I have a fundamental belief that the world around us is enhanced by instilling beauty into the objects that people use & see on a daily basis. My work is influenced by the beautiful landscape that surrounds my studio. The rugged seacoast, the woods behind my house, the sky & earth all play a part in the shapes and colors I use in my pieces.
Autumn Cipala is a ceramic artist who lives and works in Thomaston, Maine. Porcelain has long been her preferred medium as she is drawn to its essential qualities of translucency, luminosity, and strength. She forms each piece by hand on a potter’s wheel and later fires it to 2400° F in a kiln. A balance of clean lines, curves, and volume draw emphasis to the form of each piece. Some are unadorned while others are embellished with patterns that are drawn and carved freehand into the surface of the clay, pierced through the clay, or applied with slip. The quiet beauty of each piece is enhanced with a soft translucent glaze, revealing subtle details. Autumn’s most recent body of work is largely influenced by the combination of her many inspirations; the beauty of her surroundings, her experiences as an exchange artist in Amizmiz Morocco, and her personal research as a curious historian of ceramic objects from many cultures. Autumn Cipala holds a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and an MFA from University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally.
“Clay is my material of expression. It inspires touch, while offering infinite possibilities for shape and texture. I work in the moment; my hands are my tools. I scratch, pinch, push and press; seeking to discover the life within the shapeless mud.” Randy Fein 2015
Randy Fein has over thirty years of experience in the ceramic arts. Imagining, expressing, and inspiring others about the seduction of clay. The diversity of her ceramic work is evident in the variety of construction and firing techniques she has chosen to master over time. Randy creates wheel thrown, slab built and casted pottery that are both functional and sculptural. These works are often hand painted with lively brush stokes of fluid color. Her expressive ceramic sculptures are inspired by the nature and particularly by the creatures that inhabit of the sea and the sky.
Randy takes on the challenge of working large in clay by creating outdoor stoneware garden sculpture that measure 3- 5 feet tall. Her expertise in working on a grand scale is also evident in her more than 25 large scale relief tile installations permanently placed in corporate, private, and numerous public settings such as, schools, libraries and hospitals. A short list includes: Eastern Maine Medical Center’s 8th floor Pediatrics facility in Bangor, ME., and Maine Medical Center’s Emergency Wing Entrance Hall in Portland, ME., Gorham Middle School in Gorham Maine, plus other sites though out the USA
Randy Fein is has along history as workshop leader in the ceramic arts. She inspires creativity in everyone from Elementary school student to Graduate Students, to retired seniors. Randy Fein is a Teaching Artist listed on the Maine Arts Commission roster for conducting workshops in ceramics through out the state of Maine.
Arts at the Center, in Lincolnville, Maine, is Randy’s primary studio where she offers Ceramic Arts workshops for all age levels. Her experience as a ceramics instructor include: Unity College, in Unity Maine., Castleton State College in Vermont, and Babson College in Wellesley MA.
Randy Fein is the founding director of The ArtFull Gifts Show at Point Lookout Resort, an annual holiday art and craft show featuring 50 premier Maine exhibitors.
I make simple, warm and comfortable pots to enhance the beauty found in our everyday moments – mugs for that early morning coffee by the fire, warm bowls of soup at a shared family dinner, or the dancing glow of a candle lantern on a dark winter’s evening.
My pots are thrown on the wheel and fired for two days in a small wood kiln. The long flames travel around the pots like water around stones in a river enriching the warm clay colors. The natural effects created in the wood firing compliment my creamy jewel-like glazes and loose decorative patterns, evoking images from nature like spring buds or fall leaves.
i feel so flattered being a part of the guild. i love what i do and it is very important to be included in a group of people that make things with their hearts, brains and hands.
i am a potter and my work focuses on pattern, design and color. i add one pattern or design per year, and it has to work with all the others. i am inspired by my garden, and will only paint flowers and birds that are in my yard. two years ago we started keeping bees, and i am thinking those will start appearing on my pots.
i also love the people that attend craft shows and fill their homes with handcrafted wonderful work. a huge thank you to my supporters and clients. i couldn’t live the life i love without you! i hope my pots bring you joy.
Anagama Fired Stoneware
I fire all of my work in a 24-foot long Anagama tunnel kiln, which I designed and constructed in Swanville, Maine in 1996 – 1997. The design of the kiln is based loosely on the type of kiln which has been used in Korea and Japan for over 1000 years. I studied ceramics in Bizen, Japan through an apprenticeship with National Living Treasure, Jun Isezaki. The kiln hold approximately 800 pieces and I fire the kiln twice a year.
The kiln is stoked with wood 24 hours a day by a crew of four for eight days. Most of the pots are loaded into the kiln unglazed. The unique surfaces of the pots are a result of the interaction of the clay, the path of the flame as it makes its way through the stacks of the strong cross-draft kiln, and the accumulated and melted wood ash. Results are controllable only to a point. My expectations and predictions are sometimes fulfilled, but sometimes wildly surpassed. Each pot is unique, telling its own story of where and how it was fired.
I’ve been a full time potter since moving to Maine in 1973. Although I did not major in ceramics while attending the University of Denver, I decided on the eve of my graduation from college in 1971 that I wanted to be a potter. My father was not overly pleased at that news, but here I am 44 years later still making pottery and enjoying it as much as I did the first time around. All my work is thrown on the potters wheel using a clay body that I have developed over the years. My work is fired in a gas-fired kilns to cone 10 (about 2300 degrees fahrenheit) in a reducing, as opposed to oxidizing, atmosphere. This “reduction firing” produces colors that are nearly impossible to obtain otherwise. The warm clay body color, ruby red glazes and smooth feel are all produced as a result of this firing technique. I have used my skills as a potter to do various fundraising projects over the years. In 2016, the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, I blended my love for cave exploration with special pre-made mugs for a four day fundraising project at Carlsbad Caverns National Park over the July 4th weekend. Demonstrating pottery and talking about my 49 years as a caver/photographer raised nearly $5000 for the Park to use for special, non-government funded projects. It was nice to give back to the Park that has done so much for me.
I make useful pots (tableware, storage jars and vases) as well as evocative vessels and forms in high-fire stoneware and porcelain. I built my gas-fired soda kiln and make my own glazes from fundamental earth materials and wood ash. I also fire with other potters in wood or salt atmospheres.
For me, making pots is an exploration of our relationship with physical objects that are experienced daily through sight, touch, emotion. It’s about grounding the spark of creative intention in partnership with the elements of earth, water, fire and air. The simplicity and beauty of classic forms pulled from the earth and marked by the symbols and textures of the hand expresses spirit in a language as ancient as the first pots.
The pots are fired to cone 10 (2350 °F). Unless specially noted, you can assume that they are vitreous, food-safe, oven-safe and dishwasher-safe. Treat them well, and do not shock or drop them, and they should give many years of pleasurable service.
David Orser and Laurel MacDuffie established Cedar Mountain Potters in 1999. We make handmade functional pottery and fine art sculpture from our studio in Parsonsfield, Maine. We sell our work at The Maine Potters Market (a cooperatively owned store in Portland), through galleries, at distinguished craft fairs, and through our website: www.cedarmountainpotters.com. In 2007 we became juried members of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.