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Tales of a Red Clay Rambler: A pottery and ceramic art podcast

Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast features weekly interviews with ceramic artists from around the world. Host Ben Carter talks with potters, sculptors, and designers about their creative practice. www.talesofaredclayrambler.com

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117: Warren Mackenzie on a lifetime in clay and what makes a good pot

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with one of the most influential members of the American studio pottery movement, Warren Mackenzie. After an early apprenticeship at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall (1949-1952), Mackenzie became a ceramic professor at the University of Minnesota (1953-1990). During his nearly four-decade tenure at the school, he influenced generations of students including Michael Simon, Randy Johnston, Mark Pharis and many more. At 91 he continues to make pots in his studio in Stillwater, MN. In the interview we talk about his time at the Leach Pottery, pricing for domestic wares, and his thoughts on what makes a good pot. To see images of his work please visit the episode guide at http://www.talesofaredclayrambler.com.

1hr 18mins

11 Sep 2015

Rank #1

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133: Chris Staley on developing emotional intelligence

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Chris Staley. A celebrated ceramic artist and educator, Staley has been a professor at Penn State University since 1990. In the interview we talk about Abraham Maslow’s four stages of learning, redefining success and developing emotional intelligence in college students. For more information of Chris please visit www.chrisstaleyartist.com. This episode of the podcast is sponsored by the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. The school is now accepting submissions for their Educational Assistantship Program, which provides people with limited financial resources the opportunity to take classes at Arrowmont. Act fast! Deadline for submission is March 1st, 2016. Applications and further details regarding submission materials and requirements can be found at arrowmont.slideroom.com.

1hr 7mins

6 Feb 2016

Rank #2

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203: Deep dive on selling pots with the Schaller Gallery. Special guest Sunshine Cobb on her new book Mastering Hand Building.

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a double interview featuring Sunshine Cobb and Anthony Schaller/Brittany Stecker Mason. In the first segment, I talk with Sunshine about her new book Mastering Hand Building. The book features practical techniques for hand building objects in clay, as well as, artists interviews and a section on finding your voice through making. To find out more visit www.sunshinecobb.com/book. In the second segment, I talk with gallery directors Anthony Schaller and Brittany Stecker Mason. They run the Schaller Gallery located in St. Joseph, MI. The gallery carries contemporary ceramics with a focus on functional pots for daily use. Their roster of artists includes a selection of the best potters working today including Matt Metz, Julia Galloway, Randy Johnston and many more. In our interview, we talk about building a collector base, pricing work, and planning for the future. To see the exhibitions that are currently on display in the gallery visit www.schallergallery.com. Hey Red Clay Rambler fans, I need your help to keep this show on the air. We need 25 new patrons to reach our monthly fundraising goal. Visit www.patreon.com/redclayrambler to pledge your support and become a sustaining member. We have a batch of rewards to offer including the new Vintage Radio shirt, handmade pots, posters and much more. Visit www.patreon.com/redclayrambler to sign up today.

1hr 14mins

11 Jan 2018

Rank #3

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152: Garth Clark and Justin Crowe talk about trends in ceramic art and design

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a discussion with Garth Clark & Justin Crowe. The two are core staff members of CFile, an online ceramic journal covering “a global community of cutting-edge educators, ceramics creatives, critics, curators, collectors, dealers, and brilliant young techies.” Along with their role of championing avante-garde ceramics they are one of the few journalistic organizations that investigates the field of ceramics from a global multidisciplinary perspective. In the interview we talk about the trends sweeping through the field of ceramics including fractal fascination, extreme glazing, and the rise of 3D printing. For more information on Cfile visit www.cfileonline.org.

1hr 15mins

1 Sep 2016

Rank #4

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232: Cynthia Bringle on educating your audience about the value of handmade

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Cynthia Bringle. Since moving to Penland, NC in 1970 she has become a pillar of the art community, influencing many generations of artists and helping the Penland School of Craft to become a mecca for ceramics. In our interview we talk about educating your audience on the value of handmade, the evolution of studio pottery since the 1960’s and the growth of the Penland School. To see examples of her work, visit www.cynthiabringlepottery.com. I want to send a special thank you to the Studio Potter Journal for sponsoring this episode of the podcast. Since 1972, the Studio Potter non-profit organization has promoted the discussion of technology, criticism, aesthetics, and history within the ceramics community, through their semi-annual print and online journal. Many guests of this podcast have written for the journal and you can find those articles along with more information and more information about how to subscribe at www.studiopotter.org.

56mins

5 Oct 2018

Rank #5

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281: Giselle Hicks on a personal search for beauty

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Giselle Hicks. Her minimalist vessels combine simple glazes with refined forms to highlight the process marks of her coil-building process. After reading Elaine Scarry’s On Beauty and Being Just, Hicks has embraced the decorative function of her work, focusing on a quest for personal beauty. In our interview we talk about her experience selling through interior designers and how her transition between sculptural and functional bodies of work helped her cultivate a new audience. For more information on Giselle visit www.gisellehicks.com. Hey Red Clay Rambler fans, I have a new feature called the Community Corkboard and it’s an opportunity for you to share your ceramic event with the Red Clay Rambler audience. Today’s event is the Art of the Pot Studio Tour, which is having its 16th annual event May 10th-12th in Austin, TX. For more information visit www.artofthepot.com. To have your event, or comment, featured on the community corkboard send me an email through the contact link at www.talesofaredclayrambler.com/contact.

1hr 8mins

1 May 2019

Rank #6

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214: Mark Errol on the growth of Plough Gallery

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Mark Errol. Based in Tifton, GA, Mark wears many hats in the clay world. He is a functional potter, gallery owner and professor at Valdosta State University. In our interview we talk about the founding of Plough Gallery, creating a safe space for students to experience failure and growth in the class room, and developing a vocabulary of domestic motifs within his current body of work. To see examples of his work please visit www.marksmud.com or www.ploughgallery.com.   Hey Red Clay Rambler fans, I need your help to keep this show on the air. We need 25 new patrons to reach our monthly fundraising goal. Visit www.patreon.com/redclayrambler to pledge your support and become a sustaining member. We have a batch of rewards to offer including the new Vintage Radio shirt, handmade pots, posters and much more. Visit www.patreon.com/redclayrambler to sign up today.

57mins

13 Apr 2018

Rank #7

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188: Simon Levin on understanding the dynamics of wood firing

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Simon Levin. His interest in wood firing has led to over 20 years of active research into Anagama, Cross draft and Train style kilns. He uses the turbulent flame path inside these kilns to create rich surfaces on his ceramic vessels. In our interview, we talk about learning to harness the complex variables of wood firing, defining mastery within the ceramic process, and his unique apprenticeship system. Simon has helped educate seventeen potters at his Mill Creek Pottery in Gresham, WI. For more information on Simon visit www.simonlevin.com. This week’s Tales of a Red Clay Rambler episode is sponsored by Northern Clay Center’s MN NICE PROGRAM.  The New institute for ceramic education is entering its fourth year of this advanced certificate program lead by Ursula Hargens. MN NICE provides rigorous, personalized instruction for artists who are serious about taking the next step in their ceramic education. Designed to respond to the changing needs of makers the course provides high-level training in ceramic materials, history, theory, and professional practice. The program consists of three 8-week blocks of instruction, beginning annually in September and ending the following May. Applications are still being accepted for Fall 2017 enrollment. More information on this unique learning opportunity can be found at northernclaycenter.org.

1hr 11mins

11 Aug 2017

Rank #8

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248: In Tribute: Warren Mackenzie on a lifetime in clay

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a rebroadcast of a 2015 interview with an icon of the American studio pottery movement, Warren Mackenzie. After an early apprenticeship at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall (1949-1952), Mackenzie became a ceramic professor at the University of Minnesota (1953-1990). During his nearly four-decade tenure at the school, he influenced generations of students including Michael Simon, Randy Johnston, Sandy Simon, Mark Pharis and many more. In the interview we talk about his time at the Leach Pottery, pricing for domestic wares, and his thoughts on what makes a good pot. Warren passed peacefully in his Stillwater, MN home on December 31st, 2018. I want to send a special thank you to the Studio Potter Journal for sponsoring this episode of the podcast. Since 1972, the Studio Potter non-profit organization has promoted the discussion of technology, criticism, aesthetics, and history within the ceramic’s community, through their semi-annual print and online journal. Many guests of this podcast have written for the journal and you can find those articles along with more information and more information about how to subscribe at www.studiopotter.org.

1hr 18mins

1 Jan 2019

Rank #9

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132: Jacques Kauffman on architecture that reduces green house gases

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Jacques Kauffman. He uses ceramic bricks to build large-scale installation and sculpture. In the interview we talk about his philosophy of making, the influence of his time working in Rwanda, and his role in developing bioactive architecture that reduces green house gases in urban environments. Jacques has recently retired from being the head of ceramics at the Ecole d‘arts appliqués in Vevey, Switzerland and is the president of the International Academy of Ceramics. For more information on Jacques please visit his IAC profile at www.aic-iac.org/en/member/jacques-kaufmann. You can also read a review of his 2013 exhibition “With one brick, to build a world” at cfileonline.org/exhibition-jacques-kaufmann-one-brick-build-world/. This episode of the podcast is sponsored by THINK BIG 2: Mastering the Marketplace, a six-week e-course designed to help you take the next step in your creative business. For more information, or to register for the next session starting on February 4th, please visit www.carterpottery.com/think-big

57mins

28 Jan 2016

Rank #10

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177: Double episode: Matt Metz on mining the subconscious to develop personal iconography and Brian Jones on the relaunch of the Jonescast

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Matt Metz. Based in Alfred, NY he makes black porcelain pots that are covered with slips and carved through to reveal patterns in low relief. Over more than three decades he has developed a personal iconography that includes floral, geometric and figurative imagery. In our interview we talk about the value of solitary work, methods for evolving within a studio practice, and making a living as a potter. For more information on Matt visit www.schallergallery.com. This episode also features a mini interview with Brian Jones about the relaunch of his ceramic podcast The Jonescast. For more information visit www.jonescast.com. This episode of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler is sponsored by Omnus Terra. The exhibition invites seven Australian and seven American artists, including former podcast guests Vicki Grimma, Shannon Garson, Jane Sawyer and Linda Fahey, to create a dialogue between the two cultures through a shared connection to clay. Like the scientific expeditions of the great explorers, “Omnus Terra” reaches out to far flung nations bringing a cargo of exotic, mysterious, and mesmerising objects to a foreign shore. The artists explore their landscape, ceramic history and culture, questioning the historical tropes of the ceramic medium through form and material. The exhibition will take place at Gallery 114 in Portland, OR, March 22-25 in conjunction with the 2017 NCECA conference. For more information please visit www.yondershop.com and look for the Omnus Terra link. This episode of Tales of a Red Clay Rambler is sponsored by Sonoma Ceramics in Sonoma, California. They are one of the North Bay’s leading ceramics studios, offering clay experiences for all ages, levels, and financial means. They will be hosting the Artstream Ceramics Symposium from March 31- April 2. The symposium consists of three days of exhibitions, conversations and demonstrations by internationally-known ceramics artists from the Artstream Nomadic Gallery. Doug Bro, Julia Galloway and Ben Carter will be demonstrating and representing three generations that work with diverse techniques and materials. Take this opportunity to experience historic Sonoma through clay! To register please visit www.SonomaCeramics.com.

1hr 19mins

21 Mar 2017

Rank #11

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213: Figure sculptor Andrea Keys Connell on unpacking family history through making

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Andrea Keys Connell. Connell uses figurative sculpture to address cultural archetypes and relationship dynamics. In the interview we talk about unpacking family history through making, sharpening intuition and changing her teaching style to match student needs. Connell is a professor of ceramics at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. To see examples of her work visit www.andreakeys.com. Hey Red Clay Rambler fans, I need your help to keep this show on the air. We need 25 new patrons to reach our monthly fundraising goal. Visit www.patreon.com/redclayrambler to pledge your support and become a sustaining member. We have a batch of rewards to offer including the new vintage radio shirt, handmade pots, posters and much more. Visit www.patreon.com/redclayrambler to sign up today.

1hr 11mins

6 Apr 2018

Rank #12

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173: Andrea Gill on challenging students to dig deeper

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Andrea Gill. Her large-scale hand-built forms reference historical European vessels, patterns and the figure. Her most recent body of work springs from an ongoing fascination with the patterns of Chinese export ceramics. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tiffany Foundation, and the American Craft Council. Her work can be found in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. In the interview we talk about gender dynamics within the ceramic world in the 1960’s, knowing how to get a student to dig deeper in the studio, and her time teaching at the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred, where she has been on the faculty since 1984. For more information on her work please visit www.alfredceramics.com/andrea-gill.html. This week’s Tales of a Red Clay Rambler episode is sponsored by Big Ceramic Store.com. We’ve partnered together to offer you 15% off their entire website when you visit bigceramicstore.com/ben. Since 1999, BigCeramicStore has supported artists with an exceptional product line, outstanding customer service & insightful tips and techniques. So go to Bigceramicstore.com/ben to save 15% on glazes, tools, clays & much more! This episode of the podcast is also sponsored by Adam Field Pottery. Adam has just updated his website with new workshops on Korean coil and paddled Onggi jars, as well as the intricately carved porcelain pots for which he is known. The extensive list of workshop locations includes Brooklyn Clay March 4 & 5th, two-weeks at La Meridiana in Tuscany April 9-22, as well as workshops in Boulder, CO, Gatlinburg, TN, and Deer Isle, ME to name a few. For more details on these wonderful learning opportunities, including a full list of locations and enrollment information, please visit AdamFieldPottery.com.

1hr 13mins

24 Feb 2017

Rank #13

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159: Deb Schwartzkopf on cultivating the perfect studio environment

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler I talk with Deb Schwartzkopf. For more than a decade she lived from coast to coast, studying ceramics and taking part in artist-in-residence programs. Deb’s circuitous path to setting up her studio represents a trend many itinerant potters of her generation experience. Upon returning home to Seattle, WA she bought a home and built Rat City Studios, named after the neighborhood in which she lives. In our interview we talk about utilizing criticism from a teacher to improve your work, returning to a challenging form for aesthetic resolution, and cultivating a garden and other hobbies that feed one’s studio practice. To find out more about her work please visit www.ratcitystudios.com.

51mins

3 Nov 2016

Rank #14

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166: Margaret Bohls on hand building meaningful pottery

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Margaret Bohls. She lives in Lincoln, NE where she teaches at the University of Nebraska. She maintains a studio practice making functional pottery that references the history of Asian and European ceramics. In the interview we talk about helping students understand the meaning of objects and the value of bucking current trends to find an authentic aesthetic. For more information on her work please visit www.margaretbohls.com. This episode is the fourth installment of the Arrowmont-week series, recorded at UC7 held in Gaitlinburg, TN in the fall of 2016. Part of the campus was recently destroyed by wildfires that burned large portions of Gatlinburg. To donate to the school’s rebuild fund please visit www.arrowmont.org/support. Every day this week I’ll release a new UC7 themed interview so check back tomorrow for a new episode.

1hr 4mins

12 Jan 2017

Rank #15

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222: Morean Center for Clay resident artists talk about creativity and community in St. Petersburg

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have a panel discussion with Tucker Claxton, Bridget Fairbank, Emmett Freeman, Amanda Bury, and Colby Charpentier. The group are current resident artists at the Morean Center for Clay in St. Petersburg, FL. Our discussion covers a wide range of topics including their research interests and making it work in St. Petersburg. More information on the artists can be found on their websites. (Click their name to visit - Colby Charpentier, Amanda Bury, Bridget Fairbank, Emmett Freeman, Tucker Claxton. Not included in the interview Jacob Meer.) This episode of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler is sponsored by National Clay Week Open Studios, a nationwide event that celebrates clay, community, and creativity. October 12-14 artists across the U.S. are invited to open their doors for demonstrations, lectures, and exhibitions. For more information on how you can join visit www.nationalclayweek.org/openstudio. Join us for a celebration of the ceramic arts!

52mins

12 Jul 2018

Rank #16

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303: Sam Chung on developing novel methods for altering porcelain

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Sam Chung. In his recent porcelain vessels, Chung references Korean folk-art motifs in both form and surface. In our interview we talk about the transitions in technique and content he has made in his career, his methods for altering ceramic forms, and the impact that loss has on personal identity. Chung is based in Tempe, Arizona where he is a professor at Arizona State University. Chung currently has a solo show on display at Gallery IMA in Seattle, WA. To see examples of his work visit www.galleryima.com or www.samchungceramics.com. AMACO Community Corkboard, 10/24/19: Hey Red Clay Rambler Fans for today’s AMACO Community Corkboard we have the 12th annual San Diego Pottery Tour happening December 7th-8th. The tour has nine stops in the San Diego area with over 30 ceramic artists including Richard Burkett, Ashley Kim, Wesley Andregg, Merle Lambeth, Sam Lopez and many more. For more information about the tour visit https://sdpotterytour.com. I’d like to thank Amaco/Brent for sponsoring the community corkboard. Brent Equipment is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year and have created a Limited Edition Black CXC wheel. Brent equipment is made in the USA with high quality, locally sourced materials, which allows them to provide an industry leading 10-year warranty. For more information visit www.amaco.com. To have your event or comment featured on the Community Corkboard, send me an email through the contact link at www.talesofaredclayrambler.com/contact. 

1hr 8mins

25 Oct 2019

Rank #17

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120: Randy Johnston on the growth of wood firing in North America

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Randy Johnston.  A working potter since the early 1970’s Johnston has been instrumental in the development of wood fired kiln technology in the United States. His early ceramic education included study with Warren MacKenzie and Shimaoka Tatsuzo, both noted potters influenced by the Mingei philosophy. Throughout his career Johnston has made functional and sculptural vessels that combine these early influences with an interest in African wood sculpture and the drawings of Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline. In the interview we talk about working in Mashiko, Japan in the 1970’s, digesting the influence of another culture, and the growth of wood firing in North America. For more information on the Randy please visit www.mckeachiejohnstonstudios.com.

1hr 8mins

7 Oct 2015

Rank #18

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290: Chris Staley and Kyle Johns on the intersection of boredom, expectation and creativity

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Chris Staley and Kyle Johns. Both were artists-in-residence for the month of May at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. During the month Staley was making a new body of sculptural vessels and Johns continued his exploration of keyless mold systems for slip cast vessels. In our interview we talk about suspending judgement when making, how boredom can create space for new ideas, and learning to use social media in a healthy and sustainable way. For more information on Staley visit www.chrisstaleyartist.com. For more information on Johns visit www.instagram.com/kylejohnsceramics. Ceramic Materials Workshop is a proud sponsor of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast. Ceramic Materials Workshop is a place online to learn about how clay and glazes really work. They’ve been teaching at prestigious ceramic universities for years, and now offer classes that are open to everyone around the world. They help you take control of your glazes, so your work meets your vision, helping you end Post-Firing Depression one glaze at a time. Their next online session begins July 1st, so sign up today at www.ceramicmaterialsworkshop.com. Community Corkboard, 6/18: The Cannon River Clay Tour is having its 4th annual tour June 22nd - 23rd in the Northfield, MN area. This self-guided studio tour and sale includes a broad range of professional ceramic work from twenty-two artists. For more information visit www.cannonriverclaytour.com/.

58mins

21 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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246: Marty Fielding on the influence of Frank Gehry and postmodern architecture on his ceramic vessels

Today on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with Marty Fielding. His ceramic vessels live at the scale of domestic pottery, but often feel monumental with their architectural volumes and angles. In our interview we talk about his love of Frank Gehry’s architecture, building up layers of underglaze to create abstract fields of color, and how music has shaped his creative practice. For more information on Marty visit www.martyfielding.com. This episode was taped as part of the Red Handed Symposium at the Clay Lady Campus in Nashville, TN. I want to send a special thank you to Ceramic Materials Workshop for sponsoring this episode of the podcast. Ceramicists at all levels can now learn how clay and glazes function in convenient online courses taught by Matt Katz. Ceramic Materials ​Workshop will help you explore why clay and glazes work empowering you to troubleshoot problems and generate creative solutions in your own studio. Visit www.ceramicmaterialsworkshop.com to register for the next session, which starts January 2nd.

55mins

12 Dec 2018

Rank #20