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Indigo Street Pottery Newsletter

Welcome to our monthly newsletter! It is part of our website , which you can browse from this page if you click on the subjects in the header. We write here about our studio, arts events, projects, studios of our friends, garden musings, and whatever else strikes our fancy. Hope you enjoy it!

April 2010 Newsletter

We spotted a ruby-crowned kinglet in the backyard this month, but didn’t have a camera on us. This is a representative picture we downloaded. Note the small red spot on its head.

This is a great time of year for our desert wildscaping! Lots of winter rain and warming spring weather have brought  beautiful blooms on the Texas Mountain Laurel (left). Not only is it spectacular to look at, this Chihuahuan desert native has the delicious fragrance of grape soda. The Agave Weberi, right,  continues to grow! When it matures it will send up a flower stalk over thirty feet tall! And yes, that’s a full-size shovel!

1. Indigo Street Pottery Calendar

April 2010: Artists of the Month - Jeff Reich and Farraday Newsome, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tohono Chul Park, Tucson, Arizona

April 24 & 25, 9am-4pm: Unusual Pots for People Who Collect Plants, SEZ Studio, 4926 E. Weldon, Phoenix

May 20 - October 3, 2010, Tohono Chul Park A- to-Z, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tucson, Arizona

June 3 - August 14, 2010: A Midsummer Eve: an Exploration of Color and Surface, Meredith Gallery, Baltimore, MD

September 24 - November 7, 2010: 20 Years in Retrospect: Northern Clay Center’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition, with a collaborative piece by Jeff Reich and Farraday Newsome, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  1. 2. ASU Art Museum’s 9th Annual Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour

Here are some photos from the Ceramic Studio Tour. Indigo Street Pottery was a host site again this year - so in addition to showing our own work, we had guest artists  Linda Painter and Tasha Vosburgh. We had so many wonderful visitors and a great feeling of support for the ceramic arts here in the Valley of the Sun.

Guest artist Linda Painter fielding a question during her demonstration of agateware clay preparation and use.  Those are the lids of her tagines (ceramic bakers with conical lids) poking up in the foreground of the photo.

Guest artist Tacha Vosburgh pointing at one of her sagger-fired figurative sculptures during her demonstration of figurative sculpture technique.

Farraday Newsome, using terra cotta clay, is demonstrating the formation and attachment of high relief imagery to a wall tile. The colorful green teapot on the table to her left was an example.

Visitors to Indigo Street Pottery chatting out in our kiln courtyard. Tacha Vosburgh’s sculptures are on the pedestals at  back center.

The showroom at indigo Street Pottery. Tacha Vosburgh’s sculptures on center pedestals, Jeff Reich’s wall pieces and sculptures at left rear,  Farraday Newsome’s  wall pieces and pedestal work to the right.

One of Linda Painter’s pieces in the showroom. This is a beautiful maiolica condiment set.

The Agave Potatorum flowers are starting to open on the flowerstalk! The stalk towers over us at nearly fifteen feet tall.

  1. 3.Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Artists of the Month, April 2010

Tucson’s Tohono Chul Park has a wonderful gallery, the Tohono Chul Park Gallery, that we have enjoyed working with for many years. For the month of April, Jeff and Farraday’s  work will be featured in the Artist of the Month series. For more information about this beautiful botanical garden and art gallery click on By the way, there is a very nice Tearoom  restaurant on the premises where we always have lunch when we visit the park. Below are two pieces that will be featured.

4. Visiting New Friends Boe and Bunny: Chickens and Garden Exclosures in Oracle, AZ

On our way back from delivering work to the Tohono Chul Park Gallery in Tucson, we drove up to Oracle, a small town NE of Tucson. We were on a keenly anticipated trip to meet Bunny Bunzel and Boe Pfleger,  who are the sister and brother-in-law of Jeff’s Mesa Arts Center student Mary Smith. Seven years ago Bunny and Boe moved from urban Scottsdale to Oracle, situated on the ruggedly beautiful northern slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Oracle has long been a town that has attracted artists and people like Boe and Bunny who are also seriously interested in principles of sustainability. We were especially eager to see their organic gardens, chicken yard, and fruit orchard. We were also very interested in their thoughtful, well-developed rainwater harvesting system. Below are some photos from our visit. You can see that they have built several garden exclosures to keep out  native rabbits and other vegetarian foragers, and that their chicken yard is coyote-proof. What I didn’t take a picture of is a large part of their acreage that is revegetated with native grasses from Native Seed Search to encourage this former rangeland to revert to its original grassland ecosystem. We look forward to visiting this wonderful couple again!

Jeff with Bunny Bunzel, discussing the garden and chicken structures. 1/2” hardware cloth extends 18” below the soil and then bends away laterally 6” to prevent burrowing under by rabbits and coyotes.

A view to the northeast, showing more garden exclosure structures. Bunny and Boe raise enough organic produce and eggs to sell the excess at the local Farmer’s Market.

We were very interested to see that Bunny and Boe use trench gardening. This is where the vegetables are planted in sunken beds to better retain water in the soil. Their garden soil is improved with EM (Effective Microorganisms), organic aged manure, and straw.

Fruit orchard trees include apples (Whitney Crab Apple, Golden Dorsett, Fuji, & Pettinggill), Gold-Kist apricot, Santa Rosa plum, Asian pears (Yali, Tsu Li, & Nijiseiki), peaches (Desert Gold, Mid-Pride, & Loring), Black Mission fig, pears (Bartlett & Bosc), Minneola citrus, and Pedro Walnut.

Left to right: Bunny tending to the chicken.  A sun-warmed coldframe to start seedlings in the winter that will be transplanted when the soil warms.  Boe with a warming cup of hot chai. The day we visited it was snowing in the higher elevations of the Santa Catalinas. Chilly and beautiful!

Left:  Jeff  in front of one of Bunny and Boe’s several rainwater-harvesting cisterns. These collect rainwater shed from the roofs of their home and workshop. It has been a rainy winter, and all of their cisterns are full now!  Right: Jeff and Boe discussing mosquito-proofing methods for this newest and largest cistern.

5. Indigo Street Pottery Garden Notes

In this Issue

1. Indigo Street Pottery Calendar

  1. 2. ASU Art Museum’s 9th Annual Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour, Site: Indigo Street Pottery

  1. 3.Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Jeff Reich and Farraday Newsome: Artists of the Month, April  2010, Tucson, Arizona

  1. 4.Visiting New Friends Boe and Bunny: Chickens  and Garden Structures in Oracle, Arizona

  1. 5.Indigo Street Pottery Garden Notes

6. In Memory of Arizona friend and painter Steve Stone, 1959 - 2010

Farraday Newsome, Lidded Platter with Pomegranates, Butterflies and Oranges, glazed terra cotta, 8” h x 13 “d, 2009

Jeff Reich, Yucca Fields  hanging tile, glazed stoneware, 8 x 8”, 2009

This Monstrosus totem cactus of ours split its skin overnight because it swelled after yet another heavy rain. A wide older split from another year, seen lower on the same arm, has scarred over.

Farraday Newsome, Night Sea Drift, glazed terra cotta bird torso sculpture, 30 x 15 x 14”, 2010

Jeff Reich, Interwoven, glazed stoneware, 31.5 x 15 x 13”, 2010

6. In Memory of Arizona friend and painter Steve Stone, 1959 - 2010

We are very saddened at the passing of our dear friend and talented painter Steve Stone. We will truly miss this open-hearted, smart, engaging, philosophical friend. We are so  fortunate to have his painting Fictor hanging in our livingroom above the fireplace, as a reminder of his warmth and caring friendship.

Steve Stone, Fictor, oil on canvas, 44 x 48”