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Archive for March, 2010

Remember Sheena and the Uniform Project? One dress, for 365 days, with a myriad of accessories?  Next week, you can have a chance to bid on some of these accessories as well as Uniform Project black dresses!  All of the money goes to the Akanksha Foundation, which funds education expenses and uniforms for underprivileged children in India.

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How exciting are these shoes by lepiedleger?? The delicate crochet work and obvious craftsmanship make me want to slip them on and frolic through fields of newly-born grass.

These shoes are the happy result of a couple living in Montevideo, Uruguay.  Through Etsy, they offer the shoes in regular sizes as well as custom sizes!  At only $45 each, these shoes are the perfect springtime wardrobe addition.

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the endangered Vancouver Island Marmot

 

 

Madagascar Fish Eagle

The latest charitable art project that has caught my eye is the Endangered Species Print Project.  Artists Jenny

Kendler and Molly Schafer have teamed together to bring awareness to the imminent disappearance of endangered species.

 

These two graduates of the Art Institute of Chicago make a print run that corresponds with the number of animals remaining.  So, for example, since there are an estimated 222 Madagascar Fish-Eagles  left, there will be 222 prints made.  There are several artist besides Schafer and Kendler who have contributed their artistic skills to the project.  On the ESPP website, you can buy the available prints as well as find information about each animal.  One hundred percent of each sale goes to the organizations that work to save the

Panamanian Golden Frog

particular animal.  Keep up your important work, ladies!

Additional Links:

Kendler and Schafer lend their art to the Center for Biological Diversity’s Endangered Species Condom Project:      http://endangeredspeciescondoms.com/

Learn more about Endangered Species at the WWF:      http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/

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Amber Dorval is one of my favorite potters.  I discovered her at my local farmer’s market and since have bought several pieces from her.  My mom has bought many more.  Here are excerpts of my interview with her:

About myself and where I learned to “throw” pottery:

My name is Amber Dorval; I’m 24 years old and have been making pottery for about 8 years.  I started in high school, Blackstone Millville Regional, in Blackstone MA.  We only had two potters wheels and my teacher wasn’t into teaching a class of 20 how to use the wheel, so he gave me a few demonstrations and gave me some VHS tapes that would show me how.  I was terrible, like most, when I started.  My teacher told me only after I could throw 5 cylinders exactly the same height weight and thickness could I then continue to throw pottery and not waste his clay on silly messy pots.  So I did. It took a while but I was very determined.  So from there I became more interested in forms, function, firing techniques and glazes.  I started college loving art but I didn’t want to major in it.  I thought that if I were to make art my job, it would take all the fun out of it.  Turns out it’s still fun.  I took all the pottery classes that college offered and now I do it on my own.

Selling:

Summer ‘08 was my first summer selling work.  It was extremely informative to stand behind a table of my work and hear comments, and also to watch people both love and criticize my pieces.  I love talking to people about what works for them, what doesn’t, and sometimes they give me ideas (both good and bad). I would like to eventually sell on Etsy and get around to small consignment shops, like 5 Crows in Natick, but I’m just not there yet. I need to keep making and documenting so I can build up a portfolio of work that I’m proud of.  The only advertising I do is on my business cards.

As for sales dictating what I make, I suppose they do. What people buy I like to replace on my table. People always like mugs and large serving dishes for gifts. They also tend to like colanders.

Inspiration:
My inspiration comes from all kinds of different things in my life: people I meet, things that bother me about dishes I have, art history classes.

Right now, I’m still doing different things while trying to maintain a marketable body of work to sell in between all that.  I’m fairly certain when making art, or anything I guess, you need to do something that will pay the bills and something to feed your soul. Hopefully pottery can be both eventually. Pottery definitely is what feeds my soul.

When the object is done serving as my release, it can then go on and be useful in your life; hopefully assisting you in some type of release, whether it’s being alone with your coffee, tea or cereal for those 10 minutes in the morning, or a large serving dish used during a gathering or celebration or feasting with your family for dinner. I enjoy the fact that my work can affect your life.  : )

Advice for beginning potters/ artists:

My favorite mug by Amber; I won't drink tea in anything else.

  • Make what interests you.
  • Why be a second-rate someone else when you can be a first-rate you.
  • Find like-minded people to continually bounce ideas off of. Feedback is very important.
  • Look at art.
  • Learn about past artists and how they did it learn about current artists and how they do it now.

A favorite of mine:
The set of mugs on my business card. I use one every morning: which one depends on my mood or if I’m taking it to go. One is better at keeping coffee in the cup if I’m driving. One holds less but is thicker and keeps it hot longer; I’ll have tea in that one. And the other one can not go in the car because it has a spout kind of and spillllllls on my lap.

My cupboards are most definitely mismatched.

They are filled with friends of mines’ mugs because we trade, as well other artists’ mugs  and dishes. I like to support other artists because I would like other potters to do that for me instead of saying ‘oh I can make that’.  It’s just a nice trade.

Buy handmade simply because it supports small business.

I have a show at Framingham State; the opening is Tuesday March 23, 4:30-7:00 pm, in the College Center, in the Mazmanian Gallery. The show is up all week.

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