Ferrin Gallery: Seen & Scene

Friday, October 16, 2009

[Ferrin Gallery]Studio Pottery Invitational 2009 OPENS SATURDAY

Opening this weekend both in Pittsfield and Online

Studio Pottery Invitational 2009
Ferrin Gallery
Discussion of studio pottery and introduction to show with organizers Donald Clark and Leslie Ferrin

Followed by reception:

Saturday, October 17th, 4-6pm

This exhibition introduces a group of studio potters who have not shown their artwork at the gallery previously.  Each year ten artists are invited to present a series of functional objects that are related by form and surface.  The artists chosen for this year's show include locals Mary Anne Davis whose studio is located in nearby Spencertown, NY and Molly Hatch from Northampton, MA.  Other artists include those who are young and considered "emerging" Gwendolyn Yoppolo,  Sanam Emani and Kristen Kiefer ,  Then there those we re-met while traveling - Nicholas Bernard, Phoenix, AZ  who previously worked with the gallery but not for many years.  Two came to us in person when we met through their visits to the gallery while in the area as guest artists - Steve Godfrey, Alaska and Christa Assad, California.  Another sources for us are recommendations by faculty or other artists who mentor them such as
Sanam Emami who came to us through Linda Sikora her teacher at Alfred University.  Chris Gustin, joined us this year as the featured artist for Locally Thrown / Locally Grown a weekend of events based in ceramics.    


Ferrin Gallery has specialized in and shown contemporary American studio pottery for over thirty years.  During that time, the gallery, originally founded by three potters, has shown work by over a thousand potters through solo, group shows and annual surveys.  This genre in contemporary ceramics continues to be avidly sought by people who use, collect and give handmade ceramics.  Through this exhibit, our local community of collectors and artists can discover and examine the works in person and the rapidly growing global collecting community,  while unable to touch, are able to view the show online.  We are happy to discuss the work in person, live on the phone or "chat" via email about what is represented digitally.

Our newly added "shopping cart" function now offers immediate and direct purchases through the website. 

ONVIEW through  November 14, 2009

Click HERE for link to Chris Gustin on FerrinGallery.com
Click HERE for link to FerrinGallery.com and show overview. Click on any image to enlarge image and find more information about that artwork


Based in California, mid-career artist Christa Assad is most well known for her interpretation of iron as a teapot.  Visiting this summer during the teapot show Teapots Interpretations, Assad explained her the inspiration for her piece:

"The antique sad iron conjures up memories of childhood, of times spent with grandmothers and long forgotten domestic disciplines.  the morphing of iron and teapot as domestic object icon helps to elicit a more powerful emotional response."

A teacher, traveler and full time ceramicist with an MFA from Indiana University, the works she sent us for the invitational includes a group of cups designed after her visit to the Berkshires and a lively discussion with local potter, Mark Shapiro.   Her work will be featured next year in a solo show at Ferrin Gallery based on interpretation of vestigial objects to inspire new forms maybe even one of those well known transformer originally manufactured by GE in Pittsfield.

Photo caption:  Christa Assad, Tequila Sipper Set, 7 x 10 x 9"

Click Here to see Christa Assad @ FerrinGallery.com


While visiting Arizona this year for the opening of Sergei Isupov's solo show, we bumped into a friend from another time, Nicholas Bernard.  Working in ceramics since high school, his current work combines brightly colored and textured earthenware surfaces on vessels that are inspired by the Southwest landscape.  Bernard studied the pottery traditions of native cultures and worked with contemporary Native American potters exploring traditional methods of forming and firing.

For this show, Bernard carefully chose a selection of his favorite vessels from several firings this summer.  

Photo caption: Nicholas Bernard, Small Two Tone Pot with Facets, 7 x 8"
Click Here to see Nicholas Bernard @ FerrinGallery.com


Mary Anne Davis is an accomplished production potter who has been designing and producing dinnerware for 20 years. Known for simple designs and clear colors, she created davistudio in nearby Spencertown to produce and sell porcelain objects through a variety of venues including museum and department stores, and  galleries throughout the country.  An artist with an ear for dialogue she writes on ceramics and community for various publications and maintains a lively conversation through her blog.  

Her installation "Naked Porcelain" features a banquet table set for twelve with her simple white porcelain dishes.

Photo caption: Mary Anne Davis, Detail from Naked Porcelain, various sizes.
Click Here to see Mary Anne Davis @ FerrinGallery.com


Sanam Emami, born in Iran, incorporates elements of Pre-Islamic and Islamic art into her work. 

"The influences are at times visually apparent on my forms and the patterns that are embedded in the wet clay, and at other times, they are only present in the method of juxtaposing selected patterns and images on the surface with silk-screened imagery." 

Emami received her MFA from Alfred University and lives and works in Pennsylvania.  

Photo caption: Sanam Emami, Patterned Vase, 13 x 6"
Click Here to see Sanam Emami @ FerrinGallery.com


Potter and Professor of Art at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Steve Godfrey creates pots, mugs and other classic utilitarian forms with celadon glazes and surface textures.  His recent use of bird figures is based on old ivory carvings done by Siberian Yupiks (Eskimos), natives of King and St. Lawrence Islands in Alaska. 

"I hope for my pots to speak to people beyond their functionality and to tell a provoking story through the symbolism of form and color. I wish for them to be used and understood as objects that are testaments to observations of beauty."

Photo caption: Steve Godfrey, Emperor Goose Family Salt Celler. 6 x 9 x 9"
Click Here to see Steve Godfrey @ FerrinGallery.com


A new resident of nearby Florence, MA,  Molly Hatch’s ceramic work appropriates imagery from the French baroque rococo and European chinoiserie traditions. As a result of coming to ceramics via drawing and printmaking, Hatch engages representational drawing on the surfaces of the work. She uses the traditional Japanese mishima slip inlay technique to create her detailed calligraphic line on the surface of the work. Exhibiting her work widely throughout the US, she is also a writer and is actively working with various publications specializing in studio ceramics including American Craft Magazine and The Studio Potter Journal.

A solo show of her work will be presented at the Bennington Art Museum in November. 

Photo caption:
Molly Hatch, Large Quail Vase, 14 x 5"
Click Here to see Molly Hatch @ FerrinGallery.com


Originally from Louisville, KY Kristen Kieffer now lives and works in Baldwinville MA. Using patterns derived from fabric, jewelry, architecture and furniture of various cultures.  Drawing inspiration from various sources her current work is focused on using those drawn from works in metal, specifically, Art Nouveau silver, Islamic brass and American silver.  She enjoys the contrast between soft patterns and shapes and the hard nature of the material. A graduate of Alfred University and Ohio State, she works closely with The Studio Potter Journal  and teaches workshops and classes at Worcester Center for Crafts, Rhode Island School of Design and most recently Harvard University. 

Photo caption: Kristen Kieffer, Wire Handled Basket, 2 x 14 x 11"
Click Here to see Kristen Kiefer @ FerrinGallery.com


Based in New Bedford MA Seth Rainville's work blends painting, drawing and writing on porcelain tea bowls, teapots and plates.  Receiving his degree from UMass Dartmouth, he lived in the Southwest returning to Massachusetts working nearby his former professor Chris Gustin, the featured artist in this year's invitational.  His sculptural storytelling teapots will be included in the gallery's upcoming group show presented at SOFA Chicago, THE ILLUSCULPTORS.   

Photo caption: Seth Rainville, Baghdad Bedtime Stories, 3 x 14"
Click Here to see Seth Rainville @ FerrinGallery.com

Gwendolyn Yoppolo

A current resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, Gwendolyn Yoppolo received her MFA in Ceramics from Penn State University.  Her porcelain vessels, dishes and cooking tools are inspired by biology, the human form and photographs she takes using an electron microscope. 

"With sensitivity to the wisdom of my body, I translate inner forms into an emptiness that will contain, or offer, or filter, or extend."

Photo caption: Gwendolyn Yoppolo, Tea for Two, five piece set.
Click Here to see Gwendolyn Yoppolo @ FerrinGallery.com

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About Blog on Blogspot - no longer active on Blogger - we have moved our blogging to Ferrin Contemporary for images, news and links to gallery press and information. Edited by Leslie Ferrin, director of the Ferrin Gallery. Established in 1979, the Ferrin Gallery is one of the nation's premier ceramic art and sculpture galleries. The gallery program presents changing exhibitions featuring contemporary ceramic art 1950 - present.

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