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September  2010 Newsletter

Indigo Street Pottery Newsletter

In this Issue

1. Indigo Street Pottery Calendar

  1. 2.Narrative Animal Imagery , San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, California

  1. 3.New Lark Book Ceramics for Beginners: Surfaces, Glazes & Firing by Angelica Pozo

  1. 4.Patricia Sannit featured in 2-person exhibition Earth Origins: David  Hicks and Patricia Sannit, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, New Mexico

  1. 5.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!

1. Indigo Street Pottery Calendar

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

September - October 2010: Northern Clay Center’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition, with a collaborative piece by Jeff and Farraday, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota  http://www.northernclaycenter.org/see/exhibition_upcoming.php

October - November 2010: Narrative Animal Imagery, The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, California http://www.sloartcenter.org

November 12 - December 31, 2010: The Artisan Gallery Cup and Mug Invitational: Consider the Cup 2010, The Artisan Gallery, Northhampton, Massachusetts  http://www.theartisangallery.com/

December 10, 2010 - January 15, 2011: La Mesa in Santa Fe , Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, New Mexico www.santafeclay.com

Our acre-plus native landscaped yard is on a low-pressure drip system that we put in years ago and we are  sticking with the same irrigation concept for the garden, using skinny laser-perforated 1/4” lines that connect to the 1/2” low pressure lines, that in turn connect to the rigid PVC lines that run from an electronically controlled water valve. The native vegetable garden at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson has a similiar 1/4” laser-perforated drip irrigation watering system. We talked to one of the gardeners there last month before we did ours and she was very pleased with how their system is working, and it’s been in for several years.

We have also talked to gardeners here in the Phoenix Valley about an alternative method, soaker hoses, and have heard that they tend to clog with salts as time goes by. That’s why we aren’t going that route. Our water in the low Arizona desert travels for many miles in open canals, evaporating along the way, and delivering water to us that is salty and alkaline. It seems that people with wells, like our friends Bunny and Boe Bunzel in Tucson  (see our April 2010 newsletter story about them), can better use soaker hoses because their water is less salty.

So the irrigation is in and we will be planting soon! Stay tuned for that in our next newsletter!

Earth Origins:

Santa Fe Clay is pleased to present new work by David Hicks and Patricia Sannit in a two-person exhibit. This will be the first time that each of these artists is exhibiting at Santa Fe Clay. These artists are connected by material, but unique in their approach to the medium. They both are working in large scale, confronting the viewer with the power and impact of work that is architectural in nature.

David Hicks is concerned with agriculture and life cycles in nature. His “System Pieces” are large honeycomb terracotta structures that resemble the substructure or vascular systems of all organic life. His wall sculptures reference found objects from farm, barn or machinery.

Patricia Sannit’s handbuilt pieces combine her interests in geology, archeology and history to create work that reflects her studies and travels in the Near East and Africa. Raw clay and patterned textures “explore the development and transmission of culture through time and across distance.”

Tel: (505) 984-1122, Email: sfc@santafeclay.com



  1. 2.Narrative Animal Imagery , San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, California

Farraday Newsome, Desert Flood of Gain and Loss, glazed terra cotta, 9.5 x 14 x 7", 2004

The night is rustling, things are moving on this teapot. A snake, silvery in moonlight, swallows a large egg. In the rushing flood of gain and loss, egg clusters drift, keys float, a rose opens, a feathered moth flutters. The spiny datura seedpod, holding close the promise of  white flowers, is armed with poison. The spout of the teapot repeats the form of the snake, the belly of the teapot is round and well-fed. The terra cotta foot, quiet, supports the endless movement.

Farraday Newsome and Jeff Reich, Queen of the Night, glazed terra cotta, bowl, 3.5 x 11.75 x 11.75",  2007

The Queen of the Night is a cactus that blooms once a year, always on a hot, humid night in the desert.This Queen has a hawk moth with its head buried in her pollen-laden anthers. Greedy, hungry moth. The queen banks on this greed, this hunger, to create her seed. Time is beheld as a drifting watch, chance as an egg-swollen Ace of Spades. Such confidence this queen, that just one night is enough.

Farraday Newsome, Night Forest, glazed terra cotta, wall-hanging volumetric tile, 16 x 17.5 x 3", 2008

This piece of the fern forest is illuminated by the moon. A small section, like a cloud. Forms barely discernible until your eyes get used to the light. A deer peers out, thinking she can't be seen, but so curious, too curious. The

spiny-mouthed shell beckons with an unctuous slick hole. Ferns cushion the air, soft, an ancient plant. Their leaves are laden with spores, primitive powder of life. So much older than those upstarts, the flowers. The fern forest has seen it all, coming and going. It has seen you, coming and going.

Farraday and Jeff will have work, by invitation, in the upcoming exhibition Narrative Animal Imagery at the The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in San Luis Obispo, California. An unusual thing about this exhibition is that a voice actor will be hired to read the narratives that each artist has written to go with their pieces. The recording will be available to listen to on headphones as viewers explore and  experience the show. We’ve included our narratives below for you to read. The exhibition runs  October 6- November 12, 2010.  http://www.sloartcenter.org/

Jeff Reich  and Farraday Newsome both have work included in this new Lark Ceramics Book   Ceramics for Beginners: Surfaces, Glazes & Firing, by Angelica Pozo, 2010

It is due out in bookstores this October 2010.

3. New Lark Book Ceramics for Beginners: Surfaces, Glazes & Firing by Angelica Pozo

4. Patricia Sannit featured in 2-person exhibition Earth Origins, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, New Mexico

One of our favorite artists and friend, Patricia Sannit, was featured in the 2-person summer show Earth Origins : David Hicks and Patricia Sannit at the renowned Santa Fe Clay Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The show ran July 9 - August 21, 2010.  Happily, we travelled through Santa Fe en route to Colorado in mid-August, so we were able to see the show. Such strong work  from one of the valleys own! Patricia’s mature and compelling ceramic sculpture embodies the weight and mass of earth inscribed with precise, inscribed geometric line and shapework. We also enjoyed viewing David Hicks’ sculptural ceramic work  evocative of structural organic growth.

5. Soil-building and installing irrigation in our new Indigo Street Pottery Garden

As readers of this newsletter will know, we’ve been going all out making compost the past few months!

Top photo is our composting area - many trips to get local goat manure and grass clippings, many bags of pine needles from friends, daily kitchen scraps, frequent trips to local coffee shops for vast amounts of used grounds, etc. So it should come as no surprise that it was VERY exciting to finally be digging in large quantities of that black gold into our new garden this month to create topsoil. Seriously! We have virtually no natural topsoil here in our part of the desert: digging reveals that the “subsoil” is pretty much the same “hungry” color and texture as the surface soil.

Below that is a series of photos showing how we went about our initial soil-building: After digging and shaping the beds to about one foot deep, we pick-axed reasonably-sized sections, added compost, dug it in, then pick-axed the next reasonably-sized section, dug compost in, etc., etc. The top left photo is Farraday digging with a dust mask on. It has been very satisfying to dig in wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of earthy, homemade fertility!  When all of the beds had been enriched with compost, we watered thoroughly and covered the new beds with a deep mulch layer of about 8” of decomposing landscape waste.

Photos below: Then, after letting everything sit and soak in the heat for a week or so, we lifted the mulch to the side and got down to business with putting an irrigation system in. Jeff is glueing a section of PVC line.

Jeff Reich is into his second month of working on this new large sculpture. He is making it in three sections that will stack and be supported by an internal metal armature. The left photo is Jeff working on the bottom section. The right photo shows the beginning of the second section sitting on top of the first section. You can  see the horizontal line across the large blocky shape where the sections meet. This is a stage where Jeff is working out the fit and transition of the two sections. He will then put the second section onto its own table and keep building. Keep an eye out for its progress in the next newsletter!