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5 Reasons to Collect Ephraim’s new Spring Pottery

  1. Our seasonal collections are created in very limited quantities – on average less than one piece per state. Because the artists in the studio thrive on designing new pieces, creating them for a short time and then move on to explore new designs, these small collections are authentically limited by the number we can make by hand in these short windows of time.
  2. These particular designs will never be offered again and in this collection there are some very fine, pivotal, and unusual aspects to each of the pieces.
  3. Many of these build on Ephraim’s work from years past and would be wonderful additions to expand an existing collection. For example, the last two years in the spring we have created a limited edition frog vase and the Mill Pond Frog adds to this tradition. Where’s the Nuthatch vase is a transitional piece that fits in with our “Marblehead” line of pottery, which includes the Anniversary Rose and Revival Rose pieces from our Studio Collection. The Bonny Bluebells vase incorporates our rarely utilized snow glaze and could incorporate nicely with other snow-glazed pieces. The Southern Magnolia represents a departure with an unusual form, as does the Nodding Crocus Vase.
  4. We designed a new shop mark for the bottom of limited-edition collections this year. The mark, designed by Kevin, represents the Earth with rays of sun shining from behind our planet. The mark symbolizes the seasons as the sun moves around the Earth. We will use this new stamp, along with our Ephraim Pottery 2017 mark, for all the pieces in our Seasonal Collections.
  5. Financial advisors often recommend diversifying a portfolio with investment in high quality art. While investing in Ephraim’s highly collectible pottery you are also supporting the evolution of our mission – working collaboratively by hand, providing a living wage and sustainable model for artists.
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Colossal Dragon Vase – Experimental

WebHave you heard of the phrase: “Art for art’s sake?” Once in a while we get the urge at the studio to push boundaries. We take these risks for the thrill of the ‘what-if’, to find the limits, to stretch ourselves, and frankly to see something new. Kevin came to work one quiet weekend in June and in a fit of inspiration threw this colossal form. No small task, the forming and sculpting of this piece took a couple days of work and a lot of careful handling through the modeling, drying, and firing processes. We expected to learn a lot along the way, but we never expected a first quality piece to result from this experiment in ‘art for art’s sake.’ Follow the blog to see the process of making our Colossal Dragon Vase and witness our jaw-dropping excitement at the beautiful end result.

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The form was thrown by Kevin Hicks using the method of throwing a base, adding coils, pulling the layers together and adding an inverted form at the opening.
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Kevin used a torch to accelerate the drying process on this challenging form.
Kevin greatly enjoys creating dragons which can take so many shapes and really allow the imagination to run wild. The body, wings and horns were all wheel-thrown elements.
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The Colossal Dragon Vase dried for over a month in our humidity controlled tent. Shown here beside a Walden Pond.
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Loading into the kiln for the bisque firing required the kiln to be disassembled and rebuilt around the form once it was in place. The greenware is very fragile.
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The Colossal Dragon was bisque fired with another experimental dragon vase.
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The large size of this vase combined with the fragile sculpture created a challenge in glazing the interior. After much experimentation a “sploosher” was built to spray a quick, even coat of glaze up into the vase.

 

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Kevin Hicks and Jennifer Grelk inspect the interior glaze application.
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Jennifer Grelk applied the base layer of sprayed glaze.
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Jennifer spray glazing the base layer of glaze.
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Allison Jelenchick applying a speckle coating of glaze to create a dramatic finish.
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Allison glazing a “Petite Violet Bowl” while Jennifer applies the brushed glaze to the sculpture.
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Jennifer Grelk applying the many intricate glaze elements to the dragon.
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Jennifer glazed the dragon in pumpkin, grey, black & sun.
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Loading into the glaze firing was less challenging since the form was stronger from the earlier bisque firing.
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The Colossal Dragon Vase (shown here hidden under a cloth) was revealed to our staff during a party at Leah’s. We gathered to share home-cooked Indian food, including naan baked on our kiln shelves over the fire, and to celebrate the surprising success of this experiment. It was an unforgettable evening filled with camaraderie, amazing food and shared delight in our achievement!

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At 23 inches tall, 15 inches wide and 39.6 pounds this form is more massive than any previous ceramic work from Ephraim Pottery. We are thrilled and amazed by the first quality results of this ambitious form and excited to offer you the chance to own this historic piece.

Kevin began this form to explore creative boundaries, not thinking at all of the potential profit. We feel tremendously lucky to have received a first quality result from our kiln and wish to share our good fortune. 50% of the sale of this vase will go to charity. To carry on the spirit of Kevin’s original artistic freedom expressed in this dragon we will donate 25% of the proceeds to local youth arts programming (in Lake Mills, WI & Cambria, CA).  In addition to supporting the arts, we feel a strong need to support the hungry in our community. A further 25% will be donated to our local food banks. The remaining 50% will cover shipping costs and the expenses accrued in creating the piece.

The Colossal Dragon Vase Experimental will go to auction on eBay beginning this Friday evening with the auction closing Nov 2.

Update: Thank you everyone for your interest in the Colossal Dragon Vase. The vase fetched $5,487.88 at auction, which means we raised $2,743.94 for charity! We had a lot of fun creating this unique piece and greatly appreciate your positive response to it.

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Experimental Pottery in our galleries Oct 8 & online Oct 12

We invite you to join us Oct 8th for a celebration of fall designs, including the 20th Anniversary Fall Collection Limited Edition pieces. The galleries will each offer at least 20 one-of-a-kind Experimental pottery pieces. Look to our California gallery, Ephraim Pottery West, for pieces with pine, poppy and favorite Ephraim motifs. Web

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Preview of Experimental pottery available at the West Gallery (Cambria, CA) Oct 8. Prices within this group range from $148 – $398 with ~20 one-of-a-kind pieces available. Contact the gallery with any questions 805-924-1275.

If bats are your thing, join us in Wisconsin at the Studio Gallery where we will offer a variety of seasonal designs and also invite you to paint your own tile in our new “Bloom” workshop space! The cost (including tile shipping) of the workshop is $49 for a 5×5 tile and $35 for a 3×3 tile.

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Preview of Experimental pottery available at the Studio (Lake Mills, WI) Gallery Oct 8. Prices within this group range from $138 – $1,313 with ~35 one-of-a-kind pieces available. Contact the gallery with any questions 920-648-3534.

We also invite you to shop online Oct 12th.

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Preview of Experimental pottery available online Oct 12 @10AM (CDT). Prices within this group range from $188 – $798 with at least 20 one-of-a-kind pieces available. Contact the studio with any questions 888-704-7687.

 

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Experimental Unity Designs – September 28, @7PM (CDT)

Last summer Ephraim artists collaborated with our email, Pinterest and Facebook audiences to create a “unity” themed design. Together we explored many concepts that represented various ideas about unity. With the creative ideas and constructive feedback from our fans, we ultimately added the “Unity Tree” to our collection. In the process of exploring all of these ideas, the studio produced many experimental pieces. This small grouping represents five beautiful directions that we feel are strong, but were not pursued in the final piece. Each of these pieces is one-of-a-kind and will be available for purchase beginning September 28, @7PM (CDT). See them in bisque or greenware on our blog and read about how they came to be.Retiring_CraftsmanGinkgoBowl

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Experimental Pottery June 28, 2016

A diverse group of 27 Experimental pieces  & 1 Custom Octopus Vase will become available online starting Tuesday, June 28, 2016, @ 10AM (CDT). Each Item is one of a kind, the exact piece represented in the photo and ready to ship the next business day. The following pieces and much more will be included in the sale.

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prices range from $230 – $278

 

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Jardinière prices range from $528 – $585
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Experimental Prototypes of the 2016 Collection $518 – $582, Platter $498
21" Octopus Vase - Custom $1,000
21″ Octopus Vase –  $1,000 in Glacial – Custom Pottery