Thursday, May 28, 2009

Amanda Ryznar

After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Slippery Rock University, Amanda Ryznar spent several years working for production potteries in Vermont. In 2005 she made the leap, opening her own pottery studio.

Working in bright colors on white porcelain, Amanda's designs are clearly inspired by nature. More subtle are the influences of different eras, from the Arts and Craft movement to the Mod style. Recent additions include a selection of tropical motifs. The pieces are thrown on the wheel, either from white stoneware or porcelain. Any trimming is done, and attachments such as handles made, when the piece is "leather-hard". The colors are applied at this stage. When the color drys a little, Amanda carves away to reveal the clay underneath. The piece is fired to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, then coated in a clear glaze and fired again to 2380 degrees.

"I believe that life is to be enjoyed and that the objects we bring into our homes and use everyday should reflect that joy in being."

Click here to see our selection of Amanda's work.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Living With Studio Furniture

The Collection of Robert & Carolyn Springborn
Naples Museum of Art through Sunday, June 28

For lovers of studio furniture, this exhibit, featuring cabinets, tables, chairs, lamps and more, should not be missed. Too often the Naples art community only focuses on traditional art. Paintings in traditional styles and fine antiques are the norm. Anything a little different or unusual is looked upon as "odd" and "not really art". Unless you have a name like Chihuly, fine crafts get little respect here. The Naples Museum of Art is breaking through some of those boundaries with this exhibit.

Robert & Carolyn Springborn's collection, one of the most eclectic collections of studio furniture in the country, contains pieces that are both beautiful & quirky. One of my favorite pieces, the chair pictured here by artist John Cederquist, seems to be saying, "Yes, this is a chair, and yes, it is art. See the paintbrush?" That may not be the artist intended point, but after years of explaining that studio furniture is art to people, that's how I relate to it.

If you love handcrafted things, if you love beauty with a sense of humor, if you love the unconventional, if you just want to see some great art, check out this exhibit before it is gone.

Naples Museum of Art