Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nine Days and Counting

The Year is 2009 and Victoria Shaw is the President of the OPA and Beverly Curtis and Brenda Scott are the Chairs for Ceramic Showcase.

In 2009 the International adventure continued with OPA members traveling and exhibiting in Hokkaido, Japan.  Many members took side trips throughout Japan.  One side trip found Jim Johnstone and his wife in a tiny village that literally was closed but thanks to the kindness of strangers, found a room for the evening and a small pottery where Jim was surrounded by the works of Shoji Hamada.  Jim recounted this story at an OPA General meeting, and to hear the tone in his voice and the sparkle in his eye, you knew that he had experienced a life changing moment.  And when he unwrapped his little treasure, his delight was as evident then as it must have been in that tiny village pottery.

And the Best of Show 2009 was Penelope Dews.  I asked Penelope about the evolution of her work and this is what she wrote:

Best of Show 2009
Penelope Dews
"The idea for this piece evolved over a number of years.  I would make changes to the bird and the energy of the piece, but, the feeling I was searching for kept eluding me.  What ultimately made this idea come alive were two things, we adopted a cockatiel and having a live bird in the home changed my way of looking at birds, and I had seen an image on a calendar of a small bird singing its heart out.

The piece was made using a modified coil method.  Short fat coils, flattened into short slabs about 2 - 3 inches tall, and attached to a slab base.  The bird was added last and is hollow, using clay "flying buttresses" to hold it up until it was stiff enough to stand alone.  Then the supports were cut away.  The piece was anagama wood fired on a top shelf about a third of the way back in the kiln.  Placed with its back to the firebox, so not too much ash would fall on the birds face, and potentially obstruct it's features. The added bonus was the shape the flame made up the back of the piece during the firing."

The 30th Ceramic Showcase opens on May 4, 2012 at 10am and runs through Sunday, May 6.  This year's Ceramic Showcase will celebrate our 30th Anniversary with a weekend full of art, music and camaraderie.  We hope you will join us as we welcome back many of the artists that participated in the 1st Ceramic Showcase.  Live music will happen Friday and Saturday evenings featuring Lynch Mob, Mo Mac and Mood Area 52.  There will also be live music throughout the weekend performed acoustically by local area high school students and musicians.  Our Demonstration Stage will be busy all weekend, Adult and Children's Clay areas if you feel the urge to get your hands dirty, local beer,wine and spirits featured at our no-host bar and last but certainly not least the ceramic work of more than 200 local ceramic  artists.  Find that beautiful cup to enjoy morning coffee, a bowl to grace your table, sculpture to enhance your home and come meet and talk to the artists that have created this amazing work.

We hope to see you in just 9 short days.

(Can you hear the kilns of the Northwest just fire up?)

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