Thursday, December 04, 2008

Two potters, side by side

Post # 5 about the 2008 Eastside Culture Crawl. Previous posts: Crawling at the Wilder Snail, Sweeping nudes and other mix-ups, Scrambled Birds, and Bugs in the Alley.

"Meditatively simple"; that's how Gailan Ngan's website describes her ceramics.

She creates functional pieces; bowls, cups, platters, vases, in muted colours and fluid shapes. Looking at them, touching a cup or the rim of a bowl (they beg to be touched), I imagine a table set for afternoon coffee in the warm sunlight, the kind of silence that stops time.

I am still dreaming of the set of bowls she placed on the central display space; unornamented, other than by their own dark glaze and their shapes, a roundness just imperfect enough to seem organic. I didn't get a photograph; the studio was crowded, and I moved on to look at the window shelves. When I turned back, the bowls were gone. Sold.

I wrote about her studio last year, describing the wobble pots. They were in evidence again for this Crawl. These are bowls, vases, and cups with rounded bottoms. Not enough to tip over, but just to rock gently when they are touched.

Laurie caught me "wobbling" one. Can't resist.

Gailan's worktable, shoved in a corner to make room for the Crawlers.

Almost next door, Red Iron Studios presents a marked contrast; here, the lines are jagged, the shapes unexpected, the functions sometimes obscure.

Lidded container. Tipped for easy access?

Set of three vases. Shaped from wrapped ribbons of clay.

Detail of a vase.

My favourite piece, already with a red "Sold" sticker on it, is a six-legged, puppy-dog-tailed, antennaed, eyeless, brush-nosed critter:

Name this beastie.

Not everything is a mystery; sometimes the focus is on beauty and grace:

Bowls and lidded jars.

Rod Wuetherick's website has a few more samples. Unfortunately, he has not been as industrious with the site as he has with his ceramics; quite a few of the pages are down. Browse through his Current Work, clicking the back button each time and starting from scratch; I think this is "current" from 2002 - 04. It's interesting to see how his work has evolved.

The studio from outside. Houses across the street are reflected in the window.



  1. Susan,
    What wonderful ceramics...I love the wobbled stuff. It was nice going on the Culture Crawl.
    I wrote this on my blog when I honored you with the butterfly award.

    Wanderin' Weeta Susannah from British Colombia, has a great blog.. art, close up and personal with bugs, great photography and a fun blog to read. I like bugs but never studied I am learning allot here. thanks Susannah.

  2. Thanks, Dawn!

    I seem to be a couple of days behind, here.

    I'll post the award, link to your blog, etc., tomorrow.


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