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.

Farewell Show at the Bray

My two years as an artist-in-residence at the Bray has flown by. I can’t believe its coming to a close. I just installed my Farewell Show, and it is bittersweet to have it all done.

Below are images of the three new sets in the show…

Here is the link to the Bray website that has images of everything that’s in the show…

http://www.archiebray.org/abf_exhibitions/farewell_exhibition_2012/phpslideshow.php

Art on Loan

As part of being a sales gallery artist with Northern Clay Center, I am rewarded with many special privileges. One of them is their Art On Loan program. I have not heard of any other galleries that do this, and I think its just another reason why NCC is an awesome place. The Art On Loan program allows designers, photo stylists, and decorators to borrow work from the gallery to be used in staging. This has now come to fruition for me with Room and Board, a home furnishing store with a strong design influence based in Minnesota. Below is an image from their current catalog, in the sofa section. Check out what’s on the near coffee table.

I’m guessing that maybe two, or three people if I’m lucky, will focus on and recognize my cups in their catalog. But I still think its pretty cool that the decorator picked my work to fit in with what they consider to be “modern contemporary living”.

Maybe they saw my work on current display at NCC in the “Functional Redesign” show that is up for another week. If you’re in or around Minneapolis, please go check it out.

NCECA recap

NCECA was very special to me this year, to say the least. Being in Seattle, where I lived for 7 years and went to undergrad at UW, was a big part of that feeling. So it definitely felt like home turf, and I love any opportunity to return to the Emerald City. Starting back in Sept, I made a big push to do a lot for this conference, and that push resulted in more than I ever could have expected.

First, I am ecstatic to say that I was selected as an Emerging Artist by NCECA! There were six of us, and we spoke at the closing ceremonies on Saturday morning. NCECA received a Windgate Charitable Foundation grant, and because of that we had a show, extensive publicity, and received a financial award. Pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. Here are images of the 3 pieces I put into the Emerging Show…

 

I was very fortunate to be in five other shows during the conference. A quick rundown…

-Foster/White hosted the Bray show titled “Table of Content”. I had the following piece, Eight,  installed there..

 

-At the Seattle Design Center, I was in a show Steve Godfrey curated titled “National Porcelain Invitational”. I had this very red coffee service, and a few singles…

 

-At the Elysian Brewery up on Capitol Hill, I was in a show Stephen Robinson curated titled “Steins”. Brand new stein, very similar to the one I made last year, but a little bit smaller. I say “smaller” because I shrank it from an absurd 34oz down to a more reasonable 22oz…

 

-I was featured by Red Lodge Clay Center at their NEXPO booth, with a few singles and this set…

 

-At La Mesa, hosted by Santa Fe Clay at the ACT Theater. This is always one my favorite shows as a place to see really great pots. The place setting I sent.

What a whirlwind the conference was this year. Getting up and speaking in front of everyone was incredibly nerve-racking, and a real honor. I’m working on posting a video of my slide presentation.

What’s next? I have a few shows coming up, and will be opening my Etsy store. Thanks for reading, and please stay tuned.

Solo Show online

My solo show at MudFire Gallery, just outside of Atlanta, opens today. The show, titled “Pursuing Perfection”, is was online.

MudFire has really done a fantastic job with presenting the show. They also did some original writing about my work, which I very much appreciate. Here is a blurb, hope you enjoy the show…

“Nicholas Bivins is on an aesthetic quest for a personal definition of perfection in his studio pottery. He is exploring a tension between being handmade and looking handmade, between a geometric precision and evidence of the hand.

Nick’s show includes a few of his signature sets, as well as individual functional pieces such as cups, pourers, bottles and more. His minimalist designs are intended to help studio pottery continue forward as relevant in our contemporary society.”

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.

What a blur

The last two months have been a complete blur of activity, and I just haven’t been spending as much time on the computer. A quick summary of everything that’s been going on…

I gave a brief mention in a prior post that I went down to Santa Fe Clay for a one-day workshop with Mike Jabbur and Tara Dawley. The workshop coincided with our 3-person show ‘Decorum’, that will be up until July 23rd. So if you’re in Santa Fe, I hope you can stop in. Tara did a great job at taking pictures and did a write up on her blog, you can see that here.

After getting back from Santa Fe, it was studio madness getting ready both the summer show here at the Bray and the Red Lodge show that were both up during the 60th anniversary celebration. Here are images of the two new pieces I put in the Bray show…

As you can see from the aerial photography, I’m now casting colored rubber into the footwells of the trays. The running joke that a fellow Californian made to me, was that the pieces are now earthquake rattle proof. This wasn’t exactly what I had intended, but sometimes I think we just can’t help to deny our roots. Anyways, I have been thinking about the reveal aspect of using these new trays I’ve been making. What happens when the pot is removed from the tray? This rubber solution first provides a bit of a surprise in terms of color. Then it furthers the line of questioning about what materials are used. Finally, the rubber changes the feeling of placing the pots back into their intended places. I have a lot more to say about this topic, that I will get back to in another post.

Moving forward, I also made two wall pieces for the Red Lodge show that was held down at the Bolder Avenue Arts Center. I couldn’t get high quality images in that space, so I will have to post those at a later time. The pieces were “Plates (8)”, and “Tumblers (8)”.

After finishing and installing both shows, the 60th Anniversary Celebration was upon us. It was an absolutely fantastic experience. I got to see a lot of old friends, and make some new ones. I had never been to a live art auction before, and this was almost unbelievable. After all was said and done, the gross was a little over $510,000 for the Bray! The Volkus went for $125,000, the Kaneko for $55,000, and in my opinion the most exciting lot of the evening was the Shaner that went for $22,500.  Totally awesome. The auction was on Friday, then the Bray Bash was on Saturday. The Big Sky Mudflaps played a rockin’ show, and we danced the night away. After talking about how much fun we had, Nicole and I also realized another reason why this community is so great. On the dance floor at the same time, there were old people, young people, every race your could think of, men dancing with women, women dancing with women, men dancing with men…and nobody cared. Everyone was just dancing their hearts out after a long week. Here are a couple pics from the dance floor, and one of me and Nicole.

After the event ended, I think everyone was ready to unwind a little bit. Nicole and didn’t really have much of a chance, since we needed to move apartments. I like moving just as much as the next person, so that was really a chore I was not excited about. However, our new apt is totally sweet, overlooking downtown Helena with a view of Mt Helena directly behind it. Huge upgrade to the street level place we lived in this past year.

After/during the move, my Dad came to town which also coincided with my birthday. Being the very generous and gracious people he and his wife are, they helped me and Nicole finish cleaning our apt. What great people! The reward was that I was able to go fishing all day with my Dad on my birthday, then went out for an awesome steak dinner at place out in Clancy called Chubby’s. One good photo, one average cell phone photo…

What an awesome time! It doesn’t seem to stop either. Nicole and I fly to LAX tonight to meet up with her sister and her fiance, then we’ll all head down to San Diego to meet up with her family for a serious 4th of July party on Ocean Beach. I keep saying to myself in somewhat disblief, ‘this is my life?’.

After SD, back in Helena for a couple quick days, then I’m headed out to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for a Design/Architecture conference. I am very fortunate in being awarded a fellowship do go to the conference, so that is just going to be great.

That’s the “quick” update. Thanks for reading, catch ya on the flip side.