Copyright and other blogs currently being worked

Any errors are probably due to my own confusion! All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.
Living in Black Mountain has my more personal travel photos and notes.
Three Family Trees, is where my ancestors can still be found, as I find more about them.
And When I was 69, will continue to show historic photos and posts of historic interest. (Sepia Saturday, nearly every week.)

Feel free to make comments at the end of a blog post!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Adelaide Alsop Robineau

Robineau: Another Woman in ceramic's HerStory

Adelaide Alsop Robineau (1865-1919) was my art school biographical subject when I returned to get my degree in the early 1980s.  I found it interesting that a young man who recently graduated from college and taught pottery himself (at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts)* had also studied Robineau as a student...all these many years later.  That proves (at least to me) that she's a classic.

Scarab Vase or (The Apotheosis of the Toiler), 1910 in Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY

The Scarab Vase is carved porcelain...and won the Grand Prize in pottery at the Turin International Exhibition.  Robineau travelled from her home town of Syracuse to University City, Mo, where this vase was created in a workshop of potters.  She experimented with many glazes.

Melting Ice

Robineau and Scarab Vase 1910

Bowl, 1924, A.A. Robineau
Small carved porcelain container, located at Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC.

A short article about Adelaide Alsop Robineau may be found here...

Vase with crystaline glaze developed by A. A. Robineau

There is one book on her life that is available, "Glory in Porcelain", and will contain many of the same pictures that I've shown here.  If they are copywrited, I'm sorry...they were posted several places when the pieces were donated, or sold, to museums and galleries, and sometimes private owners.

I love that this woman developed and experimented with glazes, and won an international award for the vase that took 1000 hours to carve, even after she repaired it following some breakage in the kiln. (see the article)  AND she lived at the time my grandmother did, before women could even vote!

She is inspirational.

* Lane Kauffman was the young pottery teacher at BMCA

Reposted from Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dolni Vestonice Venus

Neolithic women sculptors

I will cut and paste some of Jayne Shatz' theories regarding the neolithic cultures.  Enjoy going back in time to when women sculpted in clay, and female figures were carved in stone and bone.  We really don't know why...but obviously they were important enough to be everywhere!

Vestonice, Venus Figurine
       27,000 BPE, 9 " h
Jayne Shatz writes: "... during ancient times it was women who worked the clay. Our story begins during the prehistoric Ice Age around 27,000 BPE, (Before the Present Era) in a small section of land in what is now known as Czechoslovakia. In this frozen tundra there existed a green oasis, void of ice. A clan lived there "...that produced kiln fired ceramic sculptures that we now call the Venus Figurines. Her kiln had an underground flue that was fueled by bones; this firing technique created the rich black carbon surface on the beautiful six-inch forms. To imagine a woman firing a kiln almost thirty thousand years ago is a phenomenal concept to grasp! 
"Women have always been capable of producing high quality ceramic work; many cultures existed where women solely produced elegantly coiled pottery while men took care of the homestead. The North and South American Indians and the Neolithic Middle Eastern cultures provide much evidence to this distinction of roles. In these societies, women were the pot makers, creating utensils for the home life. Their job was essential to the sustenance of their families, clans and homesteads. Pottery was used for eating, cooking and the storing of foodstuffs. For many societies, ceramic ware was also a source of trade and income. The Neolithic cultures, 10,000-2,000 BPE, elevated this agrarian system into a complex way of living. In the midst of this utilitarian focus, our ancient potters exhibited a spectacular imagination and creative sensibility that produced artfully decorated ware equal to our modern day artists. With the invention of the potter’s wheel around 6000 BPE, men began to take over the production of pottery..." 

27,000 BPE
"The Upper Paleolithic, or Ice Age ..."The uncovering of the Dolni Vestonice Venus from the cave site in Czechoslovakia is of special interest to ceramists. In that ice free corridor of Czechoslovakia a grouping of three huts was discovered in close proximity to one another, dating from 27,000 BPE. Inside each hut were hearths ringed with flat stones, made from a shallow depression in the flooring. The two larger huts had five hearths each and it is believed that they were the communal dwellings of a hunting clan. In particular, the smallest hut with similar flooring was entirely enclosed in a wall of limestone and clay.  This hut’s hearth provided a spectacular discovery in ceramic history.  A prehistoric kiln in the shape of a "beehive" was surrounded by thousands of clay pellets, attesting to a ceramic modeler’s work.  Along with these pellets were found fragments of the heads of two bears and a fox and some unfinished statuettes. Some archaeologists believe this 30,000-year-old kiln to be the oldest kiln ever to be discovered.

Reposted from : Thursday, March 3, 2011

Monday, September 17, 2018

Jomon Pottery

Jomon potter women

Let's go back to women potters about 10500 years bc...or maybe as late as 300 bc.
Cording suggests pottery originally copied net or roped vessels.

"All Jomon pots were made by hand, without the aid of a wheel, the potter building up the vessel from the bottom with coil upon coil of soft clay. As in all other Neolithic cultures, women produced these early potteries."

Source: Jomon Culture (ca. 10,500–ca. 300 B.C.) 

This is incredible detail of using coils, leaving them as decorative functions.

You may have little interest in all the archaeological data, but look at the pictures.  They are worth a thousand words.  These were made between 10,500 bc and 300 bc...before people there used a pottery wheel.  I love this picture of a rendition of how a potter might have looked working on one of these beautiful pots.

Their goddesses looked like....

"The people of the middle and late Jomon period also used clay to fashion small human figures. These figures were never fully realistic but rather were distorted into fascinating shapes. Called 'dogu,' they tend to have large faces, small arms and hands, and compact bodies.

Here is an article with some great photos about the potters from the Jomon period in Japan.

Isn't it great that women have made utilitarian pottery that included beautiful design for all these years?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Since 2010

After all these years...I still would say just about the same thing I did in early 2011.
I started blogging Alchemy of Clay (First Edition) about then.
Here's an early post.  2011/01/back-in-black-mountain

One of my early sales, a turquoise breaking glaze vase.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A few more shots of pottery exhibits

Yes, I enjoyed my visit to the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, in Aug.

Every time I see Miss Marchand's work, I understand the urge to touch.  Her porcelain is folded so gently it looks almost like fabric!

I just love Michele Hastings' gingko leaf carvings with her partner Jeff Brown!

Jim Tisnado, Eastern Carolina Ceramics Guild.

These organic shapes were kind of fun to look at, is it animal or vegetable?  I think they are seed pods.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Worldwide Welcome exhibit at NC Pottery Center

To share a bit more of what I enjoyed at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, in Aug. 2018

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A (very brief) History of clay in North Carolina

Seagrove is known for being the pottery center of North Carolina...and there are definitely more potters per square mile than any other location.

One result is the North Carolina Pottery Center, a museum and educational center.

The educational portion of the museum looks to some of the history of clay as a form of functional and artistic pottery.

And how did young people who were drawn to the craft learn about the skills?  Here is a 1970 photo of Penland School of Crafts students watching a demonstration by teacher,  Cynthia Bringle, who is still making beautiful pottery and has her studio at Penland in 2018.

Penland School of Crafts is closer to Black Mountain, being in the mountainous area of North Carolina.  It has a great gallery, open house, auction and studios...with classes in many crafts! Check out their own site.  I've posted several blogs about my visits there, (HERE) and (here)

Many potters today learn on a kick-wheel.  Before electric wheels, pretty much all pottery was thrown this way.

An interesting framing of a photo of clay if we're looking through a window.  Clay is found along many creek banks in North Carolina, and some potters still dig their own clay, but most of it is processed in big warehouses so there's consistency in its handling and firing.

A great little diorama of a man firing a wood burning kiln...a bee-hive shape.  Now there are gas and electric kilns, but the beauty of wood firing is apparent and used by many potters still today.

A long shed roof protects the wood firing kiln, where the fire box is at one end, and many pots are loaded in the middle, before the heat escapes the tall chimney at the other end (missing in this model.) The grey pot shown is not part of the kiln model.

A kitchen scene shows how many types of pottery were used in early America.

And just in...from a post on Facebook for Spruce-Pine Potters Market!

What is a pot
a pot is not
just any gray
little bowl of clay
a pot is a pot
for daffodils
or a porridge pot
or a pot for pills
cruets and goblets
jars and jugs
platters and plates
and trays and mugs
shallow pots
or dark and deep
pot to give
and pots to keep
touch them, hold them
pick them up
batter bowl
or saké cup
and feel the curve
of earth and sky
kitchen warm
or springtime shy
a pot is mood
of many hues
but most of all
a pot is to use.

Delighted to welcome @cynthiabringle back to SPPM! She is one of our Esteemed Elders and is also the Mayor of Penland (😉).