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June 2011 Newsletter

Indigo Street Pottery Newsletter

In this Issue

1. Indigo Street Pottery Calendar

2. Quiet Season in our Desert Studio

  1. 3.George Newsome (1932-1998), Dinnerware Designer

4. Anderson Ranch 2011 Annual Art Auction

  1. 5.Indigo Street Pottery Landscape Note

6. Indigo Street Pottery Garden Notes

Welcome to our monthly newsletter! It is part of our website indigostreetpottery.com , 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!

August 13, 2011: 2011 Annual Art Auction, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass, Colorado www.andersonranch.org

May of 2012: Jeff Reich and Farraday Newsome, 2-person exhibition, Plinth Gallery, Denver, Colorado http://plinthgallery.com/

1                        Indigo Street Pottery Calendar

2                     Quiet Season in our Desert Studio   


3      George Newsome (1932-1998), Dinnerware Designer

5                               Landscape Note

Here is  one of Jeff Reich’s sculptures placed in our native wildscaped yard at Indigo Street Pottery. The sculpture is Navigating to the Sky, stoneware, 9’ x 12” x 12”, 2008.

6                                      Garden Note

4              Anderson Ranch 2011 Annual Art Auction

Farraday Newsome, Green Moon Garden Teapot, glazed terra cotta, 8.5 x 8 x 14.5”, 2006

Jeff Reich, Yucca Fields, glazed stoneware sculpture, 9.5 x 9 x 13”, 2011

Anderson Ranch is a learning community dedicated to creativity and growth through the making and understanding of the visual arts located on five scenic acres in Snowmass Village, near Aspen, Colorado. It promotes personal and professional development of artists of all levels of expertise through year-round workshops in ceramics, sculpture, photography, new media, painting and drawing, printmaking, woodworking, furniture design and more. Their artists residencies for emerging and established artists, summer internships, visiting artists and critics, community outreach, and public events offer a full spectrum of opportunities to creative people of all levels. The facilities feature fully-equipped art studios and galleries. Anderson Ranch programs and activities including art auctions and artist slide lectures, attract thousands of artists, art-lovers, students, faculty and patrons annually to this historic Rocky Mountain ranch dedicated to the fine art. To learn more about this beautiful art center visit http://www.andersonranch.org/ .

This summer Jeff and Farraday will be participants in the 31st Annual  Art Auction at AndersonRanch, Snowmass, Colorado.  The event will be held on Saturday, August 13. The 2011 Art Auction website which will preview the amazing array of artwork featured in the live and silent auctions will be available by June 15, 2011. Each summer art lovers and community members support the Ranch by bidding on a wide range of artwork created by artists from throughout the valley and around the country. More than 200 artworks will be auctioned in live and silent auctions. Benefitting the educational programs of Anderson Ranch Arts Center. For more auction information visit  http://www.andersonranch.org/events/index.php?page=auction

As temperatures approach their zenith here in the Sonoran Desert, many of the area’s residents have moved to summer homes in cooler climates.  We will see day after day over 100 degrees F here, with June’s hottest days topping the 115 degree F mark.  It is a quiet time of year. Our high season of October through April is so busy with arts-related and social activities that we welcome a quiet season.

Now that it is so quiet, we actually have the time to work more in the garden - cruel irony! We get up early to work outside. Time in the studio is spent on new bodies of work.

The photos below show two of Farraday’s current works-in-progress after sinter firing, and then older finished similiar pieces after the final glaze firing. Sinter firing is an intermediary firing whereby the base glaze coat is applied to bisqueware and fired to a point where the glaze is hardened but not fully melted. In other words, it is under-fired on purpose to a specific sub-maturity cone. With her cone 05 glazes, Farraday’s sinter firing is to cone 014.  Her sinter-fired base coat is either sprayed-on white maiolica glaze or  a brushed-on black maiolica glaze. The result is a sturdy, matte, under-fired surface that resembles fired slip. It cannot be washed off or rubbed off. The reason to do this? The surface is so tough now that she can easily draw imagery with soft vine charcoal, erase the drawing with a sponge and water if she wants to re-draw, and when the drawing is done, easily brush on many layers of colored glazes - all without disturbing the base black or white glaze!  This technique has been known and used for centuries, but rarely.

Farraday’s father was George Newsome.  The story goes that as a young man from upstate New York  he set off for the local college, Alfred University. George was interested in architecture, but his parents convinced him that ceramics was a better career move. Hmm... So, by serendipity, he found himself in one of the most illustrious college ceramics programs in the nation.

George got his degree and was subsequently drafted into the US Army. After his two-year stint, during which Farraday was born on an army base in El Paso, Texas, he landed a job as a dinnerware designer for Metlox Potteries in Manhattan Beach, California. He was suddenly immersed in the world of low-fire glazes and low-fire white talc clay bodies. George Newsome spent his career at Metlox as one of the design team, becoming best known for his patterns employing low relief imagery. 

Below: Sculptured Grape and Sculptured Zinnia.

While at Alfred, he studied with Professor Daniel Rhodes. He befriended Susan Peterson. He watched Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada when they came through with their demonstrations. George received what was to become the traditional American education in ceramics, with its emphasis on reduction-fired stoneware.

Left: stoneware bowl from George Newsome’s time at Alfred University, circa 1952.

When Farraday Newsome was young child, her father would sometimes take her and her siblings to his design office in the Metlox Potteries factory. He would get bisqued stock plates and various glazes out and let them have at it. Farraday remembers loving this activity!

Below: Two of Farraday’s plates form that time, glazed and fired at Metlox Potteries. This would be circa 1965-1967, when Farraday was between ten and twelve years old.

These photos, shot in mid-May in our back yard, show some of the late spring desert trees in bloom. 

Left: The lavender-flowered Ironwood tree (Olneya tesota) is in the rear to the left. These large, thorny, hardwood trees are iconic of our Sonoran desert. The red flower in the foreground is on a young heritage Josefina White Pomegranate tree from old Tucson.

Right: The Kidneywood tree (Eysenhardtia othocarpa) has many sprays of fragrant, small white flowers. This small, hardy tree is thornless and native to southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and into central Mexico.

Fruit trees in the desert?!! Summer is arriving and we are saying goodbye to the leafy greens of winter and hello to the fruits of summer and summer vegetables. Perennial herbs are going strong now too. Our garden, not even a year old, has been doing so well! It is in a 30’ x 20’ walk-in enclosure to protect it from squirrels, rabbits and birds, and we eat from it every day.

Above left:  Goldkist apricots

Above middle: Anna’s apples (desert-adapted, low chill apple developed in Israel)

Above Right: Beauty plums

Below Left: Kadota figs developing.

Below middle: Straightneck yellow summer squash, garlic, peppers, freesias, figs, red-blooming hollyhock, and Jeff in the background.

Below right: Quinalt strawberries

We highly recommend this movie and hope you get a chance to see it this summer!!