Thursday, June 18, 2009

Walk In The Woods Art Fair, Saturday, June 13, 2009

Last Saturday was my first show of the 2009 season. I participated in the Walk In The Woods art fair in St. Germain, Wisconsin. It is the 2nd year for this event, put on by the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce. It is a juried fine art show open to artists in any media. The event had approximately 50 artist booths, a wine and cheese tasting featuring Brigadoon Winery & Sartori Cheeses, and live music by Bret & Frisk, a local folk rock duo.

Here's a wide shot of my booth. My niece Jessica Border made my awesome tie dyed flag.

A shopper inside my booth.

Another angle.

Lots of little stuff I make — for fun and profit.

I wasn't expecting too much out of the event based on the current economy. After all, I do sell a so to speak "luxury" product. I made a few nice larger sales (thanks Kathy) and lots of little ones. The show wasn't a blowout, but I did all right financially for the day (my standards are lower than many) and the show was a good motivator to jump start my Northwoods Art Tour inventory.

Sharing some quality time with my new friend Darwin Davis.

The days highlights were seeing some good friends, including Ana Davis and her son Darwin (my newest crush), Kathy Furda of Northern Light Glass & Bonnie Hutchinson. I also got to work beside my closest friend, Wendy Powalisz and her beautiful colorful paintings all day long. Good times!

This painting by Wendy Powalisz sold a few days after the show. My photo doesn't do it justice! It will also be a banner in downtown Eagle River this summer.

This painting of a corn field is also going to be a banner in Eagle River. The Artscape Banner program has a food theme this year.

Wendy wins the award for cutest booth. I didn't get a photo of her. She avoided my lens all day.

The real lowlight was when I knocked over and broke my own platter, turning it into a very expensive piece of garden edging.

I also saw a lot of artist friends in the show and met some new ones. Here’s a glimpse into their booths.

Karen Lenhart is a new friend. I am in a new gallery with Karen that just open up this week in downtown Land O’ Lakes. I will write about the Artistree Gallery next week.

Marilyn Winters was my booth neighbor on the other side. We met that day and I think her paintings are wonderful. You can view her website at

Betty Christian is a good friend. Betty is a jewelry artist who makes really cool pieces out of twisted silver and gold-filled wire. See her work at

I met Dan Benecke when I first moved to Wisconsin. He makes beautiful modern & artistic wood furniture. Dan just joined the Northwoods Art Tour this year. His website is

Here's a close up of one of Dan’s walking sticks. I thought this was a cool photo.

Tom Benware is another furniture artist with a completely different style from Dan’s. Tom’s detailed ornate pieces are beautiful from a distance...

...or close up. Tom's website is

This was my favorite piece I saw at the show. It is made from zippers! Again, the photo doesn't do it justice. I feel destined to own one of Donna Petrell's pieces...someday. You can find her at DJ Zipperworks

Monday, June 8, 2009

From start to finish

I like to work in a "loose series". I make 6 to 8 of the same thing at a time, but I am not interested in making duplicates. I explore a range of sizes and shapes within a grouping. Often the only thing the pieces have in common is their function and their maker.

My latest series is a group of low flat bottomed bowls/baking dishes. They were each thrown from 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 lbs. of clay. I documented them for you from start to finish.

The full series, freshly thrown on the bats.

A detail on one of the faceted pots.

Now the pots are drying upside down on a drywall board.

A group shot after trimming.



The group with carving completed.

The next 5 shots are carving details.

I make a big mess while I carve...and listen to loud rowdy music!

Here I have prepared the pots to be glazed by waxing the bottoms. I didn't take any photos of the glazing process. No secrets...just too hard to do by myself and I didn't want to wreck my camera.

Here's a group shot of the finished pots. I had one casualty...broken during glazing, a real bummer. Why is it always your favorite one?

I was happy with the results. I also had some new glaze tests in the kiln. I am excited that there are new glazes are on the horizon. These pots are going to my first show of the season on Saturday, June 13 in St. Germain, Wisconsin. See listing on the blog sidebar for details. My next post will be about the show. Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Amy Higgason Clayboard Illustrations

I have started doing some illustration work on a product called Clayboard. The board is black and you scratch through it to reveal the white underneath. When I found the product at the art store I thought it would be a fun technique – similar to the way I do scraffito illustration on my pots.

It has proved to be a very fun media to work in. It’s also a great avenue to work out imagery that can later be translated to pots. I will be framing some of the original clayboards for sale and have designed a line of cards that will be ready "for market" next week. Here are some of my favorite drawings.

Undercover Garden ©2009 Amy Higgason

Thorny Thoughts ©2009 Amy Higgason

Tangleweed ©2009 Amy Higgason

Imaginary Growth ©2009 Amy Higgason

I have a busy week ahead. I am working on glazing this weekend and will fire on Sunday. I am planning a post next week that shows a series of salad bowls from start to finish. Saturday, June 13th is my first show of the season, Walk In The Woods Art Fair from 10 to 4pm in St. Germain Wisconsin. Our busy summer schedules have kicked in... even if summer weather hasn't.

The Studio Gallery Demo Weekend for Artists Interactive

As I’ve discussed in earlier posts, I am a member of a small artist cooperative gallery in Boulder Junction Wisconsin. The Studio Gallery is in it's 15th season and currently features the work of 11 local artists. The gallery is located in a former railroad wash house building in the backyard of the Outdoorsmen Restaurant. The space is intimate, casual and full of great energy. The 2009 Studio Gallery members are: Toni Bergeon (Art Quilts), Louise Engelbrecht (Handwovens, Painting & Collage), Amy Higgason (Pottery), Debra Ketchum Jircik (Collage & Clay), Kathleen Kimball (Handcrafted Soap & Collage), Carol Miller (Photography), Jane O’Brien (Watermedia), Wendy Powalisz (Beaded Jewelry & Watercolors), Nancy Shoop (Pottery), Shirley Surges (Watermedia) and Jan Zindel (Handwovens & Socks)

Last weekend the gallery participated in the first of 2 demo weekends for the Artists Interactive program. The purpose of the Artist Interactive program is to generate traffic for art events around the northwoods, to introduce artists and the art making processes to the general public and to generate a new revenue source for artists at a slower time of year. There is no space inside our tiny gallery to do demonstrations so we set up a tent in the front yard of the restaurant. 5 of the Studio Gallery’s artists worked on a variety of art projects during 2 cold and windy days last weekend.

Here are some photo highlights from the weekend.

Instead of dragging a whole clay studio with me, I decided to draw on Clayboard®. The technique and imagery is very similar to the scrafitto drawings I carve on pots. I use a sharp tool to scratch away the black and reveal the white underneath. I have developed a series of drawings. I am printing these illustrations on cards to sell at shows and in galleries that carry my pottery.

Wendy Powalisz paints natural and abstract themes in a loose free flowing style. Her watercolors are typically vibrant and colorful. She is also currently experimenting on a series of "black only" watercolors.

Jan Zindel is a weaver and fiber artist. Here she demonstrates on a 1908 Gearhart Sock Knitting Machine. You can find Jan’s blog at

Kathleen Kimball was in charge of the gallery on saturday. She passed the time between customers with us, knitting and chatting about art on the front lawn. One of the nicest parts of the weekend was the time we spent talking about our struggles and triumphs. We are a great group of artists spread out over a distance of 75 miles. It is rare that we get to spend time together. So the time that weekend was valuable even though the turnout for this event was very small. There will be another Studio Gallery Artist Demo Weekend on June 26, 27 & 28th. We’re hoping for better weather, more artists and a bigger audience. I'll keep you posted.