Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jen Allen Workshop

I can finally share the photos from the Jennifer Allen workshop with you! I been having some Blogger issues for the past few days - not sure what it was all about but now it's working (I hope).

Anyhoo, the second day of the workshop was just as inspiring as the first. Jennifer showed us how she glazes her pieces in her unique style. Much of her influence comes from textile designs. I love the layers of patterns and motifs that she uses - very reminiscent of Japanese textiles.

For several days now I have been thinking about ways I can translate some of her concepts into my own work, in my own voice. I am so anxious to get started. Yesterday I spent all day in the studio feeling very frustrated because I have so much work to finish up before I can start to play around with new ideas. I sat at a table with a pile of several hundred pieces that needed refining (code word for wet sanding), meanwhile my brain was feeling all melty with new ideas. It would be easy to abandon all ongoing production to play around with fresh concepts so I have to continually remind myself to stay on track and finish the work at hand. Boy, is that hard when your creative thoughts are twenty steps ahead of the work you hold in your hands. Patience, patience...

Here is Jennifer demonstrating how she decorates her pots.


Here, above and below, you can see how she builds up layers of patterns and colors. Some of the glazes will be transparent when fired which creates a wonderful sense of depth.




I scored a sweet little tea bowl like the ones pictured above - mine is buttery yellow with aqua and gold. I love it so!

Wouldn't you just love to have this tulip vase in the center of your table?

This plate is a perfect example of what I love most about Jennifer's work. The little vignettes of decoration peek through like antique wallpaper that was once painted over or an ancient fresco that comes to light as layers of plaster are taken away. There is something hidden and secretive about it.

All the photos of her finished work were taken at the Gandee Gallery in Fabius, NY (just outside of Syracuse). She has a show, Domestic Flourish: Recent Work by Jen Allen, that runs through February 28th so if you are in the CNY area please be sure to check it out. The Gandee Gallery is an excellent place full of the hippest and most current pottery. Check out their website and let's all show them some love and join their Facebook fan page! :)

Click here to see all my photos from the workshop.

15 comments:

Silver Parrot said...

Looks like some amazingly beautiful stuff - can't wait to see how you translate it into your work! I'm sure it will mean more $ out of MY pocket and into yours LOL!

Amy Nicole/RubyMtnBeads said...

I know exactly how you feel. It took a week after my beginning metalsmith class before I was able to pick up the torch again. My mind was constantly wandering to what I wanted to do, versus what I needed to do. Jen's pieces are beautiful. What an inspiring artist. I can't wait to see how you apply her techniques to your own work!

Gaea said...

Uh.. YUM! Amazing work!

mairedodd said...

these are so gorgeous! while you are feeling melty working on the bajillion pieces you have to refine, maybe you could use a hand held tape recorder? you could set it down and talk to it, keeping the ideas that flow so they don't get lost...
because that is such a sucky feeling!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Nancy - love the way you describe Jennifer's pattern, like a bit of wallpaper that's been painted over - an apt description! I love it too! I can see how you'd be inspired by her work. Good on you for directing your energies when you mind is melty! :-) Not an easy thing to do.

Finish soon so you can get to those ideas! Look forward to what you create!

SummersStudio said...

I just want to reach out and touch these pieces. The 'raw' teapot is especially yummy.

callie said...

Wow! Her work is so stunning and inspiring - and I don't even work in ceramics!

Kirsten said...

Wow! Beautiful things...lucky you to be able to attend the workshop and be inspired by what you have learned, Nancy. I look forward to seeing you 'rabbitise' the techniques! :)

Libby Leuchtman said...

Wow such beautiful work.

Judy said...

Incredible work. I love the layering effect of color and design.

Andrew Thornton said...

I love, love, LOVE her work. It's fabulous. I adore textile design and the patterning and these definitely have a similar feeling. I also like that she's not afraid to mix the organic of a seemingly "happy accident" with the more structured motifs. Lovely work.

And it sounds like you need an intern.

Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

There is so much life and color in her pieces. The pattern peeking through is especially nice. I hope you find the time soon to get started on your ideas. Your work is amazing and I can only imagine great things are to come.

fookaDESIGNS said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I just love her style!

Jean Hutter said...

Amazing work but that tulip vase is to die for - LOVE it.

Alice said...

Amazing work! I loved the pottery classes I took in high school, but never persued it. Each time I see beautiful pieces like this I wish I would have stuck with it. Of course the cost of a kiln may have just killed the whole idea anyway, but one never knows.

Thanks for sharing!