Tag Archives: Clayscapes Pottery

IPA: Spring Show

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Last night I caught the tail end of a three-hour art reception at Clayscapes Pottery in Syracuse, New York.  The IPA (Independent Potters’ Association) displayed their wares in the wonderful gallery in this basement establishment located at 1003 West Fayette Street.

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Clayscapes is where I get the clay I use in my classroom.  It is a retail business with walk-ins welcome; it is a gallery and it is home to studio space for ceramic artists, as well as a venue for ceramics classes for all ages.

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I can’t spend a lot of time in there, however – big secret revealed – I am allergic to clay!  When I do clay projects with students, I limit them to a four-class affair.  I do it, of course, because it is really an important media for sculpture and functional art.

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This gallery is really cool because many of the works are functional and so, when art lovers and customers see them, they want to use them immediately.  And they can because it is a cash and carry show.

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The glass shelves were formerly in the Everson Museum of Art before the museum went through renovations.  Everything looks amazing.  Every artist’s work is unique – there is really something for everyone.

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I spoke with Wes Weiss, a local guy and Nottingham High School grad who spoke of his process in such an interesting way, which totally resonated with me.  He said he took negative feelings of the political climate in this country and infused his feelings with positive text creating the message of melting his painful thoughts and keeping the good ones.  He said an idea grips him and it is almost painful until he purges it via creation.  He is “a slab guy”, using said technique to create tiles, lanterns and other pieces scattered throughout the show.

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You can claim a free tile from his bowl of positive words located at the entrance to the gallery.  I loved the sentiment of walking away with a piece of his goodness.  It really blends with my belief that we all work together to create our experiences.  Loved that so much.

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Also in this show are the following:  Casey Cleary-Hammarstedt, Jen Gandee, Matt Hill, Michael Hughes, Sookie Kayne, Bobbi Lamb, Tom Krahe, David MacDonald, Jamie Noce, Tina Parker, Jessica Pilowa, Margery Rose, Millie St. John, Tim See, Don Seymour, Karen Jean Smith, John Smolenski, Alan Stankiewicz, Peter Valenti, Sarah VanDerVoort, Michele Walters and Rebecca Wind.

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This exhibition continues through May 5, 2018.  Visit IPA at www.ipa.org for more information about this group.  Clayscapes Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

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Matter of the Minefield

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Size Matters is the title of the latest art exhibition at Clayscapes Pottery, Inc. (1003 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13204).  The ceramic sculptures by Syracuse University grad student Peter Smith will be on display and for sale through February 23, 2017.

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The show is a combination of two things – the idea of farm equipment enlarged and age simulated to act as a metaphor for man’s “relationship with the environment” according to his literature, and brilliant-hue glazed ceramic weapons mixed with porcelain gas masks, which I am assuming constitutes man’s willingness to destroy it.

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The work is found attached to walls, resting on tables, hanging from the ceiling and strewn about the floor.  This, for me and my band of fun artist friends, created a sort of surreal adventure in art wonderland, as we contemplated the minefield of meaning around the space.

It was the dialogue I was having as we posed in these pictures. Guns and missiles glazed in beautiful colors, a wall of blades that reminded me of the backdrop in a knife throwing performance at the circus….   Should we laugh or be afraid?  Pretty weapons.  Fragile weapons.  But still weapons.  And the haunting effect of decaying metal artifacts produced a kind of guilt-ridden sorrow.

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There is definitely something about Peter’s work that makes you want to start a discussion.  I love the idea of that narrative.  Love the way the work fits together in a cohesive way and yet any one of the pieces could find a home and continue to resonate on its own.  These gas mask castings are priced individually.

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It was surreal and beautiful. Like whimsical horror. I just love this meeting of minds, love the way a college student can be such a free thinker, creating art for art’s sake but also as a means to tell a story or voice an opinion of the world as he sees it.  It’s all in the perspective!  You really ought to see this show.

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You can read about Peter in this month’s issue of Ceramic Monthly.

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The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Call (315) 424-6868 for more information or visit their web-site at www.clayscapespottery.com.  They are also on Instagram (clayscape_pottery) and have a Facebook page (Clayscapes Pottery)!

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Escape into Clay

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Clayscapes Pottery, Inc. is located at 1003 W. Fayette Sreet, Syracuse, New York (13204).  I buy clay for my classroom there – the Miller #10 is my favorite.  My colleague and I also buy kiln supplies – most recently new kiln shelves.

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In addition to merchandise, Clayscapes offers pottery classes and studio space.  They have recently begun a monthly Sip ‘N Turn party, which I have no doubt is a blast.  I would say that would be a lot more fun for me than to do one of those vino painting parties where everyone paints the same landscape.

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If you are interested in more information, go to their website here.  Or call them at (315) 424-6868.  You can tour the facilities at any time they are open:  Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

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There is a gallery space as well.  I was there earlier tonight for the Independent Potters’ Association artist reception.  It is a group of eighteen extraordinary craftsmen and women.  The ceramics were displayed throughout the venue, but instead of remaining for the duration of the exhibition, they were being sold right off the shelves.  And selling like hotcakes.  The piece in the poster for the show was sold, as well as an exquisite vessel that left its podium in a blink of my eye.

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This makes me soooo happy.  Thank you, art patrons, for recognizing the talents of these terrific artists.

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It was a great party with free food and beer sponsored by Middle Ages Brewery.  Get it?  IPA for the IPAs (Independent Potter’s Association).  Members include Peter Valenti, Don Seymour, Wes Weiss, Jessica Pilowa, Tim See, Tina Parker, Jen Gandee, John Smolenski, Millie St. John, Bobbi Lamb, David MacDonald, Brenda Conley, Lindsey Scott, Matt Hill, Karen Smith, Rebecca Wind, Sarah VanderVoort, and Wendy Emborski.

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This show runs through April 30, 2016.

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