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DailyTidings.com
  • Clayfolk Show and Sale

    The annual holiday event is scheduled this weekend
  • More than 60 Oregon artists convene this weekend for the 2013 Clayfolk Pottery Show and Sale.
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  • More than 60 Oregon artists convene this weekend for the 2013 Clayfolk Pottery Show and Sale.
    The 38th annual show will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22-24, at the Medford Armory, 1701 S. Pacific Highway.
    This year's event will feature a variety of decorative and functional ceramic works, including sculptures, tiles, jewelry, dinnerware and more, as well as pottery-making demonstrations, live music by a South Medford High School jazz ensemble on Friday, and hands-on clay crafts for kids on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.
    Featured artist Karen Rycheck of Talent gives us a peek at what she'll have available this year.
    What will you be showing at this year's show?
    "Primarily, I'll be showing dishes — bowls mostly — and tile plaques. Some of the plaques say things like, 'Welcome Home,' and others are more silly and irreverent. I'll also be showing five little mosaic buildings. I call it 'mosaic town.' Each building has its own character, color and place in the town. They are made with a combination of handmade tiles and commercial glass tiles. I originally created them for a garden setting, but they could definitely be placed indoors as well."
    How do you create the intricate designs on the outside of your bowls?
    "The technique is called 'sgraffito.' It's an Italian technique which basically means 'to scratch.' When the clay is still damp, but leather-hard, I apply a couple layers of slip (clay mixed with color) to the top of my bowl. I let it sit a couple hours, and then carve away the color. It's like producing a negative and creates a high-contrast image. I use a lot of leaves and natural imagery that is somewhat abstracted. Most of the design is on the outside since the food goes in the bowl."
    What else characterizes your work?
    "I've always gravitated toward really bright colors. I'm particularly fond of chartreuse, which some people hate, but it's a color that has always seemed really alive to me. Most of the colors I use are naturally occurring ones, such as turquoise, red, yellow, and the oranges you find in California poppies and fall leaves."
    Is this a new style for you?
    "I originally worked for the City Museum in St. Louis as a mosaic artist, and when I moved out here in 2004, I fell in to a job with Illahe Tile in Ashland. Although I'm still doing mosaics and installations, I couldn't show them at the Clayfolk show because the price point was too high, so I decided to take my work in a new direction. Last year was the first time I started showing bowls. At the time, I was hand-building because, even though I have a (bachelor's of fine arts), I never learned how to throw, so everything was made with slabs that I rolled out with a rolling pin. This summer, I learned how to throw with Penelope Dews, a longtime Clayfolk member. I also went out and got my own kiln and wheel."
    What is the price range of your works?
    "The price ranges from about $3 for smaller tiles to $50 and $75 for mosaic pieces."
    Other standout artists:
    Look for sleek bowls and vessels by Tea Duong of Junction City; horse sculptures by Amy Segovia of Medford, inlaid plates, platters and lamps by Faith Rahill of Eugene; whimiscal bowls by Cheryl Weese of Winston; mugs and pitchers with animal figures by Jim Keith of Oakland; "cartoonish" sculptures by Shirley Usher of Grants Pass; and hand-painted bowls and ceramic animal sculptures by Penelope Dews of Phoenix.
    See a complete list of participating artists and a full schedule of events at www.clayfolk.org.
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