I am visiting Vermont on this last day of September and as you can see from this photo, the leaves have hardly begun to change color. Back in Rhode Island our transition into October seems to be moving just as slowly as we have still been enjoying beautiful summer weather. With that said, Wickford has a lot of Autumn celebrating toward the end of the month with our annual Wickford Wicked Week & 1/2!
This is always a fun time in the village: seeing the scarecrows pop up, the mums blooming and all the costumes! The Costumed Crawl is a new event added this year to get the adults into the spirit of Halloween! Anyone dressed in a costume that night will get a coupon book to use at participating shops. Treats will be provided as you crawl around town. This should be a fun night (note the rain date) stay tuned for more details... and we can't wait to see your costumes!!
Ask the Artist
This month we'll be exploring the pottery of Jen Stein. A year and a half ago while in Philadelphia looking for new potters, Noelle and I spotted her work. As it was nothing like what we currently had in the shop we stopped and chatted with this modest woman who was more than happy to explain her process to us. A doughnut-shaped porcelain stamp, a "roulette" is used to impress the clay to create these base relief patterns. She ended up being the last order of the show and needless to say her work has flourished here and become a go-to wedding gift or new home present.
What is your background in your field? I once saw a person throwing, and decided
right then and there that someday I had to try it - it looked so wonderfully sensually tactile and magical…In college, I decided I would be a college professor, so I got my Masters in Italian from Yale, but stopped short of the PhD to put my husband through architecture school, then have my girls. I started my journey with clay in earnest after my second daughter was born. Since 1994 throwing has become my passion. I have also sculpted in clay and experimented with other methods of clay construction, but throwing just feels fantastic and is so rewarding. Over the years I have taught pottery at numerous venues, sold in many shows, attended numerous workshops, presided over the Potters’ Guild of New Jersey for 7 years, and practiced many techniques. The beauty of clay is that there are infinite options to keep on learning.
What the favorite part of your work? Throwing! I also like sketching and then sculpting the roulettes, but I must admit that starting with a mound of clay and shaping it into a vessel is a real high.
Alive or dead, who is someone who inspires you creatively? Bernard Palissy and George Ohr are favorites from the past: Palissy for the combination of functional and sculptural, Ohr because of his free throwing style.
What superpower would you want and why? The ability to speed up the drying of large pieces and the firings somehow - porcelain is very fickle and does not like to be rushed. Being patient is very hard!
(I think we all want to power of being patient sometimes. :))
Amid the rushing around trying to prepare for Christmas, the Different Drummer has to slow down and enjoy Halloween! We have collected some great photos over the years of customers trying on and posing in masks.
Really there is nothing wrong with October: crisp air, pretty leaves, sweaters and boots, football, pumpkins, and Halloween costumes!! Be on the look out for our scarecrow around the 19th, and we hope to see you all during Wicked Week and 1/2!
All of our Christmas merchandise will be out by the end of the month!