Pocahontas State Park guest Artist

hand built ceramic workshop out in the rain, but under a tent.

December 1 &2 I was the guest artist at Pocahontas State Park.  The current CCC Museum was once a craft building built for the community to make arts and crafts in 1939. A wood kiln was built as well on the grounds to support pottery making.

Pulling up the sides of an earthenware cup

Each day I threw pottery and did a hand built workshop where the students made pinch pots and worked on different techniques such as rolling coils, attaching slabs, creating textures and making handles for cups.

The rangers did clay workshops with children and built a fire near the kiln. The made smores in the afternoon and talked to people walking or hiking by.

The weather was overcast, but being in the woods and making pottery outside was very cool.

I enjoyed all the volunteers that helped out and the park rangers who participated in making the event a success.

Making pinch pots and working on hand built techniques.
Teaching the volunteers how the wood kiln works, so they can pass it along to those that are interested.

Maybe, next time the weather will be nicer and there will be more people. Either way I would love to work there again. What a great time.

New Work from the Kiln

bee earthenware

I made a few commissions and pulled them from the kiln last week.

$55.00 per mug
Bee mugs

The ones I didn’t sell immediately I took to a work shop I did this past weekend at Pocahontas State Park. What a great time we had, but more on that in a post tomorrow.

Redbud flower dinner plate
back of the redbud flower plate

 

 

 

 

 

There are three different series created and shown here. I’m very excited in them and will tweak them a bit in the next round. The new ones are the bees, macro imagery and the redbud flowers.

I hope you like…

 

Macro inspired dinnerplate

Cups From The Kiln

Mug and bread/dessert plates in a summer gnome design.

I like the sound of this title. It makes me think of a horror movie title. I know I’m reaching with that one, but I have a vivid imagination.

These birds were made to match a commission. I wanted to try the design on a smaller surface

Here are a few cups I just photographed from my last firing.

These mugs have the Japanese Oribe black markings on a white background, but instead of green glaze I added colorful splotches of color in stylized sassafras shapes.

It is quite an assortment of different designs. The Gnomes and the songbirds are for a commision, but the others are for sale.

mugs are $55.00, just contact me at hardwickhandmade@gmail.com

contact me at hardwickhandmade@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing them.

New Pottery Fresh From the Kiln

The goldfinches always came to my yard when I planted sunflowers to eat the seeds

 

Last weekend I fired twice getting out several plates for a dinnerware order. Pictured here are the ones I have not sold. I did several Virginia native wildflower designs as well as geometric and Eastern songbird designs. I really liked working on them.

This series is based on my love of Persian pottery.

Each style is working for me, but I like to change them a bit each time I do them to (in my mind) make them better or maybe, just to tickle my mood.

Dinner plate inspired by my time in the west where I gained most of my production knowledge.

I hope you love them as much as I do.

This little plate has my Dogwood flower pattern on it.

Barnes Foundation Collection is Amazing

One of many Cezanne masterpieces @ the Barnes Foundation

I drove up to Philadelphia, PA to see The Clay Studio and the Barnes Foundation Collection because my friend Leigh is turning 50 years old and I wanted to be at her party.

The entire weekend was amazing. First I went to The Clay Studio in the Old City part of Philadelphia and spoke to the shop director Dominique Ellis. I don’t know if I’ll get my work in there, but it was a great space in a cool part of town.

Dominique went to UNL which is where I went to Grad School, so it was cool talking about old friends and places.

While waiting for for The Clay Studio to open, I ran over to see the Liberty Bell which is around 7 blocks away. That was cool too.

Matisse @ the Barnes

Next I went to the Barnes Foundation. What an amazing collection of Impressionistic art.

This Toulouse-Lautrec is magnificent

Let me say, it is pathetic that they broke Barnes’ will, but this collection is so worth going to see. I would have loved to see it where it is supposed to be, but I’m guessing that the light is much better now which allowed for the images you see here. The old mansion it was in was renowned for dark lit rooms.

This Picasso haunts my dreams.

Anyway, some of my favorite all time paintings were there. Included are just a few of the amazing artworks up on the walls.

Bad image, but amazing painting by Redon

This article isn’t right without a Modigliani painting. So here was my favorite.

Reclining nude by Modigliani

Goblin pottery has arrived

Goblin Mug $55.00

Yes, it seemed that only gnomes would enter the realm of little people seen on hardwickhandmade pottery, but the dark side has made an appearance. A small one granted, but an appearance none the less.

Two mugs have been designed with drunken goblins dancing about in a mushroom filled background with slipware highlights.

goblin detail

This series will draw from the slipware pottery (which are extremely difficult to pull off well) as well as from landscape painting traditions.

 

I hope you enjoy.

Next up is the lonely ogre walking in the forest…

Recent Firing

Hiker Dinner plate

I finished a load of pottery and fired over New Years which was alot of fun.  I had several items that I fired for a commission and then others that I was doing to figure out some design work.

Virginia Bird Series- Titmouse, Goldfinch & Chickadee

The whole kiln came out well. As discussed in the last post, I am working on a commission of eastern songbirds.  I’ve got to do plates and bowls which makes the layout a little more complex.

A group of gnomes were fired as well and I liked how they came out. Also, I did a group of drunken goblins dancing around which came out well.

Here are a few examples.

Bird Bowls & Plates for Hardwick Handmade Dinnerware Commission

Titmouse process painting

I’ve finished painting the bowls and have moved on to painting the plates for my Eastern Songbird commission. I’ve very excited as the results are turning out better than I anticipated.  Some bowls are glazed and out of the kiln as indicated by the featured image of this article, but others are still waiting to be fired. This weekend I will finishe painting the plates. My last one to do is the Goldfinch which takes extra time as I have the bird sitting on a group of sunflowers that requires more work. Luckily, I love what I do.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker dinner plate process

This picture was taken after the underglaze was painted, but before it was glazed. The color is muted, but will pop once the durable clear glaze reaches temperature of 1948 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

13oz. mug with Chickadee in the snow

 

 

The bird cup is an example of what can be done with this imagery on other forms.

I completed a new sample series that came out of the kiln last weekend and looked really good. I made a chickadee bowl, a goldfinch bowl and a titmouse bowl with an abstract pattern background.

Chickadee dinner plates

All my work playing around with backgrounds is starting to pay off. I’m using a combination of painterly brushwork and stamped color that together is organic and colorful. It took a while to find something subtle enough that let the birds stand out.

 

My next round of imagery should be just what I want. 🙂

Matt

Chickadee bowl process
Goldfinch & Sunflower plates

Freer Gallery in DC

Japanese Tea Ceremony ware

I was able to see the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC this past weekend. It is my favorite museum on the Mall and I really enjoyed seeing the treasures they have there.

There were only a few different items set up in the 20 rooms they show items in, but it was worth the trip. They had a Japanese tea room utensil set up which I really admired among the other items.

Tea Ceremony vase
Whistler’s painting from his Nocturne (night) series.

Whistler’s paintings were also up and they had 3 of the Nocturne paintings that I really like. I’ve been thinking of including them in my paintings. I think the Nockturne idea will work well with the goblins and dark fairies I’ve been trying to create as imagery.

 

 

 

 

In the 80’s I was lucky enough to inspect the vault below the Freer. I hope to do that again once I can get enough people together to do it. It is free, but you have to arrange a meeting. They may have a minumum amount of people to go as well.

Guan ware

Handmade Holiday @ Hardywood Brewery

Hardwick Handmade Booth

I just finished a weekend showing my work at a craft fair at Hardywood Brewery. There were a little over 60 booths showing their wares and trying to move their merchandise to at least a thousand people a day. It was a great turnout and I’d like to say thank you to the vendors around me that were nice and gracious with advice.

What a great show! I hope I get in to do it again next year.