For the month of May, Maine Potters Market features the collaborative work of member Rebecca May Verrill and guest artist, Jeffrey Lipton, and highlights this work with a public opening on Friday May 3rd, from 6-8 pm at 376 Fore St. in Portland. Rebecca and Jeffrey have combined their signature light-hearted graphic imagery of fictitious flora and fauna on pots fired together in the salt kilns at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts.
New for both artists this year has been an exploration of digital practices in their surface designs. Rebecca’s leafy graphics begin from freehand paper cutouts with scissors, while Jeffrey’s typically begin as pencil sketches later masked off with wax and/or latex directly on the pots. Using digital scans of their plant and animal motifs, they have been able to replicate, scale their designs and cut them with use of a digital die cutter. While both artists still gravitate to their comfortable freehand methods, they are excited by the potential that these newer devices can present. These two have also been known to do some amateur kiln-side spoon carving while waiting for cones to melt. After all, learning is more fun with friends!
Both artists are native Mainers, avid gardeners and animal lovers. Rebecca and Jeffrey show their individual earthy pots at galleries and craft shows throughout the region, though this is the first time they have shown their collaborative works together. FMI on their creative journeys in clay please follow along @jeffreyliptonpottery and @rebeccamayverrill on Instagram and Facebook.
ABOUT REBECCA MAY VERRILL– Rebecca is a native of Western Maine, where she first developed her love of creating objects from the natural world. After 10 years in Taos, New Mexico, teaching art, building and firing wood kilns, she received her MFA in Ceramics at SUNY, New Paltz with a special focus on native clays. She lives and works in Portland, ME, and works from her studio at Running With Scissors, cutting paper and tending backyard vegetable and flower gardens with GK Fuzzy Bunny, her feline companion of 17 years.
ABOUT JEFFREY LIPTON – Jeffrey grew up in Maine. Artistic pursuits have been a lifelong passion. After graduating from the University of Southern Maine with a BFA in Ceramics in 2008, Jeffrey spent a year at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME. He then apprenticed with Mark Shapiro at Stonepool Pottery in Massachusetts for the next three years, honing his skills, trying new techniques and getting to know tons of great potters. After his apprenticeship, Jeffrey returned to Maine and set up a studio in Bowdoinham. He is currently renovating a new studio space at his home in nearby Litchfield. When not at the wheel he can be found planting gardens or tromping through the woods and fields with his lovely wife Ali and their incredibly handsome dog Waldo.