Aug 4 2009

APTV Alabama Craft & their Online Art Auction

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Alabama Public Television, a few months ago, had aired their wonderful two-part documentary Alabama Craft: Tradition and Innovation, which featured seven notable and talented craftspeople  from across the state, and their work.

Peacock Feather Lidded Raku VesselFrom July 16th through August, APTV is hosting an Online Art Auction via eBay, featuring work by the artists in the film as well other contributing Alabama artists (including yours truly. My piece, pictured here, will come up for auction Aug 6th).¬† “All of the funds raised will go to support the education mission of Alabama Public Television, and help us continue to make films like Alabama Craft.”

The list of artists include: Mozell Benson (Folk Quilts), Cal Breed (Glasswork), Jerry Brown (Folk Pottery), Steve Dark (Folk Pottery), Frank Fleming (Porcelain Sculpture), Ham Allen (Folk Pottery), William Gene Ivey (Instrument Maker/Fiddles), Bettye Kimbrell (Heritage Quilts), Cam Langley (Glasswork), Bruce Larsen (Mixed Media Sculpture), Charlie Lucas (Folk/Mixed Media), Bertice McPherson (Ceramic Sculpture), Eric Miller (Folk Pottery), Steve Miller (Folk Pottery), John Phillips (Metalworks), Tut Riddick (Paint), Charles Smith (Pottery), Anne Webb (Pottery), and Yvonne Wells (Quilts).

To learn more about the auction, the artists, and the art, please visit the   APTV Online Art Auction Home page.

Make your bid today to support a great cause!


Feb 1 2007

Beautiful Handcrafted Sinks and Udu, Air, and Skin drums

Rusty Wiltjer - Waterford MaineStarting back in the early 90s, in the early days of Clayart and various pottery newsgroups, there was a group of us who used to log onto the #pottery channel on mIRC, spending long hours happily clicking away at the keyboard talking about anything related to clay, pottery, glazes, firing, kilns, design, life as a potter, apprentices, etc etc etc.

One of the people I haven’t lost touch with from the channel is Rusty Wiltjer (aka Grulox). Rusty has been potting for over 35 years now and is one of the more technically capable potters I know.

Wiltjer Pottery Sink For the last few years, Rusty has focused on developing and producing his handmade sinks, including his pedestal, vessel, and self-rimming models. They are all individually made on the potters wheel, glazed, then high-fired in his gas kiln . I’ve seen a lot of sinks potters have tried to make out there and .. well, there are handmade sinks, and there are handmade sinks. Rusty’s a precision thrower and his sinks are thrown well, designed well (including back-flow), and are finished well.

Wiltjer Pottery Air Orb 2H DrumWhen I visited his site yesterday I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of clay drums he now has up …and each with a sound clip! Its amazing how a slight variation in vessel shape can affect the tone and pitch. Did I mention Rusty also drums professionally and has on and off since he was a kid? For some time now he has been having a weekly drum gathering session at his house where a bunch of like-minded percussionists (I assume all on handmade or primitive drums?) get together and just jam.

Wiltjer Pottery - Captain Drum Head, 28Rusty’s studio is nestled just outside the town of Waterford, Maine, about one hour north of Portland. If you would like to find out more about his sinks, drums, and pottery, or would like to contact him yourself, please feel free to check out his web site www.wiltjerpottery.com.
Rusty Wiltjer live performance.. in his bandana
Here’s a picture of Rusty playing a live performance with singer songwriter Kristen Short. (Nice bandana eh?)