COMBINATIONS

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Garry Childs

I love the title of this show, “Combinations”.  I don’t recall which one of us suggested it other than that it wasn’t me, but as soon as it was suggested I immediately and enthusiastically said yes. Pottery is all about combinations. It begins with a combination of earth and water after all, then combine that with fire. Add a combination of glass forming materials and you have a glaze. Then there are combinations of form and surface, colors and textures.

My work for the show has been done with the title of the show in mind.

A few years ago I started doing some pots that I call the “Red Clay Series”. These pots use local clays that I dig straight from the ground applied to the surface of the pots to develop very interesting and natural textures. That process has evolved to include other materials that add additional color and texture. I have several vases in this show that utilize this technique combined with the glazing and carving seen on most of my work. Additionally there are two heavily textured large platters that are intended to be used as wall hangings. I also have some pots that use a metallic glaze with similar materials applied over the surface to develop texture along with bright, strong colors. The “Combinations L’Orb” are some that I am quite pleased with. There isn’t any carving at all on these

I have a new blue color that I am using in combination with a black glaze on a couple of pieces for the show. It also works nicely with my red glaze. And of course my usual combination of glazed and carved planters, vases, bowls and platters will be on display throughout the gallery.

 

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Earth Wind and Fire

unspecifiedgarry redGarry Childs
 
All of my work is formed on the potters wheel from terra-cotta clay. I apply glazes and pigments to my pots when they have reached a state potters call “leather-hard” which is when the clay has stiffened up enough to handle but is not completely dry. I usually do this by spraying but sometimes also with a brush. I then carve through the glaze into the still damp clay to achieve the various patterns seen on my work.
unspecifiedGarry, blue
I encourage people to touch and handle my work. Pots are made with hands and they should be “looked at” with hands. Texture, particularly the contrast between the smooth glazed areas and the rougher, hard edges of the carved surface is very important. Putting both hands on a piece and moving them up-and-down allows you to truly feel the shape and the ridges left by my fingers in the soft clay. I also think it’s great fun to put your head down inside one of the big pieces and holler, the echoes are wonderful.
 
unspecifiedgarry carving
My pots are made for people’s homes. My bowls and platters look best on tables with food being shared by families and friends, my planters and vases with someone’s favorite herb or fresh flowers. Some pieces are certainly more decorative in nature than others. Those are an expression of my joy in the process that hopefully becomes a part of someone’s day to day life.
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ART from shows

Present Tense

 

sand blasted

Pringle Teeter Art and Chemisty

Present Tense is the perfect title for an exhibit featuring an artist who works with a material that is a liquid at 2100° Fahrenheit.   “You can’t just stop what you are doing, put it aside and come back to it later. You have to work in the moment.” It makes glassblowing quite a challenging art form but now that I’m going on my 10th season as a full time glass blower, I feel more confidence in my work, especially since I work alone most of the time.

Sublimation $240

The bowls in this show are made using a technique I developed using two colors of glass, one containing silver particle and another color containing gold particles. For several year I have been using the same 2 colors in the same way and getting completely different results almost every time. The differences come from slight changes in the procedure and color amount and differences in heating and cooling. This spring, my studio partner, Dana Smith, suggested I step out of my comfort zone and look for some new colors to play with – so I did.

I researched the chemistry of the various glass colors produced by the two German companies who supply the glassblowing industry. I wound up choosing two colors that are undoubtedly the softest and most difficult colors to work with! When using them, it is critical that the piece be heated slowly and carefully because by the time it is hot enough to blow and manipulate, it can easily end up as a puddle on the floor. Another danger is that uncontrolled shifts in temperature can cause changes in oxidation that alter the colloidal coloring, which is created by these nanoparticles of silver and gold in the glass. If you let these colors get too hot, the tiny particles of gold will coalesce into large aggregates that take on a disagreeable ‘liver color.’ You must layer the colors in a very particular way in order to get the best results. I did a number of color tests and loved the results, learning which way to layer the colors for bowls and then differently for vases.

IMPOSSIBLE PICK UP  $875

 

I had cataract surgery in January that resulted in 2 other laser procedure over the next 2 months. Despite the complications that kept me out of the studio, I discovered, as I had been told by many people, that colors appear much brighter and more intense than before. One day I noticed the beautiful array of color rods in my supply of glass color and decided to try something I’ve wanted to do for many years – a multiple incalmo piece using all hues of the spectrum. Incalmo is the technique of or joining together, while still hot, multiple parts of separately blown glass to produce a single piece. This is usually done with a glassblower and an assistant. In order to do these by myself I made multiple blown tubes of different colors. Once they properly annealed I cut them into slices on a diamond saw. Then, the edges were polished on a flat lapidary wheel. Once back in the studio each piece was carefully measured, mapped out (colors are different once they are hot) and loaded into a kiln. The kiln slowly raises them up to the temperature of 1000 degrees so they don’t crack from thermal shock when picking up. I then picked up each slice on a pipe, stacking and melting them one at a time until every one fit. This process first practiced in the Islamic world in the Middle Ages, demands great precision because the edges of the adjoining elements must have precisely the same diameter.

 

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Reflections

July postcard RGB

Artists Lolette Guthrie, Alice Levinson and Evelyn Ward are featured this month at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. They will be showing their newest work in an exhibit titled

“Reflections.”

Painter Lolette Guthrie states that for “Reflections she explored through her paintings both the physical idea of reflections of sky in water and her own reflections on what it felt like to be in a particular place at a particular time. Her long interest in composition, color relationships and the edges of paintings has led to increasingly simplified/spare landscapes and to abstractions derived from these landscapes. She will be exhibiting both oil paintings and pastels.

Guthrie writes, “I paint largely from memory, so my paintings are always reflections on what I have experienced. Because the light quality at a particular time of day, the temperature and the season are so much a part of my memories, my paintings are also always paintings of light and atmosphere as I strive to capture the ephemeral nature of light to creates a mood that is timeless. I begin a piece with a general idea of time and place and let the painting tell me where and how far to go. At some point the painting always takes on a life of its own so I am never sure what the end result will be.

Many of Guthrie’s pieces are reflections on time spent on the tiny island of Ocracoke, NC. Located at the southernmost tip of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it is bounded on one side by Pamlico Sound with its beautiful and vitally important marshes, and on the other by the Atlantic Ocean, thirteen miles of pristine beaches and the magic of the ever-changing sea. Says Guthrie, “It is a place to heal, to relax and to find one’s center. Paradoxically, it is also where I go to get reenergized, where I feel most alive, where I find inspiration.”

Textile artist Alice Levinson will be exhibiting her non-traditional sewn clothworks. Levinson writes, “My work generally begins with fragments of thoughts or memories, jotted in a verbal ‘sketchbook.’ This text suggests visual motifs and choice of technique as I move toward the work.”

I have looked at ‘Reflections’ as a metaphor. Just as our image, reflected in a mirror is refracted through the medium of light, so past experiences are seen as refracted through the prism of time. Memories, recollections are transformed through time as new experiences and novel circumstances influence our sense of the familiar.” Levinson explains that she began her work for this exhibit by “looking back to earlier techniques, to materials previously used. Moving ahead, I experimented with new ways of using these familiar processes and tools. At times actually starting with remnants of an earlier effort and turning it on its head to yield a new direction. The clothworks in this exhibit are the result of this exercise. Each piece has its inception in the familiar elements, yet each represents an exploration beyond the known and practiced toward the new.”

“Visual motifs primarily derive from nature” continues Levinson, “which provides a major source of inspiration for my work. Color and movement are primary features. In each piece, hand dyed fabric has been layered and densely sewn. Occasionally I add bits of vintage cloth remnants to add visual and textural interest – as you might add spices to enhance a stew. Sewing, both machine and hand stitching, is my principal construction medium. I work to meld the disparate pieces of cloth into an integral whole, unifying them with lines drawn of stitching and multicolored thread.”

Potter Evelyn Ward will be showing her salt-fired pottery. She writes that her work for this show is an outgrowth of reflections on her frequent walks outdoors and time spent working in her garden. Ward states “I will largely be exhibiting functional pieces such as vases, pitchers and bowls that incorporate my hand-drawn decals. These decals are made from drawings inspired by the time spent in my garden and on frequent walks. I love to draw the plants and flowers I encounter; I don’t try to reproduce nature but rather try to find the essence of my subjects. This process forces me to slow down and reflect as I search out the essential elements.”

Ward’s functional pottery is made to be used. She hopes her work will add enjoyment to people’s lives, whether it’s a bowl used to serve food at a family celebration or the quiet respite a cup of coffee in a handmade mug can bring.

Please join us for an opening Reception

Friday July 31

6-9

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Not Alone

2nd try
Garry Childs
My work is formed on a potters wheel from terra-cotta clay. I glaze my pots when they have reached a state potters call “leather hard”. This is when the clay has stiffened up enough to handle but is not yet completely dry. Several coats of one or more glazes are then applied onto the piece, usually by spraying. I sometimes add more colors by brushing and spraying pigments over the glaze.  I then carve through the glaze into the still damp clay to achieve the various patterns that you see on my pots.  After completely drying, the pieces are fired in a gas kiln to 2,125 degrees.
Although the shapes and form of my work is always of primary concern to me, the pieces I’ve done for this show have a heightened emphasis on color. I am constantly tweaking my glaze formulas in order to make subtle changes in hue and texture.  This time I have also used two completely new colors in the show. One is a sky blue overspray that I apply over another glaze. It has a nice, almost lacy texture when applied at just the right thickness.
The red glaze on my red and black pieces is also a new color. I have periodically experimented with reds over the past several years and am very happy with my newest results. This particular formula seems to be working very well. It utilizes one of the new commercially available red stains that can be used at much higher temperatures than this type of red could normally be fired. Combining this color with the black is particularly effective with a bit of carving in the black areas that lets the earthy red of the clay show through.
Pottery is made with hands and should be “looked at” with hands. I want everyone who sees  my work in this show or anywhere else to feel free to touch, pick up and handle the pots. Texture is very important and the curves the of shapes are very tactile. Try it, you’ll see.
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Kindred

If There Is A Will, There Is A Way

Pringle Teetor Blog

Pringle's boot

When we opened our studio for the 8th season last fall (our season is October through June), I thought that this year might be a good year to slow down and enjoy life a little more instead of working so hard. Maybe do just a few shows, spend time taking better care of myself, get in better shape……..well, that didn’t work!

The 2014 winter was full of ups and downs. Temperatures went way way down and propane prices doubled. Color prices went up since metal prices went up. We had the snow storms, ice storms, power outages, including one that kept us out of our home and in a hotel for over a week with 2 dogs, one who was very ill (has since passed on) and oh! I fell down and broke my ankle in February. But I didn’t know it for about a month. Then it started hurting. A lot. I finally went to the doctor who put me in this boot cast for 2 1/2 months. I was out of the studio another month, then when I finally felt comfortable enough to blow glass in a boot cast, I realized how little time I had left before we shut down for the summer. PANIC! Working alone with the boot on my foot I knew there were some things I would not be able to do by myself so I had to improvise – think of a new way to make what I wanted to make before we shut down for the summer.

pineapple techniqueI had always been fascinated with the use of a bronze “pineapple” or “diamond” optic mold to put patterns of bubbles in glass.   It is a very tricky tool to learn to use. The mold has diamond shaped points on the inside that one you blow into it with molten glass on the end of your pipe, it leave diamond shaped dents in the glass. When you gather another layer of glass over these dents, it leaves perfectly placed air bubbles in your glass. The trick is getting out of the mold once you go in – it is very easy to get the molten glass on the end of your pipe stuck in this mold. Your shape and temperature have to be “just right”! I spent a lot of time practicing with this tool! I wanted to use this tool as a way to make my rolling wine decanters interesting without the use of an assistant in the studio. I only have either of my partners on weekends and I work alone during the week so I thought this would be nice. This led to more bubble pieces, rolling bubble glasses, bowls and more. Fun with Bubbles!

Bubbles

My love of chemical reaction between colors with high gold and silver content is a mainstay in my work. Many of the bowls I make are made using the same colors and technique every time I make them yet they each come out different. These pieces just glow under a good halogen spotlight!

chemical reaction

Dreams also played an important roll in this years work. One of my series of pieces that resemble clouds against the earth as seen from the space station uses colors that are stiff and soft together, which does interesting things in molten glass. The stiff glass doesn’t melt in as much and tends to hold its shape instead of melting into the other colors. They can be used to write down your dreams and put them inside. This could be for daydreams or night dreams, hopes or wishes.

dreams in clouds

The yarn ball series started out as a color test – to see how a stiff color looked if it was wrapped around a softer color. Black and white pieces are traditionally difficult because black is extremely soft, and white is very stiff. By this I mean they melt at different temperatures – the black will be soupy runny glass while the white stays stiff longer. It can be quite a frustrating and challenge experience! So of course I had to try working these two colors together. It was fun thinking of interesting and striking combinations.

glass yarn ball

I ended up having surgery on my ankle in early July. This was usually the time I  do my “cold work” which is the wet grinding and polishing of the pieces to smooth punty marks or flatten bottoms of vases. I do this in my back yard workshop only during the summer, as it is not possible to heat for working during the winter.   Once the surgical cast was removed after 2 weeks, another non-weight bearing cast was placed on my leg for 4 more weeks. Plus, I was told not to get the cast wet. Or sweat in it. It wasn’t coming off until the same day the show was going up in the gallery. You know the old saying “if there is a will, there is a way”? Thank you Harrison Ford (yes, the actor) for breaking your leg and allowing yourself to be photographed using this device (Iwalk Free). It worked for me too!

 

Pringle at her show

Photo by Susan Hope

 

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INTERSECTIONS – A Potter’s View

Garry'a vase

I am a Potter. A Craftsman. My art comes from a long term relationship between my materials, my tools and my heart.

My primary material is clay, Red Clay in particular. I got serious about red clay while throwing at a Pottery in Vass NC somewhere around 1980. At that time we were making a lot of large unglazed redware jardinieres, strawberry jars and such. Thick pots made fast from soft clay, not much refinement of shape there but I loved the way that clay felt running through my fingers and the earthy, almost swampy smell of it. Taking that most common of muds and learning what I can do with it is a process that began for me then and continues now.

All of my work is formed on a Potter’s Wheel. Potters have all manner of tools. Sticks, wires, cutters of all kinds, almost anything can be used for something in working with clay. The Wheel however, is another matter. It is an instrument. And like a musical one it takes many, many hours of daily practice and repetition to become proficient. I first sat down at a kick wheel in a high school art class in 1972 or maybe ’71, it’s getting hard to recall. I got hooked right away and have been trying to get good at it ever since.Garry at the wheel

It is very important to me that my work be accessible to people. I don’t make pots for art galleries or museums, I make them for people’s homes. My bowls and platters look best on tables with food being shared by families and friends, planters and vases with someones favorite herb or fresh flowers. Some pieces certainly are more decorative in nature. Those are an expression of my joy in the process and hopefully become a part of someones day to day life.

In my thinking “Intersections” is about the intersection of form and surface. Form or shape that grows and expands from within is the essence of all my pieces. Glazes and carving are used to emphasize the shapes and bring color and texture to the surface.

Garry Childs

garry@gcpots.com

919-724-1626

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