New Textural Handbuilt Pots by Nancy Button

For the month of July, Maine Potters Market features the recent work of Fireside Pottery’s Nancy Button. Nancy is known for her richly textured functional pieces. She uses a slab technique, with textured surfaces created by handmade stamps as well as rope, tree bark and anything else that looks like it might make an interesting impression. Her reduction-fired wares are enhanced by glazes that accentuate that texture. Though her pieces are sometimes narrative (as in her mugs with chickens and eggs), many of them speak to us in a quiet language of form and design. She states that “Texturing the slabs is like leaving modern petroglyphs for the next person to read. My intent is to evoke emotion and memory, reminding us of the natural rhythms that measure our lives.”

ABOUT NANCY BUTTON — Nancy was introduced to pottery at an early age through her mother, who instilled in her a curiosity about the possibilities of clay. Her lifelong relationship to clay continues to be, like all good relationships, challenging in the best ways, and deeply satisfying. She hopes that her functional pieces will find their ways into homes where they will enhance the rituals of daily life.

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Whimsical Sea creatures by Alex and Robbi Portela

For the month of June, Maine Potters Market features the collaborative work of member Robbi Fritz Portela and guest artist, Alex Portela. Robbi and Alex have combined their fun whimsical designs in a body of work representing one of their favorite subjects - Sea Life.

Alex and Robbi are a Mother Daughter team who have been working together for the last 25+ years, as soon as Alex could hold and play with clay, she has enjoyed the amazing process of creating art! This is their first official collaboration show and they are very excited to be working together on this project, hopefully leading to more collaborative adventures!

ABOUT ROBBI PORTELA — Robbi grew up in NH and came to Portland Maine to pursue her art degree at Maine College of Art! She fell in love with Maine and her husband and decided to stay, make lots of great pottery and raise a family. She now lives in Windsor, Maine where she has a wonderful pottery studio in her 200 year old farm house.

ABOUT ALEX PORTELA — Alex is currently based out of Saco Maine and uses her love of drawing and painting to illustrate her ceramics, whether that be itty bitty whale shark figurines, or mugs adorned with dragons. Surrounded by art, animals, and fantasy books from a young age, it is easy to see these influences in the whimsical creatures both real and imagined that inhabit her work.

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Flora and Fauna: A collaboration by Rebecca May Verrill and Jeffrey Lipton

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.

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Annual FLAWS for a CAUSE Sale

April 15 - 30, our Annual Sale to benefit Cultivating Community starts!

Shop early, shop often! During our Flaws for a Cause Sale, you can take home Maine-made, slightly flawed but perfectly useable pots at exceptionally low prices, while —best of all— benefiting the good work of Cultivating Community. For more about this worthy organization, see www.cultivatingcommunity.org.

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