Jasper Salon at 80808 with the Midlands Clay Arts Society FRIDAY NIGHT!

Nervous Nelly by Renee Rouillier We're taking the Jasper Salon on the road again!

This time we're heading down to the Vista to visit with the Midlands Clay Arts Society at Vista Studios Gallery 80808.

Four individual artists with different techniques -- Betsy Kaemmerlen, Terry Meek, Renee Rouillier, and Tim Graham -- will explain the unique processes they use to achieve the effects they want for their art. (Stay tuned to What Jasper Said this week for more in-depth looks at the featured artists.)

Artist - Terry Meek

This is a chance to get a good handle on various clay arts techniques, theory, and terminology, and learn directly from the artists themselves.

The free event will run from 6 until 8 pm with intermittent presentations given throughout the evening.

The Jasper EconoBar will be operating so come out and enjoy an adult beverage and the new MCAS exhibit, and take home a lot of new information and maybe a new piece of art.


Artist - Betsy Kaemmerlen



Ikebana International Chapter 182 - Annual Exhibition and Tea -- a guest blog by Betsy Kaemmerlen

Ikebana International Chapter 182 - Annual Exhibition and Tea

April 18, 2012  noon - 4 pm

Garden Club Council Building

1605 Park Circle at Maxcy Gregg Park

Columbia, SC

An exhibition and demonstration of the Japanese style of flower arranging called Ikebana, loosely translated as “the way of flowers” will be held by Chapter 182 of Ikebana International on April 18, 2012.  Ikebana International was founded in 1953 - its motto is “Friendship through Flowers.”  Last year we had forty arrangements, plus sand gardens and miniatures, as well as educational exhibits to the delight of nearly 200 attendees.  The suggested donation is $3 and in 2011 all proceeds from the event were donated to the American Red Cross for the benefit of the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.


Locally we exhibit each year at the State Fair, The Columbia Museum of Art, and the SC Orchid Show at Riverbanks Zoo.  But this is our chance to share many more examples of our creations with the public.  Our local chapter received its charter in 1974.  The members of the Ikebana chapter feel a close connection to Japan, as many have lived there as military wives, have come from the Pacific Rim, or have studied the Japanese culture.   At 1:00 pm we will introduce the principal speaker, Norman Churchill who will give a lecture and demonstration of the Sogetsu School, one of the more than 3,000 distinct schools of Ikebana.  Sogetsu emphasizes the sculptural qualities of the arrangement.  After a question and answer period, the attendees are invited to enjoy a buffet style tea that will include Japanese sweets and Asian dishes made by our members.

Reflection on and appreciation of Japanese culture is evident in the beautiful arrangements, some of last year’s display are pictured here.   The arrangements represent several schools of the art of Ikebana, including traditional or alcove style examples of the Ikenobo School, established in 1486; natural and landscape styles of the Ohara School, established in 1897;  sculptural and free style Sogetsu, dating to 1925; and the painterly or spontaneous style of Sangetsu, a relatively newer school established in 1972.

With the theme “Baskets and Beyond”, and focusing on the use of basketry and bamboo in the arrangements, participants will reveal design characteristics of the craft, which include the importance of shape, line and form, often employing a minimal number of blooms interspersed among stalks and leaves.  Whether traditional or modern, the varying forms of Ikebana share certain common features, regardless of the period or school.  Many types of plant material – branches, leaves, grass, moss, fruit and flowers -- may be used.  Withered leaves, seedpods and buds are as highly valued as flowers in full bloom.  What distinguishes Ikebana from simpler decorative approaches is often an asymmetrical form and the use of empty space as an essential feature of the composition.  A sense of harmony among the materials, the container and the setting are important.  Likewise, the individual designer should feel a sense of quiet, almost spiritual, contemplation of the flowers and what they represent.  He or she presents the arrangement at exhibition solely for the purpose of showing the beauty of nature and helping people appreciate it.

For more information on Ikebana International Chapter 182 in Columbia, please visit our Facebook page.




Check Out Handcrafted Aliens And More This Week At Southern Pottery

A few years ago at a ceramics show at Vista Studios Gallery 80808, I fell in love with a colorful little bowl with a wonderfully retro-looking woman’s face on a blue background with a cartoon word bubble that said “Enjoy” and spoons floating around the perimeter. The purple rim had the words “EAT IT UP YUM” carved into the clay. Inside, I was greeted with another lush burst of green glaze. The whole work had this whimsical, imperfect feel to it, almost as if molded by a child, but this clearly was not a child’s work. It was the work of Georgia artist Vanessa Grubbs, the MFA-toting-accomplished-in-her-own-right daughter of celebrated Columbia artists Steve and Mana Hewitt.

I loved that bowl. I bought that bowl. And every time I look at that bowl (pictured), it makes me happy.

I can only imagine how it must feel to thrust one’s hands into cool damp slab of clay and shape it into something worthy of the kiln. I am so intrigued and amazed by the works of the clay artists we have right here in the Midlands, notably Anastasia Chernoff, Jeff Donovan, Sonia Neale, Paul Moore, Rita Ruth Cockrell, Mike Van Houten, Betsy Kaemmerlen, Diane Gilbert, and so many others.

So on a recent visit to Southern Pottery on Devine Street, I picked up a post card announcing the celebration of American Craft Week, which runs October 6-16. I know there are many choices for arts lovers this week. However, if you – like me – love pottery and the clay arts, you must make it out to Southern Pottery some time between today and Saturday, Oct. 16.

Tonight, Oct. 6, the Southern Pottery is hosting a reception from 6-9 p.m. for Cardinal Newman presents “Southern Icons,” hand-built clay works depicting social, religious, and cultural traditions through the eyes of teenagers. I know, it's First Thursday on Main, and there are shows at 80808 and City Art, too. But if you're a time-management wiz, you might be able to hit all of them.

And Friday, Oct. 7, the Southern Pottery will host another reception from 6-9 p.m. to celebrate “We Are Here,” clay and fiber works by Leanne Pizio and Paige Cox depicting aliens, UFOs, and quirky extraterrestrial visitors. Also on Friday, visitors to Southern Pottery are invited to participate in the “Made in China” mug swap. Those who donate their intact Chinese-made mugs (limit 4) will receive 20 percent off an American handcrafted mug.

The following week, on Friday, Oct. 14, Southern Pottery will feature artist demonstrations by Tuula Ihamaki-Widdifield and Susan Tondreau-Dwyer from 6-8 p.m. And on Saturday, Oct. 15, you can enjoy more demonstrations by Diane Gilbert and Paul Moore from 12-2 p.m.

Who knew? I urge you to check out some of this awesome clay-oriented action over the next 10 days. For details, visit www.southern-pottery.com or call the gallery at 803-251-3001. And tell them that Jasper sent you.

-- Kristine Hartvigsen

(Kristine Hartvigsen is an associate editor for Jasper Magazine. Read more of Kristine's work at www.jaspercolumbia.com)