Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday I attended a curators roundtable at the VMFA in Richmond. We had to leave early for an emergency back home but had to stop off at one of the galleries for one of our party before we left. In the process I saw a fantastic show of Chris Milk Hulburt's work at Ghostprint Gallery. See it here at
His artist statement, which I found to be one of the most interesting I've read all year can be found at

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Art Night at Hickok Cole

Thursday night I attended  a fantastic fundraiser for Washington Project for the Arts at Hickok Cole, an architecture firm in Georgetown in DC. 
The curator, Anne Surak, Director of Project 4 Gallery, chose over 50 artists to show their work on four floors of the gorgeous Hickok Cole
building as part of a fundraiser for the WPA,
The event was tons of fun- lots of great art ( oh, if I only had a trust fund tucked away to raid), good food and great company. Pictured here is a shot of the mad crush in the lobby, Margaret Boozer's ceramic disk wall installation and my work on display.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chihuly at the de Young Museum in San Francisco

Chris and I had an amazing time in San Francisco. We got a chance to visit my good friend Shay and her new baby and found time to see two major exhibits. The Chihuly exhibit at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park was simply extraordinary. The museum itself is stunning, spearing towards the sky from the earth. 
The Chihuly exhibit was jaw-droppingly impressive. I had seen his installation at the Bellagio in Vegas but the sheer scale and scope of this show was the ultimate in eye candy. I found myself truly surprised by the large size of many of his works. The boats are life-size while the chandeliers are easily 5 feet in diameter. I may have to take some glass classes now.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Frida Kahlo at SFMOMA

I always liked Frida Kahlo's work but had no idea of the scope of her life's work before I saw this retrospective at the SFMOMA in San Francisco. 
The work was visceral and raw, filled with  anguished personal meaning. Her powerful imagery and narratives were inspiring. I would love to capture that much emotion in my own work.
I especially enjoyed the dozens of black and white photographs from the artist's private collection, which gave the viewer an intimate glimpse into her life. Many pictures featured her in dusty courtyards with flowers in her hair and monkeys on her shoulder. I had never realized these elements of her self-portraits were not fictional constructs.
This self-portrait with its necklace of thorns and dead bird really resonated with me.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Art Exchange Cwmbran<=> Arlington

The day finally arrived! We installed the work from Wales in our mini gallery at Lee.
It was a fun show to unpack, a bit like the best Christmas you could imagine ( well, if you're a ceramic collector!). Here are some shots of the show installed. Featured artists in the show are:

Duncan Ayscough
Sam Bakewell
Melanie Brown
Lowri Davies
Morgen Hall
Catrin Howell
Walter Keeler
Wendy Lawrence
Claudia Lis

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Friday night is the opening reception for the Smith Farm Show. I'm excited to be showing in such a beautiful new gallery, with two such gifted artists and with such a meaningful mission.

Below is the curators statement for the Smith Farm show, curated by Lillian Fitzgerald.

This exhibit Immersed in the Natural World gives us a glimpse into three artist’s personal journeys. Elizabeth Burger, Tai Hwa Goh and Novie Trump create images inspired from nature. Each artist arrives at the work from a unique direction, with clearly distinct motivations. There is an immediacy and presence in the work on exhibit. It is rich in not only as an exploration of imagery and scale but also natural materials, paper, wax, clay.

Elizabeth Burger works with materials found in her rural environment, this gives her to an intense awareness of things that live and die on the land. Using algae, seedpods, roots, reeds, thorn bushes and other natural materials, she creates a series of animal/plant hybrids that are inspired by nature. Each of Ms. Burger’s works on exhibit seems to embody life or death. Contrast Apart , three immense beautiful forms that feel as if they are slowly decaying before our eyes, with her series of eighteen of Pod pieces that positively dance with life. Twisted moves in yet another direction. Created from plastic and paper pulp, it’s orange color and obvious reference to plastic construction barricades turns commonly discarded materials into an incandescent work of art.

Tai Hwa Goh’s art is deeply rooted in nature. She sees making art as the effort to search for her identity, and her art work is the diary recording her experiences. The process of layering tissue thin papers and wax breathes an air of mystery to her work, it reveals and at the same time obscures. The imagery, like the titles are delicately ominous – Suspicious Seeds, Lull, Suspicious Spore. The work has a lovely intimate scale and luminous transparent quality to the color.

Novie Trump’s art is very much about the tenacity of nature. It is informed by ancient myths and inspired by her travel to Ireland, Wales and the Galapagos Islands. Her formal training as an archeologist and love of relics and past civilizations is a great influence on her work.
The poetry in her work, the relationships of light and dark, loss and hope, death and rebirth are explored using rough hewn clay tablets, black birds, delicate egg shells, bones.

In an installation created for this exhibit she describes the Temple of the Phoenix. This work “evokes a sacred place of ritual. A ring of pillars inspired by ancient temples and burned trees encircles a nest of blackened bones, which holds a luminous ivory egg. A fierce bird perched on one of the pillars watches over the egg, which waits to be born. In this piece, iconic images of death are deliberately juxtaposed with images of birth to convey the inevitable cycle of life.”

For more information visit
phone: 202.483.8600
1632 U Street NW Washington DC 20009
Reception 5:30 - 8pm
Regular Gallery Hours will be Wednesday-Friday 11AM-5PM, Saturday 11AM-3PM
and by appointment.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The past three nights have been spent installing at Artomatic. Artomatic ( is a magnificently democratic bi- annual art happening in DC. We take over an empty building and fill it with art, poetry, music and performance art. This year is the biggest and best it's ever been. Housed at 1st St. NE and M St. in a brand new building, the space is airy and light and filled with some fantastic work this year.
Before I left for Wales, my studio, Flux Studios, coordinated 16 other artists to show together on the 10th floor. The show, Coincide, is a collection of contemporary ceramic sculpture by DC area artists. Some really phenomenal work is in our space.
My installation of my own work was a challenge. As Artomatic generally happens with little advance notice, I had no work prepared for the space. Sooooo, I made it all in Wales and carried it all back in my suitcase.
I decided to show the book forms that I made. More photos to follow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday was spent installing at Smith Farm for their inaugural show. Here are some shots of the day. It's always so exciting to install a piece that has only been assembled before in the studio. Lillian Fitzgerald, a dear friend and the curator for this show, and Sandy Rossi, the  gallery manager for Smith Farm, were there and indispensable.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday, while waiting for our departure from Heathrow, Chris and I stole into London in the dawn hours and walked around. I never knew London had such gorgeous green spaces. We walked to all of the required landmarks: Big Ben, Westminster and Buckingham Palace. My favorite was the V&A Museum, which had a gorgeous show of artists made books.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The big day finally arrived. The reception for the exhibition of Lee Arts Center artists' work and my solo show of work created during my residency was from 12-2 at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre. The show was simply beautiful and all of the work was very well received. It was rewarding to see so much hard work culminate in such a wonderful event.
We had a great time!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday night we had a lovely dinner at Pete Goodridge's and Melanie Brown's home. Terrific food and great company. Before dinner we had a hike with the dogs through the gorgeous wooded grounds of the estate that they live on and viewed Mel's studio.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday was spent at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre installing my show of work made during the residency. It was lovely to finally meet everyone that we have been working with remotely: Hywel Pontin, the director of Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre and Hannah Kelly, the exhibitions officer. Hywel,Pete, Hannah and Dean were all instrumental in installing my work for which I am very grateful. 
I ended up installing my dozens of feathers on a red wall in a giant windswept sweep. I was very pleased with the effect and can't wait to explore the concept further on a larger scale.
The center is beautiful and I can't wait to see it all together on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chris has finally arrived and we spent part of the day in Bath, a lovely town with the most amazing Roman baths, still full of water from the hot springs below.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Virginia Graham has a studio across fireworks from mine. She makes whimsical teapots, cups and sugar bowls, many incorporating faucet handle shapes glazed with metallic lustres. Her work is a delight to look at, bright and fun.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Three trains and a jaunt across the English countryside and I am back in Cardiff. 
I've been working to get all of my work assembled and ready for display. 
Wes, where are you? Westen Muntain, my friend from home and a very gifted printmaker, has the most incredible eye for assisting me with the perfect placement of the small items I put in my niches. I'm also missing my boxes and boxes of eggs, nests, wire, etc. from my home studio. 

Overall, I am very pleased with the work. It's been a challenge to make work for two shows in the three and a half weeks of working time that I had here but well worth the many long days in the studio.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wendy and I visited Brookhouse pottery, the studio and home of David and Margaret Frith. Their pottery is exquisite, much of it in the traditional English style. 
Their place is beautiful, a converted woolen mill, spanning a small brook. David was a delight, kindly giving us a tour of the studio and gallery.
I bought two gorgeous pieces, a large traditional woodfired pitcher and a small delicately glazed lidded jar and received as a gift a lovely tea bowl. 

It was a wonderful afternoon.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Wendy and I visited Crag Bragdy, the mosaic mural company where she works part time. The scale of the murals they make is immense and the detail work exquisite. They specialize in large scale murals for corporations and private clients, many located in the Middle East. Here are some production shots from the facility which is located in Denigh.

Friday, April 25, 2008

On Friday Wendy and I went to Aberystwyth, a seaside  town with a university and arts center where the International Ceramics Festival is held every other year. We met with the arts center and talked about possibilities of me assisting with the festival next year. A great reason to return to Wales!
We then drove to Wendy's house in Denbigh, which she shares with her partner David Binns, who is also a ceramics sculptor. Pictured here are Wendy and David in their gallery, which is on the first floor of their home. Also starring William, their terrific dog, chewing blissfully on a stick.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today I traveled by train to northern Wales, where I was picked up by my dear friend Wendy Lawrence, who is a ceramics sculptor living in Denbigh.
 We drove to the studio and house of her friend, Meri Wells, who is a sculptor who does wood fired figurative sculptures. This is her work in the first photo.
Her stone house was built in the 1650's and has been restored by Meri over the years to much of its original state. It is a magical place, full of wonderful collections of phonographs, old books, letterpress type, bones and amazing art amassed over a lifetime. I bought one of Meri's beautiful works, a Roman ox figure. 
Meri was a wonderful hostess and we all stayed up very late by the fire, talking and laughing over wine and good food. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Last night I went with Frankie to see Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan perform Moon Water, a modern dance performance that centered around the movements of tai chi. The stage was slowly flooded with water over the duration of the performance and the water became another element of the dance. The athleticism and grace of the dancers was extraordinary.
 It was in the Millenium Arts Center which is one of the most beautiful theaters I've ever seen, modern with slate and undulating native woods.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This is Frankie Locke, a ceramics maker who has a studio at Fireworks. 
In her work she layers colored clays in undulating forms and then carves through them in complex, organic repeating patterns. She is currently coating this piece with beeswax to give it a soft sheen and bring out the colors.

Monday, April 21, 2008

While shopping for gifts in Howell's, an upscale department store here that has a food and wine department, I noticed the American section in their specialty food department by the expensive French chocolates and wandered over for a look.  
Craving strawberry flavored marshmallow whip? The creamy goodness of JIF? Karo syrup? Stove Top Stuffing? The joys of Betty Crocker cake mix? 
Missing your daily bowl of Lucky Charms? A box can be yours for only nine pounds. In case you aren't up on your daily international exchange rates, that would be twenty dollars and seventy cents. Yup, you read that right. TWENTY DOLLARS AND SEVENTY CENTS. 
If I pay that much for a box of Lucky Charms ( you know, if I fell and hit my head REALLY hard- twice) there darn well better be a leprechaun at the bottom of the box holding a tiny pot of gold just for me!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've been glazing and firing like mad, as they say over here, (albeit in a MUCH better accent than my plain North Carolina one. Though oddly enough,  I am often told by random strangers here that I have a "lovely accent".  It even prompted the older gentleman at the fruit stand at the market to give me an extra pound of grapes one day, in celebration of my "glorious accent" he said. )
  I've been pleased with the results of the glazing, especially the subtle layering on the book forms. Since my glaze recipes didn't turn out here I have been using white and black slips and oxides.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday afternoon I took a few hours off from the studio to attend an artist talk by Paul Scott, a UK ceramicist who wrote a book on print and ceramics. He does traditional blue willow ware with modern British  landscapes that often comment on contemporary social issues like nuclear power and foot and mouth disease.
In sharp contrast to images of radioactive pigeons and burning cows, there was a show in the same space of an artist named Cathy Miles, who does the most wonderful metal bird sculptures that are laugh out loud whimsical.