Industrial Consulting

I recently had the pleasure of working with Red Wing Stoneware, in Red Wing MN. They asked me to come in as a consultant to provide some additional training for their employees, specifically to help with the mold making process’s for both slip casting and RAM pressing.

Red Wing Stoneware has been around for a long time. They have a great history in American production, and its all detailed on their site here.

 

Workshop at Appalachian Center for Crafts

I’m happy to announce I’m going to be teaching a 5-day hands-on workshop at the Appalachian Center for Crafts from June 23rd to the 28th. My workshop coincides with Design Week, and “…will examine the relationship between design and craft with artists that infuse contemporary design aesthetics with craft processe”. I will be discussing all aspects of prototyping, mold making, slipcasting, slip formulation, and just about anything else the students can ask me. f you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email, or contact Tennesse Tech.Here is the link:

http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/clayworkshops/

Workshops

I’m excited to have the opportunity to be teaching two upcoming workshops.

From June 16th to the 22nd, I’ll be at Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg Tennessee, to teach “Prototype to Product”. Here is the link with more info about the hands on workshop on the Arrowmont page.

From September 3rd to the 7th, I’ll be working locally in Seattle at Pottery Northwest. My hands on workshop, “Slip and Slide”, is five days long and will cover all the basics of getting started with slipcasting.

Hope you can make it!

Etsy

I have just posted “stunt cups” on Etsy. Actually, I posted them a couple days ago, but gave everyone on my mailing list first dibs as a way to say thank you for being on my list. If you would like to receive these type of emails in the future, please sign up here…

http://nicholasbivins.com/contact/

Here is the link to see all the pots on Etsy…

http://www.etsy.com/shop/NicholasBivins

These pots are a slight deviation from my prior work. I wrote one prior post about this idea here. A while back I noticed that some of the surface designs I had done looked similar to the cross sections of half pipes, tabletops, etc. I went forward with this idea (and with a lot of digital help from my wife), made vector files of the drawings of the athletes, then had decals digitally printed. Snowboarders, Skateboarders, Mountain Bikers, and the like are now throwing huge tricks on the sides of the pots.

I’ve always been involved with these types of sports, so it seemed like a worthwhile project. Part of me feels that I am misbehaving by doing this, that the pottery police are going to serve me a cease & desist, and that is partly why I like doing it.

Etsy is not the only venue I am going to be selling these through. I am working with the local board shop (snowboards, skateboards, clothing, accesories, etc) here in Helena, called Four O Six, and we are going to have some out for the upcoming fall artwalk. I wanted to release these independently first, then move outwards from there. Hope you like ’em.

Collaboration

Let me start with the image, then the story and the plan…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cup is the start of a collaboration between me and Jeff Campana. Jeff’s studio is right across the hall from mine here at the Bray, and we have been discussing some possibilities about mingling our processes.

We started with a simple enough step, using one of my molds, and some slip that Jeff already had mixed of his claybody, he poured  a cup and took it through his process of dissection/reassembly and glazing. That’s the cup in the picture. In another test in the same kiln, he also found out that his glazes fit my clay body.

With so many similarities in our materials, and immediately finding some technical success, we’re going to push on and see what we can come up with.

There is also another, larger, more theoretical point to doing this. Beyond doing it just to see if we can (which would be reason enough), or just to see how it will change us (another completely valid reason), I feel this type of searching is part of why we are both at the Bray. This type of thing is why our studios are in the same hallway, and its our job to take this opportunity to its fullest potential.

Stay tuned, more to come soon.

Fellowship Show

This past year has been a fantastic whirlwind of an experience as an artist-in-residence at the Bray. I have been extremely fortunate to have received the Matsutani Fellowship, which culminates with the Fellowship Show that opened last Thursday. Here is the link to the show on the Bray webpage. There are a few pieces available for purchase.

Some images of the layout, and a few of the finished pieces…

 

 

 

 

In receiving the Fellowship, I felt I had a responsibility to honor the opportunity I was being provided. I was given the time, facility, community, and funds to further develop my work. So I really tried to run with it, and push as hard as possible. This push is what lead me to start working with the CNC-Router, Automotive Paint, and now Rubber. Its my hope that all of this effort is visible in the work on display.

I’ve discussed the CNC/Auto Paint process in prior posts, so I won’t go in to that now. The use of Rubber is the latest development, and all of the pieces in the show have it. Here are a few birds-eye view shots…

 

 

Casting Silicone Rubber into the recesses where the pots fit is my effort towards taking the function of the trays as far as possible. The rubber isn’t visible when all the pots are in place, but once a piece is removed, the colored rubber is revealed. When the pot is returned to its home, the feeling on how the pot meets the tray is very smooth and cushioned.

I’ve expanded upon the observation of what it feels like to return a pot to its place in the tray, with how the entire tray meets the pedestal/table it is set upon. I’m doing this by casting the feet on the underside of the tray out of a Urethane Rubber. I switched to using Urethane Rubber because my supplier, Smooth-On, recommended it for durability. The Urethane Rubber is a Shore Harness of 30, which means very soft. Its a little hard to see, but in the detail photo below you can see how the foot compresses just a little bit under the weight of the tray.

 

The end result is that the trays become self-leveling, with never rock, and will not slide. Its also a very similar feeling to how the entire tray lands on a surface as compared to how it feels to replace a pot in its recess.

And finally, as part of the show the Bray published a full-color catalog. Susannah Israel was brought in to serve as the Jental Critic. She interviewed all five of the Fellowship artists, and then responded with this splendid essay.

Bivins Fellowship Essay by S Isreal.

So that’s the Fellowship Show. The show will be up at the Bray until September 10th, hope you can stop by to see it.