Friday Field Trip: New York Ceramics and Glass Fair
Yes. I know it's Saturday. But let's face it, if you are in the New York City metro area, you aren't going anywhere with Snow Storm Jonas! So, for your blizzard entertainment, how about I share some of the highlights from one of my favorite fairs in NYC, the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair going on this weekend. And feel free to enjoy it even if it is sunny where you are.
I made my field trip on Friday even if I didn't write about it :-). Yesterday, I scurried uptown to snatch a visit at the fair before the storm hit. I love this show because it is so intimate and colorful, plus it celebrates the best of old and new wares. Often times the contemporary artists are present to discuss their creations, usually with great passion.
Such was the case with artist Katherine Houston. I found her quietly standing by her booth. I didn't even realize she was the artist at first. When we began chatting, at one point she actually said "I am nothing." Hardly!
Katherine Houston is one of the few artists sculpting in hard paste porcelain today. Describing herself to me as a "conduit from the 18th century," she is directly influenced by the best of the past: ancient Chinese and Imperial wares as well as 18th century Meissen and Sevres. Her work is largely botanical consisting of fruits, vegetables, flowers and leaves in rich, colorful glazes. She told me that one of these centerpieces takes about 6 months to make.
Check out this detail shot from the fair.
One of my favorite aspects of the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair this year is a special exhibition, entitled "Mended Ways." It explores the past and present view of broken ceramics and porcelain. Past 'fixers" were inventive with their repair. I think these stapled pieces have an elegant simplicity.
Sometimes, the fix was unusually creative, like molding a carpenters ruler for use as a mug's handle.
Artist Michael Boroniec explained to me that it took him years to perfect the technique were he purposely cuts away at his pieces to create a lyrical spiral shape--again in the direction that broken is not bad. All of his pieces are wheel thrown before he deconstructs them.
The colors and incised decoration on Carrie's Gustafson's glass also appealed.
And I was astounded by Steffen Dam's glass cylinders where he encases imaginary sea life that he fashions from his compost heap!
Lest you think the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair is solely devoted to new artists, here are a few highlights from the traditional and antique side.
Dealer Lynda Willauer Antiques never disappoints with her collection of traditional ceramics and porcelain.
Jean Cocteau once said that "Pottery has saved my life!" Loved seeing some of his plates.
And you all know that I cannot get enough Fornasetti.