Category Archives: Lillstreet

A Holiday Tour of Lillstreet Studios

I thought I’d give a little tour of what some of the studios are offering this holiday season at Lillstreet Studios in Chicago. It’s truly a unique shopping experience to be able to shop directly from the artists in their studios. I’m including photos of just a sampling of the studios. There are over 50 artists under one roof – and that’s not including Lillstreet’s Gallery!

ceramics by Emily Murphy

 

 

ceramics by Lisa Harris

pottery by Karen Avery

pottery by Gary Jackson

porcelain by Joanna Kramer

porcelain by Karen Patinkin

ceramic and glass beads by Amy Lemaire

 

porcelain by Deborah Schneider

agricultural art by Cathi Bouzide

Photography by Guy Nicol

pottery by Mike Szostak

jewelry by 2nd floor metals artists

Many of the studios are open daily…
check in with individual artists for their hours 
Monday – Friday 12noon – 6pm
Saturdays 10am – 6pm
Sundays 12noon – 5pm

Studio Holiday Sale

Tonight’s the night! It’s the opening night for the holiday show at my studio at Lillstreet Studios in Chicago.

If you’re in the area, I hope you can stop by tonight, or any time over the next 3 weeks. Details and some pictures to tempt are below.

Opening Night Reception
Friday, November 30, 2007 – 6pm – 9pm
Lillstreet Studios
205 west
4401 N. Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640  

 

I have a studio full of new work including the ceramic pendants that you see above that hang on a cord of hand dyed silk. You’ll also see the familiar faces of mugs, serving bowls, honey pots and more.


 

  

Studio hours for the holidays:

weekdays: 12 noon – 6pm
Saturdays: 10am – 6pm
Sundays: 12 noon – 5pm

There are over 40 artists at Lillstreet Studios making functional pottery, tiles, sculpture, jewelry, photography, handmade beads and more. If I’m not at my studio, one of my studio mates can help you out. If you want to be sure to meet up with me, just send me an email (emily@sodafired.com).

You can probably find something for everyone on your list at Lillstreet Studios. I have some ridiculously functional things that everyone can use. Why shouldn’t your soap dispenser be as beautiful and functional as your favorite mug?

Directions to my studio.
I accept cash, checks, Visa and Mastercard.
It’s easy to get to with lots of parking for cars and bikes.
There is a ton of public transportation to help you get there. And the exciting news is that the Montrose Stop on the Brown line is open after a year of renovations! 
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And on a much more personal note…
I haven’t been writing to my blog much lately because I’ve had a very happy distraction. My sister, Nora, had a little baby boy, Shiya, on November 18, 2007 at 4:12pm. Congratulations!
I’ve been spending a lot of time with my sister, baby Shiya and big brother Ayrie. (The happy new family is in the picture to your left!)

 

Happy Holidays!

Empty Bowls – Chicago Style

This December, Lillstreet Art Center is hosting their 2nd annual Empty Bowls event. Last year we had a great turnout, but the plan is to really scale it up this year. Tons of bowls, a big community of people and soup galore will all come together to raise money and awareness to help fight hunger.

The request that I’m sending out is for potters, glass blowers, wood turners, and metal smiths of all levels to make a bowl (or 2 or 20) and donate it to Chicago’s Empty Bowls event at Lillstreet Art Center. We’d also like for you to come a share a meal, if you’re in the area on December 7, 2007 from 6pm – 9pm. For $20, guests are invited to choose a bowl and are served a generous serving of soup and bread made by First Slice Café. Guests keep the bowl as a reminder that there are always “empty bowls” in the world.


Lillstreet has a very unique restaurant in it’s building (sharing space with the gallery), the First Slice Café. Proceeds from the cafe go to feed Chicago’s hungry. They help fight hunger in a very direct way: the food they make for various organizations is the same amazing food that is served in their café. In addition to First Slice making the food for the event, they will also be the recipient of the event’s proceeds so they can continue to create healthy meals for these local organizations: Heartland Alliance, The Night Ministry, American Indian Center Youth Program, and Howard Area Alternative High School. 

If you would like to participate in this event by donating a bowl, please deliver or mail your bowl(s) by November 18, 2007 to:

 

Lillstreet Art Center

4401 North Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640
Attn: Empty Bowls

If you’d like to join us for a bowl of soup, come to Lillstreet on December 7, 2007 from 6pm – 9pm

If you have any questions about this event, you can contact the event organizer, Joanna Kramer.
Please help us spread the word by forwarding this to a friend. Thanks!

The bowls that are in the photo above are by Gary Jackson, Fire When Ready Pottery.

Ceramics Classes

Soda firing classes with Emily Murphy
at Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL
fall classes begin the week of September 10, 2007

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Soda Firing Fundamentals
This class is for the advanced student of ceramics who is interested in exploring a varied and unpredictable surface for their work. Soda firing is an atmospheric firing that produces flashes of color, a textured orange peel surface, and reacts in a variety of ways with different slips, glazes and clay bodies. We’ll delve into forms that work well to accentuate the soda process, play with surface decoration with particular focus on slips and textures, and experiment with glazing for the soda process (including the use of the spray booth). Kiln loading will be taught and all students are required to share loading and unloading of kilns on evenings outside of class.
Tuesdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Starts Sept. 11, 2007 

LAC Members $340 / Nonmembers $350
Soda Firing Lab Fee: $60
register here
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Advanced Topics in Soda Firing: Surface Decoration

This class is for advanced students with previous experience in soda and atmospheric firing, who are looking to investigate the process more deeply. This class is going to focus on surface decoration in the soda kiln. We’ll explore texture from stamping to carving and how to enhance the surface in soda. We’ll delve into slips from flashing to porcelain with a variety of application techniques. The ultimate goal is to enhance your forms with surface decoration in the soda atmosphere. Open to students who make both functional and sculptural work. All students are required to share loading and unloading of kilns on evenings outside of class. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
Wednesdays 12-3pm
Wednesdays 7-10pm
Starts Sept. 12, 2007

LAC Members $340 / Nonmembers $350
Soda Firing Lab Fee: $60
register here

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I thought I’d share a sampling of work from some of my student’s (past and present) that have come through the soda firing program at Lillstreet over the past couple of years.
You’ll see many have their own websites, or albums with more images. Just click on a linked name to see more!


Greg Schultz


Beth Burkhart


Nancy Pirri


Fred Follansbee

Robert Milanowski

Lalitha Bardalaye

 

Holiday Shows, 2006

Due to what I can only explain as time passing more quickly than ever before, the holiday season is upon us. The opening night for various exhibitions and shows that I am participating in is this Friday, December 1st.

Visit my studio at Lillstreet Studios in Chicago throughout the month for our holiday extravaganza. Browse the wares in my studio while I continue to produce work. New work will be showing up throughout the month!

Opening Reception:
Friday, December 1, 6pm – 9pm
4401 N. Ravenswood
2nd floor- 205 west
Chicago, IL 60640

Saturdays, 10am – 6pm
Sundays, 10am – 5pm
Weekdays, 12 noon – 6pm

On weekends, 12 noon – 3pm, you can “drop and shop.” You can drop off your kids in the kids rooms on the 1st floor of Lillstreet Art Center while you shop the gallery and 35 artists studios.


You can travel a little ways from my studio to Haus, a beautiful gallery focusing on hand crafted items for the home from dinnerware to handmade furniture. They also have a great selection of jewelry. The work that I have there, of course, is the dinnerware and other pots.

Haus
5405 N. Clark
Chicago, IL 60640

Tues – Thurs, 11am – 7pm
Fri – Sat, 11am – 8pm
Sun, 12 noon – 5pm
Mon, closed

The Evanston Art Center’s Art + Craft Expo opens with a Preview Party on Friday, December 1, 6pm – 9pm, tickets are $25. I have a wide array of work there, from vases to mugs to soap dispensers. There are over 80 participating artists. An event not to be missed!

Evanston Art Center
2603 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201
December 1 – December 16

Sat – Sun, 11am — 5 pm
Mon – Thur, 12 — 6 pm
Fri, 12 — 8 pm

Woman Made Gallery is hosting their Annual Holiday Bazaar Nov 24 – Dec 23. If you’ve never been to this space before, you should make sure to get there this month!

Woman Made Gallery
685 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

Wed – Fri, 12 noon – 7pm
Sat – Sun, 12 noon – 4pm
Mon – Tue, closed

Opening Reception, Friday, Dec. 1, 6pm – 9pm.

A Study of Continental Clay Bodies

I have recently done a little study of the high fire clay bodies from Continental Clay in Minneapolis. I made teabowls out of each of the clay bodies, and fired one in c. 10 reduction and one in soda (also c. 10 reduction). They are both glazed in a luster shino glaze which shows off the differences in the clay bodies beautifully. The c. 10 pots are glazed both inside and out with the shino glaze (left). The soda pots are glazed on the inside, and on the rim (right). There are 9 clays that I tested in total- so keep scrolling down… Enjoy!

**be sure to click on the images to see a much larger image and really see the details.**

 

Soda Firing Workshop with Emily Murphy

Soda Firing Workshop

with Emily Murphy

Interested in soda firing?

 

This workshop is the whole soda firing process packed into
one weekend at Lillstreet Art Center.

 

This workshop is for intermediate and advanced students, amateur potters, and professional ceramic artists who want to have an introduction to soda firing or to expand their soda firing knowledge. Workshop students will learn how to load the soda kiln: no kiln loading experience necessary!

Soda firing is an atmospheric firing that produces flashes of color, a textured orange peel surface, and reacts in a variety of ways with different slips, glazes and clay bodies. The “soda” in soda firing is a combination of baking soda and soda ash. The soda mixture is introduced into the kiln near the end of the firing. The soda vaporizes and is carried on the flame throughout the kiln. Wherever the flame travels, the soda travels and reacts with the pieces in the kiln to create a glazed or flashed surface.

Come to the workshop with an assortment of bisqued pieces. Variety is best. Please come with 6 – 10 pieces. You’re not guaranteed to get every piece into the kiln, but we’ll try to get in at least 6 pieces, depending on size. The more variety of forms, sizes, shapes and clay bodies, the better for loading! The clay must be rated to Δ10. If you’d like to purchase some of Lillstreet’s special soda clay body ahead of time, you can make arrangements for that. You will be contacted via email prior to the workshop with suggestions of commercially available clay bodies, as well as some slip recipes that you can mix to use on your greenware.

Friday, April 21, 11am-6pm

We will meet to get an introduction to soda firing, glaze, slip and wad pieces. When the pieces are glazed, we will load the soda kiln with everyone’s work.

 

Saturday, April 22, 5-7pm

Saturday is firing day. This timing is approximate- we will be mixing up the soda and putting it into the kiln around this time (Δ9).

Monday, April 24, 3-6:30pm 

Unloading time! We’ll unload the kiln and examine our results from the soda kiln.

 

Lillstreet Members $135 / Nonmembers $140

Soda Firing lab fee: $30


To sign up for this workshop, go online to lillstreet.com, or call: 773.769.4226

For more information about the workshop, or to learn more about Emily’s work,
please visit: sodafired.com or email: emily@sodafired.com

 


Lillstreet Studios website

It’s finally done (almost). The website that I have been making for the group of artists where I have my studio in Chicago: Lillstreet Studios. If you’re not familiar with it, Lillstreet Art Center is a big art center that houses ceramics classrooms, metalsmithing studios, a glass bead making studio and more. Mostthe art center is on the first floor of the building. The 2nd and 3rd floors are what make up Lillstreet Studios. We have over 40 independant artists working. Most are potters, but we also have jewelers, photographer, painters, etc…
We’ve been putting a lot of energy into working together as a group like doing this website and hosting a montly open house called 2nd Saturdays. (Just what it sounds like- a monthly open house on the 2nd Saturday of each and every month!)
It’s great to be a part of a community. There are always people around to brainstorm on business decisions like pricing, or just to have an informal critique about a form. There is a lot of solitary time being a potter (and even more doing all this computer work), but being in this kind of studio helps to balance that out.
Here are a couple of images of some of the studio artists working in their own spaces:

Amy Lemaire, Sarah Busen, Dana Major Kanovitz and Cathi Bouzide are pictured above.

I hope you enjoy wandering through this site.

Second Saturdays- Studio Open House

Saturday, July 9, 2005 -11am – 5pm-
The studio artists of Lillstreet Studios in Chicago are having the first “Second Saturday” studio open house/sale.
We’re coming upon our 2 year anniversary in Lillstreet‘s new location in Ravenswood. The second and third floors are filled with a variety of artists from potters, to jewelers , to photographers, and more. We’re been wanting to organize some sort of monthly event- and we’re finally doing it! I hope you can make it!

Mark of the Flame

Throughout the Spring session at Lillstreet Art Center, my Advanced Topics in Soda Firing class worked on putting together an exhibition of their work- from developing the idea of the show, to producing the work. I’m really excited about the direction this project has taken. The results can be seen at the opening of the exhibition on July 16. Please see below for more information.

The idea of the exhibition is that each set or series of pieces was designed and placed in the kiln to intentionally mark the surface with the pattern and shadow of the flame. All the pieces are fired in the soda kiln, where the soda vapors are being carried with the flame. The results of this are some really exciting pieces that tell the story of how they were made. Photographs of the pieces in the kiln (like the ones seen below) will accompany the displayed ceramics. Please click on image to see it larger-and to read all the details.


The opening reception is Saturday, July 16th at Lillstreet’s Gallery in Chicago. There are several openings happening at the same time- it should be quite an event! If you need directions- please click here.
I hope to see you there!