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Posts Tagged ‘pottery’

Photo: Shelby Sherritt.
Shelby Sherritt is relieved to be known on TikTok for something other than surviving cancer, writes the Guardian. She started off making pottery koalas, echidnas, possums. Now she grabs a random slip-casting mold, enjoying the surprise at the end.

People started following a young lady in Australia because of her rare cancer, but she’s much happier being followed for her cheery slip-cast pottery.

Matilda Boseley reports at the Guardian, “For years, Shelby Sherritt was known as the ‘cancer girl.’ …

“Sherritt had been featured in videos about young people going through cancer. … Now hundreds of thousands of people are following her online, but much to her surprise it has nothing to do with cancer. Instead, Sherritt has become internet famous for reviving the 70s craze of slip casting pottery.

‘It’s now become, “Oh she’s the artist,” it’s about my pottery, and I find that so empowering,’ she says with a laugh.

“Sherritt has gained half a million followers on TikTok by hosting a wildly successful series from her Ballarat art shed, where every week she makes a new piece from a giant pile of mystery slip-casting molds she got free from a man on Gumtree.

“In the one-minute videos, she walks to her giant pile of plaster molds, picks one, and pours in watery clay or ‘slip.’ Once it’s dried she reveals the model, usually a kitsch 70s mug or garden gnome. Sherritt then paints it. … Many are looking forward to these videos every week. …

“ ‘I think it’s about the mystery. The molds are so elusive on the outside, people are just like “oooh what could actually be in that?” ‘

“Her videos now regularly top a million views, something Sherritt says she could have never imagined when her life was focused solely on surviving.

“When Sherritt was 20 she came down with what felt like run-of-the-mill appendicitis.

“ ‘I was on holiday in Perth and I just could not get out of bed, I was in that much pain. And then we went to a doctor. … By the time I went into surgery, it had ruptured,’ she says.

“During the surgery her doctors discovered she was suffering from a rare form of appendiceal and bowel cancer. … The doctors spoke in a serious, quiet tone that filled Sherritt with fear. …

“ ‘I obviously had to put my life on pause,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t work, I couldn’t study, I had to just do the treatment.’ …

“In the deepest pits of her boredom, Sherritt says she gravitated towards her old art equipment that had been gathering dust, painting, drawing, and even sculpting from her bed. …

“ ‘My original work started off as Australiana pieces. So koalas, echidnas, possums, paying homage to the bushland.’

“As Sherritt’s treatments went on her pottery got better and better, and after the chemotherapy and more surgeries beat the cancerous cells back she started selling her work, and wondered if maybe this was her new path. At the start of 2020 Sherritt was able to make pottery her full-time job, and with her extra hours began uploading videos to TikTok to promote her business. …

“Her views rapidly grew when she began the slip-casting series, and the bump in sales meant she was well and truly making enough money to live off. …

“When Sherritt first went into remission the doctors told her if her cancer was going to come back, the chances are it would be in the first five years. But on 18 January this year, Sherritt finally completed that long and nerve-racking countdown, totally cancer-free. …

“ ‘The cancer definitely inspired me to grow, but now it’s the pottery itself that’s my narrative. … I feel really, really fulfilled now that I’m on this path.’ ”

More at the Guardian, here.

When I was in junior high, my parents were dismissive of the slip-cast dish I made for them because the school used molds (ie, not creative), but I was proud of it. Kids should be encouraged in whatever version of art interests them. You never know where an interest will take them — or what it will mean to them.

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Barefoot Books, the children’s book publisher, opened its retail store in Concord this past spring.

In addition to selling books, the shop offers storytelling and pottery every day and numerous other activities, like music, dance, and yoga for children. There is a puppet theater play area, a kitchen for food events, and toys. Note the list of August activities in the photo.

The neighbors, by and large, loved the way the company decorated this long-empty building. And they especially loved the new landscaping.

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My last job in Minneapolis was located not far from the wonderful Northern Clay Center on Franklin Avenue. I liked to go over at lunch, and when the late Anne Kraus was showing her ceramics, I must have visited five times just to look at her domestic but fanciful pieces and read their cryptic messages. Kraus decorated exotic tea cups. teapots, tiles, and more with intricate, mysterious scenes, and on them she wrote puzzling remarks. You would think about them long after leaving.

This one, “I Can’t Sleep Tile 1998” has this written near the top: “I ask this intruder if he can be quiet because I want to sleep so that I can dream. But he tells me that we are right now asleep and deep into a dream.” (The photo in the Garth Clark Gallery survey book was taken by Noel Allum.) You can see more of Kraus’s work online. Here, for example.

By the way, Warren MacKenzie, a giant among potters, was one of the original founders of the Northern Clay Center in 1990. He gets around, and I have observed that he has an exhibit at the Lacoste Gallery in Concord (MA) almost every year. He is showing there now.

On October 28, 2011, the NY Times noted a sale of some Anne Kraus ceramics, which brought numerous people who were searching on her name to my post.

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