Featuring the work of ceramic artists Phoebe Snow, Michelle Grey, Kim Gardner, Abby Nohal and Faith Connor and glass artists Meredith Collins, Lindsy Marshall, Molly Roderick, Kristen Momoko Schafer and Angela McHale, “Fired/Molten,” an exhibition featuring the current group of artists-in-residence at the Worcester Center for Crafts, is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of starting or adding to an existing collection of fine handmade work.
“Some of the attendees for the A-I-R show are astute and savvy collectors looking for work which is fresh and interesting,” said Candace Casey, director of WCC’s Krikorian Gallery and Gallery Store. “They have an ‘eye’ for noticing trends and recognizing talented artisans.”
As part of the residency, artists are provided a studio space with 24-hour access and storage space for materials, supplies and work and WCC staff shares advice and support with regularly scheduled critiques and peer reviews to assist in honing their studio practice.
At the ceramic group’s last “crit” before the show, on April 10, Connor said she had just unloaded her work from the center’s wood kiln, where it had spent 38 hours, 20 minutes earlier. A ceramic boat of approximately two feet that was going into the show was displayed alongside larger vessels as well as water pitchers and cups whose outsides were covered in hundreds of raised dots. The other residency artists commented on the work, one pointing out the smoothness of the handles of her cups; another on the critical gasket for the handle, and whether to display it on hooks or shelving.
Connor’s three boats of varying sizes were part of an ongoing experiment to find out how to not only best enhance the outside of her work, but their insides as well. “I’ve been critiquing the interiors; it makes the work stronger,” she said. She was pleased that the dock inside one of the pieces stayed in form through the firing process, adding shadows to the work, while another, that had a blue paint applied to its insides, was “too aggressive,” taking away from the feel of the piece.
Called “a potter’s potter” by Tom O’Malley, the head of the center’s ceramics and photography programs, Grey created flower holders that I first took for sculptures of handbags. “This work is a lot more subtle than some of my work in the past,” she noted. “I’m considering displaying it on a combination of shelves or tables,” Grey stated, “I don’t like pedestals,” adding, “I’ve built some more varied shelves (to display them on).” Most held greenish, earthy tones. The group discussed what color would be best to showcase her work, that also included bowls and cups.