Category Archives: Lillstreet

Sending pots out into the world!

I love making pots. I make them so they will be used. I don’t want them to sit on a shelf- whether it’s in my studio, a shop or gallery. I want them to find homes. I hope to have one of my mugs be your favorite.  The one that you have to wash even though every other mug in the cupboard is clean because that’s the one you have to have your coffee from. To have one of my bowls be your morning oatmeal bowl. I would be honored if you had a slice of birthday cake off of one of my plates. Or if you washed your hands daily with soap from one of my soap dispensers.

Here are a few places that you can find my pots!

My brother, Jeff, and his wife, Eliza own an awesome coffee shop/ cafe on Main Street in Keene, New Hampshire (our hometown), Brewbakers. They roast their own coffee, have amazing soups, sandwiches and baked goods. They have live music, art exhibits and a great vibe. And now they have mugs for sale that I made! One side has the Brewbakers logo, and the other side has a word such as: percolate, energize, caffeine… No two are the same!

For the next month, my father, Jim Murphy, and I will be featured artists at Vermont Artisan Designs on Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont. It’s a really wonderful gallery that I have frequented over the years and I am so happy to be part of. Tonight, Friday, Dec 7th, is their gallery walk.

I am really excited to be part of Lillstreet Art Center’s holiday show, Let There be Light, once again this year! Lillstreet was where my studio and where I taught for 10 years. I always feel like I’m sending my pots home when I ship them to Lillstreet. It’s always a wonderful place to shop during the holidays- in the artists’ studios on the 2nd and 3rd floors and in the gallery!

Last weekend’s studio sale was a great success! I really do love opening up my studio and spending the weekend seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I even got to meet quite a few folks who read my blog- but I hadn’t met before. That was such a treat! I will definitely be having a spring studio sale!

If you’re not in one of the places I listed above, you can get some great pots! Below are just a few of the pots that you’ll find in my Etsy shop! I’m having a $5 shipping sale right now! I’m stocked up with boxes and bubble wrap and ready to ship!


In between shipping pots this weekend and playing in the snow that is forecasted… I’m hoping to get my hands back in wet clay! Enjoy your weekend too!

Studio Moving Sale!

As I mentioned in my last post, we’re going to be leaving Chicago and moving to Minneapolis soon. This also means moving my studio. Since I’ll be building a new kiln, I realized that I wanted to start fresh with a new body of work. I’ve been gathering up work from galleries, clearing off the back of shelves and getting ready to sell out. I’ll be glad to have a few less boxes to move and happy to give people a great deal.  
moving-sale1

The sale will be 2 days: Friday, April 24 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm and Saturday, April 25 from 10:00am – 6:00pm at my studio in Chicago

I will have a huge selection of pottery including soap dispensers, floor vases, mugs, teapots, and tumblers, to name a few. I will also have some gorgeous new ceramic and silk necklaces for sale. Throughout the next week I am going to using my blog to highlight some of the pieces that I’ll be selling like these pasta bowls from a shino dinnerware set.

emily_murphy_shino_plates

I am also selling stuff from my studio: 

  • aprons (fun vintage ones)
  • stools (short and tall)
  • pottery display stuff (bowl stands, dried grasses, bamboo platforms, place mats and tablecloths) 
  • art books (books on: photographing crafts, business of art, etc…) 
  • tables, shelving, metal rolling carts
  • bats, chucks, various pottery tools

All pots will be marked down at least 35%. Even the pieces that are already on sale will be marked down an additional 35%. And a special bonus will the a bin of $5 pots. Yes, you read that correctly. Those are guaranteed to move quickly! 

Have you been waiting to pick up some plates for yourself? Do you have a wedding to go to this summer? And don’t forget that Mother’s Day is only 3 weeks away! Plan ahead and get some great deals on handmade gifts or something for yourself. 

If you can’t make it on Friday or Saturday and would like to make arrangements to meet before or after, just send me an email and we’ll figure something out.

One Day Sale! 20% off Everything!

Last minute holiday shopping? Have you been thinking about getting a new mug for yourself? Do you need another serving bowl for Christmas dinner? Your procrastination has paid off.

I’m having a 1 day sale this Saturday, December 20 from 10am – 6pm in my studio in Chicago.  20% off everything (and that even includes the pieces that are already marked down).  There are even new pieces that I will be putting out on Saturday.

I think you’ll find a little something for everyone. There are mugs, tumblers, bowls in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Necklaces, soap dispensers and honey pots fill the shelves. I even have these great new spoon/ teabag holders that are the perfect stocking stuffer for that tea lover in your life. You can’t put off your holiday shopping much longer!

I’m working on a whole slew of new necklaces that I’m really excited about.  I might have to pick out a couple to keep for myself :)

The details:

Saturday, December 20, 2008
10am – 6pm
Studio 205 West
4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL
1 day only
20% off everything, including pieces that have already been marked down!
There is plenty of street parking which is not an easy thing on Chicago’s snow covered streets.  You can also find your way there with many public transportation options- like taking the Brown Line to the Montrose stop.
There are tons of other studios to shop in, as well as the gallery at Lillstreet.  And Montrose has a bunch of little shops and restaurants.  My favorite little gift shop, Hazel, is just down the street. You can make a day of it and get all your last minute shopping done by shopping local!

A tour of my studio and new work for the holidays

The opening reception for my holiday sale (and throughout Lillstreet & Lillstreet Studios) is tonight, Dec. 5, from 6pm – 9pm. But if you miss the opening, you can stop by throughout the month of December. Or if you’re not in Chicago, you can take a tour here. As promised, here are some pictures of my studio and new work for my holiday show:

This is what you’ll see when you walk into my studio.

And this is me enjoying my sparkling clean studio. I’ll be back to the wheel on Monday, so the clean shelves and floors won’t last too long. Well, I’ll still be enjoying my studio, just not the cleanliness of it!

I have been making tons of soap/ lotion dispensers this season. I resisted making them for a long long time because I didn’t want to use plastic pumps. I finally found beautiful brushed stainless steel and brushed copper pumps and I’ve gone a little crazy with them!

This is a new wall display that I’ve set up outside my studio door. The shelves are bamboo shadow boxes and they’re quite fun to arrange little groupings in.

I have spent the last year making mugs. I LOVE designing and making them and the demand for them has been higher than ever. Mugs are so personal. Everyone’s idea of the *perfect* mug is different- so I make a wide variety of shapes and sizes. People are also quite opinionated about the interior glaze color. Some want something light so they can see how steeped their tea is. Others want something dark that will hide the coffee stains. There is a mug for everyone :)

I have been making more ceramic pendants. I’m more excited than ever about this newest series of necklaces. They are made out of a variety of clays, with different slips, glazes and textures that are enhanced by the soda firing process. They’re finished off with hand dyed silk that is knotted onto the pendants.

This is one of the serving bowls that you’ll see in my studio. Each side is totally different from the others. I feel like I should have put up a series of images to capture all the details.

You might remember this series of tea bowls that I have been making this year.
peace. hope. change.

These shallow bowl-plates are part of a dinnerware set that I’ve been working on. I love using this shape of plate at home for most meals. Some might call it a pasta bowl but at the Murphy-Bicking household we call them bowl-plates. They’re perfect for salads, stir fry or a good mid-western casserole.

In addition to finding my work on the 2nd floor of Lillstreet Studios, you can also find it at Lillstreet Gallery on the 1st floor as part of the Dinnerware Show. The show is beautiful. I’m happy to be sharing the table with Kristin Pavelka.

Happy Holidays!

Lillstreet Studios Holiday Show – 2008

I’ve been locked away in my studio this fall filling it with pots for the holiday show at my studio. Mugs, necklaces and bowls are stacked on the shelves.  Lots of smaller pieces that will make perfect gifts. 
This Friday, December 5, 2008, is the opening celebration at Lillstreet Studios in Chicago from 6pm – 9pm. You can find me in my studio on the 2nd floor on Friday and throughout the month of December. 

There are over 50 artists at Lillstreet making pots, tiles, jewelry and more.  It’s a unique place where you can shop directly from the artist’s studios as well as from the Gallery at Lillstreet. The opening of the show is on Friday from 6pm – 9pm, but the studios will be open throughout the month.  
There is plenty of parking and accessible by lots of public transportation (Montrose-Brown Line, Lawrence-Metra, Ravenswood-Montrose Bus, etc…). 
I’ll be posting a preview of my newest work over the next couple of days so watch out for the updates!

Exhibitions: Collective Conversations in Clay

Collective Conversations in Clay

A collaborative exhibition with: 
I am going to be in a very cool show that opens this week at Lillstreet Gallery in Chicago.  (Please refer to the diagram in the top left corner and follow along.) The show is made up of work from five pairs of artists.  Each ceramic artist made 1 piece(s) from start the finish and another piece(s) halfway.  Then traded the leather hard piece with their partner. The partner decorated, finished and fired the piece(s).  Each pair will display their four pieces. I haven’t seen any of the other pieces yet, so I am really excited to see what everyone did. 

The details:
Lillstreet Gallery
4401 N. Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640
Oct. 3 – Nov. 1, 2008
Opening Reception: 
Saturday, October 4, 2008
4pm – 7pm
This show is part of Chicago Artists Month and the Ravenswood Art Walk.
We did a slightly different incarnation of the show last year.  You should definitely check out it out: Being to Being: Collective Conversations in Clay.
I think this is an exercise that every ceramic artist should try.  You learn so much about your own work and your approach to it by seeing your form through someone else’s eyes.  I will be posting pictures of the show soon so you can see the work even if you’re not in Chicago.

Upcoming shows

I’ve been a bit of an absentee blogger lately.  After a summer of travel, I came home to a very busy life (I haven’t even downloaded the photos from our trip yet).  I will get into some of it later in a future post, but for now I thought I would share with you some shows that I will be in over the next 3 months. I’ve been shipping a lot of pots lately!
Platters and Pourers
Juried Exhibiton
Baltimore, MD
September 27 – November 6, 2008
Juror: John Glick
Opening Reception:
September 26, 2008
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 


Ceramic Biennial 2008

Juried Exhibiton

Amherst and French Building Galleries
Manchester, NH.
October 8 – November 7, 2008
Opening Reception: 
French Building Gallery
Friday, October 17, 2008
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Invitational Exhibition
Chicago, IL. 
October 3 – November 1, 2008
Opening Reception
October 4, 2008
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

 

Juried Exhibiton
Warrenville, IL
October 24 – November 22, 2008
Juror: Simon Levin 
Opening Reception:
@ IBEW
October 24, 2008
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Juried Exhibiton
Missoula, MT
November 7 – 25, 2008
Juror: Jim Koudelka 
Opening Reception:
November 7, 2008
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Invitational Exhibition
Baltimore Clayworks
Baltimore, MD
November 15 – December 22, 2008 
Opening Reception:
November 15, 2008
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dinnerware
Invitational Exhibition 
Lillstreet Gallery
Chicago, IL
Nov. – Dec.
Our Cups Runneth Over
Invitational Exhibition
November 1, 2008 – January 25, 2009
Opening Reception
November 7, 2008
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Fall Classes with Emily Murphy

It’s time again to sign up for next session’s classes at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL. Classes begin the week of Sept. 8, 2008 and run for 10 weeks. If you sign up by August 15th, you’ll get 10% off.

Below I’ve listed the classes that I will be teaching in the fall. If you’re not interested in soda, or aren’t at the advanced level yet, there are tons of other classes to take (clay and non-clay, although you know my preference:) .

Advanced Topics in Soda Firing: Surface Decoration
Level:Intermediate/Advanced
LAC members $340 / Non-members $350
Soda Lab Fee: $60.00

Class description:
This class will focus on color, pattern, texture, motif, and the development of a personal style for your soda fired pots and sculpture. You will use glazes, flashing and colored slips, stains and oxides to experiment with a wide variety of techniques which include resists (wax, latex, paper and tape), stencils, spraying and brushwork. In addition to concentrating on surface, hand building and wheel throwing demonstrations will be presented. All students are required to share loading and unloading of kilns on evenings outside of class

 

Class

Dates Instructor

 

 
Wed 6:30-9:30pm

Starts Sept 10, 2008 Emily Murphy

 


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Advanced Wheel: Throwing and Altering
Level: Advanced
LAC Members $ 340/ Non-members $ 350

Class description:
This class is for the proficient thrower to take their wheel work to the next level. We will push, pull and cut the clay on and off the wheel to create new forms on and off the wheel. We will use the wheel to make the basic forms, and then incorporate hand-building techniques to build forms that are out of round.

 

Class

Dates Instructor

 

 
Wed. 1:30-4:30

Starts Sept 10, 2008 Emily Murphy

 

_______________________ 

Student Information:

Class fee includes:

  • 25lbs of stoneware, terra cotta clay, porcelain or soda clay.
  • Glaze materials with over 200 glaze combinations
  • Gas, soda and electric kiln firings
  • Generous open studio time!! Come in 12 hours per day; 7 days per week (10am-10pm).


Please Note:

  • Tool kits and additional clay are available for purchase.
  • Don’t forget to dress-for-mess and bring an old towel to class.

Visiting Chicago? Stop by Lillstreet…

I thought I’d tell you a little bit about where I spend my days making pots and teaching classes. My studio is on the north side of the city at Lillstreet Studios. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood sometime and say ‘hello.’ It’s a great place to explore if you’re visiting Chicago. Or if you happen to live in the windy city, take an afternoon excursion to see what’s happening inside the walls of this old factory building.
Click here to get more information on Lillstreet’s location.

Getting there: You can drive (ample parking). You can ride a bike (lots of bike racks). You can take the Brown Line to the Montrose Stop. You can take the Montrose bus to Ravenswood. You can take the Metra to Lawrence. Etc…

There is a lot to see, so I thought I would give you just a brief “virtual tour” to entice you to stop by on your next trip to the windy city.

This is the directory that you’re greeted by when you walk inside the front door:

On the first floor:

One of the wheel classrooms (this one has 18 wheels):

On the second floor:

Outside my studio, 205 west, there are bios of each artist:

On the third floor:

Jewelry and metals:

The building is open for visitors to wander around. Explore the classrooms, visit the studios, shop in the gallery. The studios don’t have regular hours, but if you stop by, there is probably something open! There is no way I could actually show you everything, so you’ll just have to come see for yourself.

Interested in making a day of it? Other things to see and eat within 2 blocks:

And some things that are pretty darn close, but you’d probably want to hop in a car, on a bike, on a train:
Haus
Old Town School of Folk Music

If you’re making a special trip to Lillstreet, send me an email to let me know you’re coming so I can make sure that I’m there to meet you! I live quite close, so if I’m in town, it’s pretty easy for me to meet up with you.

Busy busy!

I have some fun blog posts in the works, but they’re a bit ambitious and it’s taking me longer to get them posted than I thought it would. Here is some other stuff that I’m up to (in no particular order).

Feb. 16th, 2008
I’m so excited to teach a workshop for Earlham Alums! I learned to make pots at Earlham where ceramics was highly supported by the students and faculty. Over the years of having a studio at Lillstreet, I’ve had a lot of EC alums visit me. Their support of clay as students at Earlham has transformed into a life long appreciation of handmade pots.
If you’re an Earlham alum in the mid-west, I hope you can make it to the workshop. Or if you know someone else who is… pass it on!

Join fellow Earlhamites, parents, and friends of the College at Lillstreet Art Center for a hands-on workshop with Emily Murphy ’99. Each participant will have the opportunity to learn hand building techniques and create his or her own mug or vase. Pieces will be fired and available for pickup approximately 2-3 weeks after the event. All work will be completely non-porous, food-safe, and microwave and dishwasher safe! We will gather at 11:30 for pizza and an opportunity to hear an update from campus!
 

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Another Cup? at Baltimore Clayworks curated by Deborah Bedwell.
Jan. 12 – Feb. 23, 2008

I was excited to be invited to be a part of this exhibition. See the pictures 0f the show here.

An invitational exhibition featuring cups from established and emerging ceramic artists. The curator, Baltimore Clayworks’ Executive Director Deborah Bedwell believes, “… that a beautifully made cup, which satisfies its utilitarian and/or artistic intention is exactly what our culture needs and answers the question “Does the world need another cup? 

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Yunomi Invitational at Akar
I have also been invited to be a part of the Yunomi Exhibition at Akar. I’ll keep you posted when the show is online. Right now the pots are in the mail, on their way to Akar.
They have the tea bowls from last year’s exhibition online. Take a look, there are some amazing vessels!
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My plan has been for a long time to redo my main website: sodafired.com
But everything else gets in the way (like making pots, my blog, etc…). But I am trying to at least keep some of the info updated.
Here’s the latest:

updated resume

updated artist statement

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A new class session at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago began a couple of weeks ago. Spring session starts mid-March. The classes I’m teaching will be the same next session, but with slightly different days & times.

Advanced Wheel – Throwing and Altering
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 9:30pm

This class is for the proficient thrower to take their wheel work to the next level. We will push, pull and cut the clay on and off the wheel to create new forms on and off the wheel. We will use the wheel to make the basic forms, and then incorporate hand-building techniques to build forms that are out of round. 

Advanced Topics in Soda: Investigating Materials
Wednesdays, 7 – 10pm

This class is for advanced students who have had some experience in soda and atmospheric firing, and are looking to investigate the process more deeply. We will be focused on exploring and understanding different clay bodies and dozens of slips. We will look at slides for inspiration and will identify particular finishes that are interesting and exciting. From there, we will study individual materials and how they react in the soda kiln. The end goal will be to create some new and unique finishes through the investigation of materials 

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The Conversation Continues…
You might remember the show that I was a part of last fall: Being to Being: Collective Conversations in Clay. Check out the website– there are new images of the show (installed) and the process. And it sounds like there will be another show this fall with a new twist. As always, I’ll keep you posted!

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Ask a Potter
I regularly get questions via email from other ceramic artists seeking my advice. There are certain questions that I get over and over again: new graduates asking advice on what to do after graduation; questions about kilns and soda; people coming to visit Chicago wondering what clay focused things there are to do an see when they’re in town, etc… I try to answer these questions as best I can within the limitations of my time and knowledge. Last week I got a bunch of emails, many of which are variations on common questions that I get. I thought to myself: “I should use each question and my answer as a blog post.” So that’s what I’m going to do. And I’m hoping that maybe a dialog can open up and the Pottery Blog readers can help fill in the gaps in my advice with their own knowledge and experiences.

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Europe, clay?
Ian and I are planning a trip to Europe in mid to late August. We have a wedding to go to in Germany, but other than that, we don’t have any specific plans. We’re in the VERY early stages of planning (I think we’re heading north, Denmark, etc…). Does anyone have any suggestions for clay related things that we should consider doing/ seeing and maybe take in account in our planning? Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

Those are all the updates for now. It’s nice to be back!