Tuesday, January 29, 2008

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!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

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

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Friday, November 30, 2007

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!

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

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

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

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.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

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.**

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Friday, March 17, 2006

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


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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

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.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

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!

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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!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Studio Sale - May 7th, 2005


As you can see from my postcard image above, I'm having a studio sale at my studio (an innovative idea...) in Chicago on May 7th from 10am - 5pm. To learn more about this sale and to get important information like directions to the studio and payment options, please head on over to sodafired.com and you'll see all the pertinent information you need right there. I hope you can make it.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Workshop with Jordan Taylor


My good friend and fellow Earlham alum Jordan Taylor, is going to be coming to Lillstreet Art Center this April to do a 2 day workshop.

Jordan and I worked side by side on our senior projects at Earlham, making pots, loading and firing kilns. After we graduated, Jordan and I have both gone on to make pots full time- but we have arrived there by very different paths. Jordan went the route of many the clay graduate of EC, and did a long apprenticeship. He worked with Mark Skudlarek in Cambridge, Wisconsin for 3 1/2 years. After his apprenticeship was completed, he moved to north eastern Pennsylvania to set up his shop. He wrote an article for Ceramics Monthly about his journey of making pots.


In Union Dale, Pennsylvania Jordan built his wood kiln...


where he fires his pots...


If you are interested in registering for this workshop, it's on April 16th and 17th -- contact Lillstreet Gallery for more information (773.769.4226).

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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Studio Sale







This Friday December 3, from 5pm - 10pm is the opening night gala at my studio, Lillstreet Gallery, and all 26 artist studios at Lillstreet Studios in Chicago. We're located at 4401 N. Ravenswood Ave., in Chicago, IL. Come on up to my studio on the second floor (205 west).

My studio will be open during regular business hours throughout the first 3 weeks of December. Feel free to call or email ahead to make an appointment. Or just stop by... I'll be there.

I have lots of new work, like...

and...


and of course you can always find...

I will be taking credit cards, as well as checks and cash. Gift boxes are available.

If you can't make it to my studio, you can find work for sale on my website.
Or you can also find my work this season at:
Hope to see you soon...keep warm!

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