Monday, February 8, 2010

Focus On... Flickertail Pottery and a Giveaway!

{{{GIVEAWAY CLOSED}}}

I took a ceramics class in high school, like so many other people. I didn't take it a second year, like so many other people. Ceramics was a hard class! Working on the wheel took such precision, push too hard and it caves in, don't push hard enough and it's just a blob of spinning clay. I have immense respect for those who can make something usable and beautiful out of such blobs of clay. Jim and Sharon are just such a couple; they are behind Flickertail Pottery, a shop based in Columbus, North Dakota. They graciously agreed to an interview and here it is!

Tell me some basic info about yourselves.
Sharon and I went on work/vacation to England in 2003 and took our first pottery classes from Lee Cartledge at Bentham Pottery, something Jim had always wanted to do. Then Sharon bought a pottery wheel for me and we borrowed her father's electric kiln. That was the beginning. Now we live on the North Dakota  prairie in a small town (population 116) and have turned the basement into a studio with wheel and pugger and a shop building into a glazing and firing area with four various sized electric kilns. We work together on designing functional and artistic items. I work on the wheel and Sharon develops the glazes.


What kind of mediums do you use and why?
At first we tried several different types of clay and finally settled on a mid-fire stoneware clay. I tried low fire (earthenware) clays and high fire (porcelain)clays but the color and texture of the mid-fire clays felt best on the wheel.

We do wheel thrown pieces, most of which were first done because someone requested them - plates for wedding center pieces, cream pitcher and sugar sets, piggy banks, cereal bowls, and soup tureens with matching bowls. I most like making large decorative bowls, and Sharon says she knows when I get bored because I start making funky items like an elephant teapot (trunk for spout and old bent cones for tusks or a cup with rabbit ears or Jonah being spit out by a whale in a bowl.


What made you decide to sell on etsy?
We were selling our pottery at the International Peace Garden Gift Shop and were looking for other ways to sell pottery (basement was getting cluttered) other than craft fairs which seemed to take up a lot of time.


Where do you get your inspiration?
I always liked creating things with my hands and Sharon is a would be scientist and researcher. I like forms and decorated vases - Grecian urns - Japanese and Roman styles.

Sharon likes colors, functions, and feel. She wants people to hold the pieces and feel the texture. I've worked with technology since high school and most of what I know is outdated every three years, but when I see stoneware vases and bowls I know that they could be buried for a thousand years and would still look the same.


What is your favorite music to craft by?
Actually, I usually create some background noise - Law and Order on a TV in another room - and then I start working in the studio and I don't hear anything. For the most part, the feel of the clay drowns out the noise. Sharon goes for silence. Prairies don't make a lot of noise.


If you were an animal, what would you be?
Sharon would be a ferret. I'll take the eagle.


What's your favorite piece of your own?
Ah, now here's a fun question. I say Sharon has three classes of pieces I make: 1. Those that should never see the light of day. 2. Those that I could improve upon. 3. Those that are too cute to sell. Here are some of our favorites:

 

What are your favorite blogs right now?
Bakerella for Sharon - she likes to create in the kitchen as well as with clay and glazes. I work with technology all day so I escape into books and pottery whenever I can.

Jim and Sharon also like giving tours and demonstrations to local groups - recently they invited a group of Red Hat Ladies to their home. {Katie's note: Red Hat Ladies are SO cute :)}


You can find Flickertail Pottery at the below link:

Flickertail Pottery is also offering this lovely bowl to one lucky blog reader! I love the braiding detail!


All you have to do is go to Flickertail Pottery, choose your favorite item and leave a comment telling me what it is!
Once you've completed the above entry, you can also enter in any of the following ways (and please leave a comment for each one):
1. Become a follower of Kate & Oli. If you already are, just let me know!
2. Add Flickertail Pottery to your etsy favorites.
3. RT the following:
{@ichbinseins is hosting a giveaway from Flickertail Pottery! Win a hand-thrown ceramic bowl ($28 value)! http://tinyurl.com/yzn6bwe} Please leave me a link or your username or follow me on twitter, so I can verify!
4. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link.
*Fine print: Giveaway ends 11:59 pacific standard time Sunday, February 14, 2010. A winner will be selected by a random number generator on the morning of Monday, February 15, 2010 and will be emailed promptly. Flickertail Pottery will ship anywhere inthe United States and Canada!*

55 comments:

  1. I love this blue stoneware pitcher! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35956838 I love blue pottery. I display my few pieces on my kitchen shelf. this blue bowl would be a great addition!

    Thank you for the chance.

    em9499 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I follow your blog.

    em9499 at gmail dot com

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  3. I really really love the "Green Earthtone Stoneware Pottery Shallow Vase" it is amazing! i fell in love the minute i saw it :)

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  4. I twittered about it. my username is "beeyum" and i follow you there as well.

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  5. My favourite piece is the Safari Earthtone Brown Stoneware Pitcher

    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just became a follower of your blog.

    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I LOVE the Blue Tower Vase. Gorgeous color and so unique.

    judyweicker(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I really love the Green dip/serving bowl with Flowing Lacy Blue!

    ms.johnsonmahs at gmail dot com

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  9. Oh la la - I LOVE the Blue Apothecary Style Lidded Jar. Beautiful!

    Oh - and I follow!!!

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  10. I love this brown nutmeg stoneware bowl!
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35962600

    mDOTkurokoATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love the giveaway item... but I also would love to have the Fruit/Berry Serving Bowl Wheel Thrown Functional Stoneware Pottery One Continuous Piece in Green and Brown Glazes as a centerpiece on my dining room table as a fruit bowl...we love fresh fruit, and this serving bowl is very nice!

    micaela6955 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. just added Flickertail Pottery to my Etsy faves, my etsy user name is micaela6955

    micaela6955 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. tweeted http://twitter.com/micaela6955/status/8830734811

    micaela6955 at msn dot com

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  14. blog follower

    micaela6955 at msn dot com

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  15. I'm lovin the Black Berry bowl


    productsoftheday at gmail dot com

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  16. I follow your blog and I hearted Flickertail on Etsy!

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  17. Beautiful! I really like the Green Dip/Serving Bowl with Flowing Lacy

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  18. I love your Wide Mouthed Speckled Honey Glazed Stoneware Vase!
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

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  19. I follow.
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

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  20. It's not an original comment, but I have to second the love of the Brown Nutmeg Colored Serving Bowl Stoneware. Does it have that pink hue in real life? ...because that's really pretty!

    brinnet =at= gmail -dot- com

    Etsy Username: brinnet

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love this black vase.

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20783056

    kmp8 at sfu dot ca

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love the Safari Earthtone Brown Stoneware Pitcher--the shape is so sensuous.
    bethnaf at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love the Blue Denim Color Glazed Bottle Vase!!

    willow_moonspirit@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. My favourite is the Earthtone Green Stoneware Sushi Dipping Bowl Set!!

    thanks,
    baggypants

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love the Green Dip/Serving Bowl with Flowing Lacy Blue! Pretty :)

    bakergurl02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Following Kate and Oli via Google Friends Name=Alisha L.

    bakergurl02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Added FlickerTail to my Etsy Favorites Name=Xizelle

    bakergurl02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  28. My favorite is the Green Stoneware Split Rim Pottery Vase.

    stephanielcobb(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I really like the Bright Blue Hour Glass Shaped Lidded Jar.

    design4less@yahoo.com

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  30. Looking good. You've developed some great looking stoneware glazes. Hope to see you both again one day.


    Lee

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. I love the Green Overdipped Brown Berry Bowl.

    arewethereyetla5[at]verizon[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  33. I follow with Google.

    arewethereyetla5[at]verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  34. I added them as a favorite.

    arewethereyetla5[at]verizon[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'd love to have the brown nutmeg colored serving bowl


    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  36. I love the Green Dip/Serving Bowl:
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18727860

    ms.johnsonmahs at gmail dot com

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  37. I just love this!
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18727860

    hollydenny85@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I follow your blog! :)

    hollydenny85@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I added to you my favorites on Etsy (I'm peacefrogdesigns). :)

    hollydenny85@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love the Black Berry Bowl.

    carethediva[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I like the Stoneware Earthtone Green Lidded Dish-so classic!

    carapacenator(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. My favorite item is the green stoneware split rim pottery vase!

    srobinson8561 at bryan.edu

    ReplyDelete
  43. I like the green dip serving bowl with blue lace flow. Also that split rim on another piece is very unique! Great work.
    freeindeed at myfairpoint dot net

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  44. I like the Black Flower Vase with Flowing Multi-Colored Glaze

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  45. I'm a new follower of Kate & Oli !

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  46. Added Flickertail Pottery to my etsy favorites

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  47. tweeted http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/8923241258

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  48. I think the blue in the Bright Blue Hour Glass Shaped Lidded Jar is so pretty. You do great work! ambrerose(!at)aol.com

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  49. My favorite item is the Stoneware Earthtone Green Lidded Dish. Beautiful work!

    logan 4301 at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. The multi-color glaze on this vase is amazing! Definitely my favorite item in the shop:
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20640032

    daemiafirestar at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I Love the Black Flower Vase with Flowing Multi-Colored Glaze

    ReplyDelete
  52. love this flower vase! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20783056
    so pretty!

    nw typing at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  53. im a (private) follower!

    thx for the giveaway!

    *hope i win!*

    nw typing at live dot com

    ReplyDelete

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