Tag Archives: Lillstreet Studios

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!

Ravenswood Art Walk – Chicago (Oct. 4 – 5)

The air is a little crisper with a cool edge to the breeze here in Chicago.  Autumn is upon us and that means that it is time for the Ravenswood Art Walk!

The north side art walk takes place this weekend, Oct. 4 -5, 2008 from 11am – 6pm in Chicago. There are over 30 participating venues and over 150 artists.  
The art walk takes place on the Ravenswood Ave. industrial corridor (by the Montrose stop on the Brown line). Lillstreet is part of the walk as well as other ceramic artists. Most of the studios that will have their doors open this weekend aren’t regularly open to the public so you don’t want to miss it! 
My studio will be open this weekend as part of the artwalk, and as I posted yesterday, a show that I am in, Collective Conversations in Clay is also opening up in conjunction with the artwalk.
If you’re around, I hope you’ll stop by!

 

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.

Ask a Potter: Photography

I regularly get questions emailed to me about clay, kilns, the business of clay, etc… I have decided to start a series “Ask a Potter” where I answer some of these questions on PotteryBlog.com that I think will be interesting and helpful to other readers. Please feel free to share your 2 cents and join in on the dialog!
———————–

Who takes your photos? What kind of camera do you use?
-Diane in Georgia

My “professional” images are taken by Guy Nicol in Chicago.
His studio is also at Lillstreet Studios. If you’re not in the Chicago area, don’t let that stop you, you can ship your work to him.
I have been using Guy for my photos for the last 7 years, and his work is amazing. He specializes in studio arts such as ceramics, jewelry, fibers, etc… I’ve used the images he taken to apply to shows as well as promotional materials (postcards, business cards, etc…). Some of Guy’s images of my work published in exhibition catalogs, 500 Cups (2 images), 500 Pitchers (2 images) and Ceramics Monthly. 

Some examples of photos that Guy has taken for me recently:

 

I do take lots of photos myself that are posted on this blog. I got a new digital camera early last fall, the Canon PowerShot A570 and I’ve been really happy with it. 

I would say the photos that I take myself fall into 3 categories – personal, studio shots/ works in progress, and images for online selling. I’ve been dabbling in online selling for a while trying to figure out what outlet I think is best. I’m finally ready to jump into the Etsy pool (more on that to come!) and easy, high quality photos are a necessity.

Below are some photos that I have taken with my digital camera:

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.