was after a visit to Seagrove, to attend the fundraising auction of pottery in April 2008 at the North Carolina Potter Center. Michael Kline stayed with Bruce and Samantha and even voluntarily shared his bed with their 85 pound American Bulldog Moka. After the Cousin reference in his blog, Bruce and Samantha decided to invite Michael to participate in their first Bulldog Pottery Studio Art sale, and titled it “Cousins in Clay”. This has now become an annual event with exciting guest clay artists cousins from across the country.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cousins in Clay -- June 5 & 6 -- 2010

Here is an ad that Gloria and Ed Henneke designed for the upcoming Cousins in Clay event that will be held at Bulldog Pottery and Johnston and Gentithes Pottery in Seagrove, NC. Michael Kline and Val Cushing will be joining Bruce and Samantha and Allison McGowan will be joining Fred and Carol. We will be here with our work looking forward to meeting and talking with you.

This ad will be appearing for the months of April and May in the Carolina Arts newspaper.
Tom and Linda Starland also keep a blog at Carolina Arts Unleashed.