This entry is posted by Norman Adams. I wish to address the uniqueness of AA Clay and the wonderful asset of the gallery in this, none-too-subtle, plea to shoppers. Louisville has many treasures and I think this one is worth knowing about, especially if you are interested in ceramics.
While most people would consider a day spent making clay pots not a normal day at the office, those who do are not just fiddling around.
Conveniently located near Churchill Downs at 2829 South Fourth Street the AA Clay Gallery is the best place to shop for unique locally handmade ceramic articles. The active working studio artists and other selected artists at AA Clay Studio & Gallery present handmade objects for your pleasure. Gallery hours are the same as open studio hours listed with this blog.
Christmas shoppingwas never easier. Shop now before the holidays and you’ll be glad you did. The gallery offers new items regularly so shop often.
The gallery now offers an online site where the purchase and shipping can be easily invoiced to your card.
The joy of gifting is always special but think how more special the sentiment when the item is locally hand made! AA Clay can ship any of the gallery items to any destination you wish so make your choice and ask them to ship it to your far-flung relatives and friends pining for a special touch of Louisville.
Thanks for listening to my plea to patronize this truly unique Gallery/Gift Shop. I think anyone who visits will find their time well spent. And happy holiday shopping!
Now AA Clay Studio & Gallery offers an app for your phone to make shopping for beautiful handmade ceramics even easier. The app is for Apple and Android. Click on your system icon below for your FREE download.
Wayne Ferguson does not sign his works anymore and does no marketing. Yet he is most likely the best known potter in our region.
Wayne calls himself a potter. Nearly all of his works are functional: bowls, pitchers, bottles, ocarinas, platters, and teapots. He roots himself in timeless traditions of ceramic technique and design.
When asked whether or not he is a folk artist, Wayne replied that early on he questioned that too and was advised by educators that, no, he was not, since he had taken some ceramic college courses. Wayne is so uniquely and presently in touch with his surroundings, and presents his ideas so illustratively, that I have to question this judgement about folk art.
Wayne’s early folk art
The Big Labowski
Native American ark
How can it be that our own stories are told by works that are overflowing with details of Wayne’s own life and culture? I believe that it is because he puts us in places and times of fascinating peculiarity, and, by presenting just the right details, comes to the point of a grand idea.
Homeplace whiskey bottle
Wayne’s earliest memories of working with clay are the times when his mother made clay of flour and salt so that he and his brother, Lemuel, could play with little soldiers. He went on to play with clay from the creek near his house in northern Kentucky.
Middle and high school years were tough for Wayne who matched adversity with youthful wildness. He and his brother did things that would have led to reform school were it not for the interjection of his high school art teacher, Eva Hinkle. She was able to convince Wayne that his future was with clay and art. He graduated with straight A’s and, as is well known by his friends today, with a generous heart.
A major turning point in Wayne’s life occurred when he witnessed Ladi Kwali at Berea, c. 1970. She made huge, symmetrical pots with clay coils. It was then that he decided that he would become a professional potter.
How does he make his pottery? Wayne is a hand builder who makes “hollow-work vessels”. He pinches, coils, and presses clay to make forms that he can combine with other clay forms and finish with carving and letter stamping. Words, stamped into pots are a centuries old form of communication.
Over fired white clays, Wayne applies colorful glaze washes, making sure that detailed texture is apparent. Colors are representative of the world around him. Glazes are low-fired in oxidation.
Wayne makes commemorative objects and effigies to remember personal, environmental, social, and political events.
He draws from other cultures and times. For example, he combines semblances of pre-Columbian stirrup-vessels with playful criticisms of political figures.
He places B-52 bombers atop delightful clouds and palm trees amid the skeletons of war.
He uses the timeless art of individually designed whiskey bottles to express his views on Mitch McConnell, for example. Many of Wayne’s most grueling commentaries appear to be toys. The irony captivates viewers and keeps them looking. And thinking.
Some of Waynes commemorative sculptures can be disturbing or highly politicized. Yet, he notes that the Mayans made pots depicting the beheading of captives. Wayne does not hold back on his views either: his views have lead to censorship of his works from some national exhibitions.
You can see Wayne Ferguson’s work, uncensored, in Frankfort this fall. Visit his upcoming show at Capital Gallery of Contemporary Art; 314 Lewis Street; Frankfort, KY 40601. Opening date: Oct. 26, 2018.
Artist Talk Hosted by Louisville Clay at AA Clay Studio & Gallery September 11, 2018
Marie-Elena Ottman is a Louisville based artist with a story worth telling. Louisville Clay members enjoyed seeing images of Marie-Elena’s fantastical ceramic art, while hearing her compelling personal story.
Having grown up in Panama with an American father and Panamanian mother, Marie-Elena makes art about the symbiosis and the tension that can exist between two cultures. At age 21 she broke with tradition in Panama, where women stay at home until married, by emigrating to the United States to attend college in Montana. What followed was an art journey in which she has represented the integration of two cultures through visual metaphor.
Marie-Elena’s ceramic process is achieved through coil building and the use of extraordinary color. She also artfully combines glass with ceramics in her sculpture.
Her current images are derived from her homeland and include coconuts, cashews, iguanas, monkeys, coatimundis, exotic birds,Panamanian dress and vibrant color. The following images are metaphors about pregnancy, split personality, and greediness, among other life stories.
“I’ve learned to not forget culture, to embrace the past while also moving forward” said Marie-Elena as she closed her presentation. Ottman currently teaches Intro to Ceramics and Advanced Handbuilding at the University of Louisville. She and her husband have two children, ages 12 and 10, who are learning about their heritage by speaking Spanish as well as English.
April 14; 5 – 8 pm —— AA Clay Studio and Gallery, 2829 South 4th St, Louisville, will present a rarely seen clay firing process, called raku. The event is free and the public is invited. Enjoy watching the artists as they remove their clay objects from the open, roaring hot, outdoor kiln.
The AA Clay raku workshop raku workshop & kiln firing includes an evening of raku firing on April 21 in which ceramic objects, previously made by workshop participants, are fired in an outdoor kiln. This is an exciting event for artists and viewers alike, as the firing process, from loading the kiln chamber to removing objects from the hot kiln, takes only 45 minutes.
Artists and art lovers at AA Clay want to share their enthusiasm for ceramic art with other art enthusiasts in the community. They say: “Bring a lawn chair and experience the drama of clay heated to 1600 F.”
artaxis.orgpromotes the professional pursuits of a growing network of ceramic artists.
Mission: to enrich the ceramic field while providing a direct conduit between artists and viewers.
What can be found on the site?
• Artist works, websites statements
• Job and residency opportunities in ceramic art
• Calls for entries
• Exhibitions Articles and reviews
• Workshops and lectures
Brian Harper, www.brianharperstudio.com. of Indiana University Southeast, founded Artaxis is 2005. Brian currently serves as executive director of the international non-profit website.
Who is using Artaxis?
The website receives thousands of views everyday from around the world. Artists, curators, gallerists, educators, students, and ceramic enthusiasts use the site as a source for peer-reviewed ceramic art.
Over 600 artists from 40 countries have been juried into Artaxis.
The jury process and all other activities are managed by volunteers. Prospective members of Artaxis are juried by current members. The process rotates between over 300 jurors, seven at a time, and is completely anonymous. The inclusion of so many jurors allows each Artaxis member to have a voice in the direction of contemporary ceramics.
Sculpture; Vessel/utilitarian; Figurative; Installation; Imagery; Time- based. These categories, used by Artaxis to present the variety of members’ works, are an indication of the strength and range of ceramic arts today.
AA Clay is Louisville’s original open-studio for ceramic artists. We proudly present seven of our member artists in an exhibition and sale that is open to the public. Closing Reception: Join us Saturday, May 19, 6 – 8 pm. Celebrate the work of our artists. Refreshments will be served. The following pieces are available for … Continue reading “AA Clay Studio and Gallery: Members’ Show”
AA Clay is Louisville’s original open-studio for ceramic artists. We proudly present seven of our member artists in an exhibition and sale that is open to the public.
Closing Reception: Join us Saturday, May 19, 6 – 8 pm. Celebrate the work of our artists. Refreshments will be served. The following pieces are available for purchase during the Members’ Show:
AA Clay Studio and Gallery is a community of artists from Louisville and southern Indiana. We support each other through networking, advising, and encouraging.