Connie Norman
Connie Norman

Archive for the ‘Ceramics’ Category

My Season of Lectures!!!

Friday, April 20th, 2012

In the last 30 days I have given three talks, one for the Delta Kappa Gamma Society on my trip to Ethiopia last summer, one for the Cheyenne Artists Guild on my work, and the last one on Wednesday for The Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper on my work and Contemporary Ceramics.

Delta Kappa Gamma

The talk for Delta Kappa Gamma was on Women, and Children in Ethiopia.  Although I always get nervous talking in front of people, this talk felt good, because I am raising awareness  on the difficulties of orphaned children in Ethiopia.  And since we are half a world away from their reality it is a worthy thing to bring cognizance to people how life is in Africa and mostly Ethiopia.

The Cheyenne Artist Guild

My next talk was at the Cheyenne Artists Guild asked me to talk about my work.  I brought in pieces and talked about my process and why and how I became an artist.  Although I was nervous for this talk it seemed very casual and my jitters soon subsided.  Here is a link to their blog to see what they said.

At the Cheyenne Artists Guild.

Beyond The Pot: Contemporary Ceramic Trends @ The Nic

My last talk at the Nicolaysen Museum sent me into cold sweats and hives.  I was stressed out for this talk.  And as I prepared for the talk I kept telling myself, “This is good practice.”  And this was my mantra for a few days, until I started answering back, “What the HELL am I practicing for?”  “What do I think I’m practicing for?”  “I’m not going to be giving any great speeches at the Oscars or anything.”  My inner turmoil was at an all-time high.  Casper is about 2 ½ hours from Cheyenne and spring in Wyoming is usually a very tricky time for travel, one hour it can be 70 degrees and the next hour we can be in a blizzard.  I started praying for snow, a blizzard, a tornado, a tsunami anything that would close the roads to Casper.

Well, I made it to Casper, unfortunately for me no natural disasters came up and the day was beautiful to drive to center of our state.  I gave my talk to an intimate group of people and Lisa Hatchadoorian the Nic’s Curator gave her talk right after me on Ceramics Beyond the Pot.   I survived!  And now I’m all practiced up for my Academy Award acceptance speech.  Ha!

Before the talk at the Nicolaysin.

Please notice that when my pots were projected that they were taller than I am.  Now if that isn’t intimidating I don’t know what is.

Ceramics Now

In other news, the Ceramics Now Exhibition I was in Cluj-Napoca, Romania has now re-opened in the Galateea Gallery in Bucharest, Romania.  So if you are in Romania from Apri 19 to May 7  head on over to the show.

Casper College

Also, I went to Casper College and saw the show, The Fishman by ceramic artist David Bogus.  He will be conducting a workshop on April 28 – 29.  I wish I could go.

The Fisherman by David Bogus

NCECA 2012

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

I had a great time in Seattle this year @ NCECA.  It rained everyday that we were there, but what do you expect it’s the North West in spring.   Here are a few of my many favorites from NCECA, I really had a hard time pairing down my pictures to these.

I got a surprise at the Ceramics Monthly booth, I was flipping through one of their books on pottery techniques; Surface, Glaze and Form, and I found my article from PMI in it.  I was such a thrill.  I ran up to the counter jumping up and
down!  I wish I could be more smooth.

Surface Glaze and Form: Ceramic Arts Handbook Series

On Friday of NCECA the Emerald City Comic Con invaded us, and by Saturday the Con was in full swing, it was extraordinary to see so many people in costume, I really wanted to stay for it as well.

Bat Man and Clay Girl




Images of New Work

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Time for Tranquility

One Day When I Grow Up

You Can Never Have Too Much Sky

A Place I Can Be Myself

Breathe Deeply and Repeat

The Alphabet


Contagious Inspiration

Back of Contagious Inspiration

You Are So Loved

Plenty of Love

Kiss Slowly

Bottom of Kiss Slowly

I’m so Lucky

Bottom of I’m so Lucky

Artist Interview – Vasi Hîrdo, Editor of Ceramics Now

Monday, February 6th, 2012

I’m back with an Artist Interview; it’s been a few months since I’ve featured someone.  Today Vasi Hîrdo the Editor of Ceramics Now has graciously accepted my request for an interview!  Vasi and his team published the first edition of Ceramics Now in December.  It is an impressive first issue, with many prominent artists’ contributions, like Arthur Gonzalez, Roxanne Jackson, Carol Gouthro, they also interviewed many of the artists from the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition Overthrown: Clay without Limits, and many more.  If you’re not familiar with Ceramics Now make the jump to their website and subscribe now!  Their next issue will be launched in March! 

Over the last few months Vasi and I have frequently emailed each other and it has been a great pleasure getting to know him.  A few weeks ago I got the brilliant idea to feature the man behind the scenes of Ceramics Now and I was thrilled that he accepted.  Without further ado, here is Vasi Hîrdo’s interview! 

Vasi also writes a blog, where he writes about ceramics, contemporary art and music.

The first issue of Ceramics Now with Arthur Gonzalez on the cover.

Tell us a little about yourself!

 My name is Vasi Hîrdo and I am a young ceramics student from Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I have liked contemporary ceramics for about five years, but have only started to work and research in the field since two years ago. I am the founder and editor at Ceramics Now Magazine.

Memories, 2010, Terra-cotta, Wood

Please tell us a little about Ceramics Now!

Ceramics Now is the newest contemporary ceramic art publication in the world. We are featuring profiles, works and interviews with new and world-recognized ceramic artists, as well as reviewing exhibitions and projects. Our first issue was published in December 2011, and is introducing more than 40 interviews and articles with ceramic artists and creative minds.

Memories, 2010, Terra-cotta, Wood

Please tell us how you decided to start Ceramics Now?

I started the project about a year ago, but the idea of creating a magazine came up only after a couple of months. Initially, Ceramics Now was a website on which I featured a few ceramic artists I knew about, with the purpose to show their works to my colleagues and friends. It was easy to start it because I was always a fan of interesting websites and I knew how to maintain and promote a website like this.

The idea of creating a magazine came up after I saw that there was a real interest in Ceramics Now (the number of visitors and the emails I received kept rising), and after I searched the internet for similar websites – and found none. I sketched a little plan on paper and then I started doing interviews on a regular basis.

Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, 2011, Stoneware

I have read on your website that the staff is a group of students. What is the average age of the Ceramics Now staff? Are all the students studying ceramics in college? How did you find a dedicated group?

As we speak, I am trying to gather more people to help develop Ceramics Now. We are all in college or high school, and I guess the average age here is around 21.

I have a lot of enthusiasm for this project, and I really hope to transfer little bits of it to my colleagues. It is hard finding a dedicated group; I’m still working on it.

Habitat, 2011, Terra-cotta with underglazes and slip

What has been the biggest challenge of starting Ceramics Now?

Tight schedules. In November I worked non-stop on organizing the articles for the first issue, then on proofreading and correcting everything. Radu Ariesan, Andrei Sincraian and I sometimes stayed up till 5 am just to finish everything in time.

In the meantime (I have no idea when that happened) I was also organizing the first edition of Ceramics Now Exhibition. And school was on the eleventh plan I think.

Other than that, I can’t recall another big challenge. I am a calm person :) .

Habitat, 2011, Terra-cotta with underglazes and slip

How did you become an artist?

I would love to become an artist. I still have plenty to learn, research and experiment, but hopefully someday I will be able to think of myself as an artist. And if not in practice, in my soul I will always be.

What was it that made you want to start creating? Did something specific trigger it?

My teacher, Gavril Zmicala, was the man who triggered the passion for ceramics in me. Before that, I knew nothing about ceramics or art. His infinite passion and steadiness made me appreciate contemporary ceramics and the people who are doing it! When I create a new piece, I am usually very patient.

Please tell us what you are currently making in clay.

I am currently working on my certificate (diploma). I am making a big (1.6 x 1.2 x 0.3 meters), heavy wall piece made out of 16 blocks of sponge drowned in clay slip. Inside the blocks there will be some ‘surprises’ which the viewers can only see if they throw things or destroy the blocks. The whole scene could transform into a performance…

What keeps you motivated?

The desire of making something great and noticed, I want to be one of those who have the power to change something in good (no matter how small), not the one who will be changed by others. The fact that Ceramics Now is getting more and more appreciations makes me feel like I am on the right path, and that the end of path is looking great. Also, the prospects of me living and working in Iceland are also very motivational.

What or who inspires you?

There are lots of things that inspire me, like good music, interesting documentaries, reading and seeing art works. I am also very passionate about Iceland and its culture. They are incredibly open-minded, calm people that seem to live peacefully in an amazing scenery. Almost anything I read about them is a constant source of inspiration for me.

I’m also passionate about contemporary art, magazines, design, architecture, cycling, equestrianism and lots more. There are also a number of amazing people who inspire me, like Dragos Bucurenci, Cristian Lupsa, or the staff at ColectivA.

From left to right: Vlad Rus, Radu Ariesan, Cora Pojaru, Vasi Hirdo

You have come such a long ways at such a young age, what is your next project and where do you see yourself in ten years?

 Ceramics Now is my next project. I am committed to it and I have very interesting plans for the next years. I want to see it grow and to be recognized as a fresh, innovative and contemporary publication. For the next issues we are working on special features on European, American and Japanese ceramics, and interviewing very interesting artists.

On a personal level, I see myself traveling a lot and discovering new boundaries of mine as a human being. I know it sounds hard to understand, but that would be my reason for traveling.

I’m also planning on studying at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts beginning this summer. This is the thing I am most excited about!

Vasi Hirdo in the summer of 2011. Background: Untitled work

What advice would you give to ceramic artists trying to get published?

 They should email us! We are a young and passionate team and surely they will find a good friend in us.

It is important for an artist to have his works seen by creative people, or by people who are looking for inspiration and motivation. That is why I encourage all the artists to first establish an internet presence, then to seek for publishers.

From the reception of Ceramics Now Exhibition.

Vasi Hirdo

Editor at Ceramics Now Magazine

Persistence in Clay

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Julia Galloway

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to Casper, Wyoming to see the Persistence in Clay: contemporary ceramics in Montana, at the Nicolaysin Museum.  Unfortunately I missed the panel discussion on Friday, because I had to teach, but I drove up for the demos on Saturday, the demos on Saturday with Julia Galloway, Alison Rientjes, David Smith and Stephen Braun. 

These pictures are from a new app that I have called “Hipster”, it makes your pictures into postcards It automatically adds the location of where you are. 

I was delighted to catch up with with Julia Galloway on Saturday; we went to Alfred together, ooooh so long ago.  It’s been 20 plus years since Julia have seen each other.  As always it was great to sit down with old friends and hear what they have been doing.  I’m not surprised at Julia’s success; she was the hardest working person I’ve ever met.  She has really dedicated her life to ceramics.  The ceramics world is lucky to have her in it.  Julia’s work is absolutely stunning!  If you’re not familiar with her I recommend that you make the jump to her website and marvel at her prolific and amazing work. .

Take a quick tour of some of my favorites from the show.  I had so many favs I can’t post them all. 

Robert Harrison

Sarah Jaeger

Beth Lo

Shanna Fliegel

Stephen Braun

Robert Harrison talking about his work.

Ceramics Now Exhibition

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Several days ago, well it’s probably more like a few weeks ago now; the wonderful people of Ceramics Now sent me pictures from the reception of Ceramics Now Exhibition.  Although, I don’t know a soul in the photographs it was fantastic to see everyone enjoying themselves at the reception.  It looks like they had a great turnout.  I wish I could have been there.  I am very proud of Vasi Hirdo and his very ambitious staff getting the first edition of Ceramics Now off the ground.  Without further ado here are some of the pictures from the reception of the first Ceramics Now Exhibition.

Plus I got my hard copy of the Ceramics Now magazine the mail the other day.  I was very excited to see the magazine in print and hold it.  I was thrilled to see it as a digital magazine, but there is something to seeing it on paper.  Maybe my age is showing and I haven’t really caught up to the digital age.  Plus I love the stamps they used!!!

I started a Pinterest account!  So if you are so inclined please follow me and I’ll follow you.  I just figuring out Pinterest, so I hope I get it.

The first issue of Ceramics Now is now out!

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I am very pleased to announce the arrival of the newest ceramics magazine, Ceramics Now, from Cluj-Napoca, Romania.  I just got my digital copy and it looks impressive!  The staff at Ceramics Now has been working so tirelessly for months now.  They are featuring 40 different artists, ceramic artists: Claire Muckian, Carol Gouthro, Ian F. Thomas, Cynthia Lahti, Carole Epp, Simcha Even-Chen, Liza Riddle, Patrick Colhoun, Mark Goudy, Chang Hyun Bang, Ian Shelly, Shamai Gibsh, Margrieta Jeltema, John Shirley, Jim Kraft, Blaine Avery, Shane Porter, Antonella Cimatti, Maciej Kasperski, Wim Borst, Merete Rasmussen and I am so lucky to be one of the artists as well!

Right now I am so flattered to be included on their website and to be one of their featured artists in the first issue.

They are offering the magazine at a fantastic deal $15 dollars or $4.00 for a digital copy or you can subscribe for a year for $59 with free digital subscription.

Please make the jump to Ceramics Now to read an excerpt of my interview on their website. Or better yet go become a subscriber to the magazine and read the entire article!

Thank you so much to Vasi Hirdo the editor and the rest of the staff!

Ceramics Now Exhibition – Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Monday, November 28th, 2011


Ceramics Now Exhibition - Press release

Ceramics Now Exhibition - Press release

Jonathan Kaplan Mold Making Workshop @ Plinth Gallery!

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

On December 3-4th, Jonathan Kaplan will instruct a two-day workshop on mold-making, in the Plinth Gallery Studio.  Please see the attached flyer.   Cost is $150/person for both days which includes all materials, and lunch.   Please contact the Gallery if you are interested in attending this workshop, and feel free to forward to anyone you  know who may be interested.  This will be our last workshop for 2011, and coincides with our exhibition of Jonathan’s own work in the Gallery.

Exposure in Ceramics Monthly for Table Manners

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I was very excited to hear that Ceramics Monthly decided to put my salt and pepper shakers in their Exposure section of this month’s magazine.  I’m in there with Kari Radasch  and Victoria Christen for the show Table Manners: Functional Pottery for the Table, a Feast for your eyes which is now at Lark and Key Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Thank you so much Erin Pfeifer!