How to: Glaze by Emily Schroeder Willis

Well, I have been in a bit of a predicament.  I have some larger pieces that I have wanted to glaze, but I can't quite fit them in my glaze bucket.  I know that you can pour glaze over the pieces, but I don't want my work sitting in a pool of glaze.  I know that some people use a foam or sponge to help support it, but I didn't feel that would quite work either.  

Enter the mesh screen!  I realied I could build a little mesh screen on a frame to hold the work up above the bottom of the bucket. That way, I can pour the glaze over, the glaze goes through and my work isn't sitting in a pool of glaze!

The total cost was bit ridiculous considering what it is, but it was only because I didn't have a lot of the tools I needed (such as a miter saw). I know that i can use these tools again in other contraptions, but here is the finished product!



Generational shift by Emily Schroeder Willis

So this month, not one, but TWO articles came out in two different magazines.  I knew about the article in Ceramics Monthly, but I didn't know about the plug in Ceramic Review! So that was a real treat to see that!

Almost two months ago now, I cam back from Arrowmonts Utilitarian Clay Symposium and I was really energized and invigorated by that time together.  So much so, that i began writing a little something, just for my own personal record. Then I thought, "Maybe someone else would want to hear about this?" and so I sent a note to Ceramics Monthly with my article and asked if they would be interested and lo and behold, they were!

The article is a little insight into some of the ideas and conversations that went on late into the night at UC6. It was so great and I feel very fortunate to have had such great artists for company.  If you have read it, I would love to hear your thoughts, even if you didn't go to the conference!  You can pick up a copy at any large bookseller.


So much to say, so much to say. by Emily Schroeder Willis

I think I could honestly type for the next 3 days straight with all of the fun and incredible things that have occured over the past week. I got home from Arrowomont on Sunday with a great group of new friends and endless amounts of inspiration.  What a joy!

I also just discovered that I was selected as plate #1000 for the Plate a Day blog which is one of my favorite blogs to pop in on. I can't even say honored I am to receive the comments that artist and blogger Carole Epp made for my work!

Here is the post

#1000 Plates

All of that to say...I am heading out tomorrow to do a workshop in DC at the Lee Arts Center for 2 days and then I will be back again and hopefully able to post some information and talk a little bit about my experience.

'Til then!


Coming soon to a Carolina near you! by Emily Schroeder Willis

Hi all-

Just wanted to let you know I now have my work available at the Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, North Carolina!  They are a really wonderful gallery and have a great selection of work to choose from.  I know that there are many people like myself who still like to handle, touch and feel an object before they buy it, so for those of you living in the Carolina's you go!

Here is a link to my page on their site:  Emily Schroeder Willis

Milwaukee and back by Emily Schroeder Willis

Better late than never...this summer my husband and I took my first ever trip to Milwaukee. I know, I know! It's pretty bad that Milwaukee only lies 90 minutes from our doorstep and I had never made the trek, but a few weeks ago we went up there to see the Face Jugs exhibition that they had. 

Unfortunately, the exhibition has now moved on, but there were a lot of other incredible pieces of work to see. The Face Jugs exhibition is traveling and it will be on view at the Columbia Museum of Art September 28 - December 16.


Two other  pieces that were interesting to me were Robert Morris vs. Eva Hesse

It's interesting to see two artist play with the same idea, but both end up with a very different result!


Realizing Roy by Emily Schroeder Willis

Yesterday I went to the Art Institute and saw the new Roy Lichtenstein exhibition. I really didn't think I would like it very much. I am not a big fan of Pop Art and I always thought that Lichtenstein was kind of a one note tune.  I think I may have to eat my words....

While, yes, Roy Lichtenstein stayed very much in the same style of painting for most of his career, this exhibition truly knocked my socks off.  A lot of what I had seen of his was this comic books like paintings of women in distress, but his sculptures, his mirror paintings and his architectural paintings were absolutely incredible!

Regarding his sculptures, it is a simple thing to make a flat image look "flat".  It's a whole other deal to make a 3-dimensional object appear flat. 


My absolute favorite works out of this exhibition were his mirror paintings.  Walking up to a mirror, you expect yourself to fill the object; when nothing appears, when nothing reflects, you reexamine how you approach certain familiar objects.  When I am no longer the focus within the object, how does that make me feel about something where I am no longer the subject?

What do you think? by Emily Schroeder Willis

So, I have had a bit more time on my hands lately than normal and I have decided to do a bit of updating to the website.  Just wondering what you think?  I wanted things to feel a bit more cohesive and also to have a simpler feel.  I feel like I am still just hitting the tip of the iceberg when it comes to figuring out how  to design and plan a website.  I would love your feedback and insight!

New Work with the Nevica Project by Emily Schroeder Willis

I just finished up an entirely new body of work. I must admit I have been a little nervous of how other people may like or not like it.  I think I have made a decision to step away from making all of the little lines on the pots. I loved them, and for the moment, I have fallen out of love with them.  I want my work to feel more mature and less cute.  I really hope that you like this new group of vessels. If you want, please let me know what you think!


The exhibition goes live tomorrow!

Check it out here:  The Nevica Project

Here are a few pieces that are my fav's

New work coming soon on Etsy! by Emily Schroeder Willis

It's so hard balancing all of the different facets of being an artist.  Hopefully by early next week I will have some new work posted on Etsy.  Additionally, starting July 3rd, there will be an exhibition with The Nevica Project here in Chicago and you can check out some of the work that will arrive out of my kiln either tonight or tomorrow!  Needless to say, there is a lot of new work coming at you in the not so distant future. 

Here is a preview of some work that will be available on Etsy soon.  I hope you like it!


Radical Hospitality in the Identical Lunch by Emily Schroeder Willis

What is that you say?  Radical hospitality in the form of an identical lunch? Odd, but twas so at the SMART.

Almost 2 weeks ago I went to the SMART Musem's Symposium on Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art.  There were numerous fabulous presentors who spoke about topics such as: what it means to be a "Good Host" versus a "Bad Host" (as in the case of Enemy Kitchen) or how to incorporate ritual of eating together in mixed company (as in the case of Theaster Gates Soul Food Dinners).  It was also the World Premiere for the FLUXUS Blender Symphony of the Identical Lunch conducted by Alison Knowles.  It was such a great day of learning about how different artists (particularly non-ceramic/pottery artists) perceive the idea of sharing a meal and how that creates community for the good or in some instances bad.  Michael Rakowitz's "Enemy Kitchen" project is a really fascinating intersection of good host/bad host where Iraqi war vets serve Iraqi food served on paper plates of Sadam Hussein's china pattern.  It was really incredible!

Blender Prepared-ness


Pouring the buttermilk, hold the mayo!


 The Blender Symphony is about to begin!



The blended "Identical Lunch" oddly really did taste like a liquid tunafish sandwich... I am not saying that it was bad...or that it was good either.


The Enemy Food Truck

Utilitarian Clay Conference: Celebrate the Object by Emily Schroeder Willis

I have been holding off on posting anything about this until I had the final list of artists and bit more information about the Arrowmont Utilitarian Clay Conference this fall, but the cat is finally out of the bag!  Registration starts in a couple of weeks and it is limited to only 200 people, Wowza! That's not too many!

So sign up right away if you want to go.  Here's the crew of presenters (I am so excited to hang out with these artists for a week!):  Jen Allen · Nicholas Bivins · Blair Clemo · Sunshine Cobb · Molly Hatch · Bryan Hopkins · Brian Jones · Lindsay Oesterritter · Doug Peltzman · Peter Pinnell · Monica Ripley · Emily Schroeder Willis · Deborah Schwartzkopf · Kevin Snipes · Shawn Spangler · Shoko Teruyama · gwendolyn yoppolo 



Top 5 things to do in Seattle during NCECA by Emily Schroeder Willis

#5.  Top Pot Doughnuts

#4.  See some beautiful woodwork at Urban Hardwood

#3. Check out the Grover/Thurston Gallery located at 319 3rd Ave S with Jeffry Mitchell


#2.  Come and visit the Lillstreet Gallery Booth at NCECA from March 27th to the 30th to see some incredible pots from Illinois potters (with yours truly included!)

#1.  And last, but not least!  Come and see the Subtle Change exhibition at Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, WA (it's on the Kirkland/Bellvue NCECA Bus Tour or you can take the 255 bus from downtown Seattle for $2.50).  It features work by Kim Dickey, Sam Harvey, Leanne McClurg Cambric, Emily Schroeder Willis and Holly Walker.  Here is a preview!

Oh the places we will go by Emily Schroeder Willis

I feel like each month I make a resolution to myself to post more and I continually find myself swamped with more and more things.   I feel like I could break up this post into several different ones, but since we have now moved in February, I feel like I just need to go ahead and do all of them.


At the beginning of last month I did a 2 day workshop at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and had such a great time!

On the way out to Kentucky I ran into a familiar face, which started a treasure hunt...


Every morning when I take the train to my studio/work I see this image, so I think its kind of fun when you run into Andre the Giant in an unfamiliar location!


So, I then began looking for more "OBEY" stickers at the airport and found this one:

So, I am curious if you have bumped into any of these in your travels?


Anyhow, back to Centre College....
We had such a fun time together for the two days.  They have a great studio that is located just off of the train tracks and if I was working there, I would be so interested at all of the things passing by, I think I might have a difficult time working!


It's very nice being a pinch potter because there aren't that many tools to bring with you other than your fingers!


Here is a great view of their studio space.  Isn't it awesome?


Everyone was working so hard and making incredible work!  My visit coincided with the beginnings of their "Porcelain Class", so we worked on a few techniques and then left them to their own interpretations.


The other thing I have to add is that whenever I travel to a new place, my absolute most FAVORITE thing to do is to go to the local grocery store.  Call me weird, but I am always so intrigued by what certain areas carry that other parts of our county don't.  For example, in Chicago, we have "Atomic Hot Dog Relish" that is literally neon green and cornmeal crust pizzas.  So, here was my trip to the grocery store in Danville.  I will leave it to your own interpretation as to what would sit at the table were you to be invited over for dinner....  Cheers!



Dishing it Up! by Emily Schroeder Willis

This morning I found a lovely little email in my Inbox.  Apparently, I am featured in a new Canadian Design Magazine titled, Pure Green!  I hadn't ever heard about this magazine before, but I am really impressed by the layout and the way they have documented the work throughout. It's quite beautiful!  I ordered my copy today since I want to see what else they have up their sleeve!

Also, if anyone wants to own that little pink and grey delight, it is available through the Lillstreet Gallery.


E is for Edition by Emily Schroeder Willis

So... I am finally going to let everybody in on an idea I have been stewing over for several months.   Beginning in 2012,  I will start limiting the number of cups I make each year and create a 2012 "Edition" of cups, so to speak. 

For those of you who make functional ceramics, you know that often times cups can be one of the most finicky objects to make and you end up investing FAR more time into it, than you could ever reasonably ask.  For this reason,  I will only make 50 cups for the 2012 year.  Each cup will be stamped with the year on the foot and then (if I can figure out a way to make it cohesive and attractive), it will also be marked with its number for that year (ie. 13/50).

All that to say, if you would like to purchase a mug, I would recommend picking one up sooner rather than later!  Here are a few that are still here from 2011 that I haven't posted or shipped off (yet!)

 Cups still available from 2011

A few more that are still available 

Heading to Kentucky! by Emily Schroeder Willis

Centre College

Sorry to any readers for the ENORMOUS lapse in posts.  Things have been busy with expected and some unexpected interruptions.  I will be posting more (hopefully) in the next few weeks with more of the latest happenings.

For some exciting news, last week I was invited to do a workshop at Centre College in Kentucky.  I am really excited to be heading out there and to  meet some new folks!  I haven't ever been to Kentucky before, but last March, Matt and I visited Cincinnati (my first time) and it was beautiful!  I look forward to heading out that direction and hopefully inspire some art making in any budding new ceramicists.


D is for Donut Vault and SOFA by Emily Schroeder Willis

I sincerely feel like no trip to the Loop is complete unless you at least take a peek at the Donut Vault.  The line to get a donut often times runs around the block, but if you hit there after the morning rush, you can usually snaggle a donut or two. 

On Friday morning I took three of our Lillstreet Artists in Residence, courtesy of Bruce Robbins, to the Chicago SOFA exhibition.  I have to say, I am finding myself more and more intrigued with the work from the Intuit side of the SOFA expo, there is something about the naivete of many of the artists that i find more endearing and sincere versus the more commercial SOFA-fare.  Nevertheless, we saw some great stuff and afterwards headed to the Donut Vault for some $1 coffee and gingerbread donuts.  Yum-ee!  Here are some of my favorite shots of the trip!


Totally loving the styling on this Wendell Castle sculptureSuch a nice surface on this Sheila Hicks wall piece, "Convergience II"This Tramp Style Cabinet was amazing! C. 1900-1925, the pinchy surface of it has me spinning with ideas!Another "Outsider Artist", Joseph Yoakum, really peeked my interest with his abstracted landscapes. How he created surfaces and made the landscape do extraordinary things was just beautiful!   Unfortunately, I didn't get the name of this artist, but I really enjoyed the almost grotesquely beautiful still lives that this glass artist composed, it was almost too much to look and the reflection of the light on the glass surface was almost blinding at some vantage points. Mark Pharis had this sweet set of vases at the Lacoste Gallery Booth realize it is all of these Japanese animae dolls melted together and sliced into this sheet. wow.This piece from the Megumi Ogita Gallery was really great. At first glance it seems like some abstracted painting, then upon closer examination...One more Tramp Style I love that surface!

such incredible carvings! to the Donut Vault! The answer is "yes, and even better than they look!"I love Chicago!

C is for Cup Show! by Emily Schroeder Willis

Jayson Lawfer and I have been asked to jury a cup show at the Clay Studio of Missoula.  The applications are due to be received by November 18th, so the deadline is coming up quickly!  It's actually a very reasonably priced juried show - $22 for 2 entries.  Make sure you send in your cups! Jayson and I are really excited about seeing what you all have made!


Here is the prospectus you can fill out and send in with your images!