Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast (general)
11: Shawn O'Connor on accessibility in contemporary art and developing a unique wood fire aesthetic

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with American ceramic artist Shawn O'Connor. Specializing in wood firing O'Connor uses flame and ash patterns to produce rich surfaces that emulate river rocks and rusted steel. He has a MFA from Syracuse University and has been a resident at the Watershed Center for Ceramic Art and the Arrowmont School for Craft.

As well as enjoying Shawn's work I like his writing about family dinning and wood firing. Writing about his work he states, "My home growing up was strongly focused around the family. Family dinners were important and rarely missed growing up. My extended family gathered quite often for social events such as birthdays and holidays that always revolved around food. I would like to extend this sense of comfort and warmth through my work to others who use it. "

"Firing with wood also came with my upbringing. I was raised in a rural Maine home that was heated with a wood stove during the cold winter months. This meant that the fire was constantly being fed in order to heat the house. This required a lot of work and attentiveness to the fire. Preparing a winter's worth of wood required many days of hauling, splitting, and stacking. This process was instilled in my life from an early age. I have always found the physical labor, the rhythm, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with this process enjoyable."

In the interview we talk about the influence of family dinning on the desire to make functional ceramics, accessibility in contemporary art, and developing a unique wood fire aesthetic. To see more of O'Connor's work you can visit his website shawnoconnorceramics.com. You can also find more about his work through the galleries that carry his work Akar DesignRed Lodge Clay Center, and The Clay Studio.

Direct download: ShawnOconnerInterviewFullPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:26am PST

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Japanese ceramic artist Takeshi Yasuda. Over his fifty year ceramic career he has received world wide recognition for his functional pottery. His latest body of work features celedon glazed forms thrown in porcelain. He often accentuates his forms with loose gestural lines created by the show turn of the potters wheel. 

 

 

Takeshi moved to the U.K. in 1973 and has maintained a studio there ever since. He has taught at various educational institutions including the University of Ulster, where he was a professor of applied arts. From 2005 to 2010 he served as the director of the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. 

 

 

In part one of the interview we discuss establishing his first studio in Mashiko, Japan. In part two of the interview we discuss the development of his ceramic voice, and his experience living in the U.K. If you would like to see more of Takeshi's work you can visit his website by clicking here

Direct download: TakeshiYasudaPt2FullEdited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm PST

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Japanese ceramic artist Takeshi Yasuda. Over his fifty year ceramic career he has received world wide recognition for his functional pottery. His latest body of work features celedon glazed forms thrown in porcelain. He often accentuates his forms with loose gestural lines created by the show turn of the potters wheel. 

 

Takeshi moved to the U.K. in 1973 and has maintained a studio there ever since. He has taught at various educational institutions including the University of Ulster, where he was a professor of applied arts. From 2005 to 2010 he served as the director of the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. 

 

In part one of the interview we discuss establishing his first studio in Mashiko, Japan. In part two of the interview we discuss the development of his ceramic voice, and his experience living in the U.K. If you would like to see more of Takeshi's work you can visit his website by clicking here

Direct download: TakeshiYasudaPt1FullEdited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:54am PST

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with ceramic artist and educator Shoji Satake. His mixed media sculpture combines cast ceramic forms with found objects that are reminiscent of flowers growing from a rocky landscape. Now the head of the ceramics department at West Virginia University Satake directs their Morgantown campus as well as their long standing study abroad program in Jingdezhen, China.

 

In the interview we discuss his early work in politics, the evolution of WVU's ceramics program, and the social media projects that spring from his often humorous and subversive brand of social commentary. For more information on Satake's work please visit http://shojisatake.com.

Direct download: ShojiSatakeFinishedPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:14am PST

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Jazz Saxophonist Willow Neilson. Nielson studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before embarking on a music career that has taken him to Europe, Asia, the United States, and his native Australia. Settling in Shanghai in 2007 Neilson has become a seasoned member of the Chinese Jazz scene. His recent album Lighbulb Life incorporates influences of many world music traditions as well as public sounds he has recorded from Shanghai's streets. You can download Light Bulb Life through the album's band camp site.

 

In the interview we discuss his early musical influences, the affect martial arts has had on his playing, and the ability to loose oneself through musical improvisation. For more information about Neilson please visit his website www.willowneilson.com.

Direct download: WillowNeilsonFullEditedPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20am PST

7: Carola Zee on the Dutch artist grant system and the development of her China studio

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Dutch ceramic designer Carola Zee. Her previous life as a graphic designer informs both her minimalist aesthetic and her use of computers in the design process. Her functional domestic wares start as CAD drawings before they are turned into plaster models and later slip cast with tinted porcelain. During the past eight years she has built Carola Zee Design Studio into a flourishing business with facilities in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Jingdezhen, China.

In the interview we discuss the Dutch artist grant system that helped found her business, the development of her China studio, and the challenges that come with making work in a foreign country. For more information on her work you can visit www.carolazee.com.

Direct download: CarolaZeeFullPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45am PST

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with ceramic artist Caroline Cheng. Her "Prosperity" series combines minature hand made porcelain butterflies and historical Chinese fashion styles to create contemporary sculpture. Along with the "Prosperity" series she also specializes in functional wood and soda fired tea ware. 

 

As the director of the Pottery Workshop she has created a multifaceted ceramic organization that encourages the exchange of technology and aesthetics between east and west. The organization has four locations in China that feature multiple education centers, galleries and an international residency.

 

In the interview we discuss the history of the Pottery Workshop, balancing two seperate bodies of work, and her recent experience working as a designer for the jewlery brand Van Cleef and Arpels. For more information on her work you can visit the Pottery Workshop website by clicking here. 

 

 

 
Direct download: CarolineChengFullPodcastEdited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10am PST

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with multimedia artist Nicole Teng. Working under the name Brut Cake, Nicole designs ceramics, lighting, furniture and clothing. She is largely a self taught artist that transitioned into studio life after many years of marketing and gallery work. Her aesthetic has been influenced by a wide range of sources, including Art Brut and the Art Deco furniture of Shanghai's 19th century economic boom.

 

In the interview we discuss upcycling old materials into new forms, the balance between outsourcing and hand craft, and creating a clear marketing message. For more information on Brut Cake please visit their website by clicking here. You can also keep up with Brut Cake by "liking" their Facebook page.

Direct download: NicoleTengBrutCakeFullPodCast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21am PST

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with musicians and educators Shon Klose and Svetlana Bunic. Working under the name Ba-Boom!, this two woman collaborative travels through Australia's Outback teaching African drumming and other musical styles in remote aboriginal communities. Their short term courses often culminate in a public performance, challenging the participants to overcome fear and cultivate self confidence. Their curriculm also addresses the physical well-being of the participants by teaching practical life skills like cooking, sewing, and physical fitness.

 

In the interview we discuss their experience working as traveling musicians, their cross disciplinary approach to education and their perspective on sustaining first world cultures. For more information on Ba-Boom! please visit http://ba-boom.com.au. For more information on the podcast please visit www.carterpottery.blogspot.com.

Direct download: BaBoomFullPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:48am PST

3: Janet DeBoos on working with indigenous communities and collaborating with Chinese factories

This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with studio potter and educator Janet DeBoos. Reknown for her finely thrown porcelain work, Janet is featured in numerous museum collections and publications. She says of her forming methods, "I work at the limits of thrown porcelain, finishing all work whilst the ware is still wet on the pottery wheel, and throwing as thinly as it is possible to do without complete collapse. I do not turn or trim the porcelain... but try to always 'go with' the clay and retain the freshness of the act of making. It becomes almost a game that I play with myself-pitting technique against material." Her approach yields gestural forms that are expertly decorated with Chinese, British and Australia decorative motifs. 

 

In the interview we discuss her experience working with indigenous communities in Australia, her tenure as professor at the Australian National University, and her collaborations with Chinese ceramic factories. For more information on her work please visit the ANU website at http://soa.anu.edu.au/staff/janet-deboos. For more information on the podcast please visit www.carterpottery.blogspot.com.

Direct download: JanetDeboosPodcastFull.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52am PST