santa fe: ceramic galleries 7.6.2017

I recently returned from  a week in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, traveling with three friends who, like me, have a love for art and nature. Where I live, in Madison, Wisconsin, it’s hot and humid right now, so the dry heat of the southwest was a welcome relief! It’s a beautiful part of the United States, and I’ll make a few blog posts about my trip. Here’s the first, focusing on just a few of the many ceramic galleries we visited.

Our first stop was Santa Fe Clay – a studio space, a ceramics/pottery supply store, and a gallery.  We got lucky with a tour from owner and powerhouse Avra Leodas. Santa Fe Clay is a superfantastic space, and I visited 3 times while I was in Santa Fe! They have a professional gallery with monthly exhibitions, along with a separate gallery where studio members can display and sell their work.


These pieces are all by Ani Kasten, who was exhibiting her work in the professional gallery at Santa Fe Clay. I love her use of wire and wood with the clay. I also lust over the way she purposefully makes beauty out of chaos.


This bowl, from the member gallery and made by Rusty Spicer, came home to Madison with me! 😉


These two images are from a “White to Black” installation by Daniel Johnston at Peters Projects, an art gallery in Santa Fe. From Peters Projects website, “One half of the corridor is constructed of charred black wooden slats. As this corridor curves toward the center of the installation, the row of vessels appear beginning with a stark white jar, and each consecutive jar becomes darker as one walks through the structure.

At the very center of the space, the corridor changes directions and the exterior wall becomes the interior wall. In contrast to the burnt wooden slats, this reverse side of the same wooden wall is whitewashed and the surface of the jars continue to shift from light to dark, ending in a white space with a “solid” black jar.

Walking through this installation is transformative; 50 jars rest on a continuous curving bench 3′ from the ground, placing them intimately close and slightly above eye level. The light flickers through vertical spacing between the wooden slats, landing high on the shoulders of the massive vessels.”

I personally walked through the installation about 6 times. It was awesome!


Outside of the installation stood this large pot. I took a closeup of the decoration and glaze. Not a great shot, but you get the idea.


This is a smaller installation by Johnston in the same gallery. It’s titled “Pillar” and a repeating soundtrack of a wood-fired kiln accompanies this exhibit. Super cool!


This is a display of some gorgeous pieces at Logan Wannamaker’s shop, located a cute little town north of Taos called Arroyo Seco. I love the rusted metal display!


This is my favorite Wannamaker pot. It was hard to get a good shot because it was set right next to the bright front window. I don’t know a lot about wood-fired ceramics, but I think the two yellow circular areas (perfectly placed and shaped, I might add!) are where the wadding (the refractory material used to keep a pot from sticking to the kiln shelf when ash melts in the kiln) is placed. The shape and colors of this pot are lovely.


Taos Clay Studio, like Santa Fe Clay, is a ceramics studio and has both a professional and member gallery. This sweet little cup was in their member gallery space, and the artist’s name is Lien, but that’s all I could find out about the artist.

We visited many more ceramic galleries, but these were my favorites. If I ever move – temporarily or permanently – to New Mexico, I know I’ll have plenty of ceramic artists for learning, play, and inspiration. Plus great studio spaces to work in!





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