"Investigating the materiality of the clay is the foundation and focal point for all of my vessels, sculptures and assemblages. I create wheel-thrown and hand-built forms in families, and these sculptural groupings explore the meeting point between natural and man-made worlds. The forms integrate these sometimes opposite sensibilities into a composed landscape, such as a stand of bamboo-like, truncated cylinders, perforated with small windows to look like corroded skyscrapers, or a simple, pure form such as a smooth sphere, marked on its surface with an off-center, wandering imprint, like bird tracks in the sand. The pieces are often truncated, off-center, weathered and perforated, combining natural movement and an apparent state of organic deterioration that invokes the cycle of life, death, decay. The pieces are like remnants, a landscape of objects that remain after some kind of significant change, grave markers, or organic matter that has survived a great fire.”
ANI KASTEN has been working in the ceramic medium since 2000, beginning with an apprenticeship with British ceramist Rupert Spira. After a year in England, Kasten traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal where she spent four years as head of a project for developing stoneware technology for a community of artisan potters in the village of Thimi. Her training in England and the exotic working environment in Nepal have infused Kasten’s sculpture and vessels with a combined aesthetic, drawing on minimalist British studio ceramics, as well as ancient, weathered, hand- made objects born from traditional cultures throughout Asia. After leaving Nepal, Kasten began working in Oakland, California where the fresh natural beauty of the California coastline juxtaposed with extreme urban deterioration began to inform the language of her work. From 2007 through 2009, Ani was an Artist in Residence at Red Dirt Studio in Mt. Rainier, MD, where she further developed her distinct combination of sculpture and vessel work, showing her ceramics nationally at galleries and craft shows. Since 2007, Kasten has been working in the Gateway Arts District of Prince Georges County Maryland, and in 2012 purchased a storefront building in Mount Rainier, MD, where she has established her current workspace. She has continued to exhibit her work nationally and internationally in galleries and fine craft exhibitions. She also creates work for designers and collectors on commission from her studio.
"My work has a fragile, ethereal quality that belies its inherent strength and durability. The open structure of this work allows people to glimpse inside to usually unseen spaces, to the play of shadows and layers revealed. I endeavor to capture, in each of my sculptural pieces, certain elusive and contradicting qualities, asymmetry with symmetry, rawness with opulence, and fragility with strength.
Commitment to ethical jewelry production: I am committed to bringing you socially and environmentally responsible jewelry. My metals supplier gets its sterling and gold materials from reclamation and recycling."
BEVERLY TADEU'S artistic endeavors began with sculpture during her university years, and it is the ability to create miniature sculpture in the form of functional art that most intrigues the artist. Torch in hand, she spends countless hours in her studio challenging herself to explore new creative designs and unique techniques. Established in 2008, Beverly’s finely soldered art jewelry pieces are shown at leading craft shows and galleries across the country. Her work has been taken to SOFA and published in various art magazines and books, including “500 Silver Jewelry Pieces” and “Showcase: 500 Art Necklaces” by Lark Books.
"Grounded in functionality and design, I want to make pieces that are quiet and slow to balance out a fast paced world. Repetition complements the honesty of skill and craft but allows for a development of new ideas. I work slowly to produce clean forms and lines but then add hints of imperfection to give the personality of a handmade object.”
BIANKA GROVES currently lives in Minneapolis where she makes work out of her home studio. She has lived in California, South Dakota, Illinois, and in the mountains of Colorado. Groves received her BFA from Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, DC.
Her work is simple and calm; it is intended to add balance to a fast paced world. There is a bold contrast between the white of the porcelain and the incised black lines, but her sense of touch is very delicate. Each piece shows Groves’ hand at play. She uses a mishima process, which entails covering the piece in wax, and drawing through it with razors or acupuncture needles to achieve a thin, constant line, painting the carved areas in black glaze and wiping off anything that is not in the lines. This creates a tattoo-like effect on the clay. Her high-fire porcelain wares are polished after firing to create a satiny, soft touch.
"Following in the lineage of “fine china” I produce objects for domestic service, adding my own sense of affect and defect. The work’s primary use is that of a utilitarian object, and all the pieces perform as they should – cups hold fluids, vases present flowers without leaking, etc.. I have been using porcelain for about 20 years now, and am drawn to its physical qualities (strength, fragility, color, translucence) as well as the implicit class association, cultural significance, and assumption of purity and worth."
BRYAN HOPKINS earned an MFA in Ceramics from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He has been a studio potter working in porcelain since 1990 and currently lives in Buffalo, New York. He teaches at Niagara County Community College, has curated ceramics exhibitions both nationally and locally, and has exhibited in group and solo shows nationally. His work has been published in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Studio Potter, 500 Vases, and Best of 500 Ceramics. Hopkins is a founding member of the online ceramics group Objective Clay. He is also a New York Foundation on the Arts Fellow in Craft.
"My work is a bridge between art and craft. Inspired by the sumptuousness of 17th century Dutch still lifes, the color sensibility of fashion photographer Chen Man, the line work of Sol Lewitt, Brice Marden and Cy Twombly and post-World War II German stained glass, I create by hand in my studio small quantities of finely-crafted pieces that are intimate, honest and feminine.
The act of creation is intensely personal for me, and my work evolves as I do. I work to create pieces that become more interesting the longer you live with them—pieces that are compelling but feel subtle and special. Empowered by the philosophy that we all need and long for something that is beautiful, I strive to complement the technical discipline required to create each piece with a strong aesthetic that embodies a contemporary grace. There is an enigmatic beauty in things that have been made by hand with an intimate knowledge of materials, but always with the personal passion of an artist. My goal is to create work that will stand the test of time for the confident woman."
"Every human life has their seeds, their birth, their family history and cultures, and their own experiences. In your studio, it should be yourself that you are seeking. We are all thickly layered and fragile. Heredity, culture, and experiences all combine to make each one of us unique and different from each other.”
DONNA WATSON is a mixed media painter and collage artist. Her works have been accepted into numerous juried national and international exhibitions and she has received many awards. Donna is president emeritus of the National Watercolor Society and the Northwest Watercolor Society. She has extensive experience as a juror and workshop instructor all over the U.S. and Canada. Her works have been widely published in art magazines such as American Artist and The Artist’s Magazine. Her works have also been published in books including MASTERS COLLAGE: Major Works by Leading Artists (Lark) and THE PULSE OF MIXED MEDIA (Northlight Books) in which her paintings and words were included. Most recently her works have been published in 100 Artists of the Northwest (Schiffer).
ELISSA FARROW SAVOS
“When creating a piece, I take what is most personal and assume it is universal. I use my own experiences and emotional responses, and turn them into a narrative work that suggests to the viewer a peek into their own life. The stories I tell are about inner worlds revealed - the things that we are not supposed to talk about and perhaps not supposed to feel, about our bodies, our families, and our life’s choices.
The actual pieces are a process all my own. As I sculpt, I push the polymer clay past its intended size and boundaries, then incorporate found objects, and finally paint the baked clay with layers of oils. All parts share importance, but the actual objects – rusty metal and weathered wood, decaying bones and empty boxes, scraps of fabric and bits of paper - this abandoned debris connects the sculptural world I have created to the actual world of the viewer. They are a bridge from my imagination to theirs, and although the story I mean to tell may differ from what the viewer ultimately takes away, what is most important is that we have shared the tale.”
ELISSA FARROW SAVOS has been an artist since, well, forever. Growing up in New York City in a family of artists, it was simply what you did, and no one questioned its validity or its practicality. She went to special schools throughout her youth to develop her abilities, and the rest was not too unusual – off to Connecticut College, (majoring in Painting and Computer Graphics, minoring in Women’s Studies, Religion, and Education), a lengthy break to marry, have three children, and then back to creating art. Since then, Elissa has been sculpting with a unique and somewhat uncommon material – polymer clay. Pushing the clay past its intended boundaries and finishing it with oil paint and found objects, Elissa has forced the medium to do her bidding – create a world of women and their stories. She has exhibited her sculptures all over the country, and most recently in solo and group exhibitions in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.
"I use tangible objects combined with clay to create hybrid forms that entice viewers to exercise curiosity. I am interested in experimentation and its unforseen outcomes, human curiosity, and how objects display their relationship with time. My goal is to cultivate these feelings and facilitate a purely cognitive experience.”
ELLE BRANDE graduated from Maryland Institute College of art in 2011 with a Bachelors in Fine Art and a Minor in Art History. Post graduation she apprenticed with various artists in ceramics, metals, and glass media and is currently focused on ceramics and3D printed jewelry. Elle is one of three artists at "Artbar", a gallery and studio run by Ceramicist Ani Kasten in Mt. Rainier, MD. Outside of her studio work, Elle is Structural Arts Director for Alio Designs, a 3D printing and prototyping company in Laurel, MD, aswell as Codirector and performer in Daydreams and Nightmares Aerial Theatre based in Baltimore, MD.
"The world emerging from the interaction of Nature and the creative human spirit is the greatest source of inspiration for my work. Composite memories of pine- and cedar-covered hills surrounding the Baikal lake in Siberia, of the stillness of Armenian mountains, of the watery grays, pale blues and pinks of St. Petersburg’s magnificent buildings, of the curves of its countless rivers, canals, and bridges – all of these find their reflection in the forms and colors of my work. The techniques I developed to shape the forms resemble or imitate the workings of the natural forces: fierce winds, huge bodies of water and all-penetrating sand dunes, which can wear away and transform huge rocks. The medium I use is grolleg porcelain fired either in soda or reduction gas kilns. Quite often I take my work through a number of firings, combining both methods, until I reach the desired effect. In essence, my intention is to breathe life into a manmade object and to give it the appearance of a creature blending into a natural environment, be it a sea-shore, a forest or a river bank."
GERBI TSESARSKAIA was born in Kiev, Ukraine. After graduating from the Marine Technical University of St. Petersburg in 1980 with an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, for four years she worked as an electrical engineer at "Elektrosila" Research Institute. In 1985 Gerbi moved to Budapest, Hungary, got married, and made a sharp turn in her career. After learning Hungarian she worked first as an art books seller, then later as a translator-interpreter, as well as a marionette puppet maker at the Budapest National Puppet Theater. In 1990 Gerbi moved to Florida where her husband pursued his doctoral studies at the University of Miami. In 1994 she joined the Ceramic League of Miami. At the CLM she first took, later taught courses in wheel throwing. In 2002 she was accepted to the graduate program at Florida Atlantic University and graduated with an M.F.A. in ceramics in 2005. After a brief period of teaching at FAU she moved her studio to the Bakehouse Art Complex, where she currently works as an independent artist. From August 2009 she has been teaching ceramics courses at the University of Miami and at Miami International University of Art and Design as an adjunct instructor. Gerbi has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions including two world competitions in Korea and Rumania. Her work has been included in many private and corporate collections and two museum collections in Korea and Spain.
"I am fascinated by repetitive forms found in nature, in patterns that seem to make sense out of chaos. I enjoy the poignancy that exists on the edge of celebration and loss, capturing the nostalgia that occurs when one suddenly experiences something long forgotten. Most of my installations identify with the idea of a moment captured in time, a nod to the concept originally from the Japanese tea ceremony of “ichi-go ichi-e” which translated means something close to “in one lifetime, one meeting” or “once in a lifetime.”
My works are most often installed on-site in response to their surroundings, whether extruded clay forms resembling three-dimensional line drawings or individually sculpted objects that multiply into the thousands. These sculptural drawings develop much like graphite on paper, being built up or “erased” when pieces are added or removed. Each time I install a work, it is different. When it is moved, it is dismantled and when reinstalled, it is reconfigured to respond to its new space. For me, this mutability is a fascinating and important aspect of the work, realizing that it will only exist as it is in the present"
LAUREL LUKASZEWSKI is a Washington, DC area based artist who creates installations and sculptures primarily from clay, usually porcelain or stoneware. Many of Laurel's works are composed of extruded forms resembling three-dimensional line drawings or calligraphic brushstrokes. Others are installations of thousands of hand-formed objects reflecting imagery from nature focusing on the idea of a moment captured in time, a nod to the concept “ichi-go ichi-e” originally from the Japanese tea ceremony. Her work is based on line, rhythm and form, playing with positive and negative space. The interrelation of works has roots in Laurel's study of Japanese art and culture in graduate school and a habit of incessant doodling. Her works range in size from just a few inches to works that fill a gallery.
Laurel has exhibited in venues across the country including the DC metropolitan area, New York, Miami, Palm Beach, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Seattle, Houston, Tulsa and Bainbridge Island. Laurel has also juried work and/or curated shows for Red Bull's Art of Can, the Montpellier Art Center, Lorton's Workhouse Art Center, Alexandria's Art on the Avenue, and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
Laurel is the owner and director of White Point Studio in Mt. Rainier, MD, which she established in the fall of 2014.
“My designs are reflective of what my eye instinctually focuses on. The natural organic arrangement of lines, textures and colors. The vast life forms on coral reefs, up to a towering yet delicate tree canopy down to a thick forest bed and right back up to that bird soaring overhead. I present to you my interpretations of the beauty that surrounds us, that I’ve created into tangible pieces for all to enjoy.
My search for self-expression took me on a journey in metals where I found wax working and the lathe. I was immediately drawn to the organic qualities of sculpting in and beneath surfaces as well as the repetitive industrial look of the lathe. Some call these characteristics opposing, I see them as a dynamic and unexpected merge.
The majority of my work is created using the lathe. I focus on ones individual ability to control vertical lines and textures with various carving tools. The result is a unique, linear, hollow cone of depth and spiraling ridges which is visually primitive, rhythmic in nature, precise yet unpredictable, captivating. Look closely you will see this one shape minimized, maximized, halved, quartered, doubled, turned upside down. I find that the possibilities are endless.”
LISA CIMINO is the sole designer and creator of the Chee-me-no jewelry line. Lisa’s high quality line includes four collections and over 80 styles. Lisa’s specialty is wax working. Her creative process starts with lathe turned wax where rhythmic linear textures are created in vessel like forms and hand carved organic root like shapes. Each piece is darkened to create depth while contrasting bronze metal or crushed gemstones show her love for color. The contemporary style of her work has been recognized by The American Craft Council with the highly select mentor program as well as many featured articles and craft shows.
"Play and discovery are my dearest and most constant companions. There are a zillion tiny challenges in each art making experience, and so often I find, just as many small, sweet victories. Without a doubt, living creatively is the most enjoyable and satisfying game I know. . ."
LYNN WHIPPLE is an award winning painter and mixed media artist based in Winter Park, Florida. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Crafting Personal Shrines, The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery and The Altered Object. Lynn has a vast collection of thousands of vintage photographs which provide much of her inspiration. She is a popular educator, bringing her exuberant spirit and unique style to classrooms all over the United States.
"Combining traditional craft skill and values with new technologies, I aim to create elegant, playful and structurally complex adornments that complement the wearer and intrigue the viewer. My most recent collection, Loops and Cages, is the result of virtual, three-dimensional building. Using CAD software, I create complex forms that are printed in plastics or wax, and later dyed or cast in precious metals. I use computer aided design in combination with traditional crafts skills to create complicated forms that require these tools to exist.”
MARIA EIFE is a Philadelphia-based jewelry designer and maker. She graduated in 2000 from Tyler School of Art with a degree in Jewelry/Metals/CAD-CAM. Her business was launched in 2010 with the Binary Collection, a line of laser-cut wool felt jewelry using binary code as a design element. Her work has been featured in Lark Books 500 Felt Objects and American Craft Magazine. She was awarded the Editors Choice Award at the World Maker Faire in 2011, and has been an invited artist at the American Craft Council Show, CraftBoston, and the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Show.
"My ceramic work is defined directly by my love for natural objects. Natural forms and symbols are always finding their way into my work. My current works have evolved from my search for place and the placement of particular objects within a defined landscape environment. The interaction between an objects ability to shape it’s environment is what I look to capture through my functional work. I am exploring the ways in which the landscape changes through the seasons; specifically how a field is defined by its location, refined by its designated purpose and constrained by it fenced borders.
My goal is to create utilitarian pots for every day use, simple forms that speak primarily about functionality and the intimacy gained through daily use. The life of a pot becomes complete only when it is used and so I strive to make work not for the shelf but for the table. I am very interested in telling a simple story or narrative about place; whether that is an objects place in time, a direct reference to location or an object’s intended place within the house..
I work with commercially manufactured stoneware and porcelain clay, changing clay specifically in response to the intended glaze finish for each piece. Some of my glazes respond directly to the iron contained in the stoneware or, inversely, to the absence of iron in the porcelain. All works are bisque fired to cone 04 (1922°F) in an electric kiln and glaze fired to Δ10 (2345°F) in a propane downdraft reduction kiln. I work primarily within a family of glazes called Shino; an American variation on a traditional Japanese Raku glaze. The contemporary American Shino is a glaze attributed to Virginia Wirt in 1974 while she was a student at the University of Minnesota. Countless Shino glaze variations have followed, resulting in a family of glazes that have captivated generations of potters and collectors alike.”
MATTHEW HYLECK is a resident artist of Baltimore Clayworks whose outstanding functional pots have earned him a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship award in Craft both in 2007 and 2005. He was identified in the May 2008 Ceramics Monthly as an "emerging artist" and his studio work has received multiple awards, including the 2009 NCECA Biennial exhibition and 2009 Jersey Shore Clay National. Galleries throughout the mid-Atlantic have exhibited his sophisticated Shino-glazed utilitarian stoneware and porcelain. He currently serves as the education director for adult programs at Baltimore Clayworks Mt. Washington campus.
NISSA KUBLY, metalsmith, jeweler, pinhole creator and photographer, has developed unique pieces of jewelry based on an innovative union of traditional metalsmithing techniques and a contemporary aesthetic. Her one-of-a-kind pinhole jewelry consists of functional wearable cameras and pendants made with images taken from cameras.
"My work is a visual exploration of the resilient fragility of nature. It is about time, birth, death, observation, beauty and loss. I work with clay, glass. found objects, sound and light to create site-specific installations and smaller object based work. My current installation series examines the impact that human development has had on the natural world, exploring themes of lost habitat, damaged environments and disappearing animal populations.
In other works, I draw on my training as a classical archaeologist to create modern reliquaries from clay, glass, metal and found objects, crafting intimate narratives that explore the cycles of life in nature.”
NOVIE TRUMP is an Arizona based sculptor and installation artist working in ceramic, mixed media and sound. Formally trained in classical archaeology at the University of North Carolina, her work has been selected for juried and invitational exhibitions in the US and Europe and has been featured in numerous publications. Winner of the Fairfax Strauss Fellowship, she has been awarded numerous grants and commissions for public art works, most notably at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC. In 2013, Novie Trump was selected as a Fulbright Candidate by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars. Formerly the Executive Director of Lee Arts Center in Arlington, VA, Novie Trump currently curates exhibitions and juries for arts organizations throughout the US. Trump has served on the boards of several arts organizations and is also an educator who teaches workshops in ceramics and professional development.
Novie Trump is the founder and director of Flux Studios, a contemporary arts space in Mt. Rainier, MD. She has recently relocated to Jerome, AZ where she is currently founding a new studio and gallery.
"My paintings begin with layers. From my past work in watercolor and wax I’ve held on to the opportunities that mixing transparent colors offers. Layers add extra interest, leaving swatches of colors in their wake. These are doorways for the imagination. I always am looking for the puzzle pieces to suggest a narrative. Disparate images finally come together and start to hint at some kind of sense. The thing is, all people have stories. Often, they will look at one of my paintings and recognize in it their own story, their own past, their own dreams.”
SHEEP JONES grew up in Maine and studied art at the University of Southern Maine at Portland/Gorham. Sheep is a critically acclaimed painter who works in oil and wax and has exhibited her paintings in many solo and group shows and galleries along the East Coast and in Eastern Europe.
She splits her time between living in the Washington DC area and Belfast, Maine.
"Design and function of the work are influenced by my heritage. porcelain and translucent glazes, such as celadon, historically sustain the value and also suggest the fascination toward elegance and beauty. In Japan, especially among the high-class society in the old time, it is a luxury to alternate dinnerware according to the season. In the forms of function, I always reference what I saw on the table as I grow up, the seasonal dishes served, and even the relationships with user/viewer. through the search of my personal identity in the process of making objects, I project myself in the designs of the surface referencing ones from art nouveau. The eclectic inclusions of east/west and organic elements onto utilitarian objects by capturing the seasonal nature beings through carved surface decoration and the appreciation of production with thoughtful designs and keen craftsmanship have been my interest within elegance and craftsmanship that I always value in my aesthetics."
YOSHITAKA FUJII is a resident artist and instructor at Baltimore Clayworks. Yoshi, from Fukuoka, Japan, moved to Hattiesburg in 1996 and received a B.A. in Foreign Language and a B.A. in Anthropology in 2000 from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, he received a B.F.A. in Sculpture with an emphasis in Ceramics in 2002 and an M.A.T.L. in English as a Second Language in 2003. After working as a resident artist in Natchez, MS, he attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he earned his M.F.A. in Ceramics in 2008.
In 2000, he was the recipient of the Roger Brinegar Endowed Scholarship and the Charlie and Lorita Finnegan Endowment Scholarship, which are awarded for excellence in Ceramics, and he also won the Mississippi Gulf Coast Craftsman Guild Scholarship in 2002. He was selected as a recipient of the 2008-2009 Lormina Salter Fellowship and was invited to become a resident artist at the Baltimore Clayworks in Maryland, and now he is serving as the Gallery Manager since 2009. He shows his work in local, regional, national, and international exhibitions and competitions, and won several awards. He is a member of the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi.