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Journal

News from Dowd House Studios: places to find our pottery, exhibitions, classes & workshops, new forms and exciting projects.

Filtering by Tag: Sam Dowd

Art Fair Jackson Hole!

Jenny Dowd

It's almost here, and I've been working super hard to get ready for the August Art Fair! Hosted by the Art Association the fair will take over Miller Park with 160+ artists from all over the country.

Stop by and say hi, we are in booth #156

Friday Aug 11: 10 - 6

Saturday Aug 12: 10 - 6

Sunday Aug 13: 10 - 4

Sam and I both have lots of our favorite forms and designs, plus some new ideas... read on for a sneak peek...

I just loaded a kiln with a big batch of soup bowls, teacups and saucers... no matter how much time I have before an event, I'll always be working up till the last minute.

Sam made a fleet of funny new animal mugs, they have some great personalities! And I've been working on some new design ideas: octopus + clouds + UFO = succulent planters. I just potted a few to get them ready for the fair.

Plus... sneak peek! I've been making Jackson Hole ornaments exclusively for Workshop, and I'm making a limited edition run of ornaments commemorating the upcoming eclipse. I'll have some of these at the fair, then they will head back to Workshop.

Aesop's Fables

Jenny Dowd

Sam and I are part of an exhibition that will open on Thursday October 13th at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY. The reception is from 6 - 9pm and all are welcome!

25 Fables: Aesop's Animals Illustrated is an invitational exhibition curated by Bronwyn Minton. 25 artists were each assigned a fable to illustrate in black and white. The show will start with a sneak peek and artist talk on Thursday from 11:30 - 12, Sam will be one of the artists speaking about his process. 

I illustrated "The crow and the pitcher" and Sam illustrated "The two crabs." Our interpretations and the fables are below: 

THE CROW AND THE PITCHER  

In a spell of dry weather, when the Birds could find very little to drink, a thirsty Crow found a pitcher with a little water in it. But the pitcher was high and had a narrow neck, and no matter how he tried, the Crow could not reach the water. The poor thing felt as if he must die of thirst.

Then an idea came to him. Picking up some small pebbles, he dropped them into the pitcher one by one. With each pebble the water rose a little higher until at last it was near enough so he could drink.

In a pinch a good use of our wits may help us out.

 

The Two Crabs

One fine day two Crabs came out from their home to take a stroll on the sand. “Child,” said the mother, “you are walking very ungracefully. You should accustom yourself to walking straight forward without twisting from side to side.”  

  “Pray, mother,” said the young one, “do but set the example yourself, and I will follow you.”

   Example is the best precept.   

The show is on display until April 23, 2017, so if you are in the Jackson, WY area be sure to stop by and check it out!

Western Design Conference 2016

Jenny Dowd

Earlier this year Agnes Bourne invited several Jackson artists to work with her on a project for the 2016 Western Design Conference. We were asked to create artwork for the foyer of the Designer Show House, on display during the conference, September 8 - 11.

The theme of the room, Flying West in Summer, served as inspiration as we met and discussed our vision for the space. Sam committed to making a coat rack and I took on the challenge of a chandelier.

The cool end of summer / early fall weather was perfect; we turned our driveway into an extra studio for welding, fabrication and even wood burning.

The Designer Show House is composed of 9 rooms, each featuring a different designer. The foyer celebrates "New Arts" in Jackson, with new and repurposed objects offering a welcoming space full of ideas and reflections. Visitors are met with a large shelving unit filled with fascinating objects: a Cabinet of Curiosities. To the right in the lower bank of photos, Ben Roth's Aspen Coat Rack, fabricated from steel and spoons. At the top and lower shelves of the Cabinet of Curiosities is The Grand Pan, created by Bland Hoke. Small paintings by Lee Riddell are tucked between the curiosities. 

Inspiration for Sam's steel and wood coat rack came from the current fire season in Wyoming and throughout the West.

My inspiration for the Wyoming Sky Lantern came originally from the little white birds seen at a distance in Yellowstone National Park, usually around Grand Prismatic. I also incorporated the silhouette of the ever present mountains and stars that pierce the night sky.

Also in the image below is a plein air painting by Kathryn Mapes Turner. And surrounding the room is a giant image from Triangle X Ranch, printed on fabric.

This project stretched the imagination- the first time we saw all of the components together was during the installation on Monday before the show opened! With a bit of magic and a lot of trust this project came together to offer a space full of vision, as written by Agnes Bourne:

listen to the light

in the tent of early dawn

under the cover of quiet sunrise

the Wunderkammer of deepest dreams

reflects the shadows of living memories

in the museums of our minds

flying West in summer

listen to the light - listen to the light

Art Fair Jackson Hole

Jenny Dowd

This weekend we are hanging out in Miller Park for Art Fair Jackson Hole!

Come by and check out lots of great art made by artists from all over the country. Sam and I are in booth #159, we have been busy making heaps of new pottery- favorite forms as well as brand new ideas.

In celebration of the fair's 50th Anniversary there will be music by Jazz Foundation of Jackson Hole on Saturday from 3 - 7pm. 

Come by and find that perfect kitchen organizer or a wacky pilsner.

Miller Park, Jackson, WY

Friday July 8: 10 - 6 | Saturday July 9: 10 - 7 | Sunday July 10: 10 - 4

Hope to see you there, we will be back in August too!

Rendezvous in Pinedale

Jenny Dowd

On June 30th the exhibition, Rendezvous, opened at Mystery Print Gallery in Pinedale, WY. The show features the art of Wyoming artists, Christy Anspach, Babs Case and myself.

Given the theme of Rendezvous, I thought of my little furniture sculptures- groupings of objects coming together and often caught in the act of misbehaving.

From left to right: First Kiss | Longing | Time Out | Was it murder? (click on the image to see the whole piece)

I love the color in this gallery, now I want color behind my work all the time!

 "Dearly Beloved" by Christy Anspach  

Each line is a family- a group of pinch pots with similar yet unique features. (Christy's Obvara firing process is totally new to me and something I would like to try.)

This detail and studio photo lends a peek into the intricate collages made by Babs Case. My photos from the show were blurry, so I grabbed these from Mystery Print's Facebook page. 

Continuing the theme of Rendezvous and coming together over a shared meal or drink, Sam and I also have pottery in the gallery.

This show is up until September, so if you are in the Pinedale area be sure to stop by! 

Summer Pottery Sales

Jenny Dowd

Mark your calendars, it's almost summer pottery sale season! 

I've been throwing, trimming, glazing, staining, re-glazing, firing... and there is still so much to do. Pictured below are sponge holders & soap dispensers, cream & sugar sets glazed and headed to the kiln. Everything looks so pastel and dull right now, that will soon change!

The summer sales are starting off with a Jackson local's favorite- the Teton MudPots Summer Sale.

Find lots of treasures from 12 local potters, including me and Sam. I'll be packing up lots of work this week in preparation, come by and find awesome deals on some pieces I consider seconds. Nothing is really wrong with them, just glaze flaws, prototypes or things I'm not 100% happy with.

Look for the tents in the parking lot just outside the ceramics studio at the Art Association. This is a great way to support local artists while sprucing up your home decor. Plus a percentage of each sale goes back to the ceramics studio to help us buy the equipment we need to make cool stuff.

Friday June 24, 10am - 7pm & Saturday June 25, 10am - 5pm 

What's next?

The 2nd weekend of July and the 2nd weekend of August Dowd House Studios will have a booth in Art Fair Jackson Hole, located in Miller Park. We will also be at RiverFest in Lander, WY on the 1st Saturday in August.

Maker Faire

Jenny Dowd

Today Sam and I are participating in the Jackson Hole Mini Maker Faire. If you are in Jackson, come by the Journeys School from 12 - 4 and check out this celebration with over 40 makers!

Sam will be teaching small groups how to weld, stop by his booth to make your very own garden tool.

I will be using clay to create a community still life. Come by my booth to learn basic hand-building clay techniques. Make an object to pose and photograph amongst items created by other participants. At the end of the day all the clay will be recycled, so have fun with the process and the moment.

Check our facebook page to see photos from the day! 

Kimchi Update

Jenny Dowd

Last week I started a batch of kimchi to test Sam's fermenting crock (check out last week's post for details.) After 5 days of semi-patiently waiting and looking at the crock sitting on the counter...

I took off the lid to find a delicious batch of spicy veggie kimchi! The crock worked well and also gave us ideas for design improvements. While this crock holds almost 2 quarts, I think a 1 quart capacity would be helpful. We also have new ideas for how to make the weights.

Whether you are just starting out or have been making kraut for years, let us know if you have any suggestions or ideas that would help your process, crock size, handles, width of top opening... Leave a note in the comments or send an email: dowdhousestudios@gmail.com

What's next? I'm branching out and will soon be starting a batch of Curried Cauliflower Pickles. I'm totally hooked. 

 

Around the House

Jenny Dowd

I always tell my ceramics students to try out their work. It's an easy way to learn how objects function and also make future improvements.

Often I am asked to make items that I normally do not use or in some cases, have not heard of. While I enjoy the challenge and research behind making new items, I feel a little uncomfortable making an untested form and sending it out into the world. I always ask for feedback, but also follow my own advice on testing.  

A few years ago we started getting requests for fermenting jars. I happily let Sam take on the research behind this form and he came up with some beautiful pots. Every time someone asks for these jars or we sell one, I get a little nervous. I know nothing about fermented foods. So I did some research and bought a cookbook: Ferment Your Vegetables

Yesterday I started a batch of kimchi and am testing out this small fermenting crock. In a week or so I'll let you know what happened...

The Garlic Keeper also started out as a request. I did a little research, made a cute little jar for a customer then just kept making more.

This jar helps garlic stay fresh longer thanks to holes that allow air to circulate. We use a lot of garlic, so when a jar came out of the kiln with a tiny crack in the bottom, I decided to put it to use. Not many things match in our kitchen, but I am also using one of my utensil holders- seen in the background of this photo.

Speaking of the kitchen, I looked around and found that I regularly use several of my pots. I made this stovetop spoon rest for my first apartment while in college. The soap dispenser was another form that I wanted to test before selling, and as a bonus the cute stars brighten up the sink area. 

Sam and I both make a lot of little bowls, we keep several in our kitchen for cooking prep as well as serving garnishes and dips. Most of our dishes were made by other potters, but I did recently keep 2 of my favorite form- an 8" salad bowl. These are perfect for so many meals.

I learn a lot from using my pots and the work of other potters. Plus it's a great excuse to use beautiful objects!

Upcoming Classes

Jenny Dowd

This week my spring teaching schedule began and I suddenly realized that means summer classes are right around the corner! For the next several months I will be teaching a variety of ceramics classes (for adults & kids), beginning drawing and professional practices for artists.

Space is still available in the classes that will begin in just a few weeks:

Beginning Drawing

Thursday Afternoons | 1 - 4pm | April 28 - May 19 | Taught by Jenny Dowd

Some things should not have wheels

Some things should not have wheels

 The Clay Surface: Color & Pattern

Tuesday Evenings | 6 - 9pm | May 3 - 24pm | Taught by Jenny Dowd

Glazing: From Ho-Hum to Hooray!

Friday Evenings | 6 - 9pm | May 13 - 27 | Taught by Sam Dowd

Lots of classes are coming up this summer... handbuilding, clay sculpting / portraits, beginning drawing plus ceramic classes for kids! Check it all out at the Art Association and for a full list of our classes check out the Events page on our website.

NCECA 2016

Jenny Dowd

Last week we traveled to Kansas City for the 50th Annual NCECA Conference (National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts.) Now home and excited about new ideas, I should be eager to get back to work. The studio is clean and ready... instead I'm tired and feel as though I'm staring at a humongous blank canvas. I've spent this past week reading, planning, mapping project deadlines and mostly processing a vast list of new ideas for myself and my students... all while thinking about the amazing artwork I saw in the galleries during the conference. Sometimes it is nice to feel stuffed full to the brim, as soon as I sleep it off, I'll be hungry for more.

My work was included in the exhibition Around the Corner. This show highlighted the art of several graduates from the University of Missouri-Columbia as well as our professor and mentor, Bede Clarke. I took this opportunity to experiment and make a large modular piece: That moment, an attempt to capture the very instant attraction takes place. The show is beautiful and I'm so happy to have been included, if only I had taken more photographs of my colleague's work.

Sam was included in an exhibition at the Thornhill Gallery at Avila College, Yoshi and Friends. This exhibition honored the legacy of Yoshi Ikeda and his students from Kansas State University. Yoshi made a big impact on both of us, myself as an undergraduate at KSU and Sam as a graduate student. We miss him but attempt to pass his humor and dedication on to our students.

Sam Dowd | Crossing the road just got harder

We saw so much art in such a short amount of time, here are just a few of my favorites:

Kate Roberts |  Porte

Kate Roberts | Porte

Donut Goshorn |  Body Map

Donut Goshorn | Body Map

Cary Esser |  Veil

Cary Esser | Veil

Fred Johnston |  Fish & Fowl Bowl

Fred Johnston | Fish & Fowl Bowl

Kirsten Stingle

Kirsten Stingle

Christina Erives |  Lo Que La Partia Me Dio

Christina Erives | Lo Que La Partia Me Dio