medium /// ceramic

stephanie h. shih

Stephanie H. Shih explores concepts of home—not just as a physical place, but also as cultural, generational, and emotional spaces we inhabit—through the lens of Asian-American identity.”

Okay, my mouth is watering because of ceramics. YUM! This is fantastic work of Brooklyn based artist Stephanie H. Shih. I wrote about her golden dumplings when they were part of a group show in San Francisco last year, but I scrolled past that Sriracha bottle on Instagram this morning and immediately started writing this post. Sixteen sculptures from her current body of work will be exhibited at the American Museum of Ceramic Art {Pomona, CA}, March through August of 2020. If you go, you should probably have plans for dim sum immediately afterwards, because I have a feeling you’ll be craving dumplings and spicy sauce!

marie-claude marquis

Hahahahahaha! From hand-lettered vintage plates, to new embroidery on old embroidery – both covered in curse words and blunt sayings – this is the work of  Canadian artist Marie-Claude Marquis:

“… Touching both graphic design and visual arts, she is inspired by souvenirs, nostalgia, pop culture, Quebec identity and her own emotions which she expresses with a feminine touch and a colorful sensitivity. 

In her gallery work, Marie-Claude  has mastered the art of re-appropriation in giving found objects new meaning. T hat way she can give these objects a second life, prolong their existence and reduce her own environmental impact. Mainly by typographical interventions, she always finds a way to give new meanings to these antiques. The result of her work is often humorous, sometimes irreverent but always keeps a big focus on aesthetics.”

Marie-Claude’s latest solo show, titled “We’re All Kinda Fucked Up” opens tomorrow night, Saturday January 11th at Recess in San Francisco {816 Sutter Street}. The opening reception is from 6-9pm, and the show runs until February 1, 2020.

ps. Recess is the newest space by the wonderful people behind Hashimoto Contemporary and Spoke Art. This is their first show at Recess {previously the Spoke space}, so go and check it out! 

penny byrne

This powerful 2017 series, titled #EuropaEuropa, is the brilliant work of Australian artist Penny Byrne. Vintage ceramic refugees, wearing brand new lifejackets, floating on plates and in gravy boats. Her entire portfolio is filled with political statements made with repurposed ceramic figures… as I’m sure you’ll be able to gather from her artist statement:

Penny Byrne is an artist who utilises a variety of mediums to create sculptural works that, at times, elicit visceral responses from viewers. She is concerned with the state of the world and our place in it. Her works ask us to consider where we stand and how we feel, never preaching, but rather gently guiding us to a deeper understanding of our times. She is not afraid to tackle the big issues head on, often with wry humor and wit, and always with a deeply considered and intelligent compassion.

I’m concerned with the state of the world too. Bravo, Penny. Bravo. Happy Monday.

genevieve dionne

Sigh. The ceramic drawings of Vancouver based artist Genevieve Dionne… I could not love her work more and, somehow, everything she does just keeps getting better and better! I’ve written about Genevieve a few times already (here and here), but the moment I saw those manicured Renaissance hands holding a coffee and donut, well, here we are again. These are Genevieve’s descriptions of both ongoing series:

“Renaissance Hands”: This series of ceramic drawings is inspired by hands and fashions of Women in Renaissance portraits. Objects symbolic of loyalty, chastity, dowry or a husbands wealth (commonly depicted in portraits of women during this time) have been replaced with items of self expression, strength, and knowledge.

“Contemporary Women”: This series of ceramic drawings explores classical representations of women (many of the drawings are inspired by Greek or Roman statues) and stories of women in Greek mythologies. Some drawings place the figure in a contemporary setting by incorporating modern technology, other drawings are a re-imagining of the mythical woman to allow for alternate narratives.

Powerful, beautiful, smart … and also, a few gorgeous plants just because. Happy Monday.

sue dewulf

So weird, so fantastic! This are the surreal, stacked ceramics of California based artist Sue DeWulf. This was the email she sent me and I thought it was a perfect description of the what and why behind her work:

“My ceramics involve casting toys from childhood, searching for vintage molds and hours of assemblage great them together. People ask me what I am thinking of them when I create the bottles, jars or sculptures. Often my creations come from my childhood memories. I would spent hours stacking and parading my toys and animals. I love to juxtapose and balance all the different shapes. (One of my favorite memories is the back page of the Highlights magazine!)”

Hours of stacking toys … sounds like a perfect day to me! Happy Monday.

“a little bit wonky”

Kate Bingaman-Burt is back on the podcast! Kate is a Portland based artist, illustrator, professor, entrepreneur, and now – thanks to a little fella named Hank – she’s also a mom. So, how does she do allllll of those things I just listed? That’s what we’re going to talk about in our segment titled “Kate Bingaman-Burt had a baby, and yes, she’s still an artist!”. I had a baby too, granted, that was thirteen years ago, but I still remember those early days like it was yesterday. I remember the fog, not showering for days, and feeling like I might not ever make art again. We’re talking rules, daily practice and that, YES, it’s absolutely possible to be a mother AND an artist. True story. You can listen right up there under Kate ‘n Hank, or subscribe on iTunes.

First up, what Kate’s daily “Obsessive Consumption” drawings used to feature:

Ahhhhh, I love it all. I also love that the items she’s buying / documenting NOW, are slightly different:

Haha! YES! Okay, she might not be keeping a traditional “Baby’s Firsts” book, but she’s definitely capturing everything in a super fabulous Kate Bingaman-Burt kind ‘o way! Also, that jean jacket is ridiculously cute. She posts these on Instagram now, so you can follow along over there.

Kate talked about how important having a daily drawing practice is to her, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day. For years she has made time for this creative outlet… even one day after giving birth. Here are the hospital drawings she mentioned:

So, so special! What a way to capture Hank’s arrival into the world, and a wonderful way to keep a new mom calm (and feeling like herself in a time when it’s really easy to completely forget who you are. Yes, I’m speaking from experience!)

Next… ceramics!? Yep. Seriously, she is never not trying new stuff. Here’s what she’s been doing over in her mom’s kiln:

Oh, thank goodness… somewhere to keep my fingernails!

So, having a full teaching schedule, a daily art practice, and a baby aren’t quite enough for Kate. Enter her fantastic shop / Risograph print workshop studio, Outlet PDX:

Ooooh, I want to go to there. And look, it’s sweet little Hank giving Barbara a hug! Maybe that’ll keep her going just a little bit longer. Speaking of Barbara, she has a message about perfectionism for all of us:

Amen, Barbara, amen.

And finally, the project for this week. This was the unblocking project Kate gave me as part of her interview in my very first book, Creative Block:

Do it… and embrace every little imperfection. Barbara would want that. Thank you so much to Kate for taking time out of her very busy life to do this with me; thanks to both of this week’s fantastic sponsors – Thrive {sign up for their Mastermind group!} and Carve Out Time for Art {preorder their book!}; big mama love thanks to my very special guest at the end of the episode; and as always, huge thanks to you for listening. I’ll be back again next weekend with a new episode. ~ Danielle

the ladies room (this weekend in sf)

Uh oh – you better go to this show because you don’t wanna upset that lil lady, do you?

Last year, Jen Tough of Jen Tough Gallery asked me to jury a show that she had titled, The Ladies Room. I said, YES!!! The Ladies Room is happening in San Francisco’s Dogpatch {1599 Tennessee St} THIS WEEKEND, and features the work of 18 female artists from around the world. The above work is just a teeny, tiny snippet of what you’ll see there, AND almost all {if not all?} of the artists will be on site wo-manning their booths so you can actually talk to them about their work, process, hopes and dreams, etc. The opening reception is on Friday, Oct 25 from 6-9pm, or stop by on Saturday, Oct 26 {11am-8pm} and Sunday, Oct 27 {11am-6pm}.

Go. Buy LOTS of art. Give the artists a high five from me. {Artists shown above in this order: Amy StewartJill StollSasinun KladpetchAdriana VillagranMargharita PaolettiMonique MartinMary Souza, and Laura Johnston.}

bouke de vries

Broken and, oh, so beautiful! These pieces are the work of Dutch artist Bouke de Vries. I’m going to let this little snippet from his site do the talking:

… Using his skills as a restorer (c.f. Ron Mueck’s model-maker skills), his ‘exploded’ artworks reclaim broken pots after their accidental trauma. He has called it ‘the beauty of destruction’. Instead of reconstructing them, he deconstructs them. Instead of hiding the evidence of this most dramatic episode in the life of a ceramic object, he emphasizes their new status, instilling new virtues, new values, and moving their stories forward.

Sigh. Even that was beautiful.

anna valdez

Ahhhhh, I absolutely love the work of Oakland based artist Anna Valdez. Clearly, it’s gorgeous online, but in person? Oh my word… ridiculously vibrant, detailed, and filled with stories. If you happen to be in New York, Anna’s latest show, titled NATURAL CURIOSITY, will be opening this Saturday October 5th at Hashimoto Contemporary Here’s a part of the gallery’s description:

“The works function both as still life and self portrait, offering vantage into Valdez’s daily practice and the objects which inform it. Venus Painting, oversized and brilliantly pink, features two of the artist’s plants against a wall covered in a swirling floral design. Framed by the houseplants is a smaller, more serene still life painting, depicting a bust of Venus in cool blue tones. This self-referential painting-within-a-painting nods at the time honored tradition of oil painters breaking the fourth wall while subtly hinting at a more modern practice of image-viewing and media consumption.

The careful consideration of each detail––each hand-mixed oil paint, every carefully composed vignette––invites the viewer into the artist’s studio and practice of close observation, begging the question: when do we allow ourselves to follow our own curiosity?”

Anna will be at the gallery for a book signing of her upcoming monograph {also titled “Natural Curiosity”}, and an artist talk in conversation with curators Chad Alligood and Nina Mdivani from 5-6pm, followed by the opening reception from 6-8pm. The show runs from October 5th through October 26th, 2019.

shamona stokes

Gah! So fantastical, and so weird! This is the work of New Jersey based artist Shamona Stokes. I’m going to let her describe it because Shannon’s words are just as dreamy as her sculptures:

“My work is inspired by the imaginary worlds of the liminal state. These are the soft spaces before waking up from a long dream or resting within a deep meditation. In these states things can be askew, colors seem brighter, imaginary friends may say hello. Using ceramics as my primary medium, I create iconic figures: nature spirits, muses, and shadow-things who might live within these realms.”

Sigh. Beautiful. Shamona has a show in Fort Worth, Texas right this very second. “Horn of Plenty” can be seen at Fort Worth Community Arts Center until September 26, 2019.