Uniquely Designed & Finely Hand-Crafted
EVERY PIECE IS ONE-OF-KIND FINE ART, FROM MUD TO STONE TO TABLE.
When a piece sells, we cannot create another like it. The glazes and colors are as much a matter of fortune as chemistry, with each firing producing varied results. Each piece is indelibly signed by the artist for authenticity.
Sydne teaching clay sculpture at the youth center in Placencia, Belize
Since I mix my own glazes, another variable is the mine the chemicals have come from. The same chemical (talc, for example) from different mines will contain different properties, and react differently in the glaze mixture. We have unexpectedly gotten beautiful yellows from the same glaze which generally yields blue.
The gas kiln is not computerized, and so the entire firing process is hand adjusted and dependent upon the intuition of the person firing the kiln, the manipulation of the damper, air-to-gas ratio, and the prevailing weather conditions at the time of firing. These factors determine the rate of heat rise, and the density of the reduction environment. Similar to a pit firing, or the raku process, each firing is a surprise. When the kiln cools down after a 14 hour firing, and we open the door, it is like opening a present, as we never know what to expect.
With a “wabi sabi” work of art, each vessel is unique and one-of-a-kind. The way the glaze “breaks” on a particular vessel will never happen the same way again. The “imperfections” are part of the intrinsic beauty of the vessel. It is a “haiku” moment captured forever... a statement of the chemicals dancing in the fire with nature itself.
GIVE A GIFT OF WABI SABI ART
Your gift will always have a special place in the homes or offices of the ones you care about, and this gift lasts a lifetime.
We combine ceramics with wood inlays, rare stones and other natural materials.
These unique oven and food-safe ceramic wares quickly become your favorite.
Vessels of all configurations and sizes reveal fine mastery and craftsmanship.
These multi-section ceramic totems fit together precisely and bring an aura of loveliness to any patio or garden.
An alternative to a hanging painting, these wall decorations add warmth and beauty to any home or office.
A whimsical mythological adventure set in the future, this book contains many interesting scientific "sidelights" and a make-you-feel-good story.
Green River Studios is a place of enchantment and natural beauty.
A powerful collection of affirmations to help you maintain your happiest healthiest Self.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Directly inspired by the awesome beauty of the high desert environment, where she resides, Sydne’s vessels incorporate many of its native elements. It is not unusual to find iron (magnetite) from the washes, ash from desert firepits, or crushed granite from the desert floor fused with the clay.
“As a medium, I find clay very uplifting and freeing. There are so many different varieties and ways of working with it, various ways of firing it, finishing it, combining it with other elements.”
In her work, it is very important for Sydne to remain in a state of ‘centeredness’, and so her love for the potter’s wheel.
“In all my vessels, whether functional, decorative, or sculptural, I strive for perfection of beauty, form, and balance. I want my ‘pots’ to ‘fill you up.’ I want them to make you feel good. When the tension of the vessel is just right, and the finishing a perfect compliment, the grace, poise, and harmony of the vessel can
fill the observer with Joy.”
“Becoming quiet enough inside to realize the Source of my creativity, allows Creativity to work through me to accomplish the material expression of Itself. And, the more I am able to allow this to happen, the purer my work. I find nothing more personally rewarding than to capture this essence in my art.”
Thom, Sydne’s husband, is the woodworker and “keeper of the kiln.” After he fires the clay vessels, he adds his fine finishing touch using exotic or local hardwoods, brass, stone, or other materials, to compliment and enhance the work.
Their creations include high fired stoneware, porcelain, and primitively fired vessels, and sculptures.
For quite a number of years, they traveled the Southwest participating in fine art shows where their creations won several awards including “Best of Show”. Sydne was also nominated for the Arizona Governor’s Arts Awards in 2012.
Sydne and Thom, who met in college in New York, both hold degrees in Advertising Art and Design from New York State University. Sydne studied ceramics at Glendale College, and later taught ceramics at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her “apprentices” were from all over the world, which quite parallels the book she authored, Earthbridge Crossing, a whimsical “make-you-feel-good” story about us, our planet, and our possibilities. It is basically a tale of joy and wonderment.
“I find writing and ceramics a perfect balance of tangible and intangible artistic expression. Working with clay is a very grounding experience for me. It’s a very
material expression of a transcendental idea and the perfect compliment to my writing, which is very fluid and leaves more to the imagination of the reader.”
Forming her story was much the same as forming a vessel:
“If you listen closely enough, the pot will teach you how to throw it. Essentially, it ‘throws’ itself. In much the same way, the story which presented itself to my waiting imagination virtually wrote itself.”
After Thom graduated from college, he entered the U.S. Navy where he spent nine months with Operation Deep Freeze in Antartica, a fact which is journaled in Sydne’s book.
Although woodworking has always been Thom’s specialty, over the years, Thom held art director positions in several companies including Motorola, Control Data Corporation, and the Coriolis Group, and founded two advertising agencies, under the name of Adler & Schinkel, Inc.
Thom and Sydne have a new showroom attached to their studios. If you are in the area and would like to come by, please call for an appointment. They do not keep regular hours, but are always happy to meet you.
THEIR WORK HAS BEEN INCLUDED IN NOTABLE COLLECTIONS
Joan Lincoln Collection at the Arizona State University
Annapolis Design Center, Maryland
ECS Composites Corporate Collection, Grants Pass, Oregon, et al.
WABI SABI - The Perfect Imperfection of Nature
“Wabi Sabi” is a Japanese term which basically describes “what nature creates.” It generally refers to the way trees grow, clouds form, the way moss covers a rock, or anything of intrinsic beauty which only nature can produce.
Wabi is the recognition of the unexpected “suchness” of very ordinary things, and Sabi is seeing all things as happening “by themselves” in miraculous spontaneity.
WABI SABI AS APPLIED TO HIGH FIRED CERAMIC ART
In the closed atmosphere of an electric kiln, especially a computer regulated one, the glazes are fired in oxidation and the colors and textures of the glazes are relatively consistent, and may be matched in consecutive firings.
Because we fire extremely high maturing stoneware and porcelain, ( 2340° to 2400° F) in a forced air gas kiln, the process is quite different. The chemicals at this temperature are extremely unstable and are easily influenced by many factors. Some variables include: what chemicals are on the vessels next to those being fired (chemical gases interact) the placement of each vessel in the kiln (this determines the amount of heat they are exposed to) and the configuration of the stacking of the vessels in that particular kiln load (this determines the air flow and how freely the carbon reduction encases each vessel, resulting in the chemical inversion process, i.e. turning copper from green to red, etc.)
Sydne teaching clay techniques at the art center in Huachinera, Mexico
Some vessels are sketched first, while others are created spontaneously from a rough idea.
Here's where the magic happens, as the potter pulls up the walls from the spinning lump of clay.
After drying slowly, the vessel is low fired in an electric kiln to vitrify the clay.
Alchemy and instinct guide the glaze mixing and its application, which may be brushed or sprayed.
Stacked carefully on shelves in the gas kiln, they are high fired for 12 to 14 hours to cone 10 (2350°F)
The artist adds hand-formed elements, embellishments, and details to the leather hard vessel.
The ware bottoms are sanded smooth and the non-ceramic elements are added to complete the process.