With a focus on ceramic decorative techniques, Beyond Scratching the Surface: Today's Ceramic Decoration exhibition provides a fitting segway into our annual SOUP! project.
For the past 11 years, PenArt has provided clay, supplies and firings for the creation and sale of 500 ceramic bowls to benefit both our Children's Outreach programs and those of a partnering nonprofit organization. Held on the first Saturday in February, all who purchased a bowl were invited to partake in a complimentary soup-and-bread buffet.
This year, the popular SOUP! event will remain a tradition on February 3, but with a twist; tiles will replace the bowls. Instead of forming a bowl, designing within the 6"x6" area of a tile and learning decorative techniques will be emphasized. Given only 45 minutes to complete their clay projects during a school day, the new tiles will give the kids (and any adults) the freedom to explore sgraffito, knife-and-slip, and relief methods.
Partnering with Northern Door Children's Center, which will organize the food donations and volunteers for the SOUP! event, the theme for the designs is Nature's Toys & Joys. Tile makers will learn how to carve and embellish their pieces with original designs that celebrate nature as a playground—from swimming in a lake to forming a snowball.
Beyond Scratching the Surface is on display until Saturday, October 14, followed by the canine art of Man's Best Friend, opening on Friday, October 20. I hope you will have time to stop by before the exhibit closes to enjoy the works of both local and far-flung potters. Beyond Scratching the Surface might also serve up some inspiration for you to create delicious tile designs for SOUP!
Tlle making dates are soon be announced on our website under the Events tab.
Featured Artist Jeanne Aurelius' vase is an example of the knife-and-slip technique, where an incised line (using a pencil or exacto knife) provides the border for areas of colored slip.
Featured Artist David Aurelius' work displays the techniques of texture (left) and knife-and-slip (right).
Renee Schwaller, of the Door County Potters' Guild, uses the technique of sgraffito to decorate her teapot. With this technique, an underglaze is applied and then carved away to reveal the layer beneath.