The Copper Potter

Learn about The Copper Potter from Heather herself:

The Copper Potter1Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Heather and I have been an artist all my life. My grandmother was my inspiration as a child, by gifting me art supplies at every holiday. I have been teaching for more than 26 years, and decided to start an Etsy shop just recently. I am often identified by my red hair, so “The Copper Potter” seemed only fitting.

The work that I create has really come out of the collecting my husband and I have done for years of old porcelain and antiques. We live a very eclectic life and enjoy mixing styles and creating our own look. I search for objects that have lost their mate…A lid to a pot, but no pot. A door knob without a door. These objects are the inspiration for many of my pieces. I design a piece around an old found object, to blend the old with the new. I have worked in many mediums, from sterling jewelry, paintings, fibers, but most recently clay. I enjoy throwing on the wheel and getting caught up in the art, when I am given the chance.

Visit The Copper Potter booth July 15-17!

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2 Crocked Pots – Double the Art, Double the Fun

Double Trouble when it comes to one of our festival artists – 2 Crocked Pots! Roland (often referred to as Cub) and Pam are visiting the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival to show off their collection of beautiful pottery and jewelry lines. We wanted to know a little more about their designs, so we caught up with them.

Artwork: Cub has always loved painting, and flourished when he discovered his passion for creating art on clay canvas. Cub allows the natural beauty of the clay to serve as a backdrop for his lovely floral, art nouveau, and whimsical patterns. While Pam contributes to creating the pottery, she has also created her own jewelry line. Pam starts with stoneware and porcelain focal points she had glazed and adds glass and metal components that move her. Her different styles of wearable art are described as whimsical, earthy, simple and classic designs to please every shopper!

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Inspirations: Cub’s inspiration for the pottery stems from his childhood memories growing up in the Finger Lakes region. One of his most intricate creations is his “sailing” design.

Time Commitment: These pots are wheel thrown, air dried, fired to a bisque, painted and glazed, and then fired one final time to bring out the color. Most of the pieces are hand painted, which usually takes 3-4 hours.

Where to Find Their Work: You can find 2 Crocked Pots at many art shows throughout the Finger Lakes region and at www.2crockedpots.com! The studio is open at their patron’s convenience.

What Art Taught Them: Art is constantly evolving. Cub and Pam love to experiment with new ideas. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t – but every piece is an experience!

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The Potter & Woodsmith – Nature Inspires Handmade Art

A small budget and an empty new home fostered the birth of “The Potter & Woodsmith” – a duo of artists who, while filling their own home with handmade art, decided to turn their passion into a full time business. Sara and Steve Kozak (the couple behind the business) renovated their tiny garage into a ceramic studio to begin creating their on-of-a-kind pieces.

Potter and Woodsmith MugsUsing reclaimed wood and ceramics, their art takes on a personality all its own. Many of their pieces begin with a stoneware clay body. Then elements of different wood types are added in to create the handles of a coffee mug or roof of a birdhouse, to name a few.

The inspiration for their craft and tools of their trade can often be found right in their own backyard. Much of the wood used in their pieces comes from nearby tree trimmers or local businesses that throw pallet wood away. And while nature helps supply their craft, it also is one of their greatest muses, Sara says.

 “Nature reminds us that perfection can be found in imperfection. We love looking at our work and being able to tell by an asymmetrical edge or slight variation between two like pieces that they were made by the human hand.”

Potter and Woodsmith Birdhouse

In addition to their passion for ceramics and woodworking, the Kozaks love seeing how their work grows throughout the years. They welcome feedback from customers, as they recognize that each piece is a part “lifelong artistic journey” and that they will always have more to learn.

The Potter & Woodsmith will be displaying their pieces at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, July 18-20. Their work can also be found on Etsy at their personal address: www.etsy.com/shop/potterandwoodsmith.

Brier Street Pottery: Continuing a Family Tradition of Art

By Kelly Sabetta

Chris Consler, of Brier Street Pottery, specializes in creating functional stoneware pottery for her clients, who wish to use these special pieces on a day-to-day basis. In her own words, here is an inside look at Brier Street Pottery, its history, and its future.

Where are you located?

I live in East Meredith, NY, which is the town that I have always lived in since a child. About a hundred years ago, according to history lore, the first settler climbed to the top of his newly finished house, and declared it “the flower of Brier Street.” That is where I got the name of the pottery from. My 5 or 6 times great grandparents were some of the founding fathers.

When was the exact moment you realized you wanted to be an artist?

There was no exact moment. I come from family that always did for ourselves rather than spending money… Comes from my Scotch-Irish heritage my grandmother always said.  She crocheted, and created eggshell pins that she sold in the ’70s and my mother did drapery dolls, and had a ceramic studio. So, it was never a defining moment… it was just always like that, maybe in the blood.

When did you first start pursuing your passion/career?

I recently this year retired from my nursing career of 20+ years, although I consider myself too young to retire. What I really did was decide to pursue pottery on a full-time basis. I have been part time in the pottery field for the last 5 years.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your work?

Most people that come into my booth comment of the colors that I use. I allow the clay and the glazes to create the beauty of each piece. I don’t do a lot of additional embellishments, and I can’t paint worth a bean. But I can slightly direct how I want the glaze to flow, and then I let it organically move in the direction it wants. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind.

What has inspired you the most and why?

My first and foremost goal for my business is create utilitarian piece for people to use that are beautiful. In order to have my pottery impact on the lives of my customers, they need to be able to use in everyday life moments- like having a cup of coffee on a hectic day. Just a few moments of silence with your coffee out of an oversized mug that fits well in your hand, which also has color variations that keep you discovering new nuances of the glaze each time you look at it. If your mug costs so much that you are afraid to use it, then you miss these moments every day. I am careful to price my work so that my customers will not be afraid to use their pieces in their everyday life.

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently on my workbench are the plans and prototypes for a series of crocks and jugs based on the ones from the turn of the century. They will have the Brier Street Pottery name on them, and will have a simple cobalt blue hand-painted design on them. Each will be dated. My self-indulgent hope is that 100 years from now, someone will have kept one of these pieces and it will have passed through family lines and become an heirloom.

What do you feel you will bring to the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival?

Beautiful pottery and an artisan that is more than willing to share my love of pottery with any person who wants to talk with me about it. I love to talk with hobby, new, or aspiring potters- trying to continue the line of people who want to transmit beauty through their hands.

What’s one thing that you’d like people to know about you, that they may not already know?

I was a stained glass artist for 10 years before I started potting. My sister, who was my partner, gave me the pottery class as a present, and after the first class I was hooked! She has always said that I went to the “Dark Side.” Since glass and clay are both made of silica… she wanted to rename our business “Two sisters who play with sand,” but I veto’d that. (It pays sometimes to be the older sister!)

For more information about Brier Street Pottery, or to view and purchase their work, please visit their Web site, http://www.brierstreetpottery.com, and visit their booth at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, June 16th through Sund