Next July I will be co-leading a soda kiln building workshop at Gaya Ceramic Art Center in Ubud, Bali, with Brian Kakas.  The kiln's inaugural firing will be lead by none other than Gail Nichols herself, for her soda firing workshop immediately following the build. 







 

 

But before that, I have work in a show in the Alexander Brest Gallery at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida, with  Sara Schneckloth , entitled, Accretion.  The show opens on January 14. 

 

Our statement for this exhibition:

 

"Champagne's ceramic work and Schneckloth's drawings combine to create an immersive environment, one driven by attention to natural systems, and the patterns and meanings they contain. Both artists find their inspiration in geology, biology, and physics. Together, they create an encounter that weaves together aesthetic imagination, the visual cultures of science, and raw sensory experience of material and form."

 

 

 

 

 


 

This spring, I was invited to visit St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida for a couple days of demonstrating and sharing techniques and stories. Kim Kirchman, Jonathan Barnes and MacKenzie Smith were such warm, welcoming hosts and I immediately felt right at home! They run a fantastic ceramics program, and their camaradery and high standards in teaching and mentoring were evident. The students were enthusiastic and had done their homework, so they were prepared with thoughtful and challenging (in a great way!) questions. We were also joined by a number of folks from Morean Arts Center, so it was quite a crowd!

 

I worked loosely, and often asked the group to help me choose what step I should take next in a piece. In this way, we all knew I had not "pre-made" the work in my head before arriving, and I was responding to the current circumstances. One choice influences the next, and so on. And, we laughed an awful lot.

 

 

 







 

Then, this month, I was visiting artist for a day at Gainesville High School, where my friend Sara Truman teaches ceramics and art. I had not been around a big group of high school students in a long time. Their energy and curiosity were impressive! Sara is doing very good things within her program, and I think her students are lucky to have her, and they know it!

 





 

I'm so very excited that the show I've curated, The Maverick Potter Invitational, has been featured with two pages of images in the Exposure section of May's Ceramics monthly! Congratulations to the artists!

 

Follow this link to see the images:

 

Maverick Potter Invitational

 

Here's the full list of participating artists:

 

Jerry Baldwin, MT

Bo Bedillion, MO

Benjamin Carter, CA

Patrick Coughlin, PA

Stephanie Craig, OH

Machiko Erhard, KS

Tommy Frank, MO

Martha Grover, MT

Kenyon Hanson, MI

Justin Lambert, FL

Martina lantin, VT

Tammy Marinuzzi, FL

George McCauley, MT

Sebastian Moh, KY

Chris Pickett, FL

Audrey Rosulek, MT

Markus Urbanik, MT

Todd Leech, OH

Chanda Zea, IN

Sara Truman, FL

Chandra DeBuse, MO

Philip Mahn, MT

Josh Floyd, NC






These represent some recent ideas I've been exploring in functional pots. I can't get enough of flower bricks, or tulipières, and of course, who can ever get enough of mugs? 

 













Potsketch Live Auction will be April 18, 6-10 pm in the University Center North Ballroom at the University of Montana.

 

 

This is the ninth year I have made a 5" x 5" drawing for the silent auction of Potsketch. The Clay Studio of Missoula has grown and evolved so much since I first set foot in its original location. I was new in town, having just driven across country to attend the University of Montana for graduate school. My professor Beth Lo brought me to the Clay Studio that first June day we met.

 

The programs and facilities have expanded to offer more work spaces for resident artists, rental studio spaces, an anagama kiln, raku, soda and reduction kilns, adult and youth classes and after school activity groups. The Studio participates in the seasonal weekly Clark Fork farmers market, the MadeFair, and several other Missoula community happenings. 

 

Once a year, the Clay Studio of Missoula offers an evening of live and silent art auctions and fantastic catered locavore treats and libations, and asks the town's ceramic art supporters to continue their generous support. 

 

To view all of the art up for auction, follow this link:

 

The Clay Studio of Missoula - POTSKETCH

 

 


 

I'm so pleased to be curating this exhibition of contemporary American pottery. In addition to the show, I will be teaching a soda firing workshop in the Maverick Potter's new soda kiln, as well as one or two other workshops during my stay in Salida (mid-May through June). 

 

If you are traveling through Colorado during the weeks I am there, please stop in and visit! The town and surrounding area is stunning, and you'll likely find me working in the studio downtown at 119 F Street. I'd love to show you around the studio and gallery, and talk about the fabulous pots in this Invitational.

 

Look for images from this exhibit in the upcoming May issue of Ceramics Monthly's "Exposure" section!

 






 

The January-February issue of Pottery Making Illustrated includes a short "how to" article by yours truly, on making Coffee Pourover Sets. I'm so pleased to have been included in such a great issue!


 

Occasionally, I enjoy making pots, and the latest batch have been interesting. I used red earthenware and fired it to cone 6, using underglazes and our Santa Fe ceramics studio glazes. I absolutely love the earthenware at this high temperature, its tight, dense body and the deep, dark, chocolatey color are simply delightful! And this group of pots have been a good way for me to explore some of my drawing on clay through sgraffito, mishima, underglaze and glaze applications. 

 

The only cone 6 firings I've done before now were in the soda kiln. Cone 6 oxidation is a new world for me, and I'm grateful for this opportunity to learn about it. I've also been working on a wall piece project as a means to develope both my drawing/painting with glaze skills and as a means to get to know this new temperature and clay and glaze palette. Soon, I'll post images from start to finish of this wall piece project.

 

For a long time I've wanted my drawing to be more directly involved with my ceramic work. For the two to be more integrated. This is beginning to happen at last, I feel the momentum building within my work both on paper and with clay, and it's a great feeling!

 

Below are a few tumblers and mugs that I recently had a good time making: