Stories I Tell Cup Photos & Postcards

For all of you who have been curious about my Stories I Tell Cup Project I have finally posted photos of both the recipients and their postcards here on my website >>.

To refresh your memory, the Stories I Tell Cup Project was a collection of cups that I made, which were given away, free of charge to members of the public throughout my solo exhibit Stories I Tell in Medalta’s Yuill Family Gallery, with the goal of making handmade objects more accessible and illustrating how their use can enrich ones daily life.

In exchange for the cup, recipients were asked to send a postcard to the artist with a short story or reflection on using the cup and were encouraged to tag tweets and photos to #storiesitell.

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part in the Stories I Tell Cup Project. I fell truly lucky to have met you all and so grateful that you shared your stories with me. Throughout this process I have been humbled by your honesty and generosity—I learned so much more than I had envisioned at the start of this process, and I thank you for that.

View all of the photos and postcards here >>

Stories I Tell - Cup #23

Willow – Cup #23

New Work

Thanks to Diane & Cecil Finch, I now have lovely photos of my lovely new work (at least, I think it is lovely work!). This body of work was created in the final months of my residency at Medalta for my solo show titled Stories I Tell, which is at Medalta’s Yuill Family Gallery, from June 19 – July 26, 2014.

As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

NCECA Bound!

NCECA Milwaukee

Thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, I am heading down to NCECA tomorrow! This will be only my second time going, so I’m still a relative NCECA newbie. Last year when I went down to Houston, I barely knew anyone—this year (thanks to all the great people I’ve met through Medalta) it’s a different story. Plus, it’s in Milwaukee this year, which is apparently the beer capital of the US… I’ve never been a huge beer drinker, but I think that might be because I haven’t done enough research. I like research.

If you are going to be there, I am helping out at Medalta’s booth (booth T40 in the resource hall), so stop by and say hi.

SEXSE Time at Medalta

Talk about things starting off with a bang here at Medalta! I have no idea where September went, but I do know that it has been a great month, full of new faces and awesome meals. In addition to the four long-term artists in residence all kicking it off in the studios this month, we had five artists from South East Asia in the studios, headed up by the inimitable Vipoo Srivilasa, a Thai born artist who is now based in Australia. South East Asian artists working alongside artists in South Eastern Alberta (hence the name of our show SEXSE, which I now get to put on my CV!).

Vipoo (who I also had the pleasure of hosting during his stay), invited four other ceramic artists from South East Asia to Medalta for a one month residency.  His prerequisites for choosing the artists were, one, that they make great work, and two, that they be good cooks! Needless to say, it made for an amazing combination in the studios—everyone trying to outdo each other both on the making art and making food side. The artists he invited were Thomas Cheong and Teo Huey Min from Singapore, Krisaya Luenganantakul, from Thailand, and Boon Kiat (James) Seet, of Malaysia. All incredibly talented individuals that I feel lucky to call friends.

As a way of getting us all to work towards a common goal, Vipoo instigated the first ever Medalta International Spoon competition. Here are the results:

Back in Time…

As the website says, “Medalta is the centerpiece of a 150-acre Canadian National Historic Site in Medicine Hat, Canada.” And while the Medalta site itself is incredible (where else in the world will you find a working pottery, industrial ceramics museum, contemporary gallery and state of the art artist studio’s all within 500 feet of each other?), the rest of the site is pretty spectacular. I had a chance to visit the two other sites this week and was blown away by the diversity and sheer size of the former clay industry in Medicine Hat. A picture really is worth a thousand words, so here you go:

Hycroft China – 1938 – 1989

Medicine Hat Brick & Tile Plant – 1880 – 2010

Front Page News

Naomi Clement

Turns out artists are front page news in Medicine Hat.

The Medicine Hat News came to interview and photograph me and one of the other new artists (Jason Desnoyers) at the studio the other day—a little surreal to be honest, but definitely nice to be in a community that is so supportive of the arts. Imagine my surprise when I found myself on the front page (above the fold too!). Check out the full article here. Perhaps in later years this photo will be shown in one of those “clay stars without their make-up” magazine spreads they have in Ceramics Monthly.

In other news, I’m still settling into my new studio space (which is pretty awesome by the way!). And while I always like the idea of change, I am not so good at the process of it, so I’m trying to be patient and allow myself the space to get acquainted with my new surroundings. My brain wants me to jump right in, but somehow my hands aren’t quite ready. The addition of a radio and the CBC helped a lot over the weekend.

Plainsman ClayI’m also using a new clay body for the first time in years (Plainsman M370) which is taking some getting used to.

So, what with the new clay body, and a way drier environment (my previous studio was a nice damp basement),  I feel like a bit of a beginner again—cracking handles and all.

Right. Patience…

Medalta Bound

In a matter of days I’ll be on my way West to Medicine Hat Alberta, where I have been accepted as one of six, year long artists in residence at Medalta Potteries.

I’ve spent the last two weeks dashing around visiting family and friends before the road trip West, so I really haven’t had much time to process the fact that I am moving to the other side of the country. Now that the car is packed (my years of experience tightly packing a glaze kiln sure came in handy there), I can take a few deep breaths and actually start to get excited.

It’s hard to say what I’m most looking forward to—between the kilns, great studio spaces and all the history at Medalta, there is a lot of scope for awesomeness.  However, if I have to pick one thing that I’m most looking forward to, I’d say it is the community of artists and makers. I’m really looking forward to being surrounded by people who make ceramics a full-time pursuit—there is something about the energy and camaraderie that exists when a group of artists are all working together in a shared space. I can’t wait to get started.

Medalta Crock