How can it possibly be the end of September?  It seems we were just blowing up fireworks yesterday!  But here we are, well past the back to school rush and cruising right along into Autumn.  If you hadn’t heard, we recently created a new gallery section of our website, displaying images, information and contact/social media handles for Bracker’s Customers.  We’re really excited about how this has come together.  (I have to say my favorite part has been finding friends I have known for years on the various services on the “interwebs”.  I can’t tell you how many times I have exclaimed to myself  “I didn’t know **** is on instagram! After which I will immediately start following that person.) So big thanks to everyone who has submitted information so far.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out here, or browse by work type using the drop down menus in the “Bracker Community Section”.  Be sure to stay tuned, because I have more new features to share with you coming soon in the crisp coming days of Fall.

September Recap…

Our September Second Saturday was our Fall B’Raku event, and the weather could not have been better!  We fired over  90 pots in 14 firings.  You can see images of the results here.  We also had a little studio fun “trimming” and “firing” pumpkins.  Yes, that’s right.  We put our “up-for-anything” resident, Zach to the test, video-recording him trimming a pumpkin, and then giving it a little fire treatment too.  You can view these videos on our Facebook page. If you missed Dave’s tech tip this month, you can read it and all of his past tips here.  Just like testing your smoke detector batteries regularly, you should also verify your kiln is in good working order, and Dave provides a great checklist for you.  And of course, if anything is awry, you can request a service call.   We were also all treated to seeing some amazing art at the Lawrence Arts Center this month.  Retiring KU professor, David Vertacnik had a stunning retrospective show in the large gallery at the Lawrence Arts Center while the front window gallery is displaying new work by Russell Wrankle (official opening for that show is next month).  In the center gallery is paper | plate, a show curated by Kyla Strid.  Want a quick preview?  See below, but be sure to also go see the show, because the video doesn’t do it justice!

Looking ahead to October… Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 10.15.06 AM

We are all very excited about the upcoming Ceramics Symposium  on October 10-11.  Bracker’s is proud to be a sponsor of this biennial event held at the Lawrence Arts Center.   In just over a week, 6 nationally known ceramic artistswill descend upon our community.  For two days, they will demonstrate simultaneously in the three studios at the Arts Center.  Attendees can enter and leave each studio as they chose.  This year, Bracker’s is offering a new and complimentary option for anyone attending the symposium.  If you see a technique or hear a tip that you’d like to try, come on down to Brackers and enjoy the free and open use of our studio area, including wheels, slab roller, extruder, etc.  Read more on our Second Saturday’s Facebook page, and watch the blog for more details coming soon!   October will also be full of some exciting new products, website features and of course, some fun videos and great specials.  At the end of October, Cindy will be traveling to her twice-annual NCECA Board meeting.  In the Fall, the NCECA Board always meets in the city that will host the conference after the coming one.  Since the 2016 conference will be in Kansas City, Bracker’s is looking forward to having the NCECA board right here in its backyard.  Remember that if you have a suggestion or something you want NCECA to consider, you are always welcome to contact Cindy here at Brackers.  Lastly, you may remember some halloween hijinks from last year…Whatever will we do to top that?  Stay tuned!

Wonderful Workshops…

We have an absolutely AMAZING lineup of artists planned from now into 2016.  Here’s what we have for the coming year:

Interactions and Explorations with Andrew Martin: A moldmaking and slip casting workshop, November 1-2, 2014

wkmartinWe are thrilled to be bringing in internationally-known artist, Andrew Martin for a unique workshop on mold making and slip casting.  Andrew was one of the pioneers of the slip-casting revival and continues to push the evolution of the art form.  No longer is casting slip merely a tool of the “granny greenware shops”, rather it has a solid place in the lexicon of Ceramic Art.  This is likely a  once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from the master.   During his November workshop at Bracker’s, Martin will discuss how his work evolved, demonstrate his unique method of developing forms using paper cut outs, create molds, cast numerous forms and show slides.  Advance price of $250 ends today, so don’t delay!  Plus, we hear there might be a “bonus Brayman” visit at this workshop, so it’s like getting two presenters at one workshop!  Read more here and sign up online or by calling us at the store!


Language of pattern and culture in clay with Forrest Middleton & Adam Field,  April 25-26, 2015

tAbhXZOVuy7OSku4tdZqSKnJHoSueJd5Vf1dm6qmRUgIn this two-day workshop, potters Adam Field and Forrest Lesch-Middelton will demonstrate methods of working that have led them to create distinct, yet complimentary, bodies of work.  Field and Lesch-Middelton share an affinity for pattern and history while incorporating completely different sources, materials, and inspirations into their pots. Field will demonstrate his methods of wheel-throwing porcelain vessels and carving intricate pattern on a variety of forms. DSC_0949Lesch-Middelton will demonstrate the volumetric image transfer techniques he has developed to create his pattern-laden, functional forms.  Field’s generous discussions about his time as a potter’s apprentice in Korea, personal aesthetics, and promotion and marketing strategies for the studio potter are certain to encourage individual discovery, growth, and development of fresh ideas. Forrest will also host conversations ranging from setting up a cost-effective studio practice, developing and using silk-screens for image transfer, finding and generating pattern, mapping out and developing form for pattern transfer, and exploring the reduction cooling process he uses to attain the weathered surfaces of his work. There will also be informative discussions and exercises geared towards finding inspiration through personal exploration of one’s own practices both in and out of the studio.  Attendees will gain the skills and confidence to create and decorate work in his or her voice.

Vivacious Videos:  Our latest episodes on B-TV!

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 8.02.07 PMIn case you missed it, we had a couple of new releases to our YouTube Channel, BrackersClay.  You can subscribe to our channel, and automatically hear about our latest activity there.  YouTube will track what you’ve watched and what you haven’t, and it will recommend other videos for you.  They send a weekly email highlighting the activity of any channel you subscribe to.  We strive to create informative videos that will teach you a new technique or provide a tip or two, or introduce you to a product you may not know about.  And of course, we try to make them both FUN and SHORT.   (Bonus – they usually have a special price or bundle deal associated with them!) This past month, we featured a sneak peek into Mastering Raku by Steve Branfman (complete with a special price of $17.95 including shipping good until October 10th), and a fun video featuring a trimming bundle deal.


If you’re still reading, then YOU get a special treat….a sneak peak into our plans for the 2016 NCECA Conference….our pre-conference workshop plans include having a FOUR PERSON workshop here at Brackers.  This is only a small part of the plans that the Lawrence Arts community has in store.  We are all working together and collaborating to make Lawrence THE place to be in the days leading up to the 50th anniversary NCECA conference.  Stay tuned for more hints about who these four amazing artists are!!!  Happy October!


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