• Always Impressed by The Work

    It’s almost time for our Annual Student Ceramic Show.  This event will be our second year of hosting it.  My hope is to grow the event by including other area high schools in the future.  For this year, Grand Haven High School, is my focus for student work.  
    Sheri Greene, GHHS art instructor, works with these students all year.  She teaches techniques to cause the students to really think about their clay work.  
    The students learn a wide range of techniques from hand-building techniques such as pinch, coil, slab, solid and hollow, to basic wheel throwing and trimming of plates, cups, bowls, and lidded jars, to more advanced wheel throwing such as stacking wheel forms, donuts, spouts, different methods for lid making, adding pulled handles, etc. 


    In terms of ceramic sculpture, the students work both realistically, particularly on the human face, and non objectively on altered wheel sculptures, extruder sculptures, etc. Students also learn a variety of surfacing methods-brushing, pouring, tape resist, wax resist, stains, underglazing, and glaze chemistry.  The advanced classes are challenged to make a glaze using non-toxic glaze chemicals.  Each student selected must write an artist statement to participate in the show.  This requirement further enhances their learning to provide skills if they choose to participate in future art exhibits and shows.  
    I heard from my nephew that the students are very excited to exhibit at C2C.

    The 3:4 Quartet, a student ensemble will be performing during the opening on Friday, May 3.

    I am looking forward to each of the students whose work was selected.  One of my to-do’s before the third is to write a critique on each work selected.  I thought the artist’s might like to know why their work was selected over other work.  

    I love seeing their creativity and the efforts made to complete the projects planned by their teacher, Mrs. Greene.  

  • Visit to Vermont

    Lochlin Smith’s Vermont Studio

    I got a chance to visit four Vermont artisans this past weekend.  I love visiting their studios and seeing how they fill their private spaces.  The picture above was taken in Lochlin Smith’s studio.  Lochlin has been a craftsman for over 30 years, hand fabricating jewelry.  I brought many of new pieces home with me.  My carry on bag was HEAVY!  Do you see the mountain bike?  Lochlin is an avid biker.

    After drooling over all of the lovely jewelry and other metal work at Lochlin’s, I headed to Barre’s Studio Place Arts (SPA).  I was thrilled to see that it is still thriving.  A new show was going up.  Sue Higby, a former Michigan resident, is the Executive Director.  Mark Waskow is her right hand man.  SPA is an arts organization that hosts exhibits, classes of many mediums, and individual artists studios on the upper floors.

    Maggie Neale’s Studio
    I headed upstairs to visit Maggie and select newly dyed scarves for the gallery.  Her paintings were great to look at.  I couldn’t help but think they were continued onto her silk scarves.  Bob Walma loves to take pictures of my work space when I have a chance to get messy.  Here is a look at Maggie’s work space.
    During the weekend, I received a surprise phone call from a potter friend, Elizabeth Roman.  Her studio is located at SPA, also.  Her call made my day.  I hadn’t heard from her in years.  Maggie mentioned that I was visiting her and had no idea of Elizabeth and my friendship.  I was smiling hugely during that phone call.  Elizabeth is a special Vermont woman.  Over the years, she has shared her time, insights, wisdom, and treasured glaze recipes and pit firing secrets.  Taking the time to spend an hour with her was very special.
    Polly Wellford
    I headed to across the valley to Waitsfield and the Artisan’s Gallery.  Polly Wellford was working there and had a selection of her pottery for me.  So much fun to see a larger body of her work and pick out new pieces to be shipped in the very near future.  C2C’s tagline is Art for Your Every Day Life.  So, I wanted to show you how Polly’s pots could be apart of your life.

    As you can see, I had a great visit.  Stop in to check out the new work from these Vermont artisans and all of our other artwork.

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  • The Art of Design raising money for “Designs for Dignity”

    For the last nine months I have been working on putting an exhibit together for several of the C2C artists in Chicago. Last night was the opening for it. I was very happy with the turn out and lots of favorable comments about our artist’s work. Several pieces left the Susan Fredman Design Group’s Chicago location today to be staged at their clients homes. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the clients love the work.

    A few images of the event:


    Michelle in front of three of her paintings

    Lee Brown in front of his sculptures

    Lake Tahoe, 24 x 48 by Michelle

    A variety of Lee’s work

    Eli and Margie’s clamshell vessels.

    Jessica, Jackie, and Nanette were so much help in setting up, organizing, answering questions, and being very friendly the entire day. I enjoyed meeting more of the Susan Fredman Group. Thank you to each of them for all of their attention to detail. We raised money for Designs for Dignity, sending donors home with handcrafted tumblers as a thank you for their contribution.

    Have a good weekend, Cyndi


  • Thoughts and Questions

    C2C’s exhibits revolve around a theme, artist, or style of work.  Last October, I asked Julie Devers and Michael Kifer to create work for a joint show.  I greatly appreciate both of their ceramic work.  Polar opposite of one another.

    Julie wrote this poem for the Kalamazoo Art Institute, where she teaches.  It gives you a glimpse into the thoughts of a potter who fires a wood kiln.

    Wall hanging/Platter by Julie Devers

    I Ask 


    I ask how did I bruise my arm?    
    did you hold mine?
    have you raked recently?
    do you have a tall skinny pot?
    is someone ready to stoke that side?
    can someone send in some floor bricks?
    how did the graveyard go?
    wow, did you see that flame out the stack?
    who brought the banana bread?
    I ask who do we have for the fire-off?
    The questions are asked through artist time and artist creation.
    “At this juncture I would put the question might not beauty and the love of the beautiful perhaps bring peace and harmony.  Could it not carry us forward to new concepts of life’s meaning?”
    “Can you hear me in the back?”
    “How many times must a man look up before he can see the sky?”
    The questions are endless, like the shigaraki night sky, surrounding the half moon and the cone of flame.  Even owls ask their question to the graveyard shift. “who? who?”
    If I could belch out the answers with the confidence of an overheated train,
    I may as well pull over onto the shoulder or begin sleeping at night.
                                                                                     by:  Julie Devers
    Tea bowls and Larger Bowl by Julie Devers
    (This poem is from a 2010 publication, Shaped By Fire.  It was poetry and reflections from the 10th anniversary of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts anagama kiln.)
     Baby Teapot by Michael Kifer
    This Friday, is First Friday Gallery Walk.  6 – 8pm.  The “Yin and Yang of Ceramics” is up, ready for your viewing.  Friday night, March 1, listen to Michael Drost perform jazz on his acoustical guitar and enjoy our refreshments, throughout the evening.
    Michael Drost Performing
    C2C Gallery offers art for your every day life.  We have selected ceramics; photography;  acrylic, oil, and encaustic paintings, silver and gold jewelry, glass, wood and metal sculpture, and textiles that you will enjoy in your personal and business surroundings. 
    Thank you for reading my blog.  Please send it on to any friends who might enjoy it.  

  • Snow, Kilns, and New Exhibits

    It’s February.  I thought we were going to have another mild winter.  Not the case, at least for this week.  I am home firing my gas kiln, catching up on paperwork, etc.  

    Brian and I were able to get out of Michigan.  Brian had been wanting me to see Tamarindo, Costa Rica.  It was beautiful.

    Miles of beaches, lots of surfers, 95 degree days and warm nights.  I found a potter there who makes low fired work.  Arbin Guevara was handed down the coil building traditions by his mother, a Chorotega Indian.  Arbin blends traditional designs with his own patterns.  
    Guaitil Potter, Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica
    You can check out his work by clicking on the image of his pots shown above.  
    Natural patterns in the sand.  Looks like trees.

    Sea Creatures working under the surface.

    Of course, many shells. Lots of these auger shells.
    For me, going to the beach is about looking to see what I can find along the shore.  Of course, shells, patterns in the sand made by crabs, water, people.  Some of this information is starting to appear on my own personal clay work.  

    New Vase by Cyndi Casemier

    March 1 is our next First Friday Gallery Walk.  The title of this show is:  “The Yin and Yang of Ceramics:  New work by Julie Devers and Michael Kifer”.  More on this later.  If you are in the Midwest, stay warm and be careful driving.  C2

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  • Winter, Making Pots, and Exhibits

    It’s February.  We had a mild January.  NOW, we are being reminded what winter is like in the MidWest.  Cold, snowy. Shoveling and Snow blowing.   Brian and I were able to get out of the snow and head to Costa Rica.  Tamarindo, Costa Rica, to be exact.  Tamarindo
  • Life of a Potter, taking chances, and getting ready for the Holidays…

    It’s almost December 25th!We have new artwork that arrives throughout the month.  Each week, I think, I will find time to throw on the potter’s wheel, but not to be.  I haven’t thrown since mid November.

    I did get a chance to fire the gas kiln two weeks ago.  I had three large trays in this firing.  All three of them cracked or slumped.  Here it is, December, and I will not have large trays for sale until January.  Missed the entire Holiday Season.  The life of a potter, never a dull moment.  I did have several very nice small tray sets out of this last firing.  They sold the first weekend.  Only one is left.

    I made small candle holders and small dishes.  The small dishes would be perfect for soy sauce, olive oil, or jewelry next to a sink.   The candleholders are the right size for our small Green Daffodil candles.  Also, Michael Kifer’s small square plates would be perfect as a soap dish.

    Michael Kifer’s Square Plates

    Michelle Courier, our Bay City painter, was featured in January’s Art Collector Magazine.  I am thrilled for her national exposure.  She is very talented and I love having her paintings in the gallery.

    January American Art Collector’s Magazine

    I organized an ornament making workshop.  You could use these at Christmas or on packages throughout the year.  I have had customers making them today, Saturday.  Plus, this coming Wednesday, I will have the supplies ready for any creative people.  It is fun, easy, and you will be surprised at how creative you can be.

    Have you been checking your lists?  Let me help you complete your Holiday shopping.
    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas,
  • Handmade Spark – c2ceramics – Black Ceramic Tray Set with contrasting green highlights

    Handmade Spark – c2ceramics – Black Ceramic Tray Set with contrasting green highlights

    I am working on getting my Etsy store up and running, now that C2C Gallery is fairly well organized. I have work in both the physical gallery and online at Etsy. Check it out.
  • Wow! It’s July!!

    I can’t believe it is July. This winter I made the decision to open a gallery in downtown Grand Haven. Thanks to a small push by Tony Clennell. The name of it is C2C Gallery. It has consumed my thoughts, time, and life since January. I have thought about this for about four years. Check out our website: www.c2cgallery. com or visit the actual gallery.

  • Karisa Wilson Why C2C?

    c2c gallery 2011
    Yesterday, a man came into the gallery.  He was selling vibrating speakers.  He asked if I would like to sell them in the gallery.  I looked around the store and said “We only offer handmade items for sale here.”  The salesman said to me, “These were made by someone’s hands and they are going to be a best selling item in the future.  You can count on it. “
    He got me to thinking, I wonder if you know why I opened C2C.   I was an accountant, working in a bank.  Worked hard, week after week.  Taking care of my customers and  family.  I never had time for a hobby.  Just kept my head down, doing what had to be done.  Then, I moved to Vermont.  As a way to meet people, I started taking clay classes.  I fell in love with making pots.   I also realized that having handmade items in my life brings pleasure to my everyday tasks.  The mug I use in the morning was made by a potter that I met over the years.  The platter I use to serve fish was made by a special man, Robin Hopper, in British Columbia.
    Spin forward, 18 years.  I am still in love with all forms of pottery and artwork.   For most artists, they spend their days in solitude working their craft.  It can be lonely.   My favorite part of being a banker was talking with customers, getting to know them, and helping them.  May 2011, I opened C2C Gallery.  My plan:  have a working ceramic studio where you can watch me work, provide a venue for artists to sell their craft,  help you select artwork that you will enjoy for many years, and have fun talking with you when come into C2C.



    Karisa Wilson

    Video of Karisa performing on May 28, 2011

    video by Bob Walma

    c2c gallery 2011