Author: lyla a/Friday, November 3, 2017/Categories: Events
The first Hudson Valley Pottery Tour took place on Sat. October 28th and Sun. October 29th 2017. Visitors were welcomed at six studios within a short drive of one another making it possible to experience the free tour in a single day.
The Hudson Valley Pottery Tour may have started as Doug Peltzman's idea to collaborate on a holiday sale with a couple of local ceramic artists, but it quickly grew into a larger self-guided tour of the studios of six exceptional ceramic artists living in the Hudson Valley, NY. In its inaugural year, the tour gave locals and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality at six studios. Each of the founding artists invited guest artists so visitors were able to see a well-rounded collection of work from thirteen nationally and internationally recognized ceramic artists total.
The concept for the tour began with Doug thinking about potters in the area who were making the most dynamic work in ceramics. So came together a tour including the studios of Jeff Shapiro of Accord, Anat Shiftan of High Falls, Tim Rowan of Stone Ridge, Kathy Erteman of Kingston, Bryan Czibesz of Kingston and Doug Peltzman of Shokan. The different styles of handmade work created out of clay that visitors were able to see was outstanding.
As the curator, Doug talks about the significance of variety in the tour. "The diversity of the work and the approaches to material are one of the many reasons that make the Hudson Valley Pottery Tour so special. Not only is it a great opportunity to buy some of the finest ceramic work being made nation wide, but equally as important to us, is the educational aspect. As a group, we cover a broad spectrum of what can be done with ceramic material. 3-D printing, throwing, slip casting, ram pressing, working with wild/native clays, slab building and designing for industry are some of the modes of making that we operate within. By sharing the “how and “why’ of what we make, we demystify what we do and help give understanding to our ways of life and creating. Seeing the habitats that the work is born out of is one the most exciting things about pottery tours like this one."
At Jeff Shapiro’s wooded studio in rural Accord, NY visitors were able to see his beautiful studio and gallery space and the adjacent kilns where his work is fired. Jeff fires his vessels, pottery and sculpture in his 16 foot Anagama tunnel kiln and his Kogama down draft wood kiln as well as his Bailey electric kiln. This variety of firing techniques produces a wide range of surfaces for his dynamic forms. There is a timeless quality to Jeff’s work. It appears as though it’s emerged from historical ruins and yet still manages to feel contemporary.
Tim Rowan’s wood kiln and studio are located deep in the woods of Stone Ridge, NY. Tim’s pieces speak of time, architecture, and the earth. Tim makes sculpture and pottery that celebrate the process of working. He excavates his own native clay, forms his work and transforms his pieces into ceramic objects through 6-7 day long wood firings, a couple of times a year. Both Tim and Jeff use techniques learned while training in Japan.
In Anat’s Shiftan’s home studio in historic High Falls, NY we saw a great diversity in the format of her work from ceramic tile to floral sculptures, digital prints to centerpieces. The subject matter was influenced by the botanical world, both real and imagined. Anat is head of the ceramics program at the State University of New York at New Paltz and, as a result, has impacted the development of many young artists in the area.
At Doug Peltzman’s studio in Shokan, NY visitors saw Doug demonstrate the production of his cups using a hydraulic ram press. Doug makes highly crafted functional and decorative pottery using a range of technical processes. Doug throws on the wheel, ram presses, and casts forms. His one-of-a kind handmade porcelain and earthenware pottery is decorated with abstract geometric patterns.
A visit to Kathy Erteman’s studio took us right around the corner from Bailey Pottery, to the Shirt Factory, an old factory that has been transformed into artist’s workspace. Kathy is an artist and designer who produces functional tableware, sculptural vessels, and wall pieces. In her studio we saw both prototypes for industry production and unique editions all made by hand. Kathy’s work has a sense of restraint with subdued color palette of black and white spotted with rust browns and the occasional tangerine or indigo blue. She focuses on scale and shape for the function of her design pieces, like her fruit bowls, and gives herself more freedom to exaggerate proportions when making unique pieces like her handled mugs.
At Bryan Czibesz’s studio in Kingston, NY visitors were treated to a demonstration of printing ceramics using Bryan’s 3-d printer. While we looked at his cast, hand built and printed pottery forms, the printer hummed in the background as it “drew” out the walls of a clay pot. Bryan’s work explored the unification of the potter’s wheel and the 3D printer some of which were created in a collaborative project with HI artist Shawn Spangler. In these pieces, the two explored artifacts of pottery and created new “future” forms.
Each of the Hudson Valley Pottery Tour participants invited guest artists to show their work. The idea of including outside artists means that in the future visitors who return each year will get to see a greater variety of fresh work. This year, in addition to the six main artists, visitors saw the work of Gary Johnson, Susan Bankert, Brian Croney, Lauren Sandler, Brian R. Jones, Haakon Lenzi and Andrew Molleur. All are accomplished artists in the field of contemporary ceramics.
The six studios are located 100 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Valley region of New York in Ulster County.
Click through the gallery below to see the work of this year's guest artists. For more information on the Hudson Valley Pottery Tour visit Instagram @hudsonvalleypotterytour and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hudsonvalleypotterytour/.
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