Dear Friends,

I’m writing to share news of our upcoming project at Jackie Sedlock Pottery, here on Mason Hill in Pownal, Vermont.

In late August we’ll begin construction on a new studio, with great opportunities for you to be involved. I hope you can make it to upcoming events here (info below!), and invite you to participate in special fundraising for the project.

After a number of years making and teaching, it’s become clear to me that I want to more widely share the process of making with clay. I’ve been teaching for over 11 years; expanding the studio into an existing building on our property will, among other things, make it possible to:

* Provide a larger, better organized studio in which to continue design and production for jackie sedlock pottery

* Continue to teach classes on our intimate scale but with a bit more breathing room
* Offer workshops

On September 12 we will launch a fundraising campaign through Kickstarter to raise $25,000 to help with the cost of the new studio and related improvements.

If you’re new to Kickstarter and/or the concept of crowdfunding, this is a great introduction:

Wikipedia - Crowdfunding
Kickstarter.com

We’ll send an e-mail with the link to the live campaign page as soon as it starts!

 

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There are two special dates to save to help support the project:

 

September 12, 7 pm. Kickstarter launch
Please come help us kick-off the campaign.
We’re going to celebrate the progress on the building, have a little tour, and enjoy wonderful locally grown goodies prepared by Scott Sanfilippo of DiBuono Ravioli (a Pownal favorite!)

 

October 10, 7 pm. Kickstarter wrap-up

House Concert with Sean Rowe
Sean Rowe, who will be returning from his Fall tour (opening for Robert Plant along the way), will be helping us celebrate the end of the campaign.

 

Please join us for one or both of these events, and bring friends!

 

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We’re over the moon about the project and hope you will visit my website to see drawings of what will soon be Mason Hill Clay Studio, and to see more info over the coming weeks.

 

In the meantime, please share this e-mail and forthcoming news of the Kickstarter with everyone you know–the campaign totally relies on it. I believe we can raise the funds to bring the studio here at 1177 to a new level if you help and share the project. I’m excited and optimistic!

 

Thank you so much for your support over the past few years. You make this beautiful life possible.

 

Much love and peace to you from the new studio address:

mason hill clay studio

1177 north mason hill

pownal, vermont 05261

 

– Jackie, Tim, Leo, Piper (the dog), Tansy (the dog), Frederick (the rooster), and the two honeys (glamour hens)

p.s. If this invitation has been forwarded to you and you’d like to be included, please send me a quick note at jzsedlock@gmail.com

large gold with smalls

fancy goods gold

Shaker Dance

infinity and milkweed (background)

fancy goods 

(one of kind serving bowls and platters inspired by Shaker visions)

When I was planning my 6 week residency at Watershed, I had a number of possible directions to pursue with my work. I have a number of lines that I generally concentrate on in the studio. The seed stamp dinnerware is the bread and butter of my wholesale business and I enjoy making it. However, I wanted to take a break from making dinnerware while in Maine. When I packed some pieces for a sale opportunity at Watershed I left behind my Shaker-inspired bowls. I had been working on these bowls and had spent  a lot time over the last few years visiting Hancock Shaker Village and Mount Lebanon,  and reading about this intriguing and industrious religious community. Also, having spent many years at local antique auctions, I’ve come across pieces made by the Shakers; often incredibly simple forms — a wooden box, a shirt hanger, a ladder back chair. I am very drawn to these items. I am very drawn to these people, who designed things for daily use and desired to share their devotion and rituals through their work. But what is it about the Shakers that really speaks to me? I started asking myself a few questions, and the questions were about the Shakers and their work, but they were also about my process: What is at work in their/my handmade objects? What sets them/me apart as people of faith and as makers?

Recently I came across the Gift Drawings and songs. By the mid-19th century, Mother Ann Lee, the founder and spiritual leader of the Shakers had passed on to the next life and numbers in the community were dwindling. Around this time a small number of women and a few men, or “instruments”, began to make drawings based on visions and visitations by Mother Ann and other departed members of the community. These works were meant to inspire and reassure believers. The drawings were given only to members within the community and not meant for “the world”. This was likely intentional because some are almost psychedelic in nature and would surely have been seen as lunacy by some. Largely forgotten until recently, they are an example of the devotion of the Shakers to God and their spiritual leader.

last Fall I studied these drawings. While in Maine I was lucky to attended the exhibit The Shakers: From Mount Lebanon to the World. I also spent the day at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, where the last 3 living Shakers reside. I was thoroughly inspired by these visits and I became more  captivated by the drawings. I’m really excited to share what’s come out of this exploration.

Below are three examples of the Gift Drawings:

A Bower of Mulberry Trees, Hancock, Massachusetts,1854.

Hannah Cahoon.  A Bower of Mulberry Trees, Hancock, Massachusetts,1854.


Shaker Gift Drawing

 

visionary dance

visionary dance

please write with any questions about my work. As always, you’re invited to visit the studio anytime by appointment. 802-823-7977

 

seedware

 

 

jackie sedlock pop-up williamstown, ma

 

tableware shaker peg rail

 

 

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Having spent many years looking at and handling seeds, it was no surprise to find them making their way into my dinnerware designs. I have been a gardener for as long as I can remember, helping both my grandmother, who immigrated from Poland in 1935, and my mother in our home garden in rural Western Massachusetts during my childhood. This influences my designs, along with my fascination for early American and European utilitarian architecture and tools. I’m combining these aesthetics with an appreciation for clean lines, simplicity, and materials that withstand the harsh treatment of dishwashers and microwaves. This produces a design that’s in keeping with these histories but appropriate for daily use. My hope is that my dinnerware is a reminder that every day is a gift–every moment, a special occasion.

 

 

bread of life bowl

 

step forward now

 

step forward now

thy courage new

thy works are good

thy faith is true

 - from a Shaker vision

While working on my series of pots based on Shaker devotions and rituals, I came across the Gift Drawings and songs. By the mid-19th century, Mother Ann Lee, the founder and spiritual leader of the Shakers had passed on to the next life and numbers in the community were dwindling. Around this time a small number of women and a few men, or “instruments”, began to make drawings based on visions and visitations by Mother Ann and other departed members of the community. These works were meant to inspire and reassure believers. The drawings were given only to members within the community and not meant for “the world”. Largely forgotten until recently, they are an example of the devotion of the Shakers to God and their spiritual leader.

I was inspired by this vision poem and it gave me tremendous joy to incorporate this and other phrases in to my gift bowl project. I think it’s a good starting point for 2015.

To read more about this project click on the “at work” link at the right.

Mt Greylock 2014

 

What I knew:

You know how you just know? I knew heading in to 2014 that it was going to be a big year. I didn’t know in what way. I knew we would work hard and play hard. I knew we’d visit family in Oregon and that we’d be home in Vermont for Christmas. I knew I’d have some kind of extraordinary experience that would change and grow my art process. I knew because that’s what I decided in late December 2013. I knew Leo was would start middle school and that we’d find a way for him to play soccer all year. I knew we’d probably finish work on the house. I knew we’d spend time with extraordinary people who care for each other and the planet. I knew because that’s what I decided late in 2013.

I’m not a big planner. My goal in the last 5 years has been to learn to plan better for my life and my business. I’m getting better at it. We all know how habits are formed. At this point it’s fair to say I have rough goals. My plan is to sharpen the view a bit this year; I’m going to try to get a little more detailed.

What I didn’t know:

I didn’t know I’d find myself in rural Maine with a group of incredible people who were seeking the same thing I was: to dig deeper within themselves, to strike an unknown place they could explore and dwell, for a time, in amazement. What a thing to have been part of this adventure. I live in a new kind of ecstacy (and sometimes agony) in this newly-discovered room in my soul. 2015 will be somewhat about translation for me. I have no idea what’s going to come out of this room. It’s a good thing I have a miner’s heart.

I didn’t know I’d start a life in retail. Holy smokes. My only goal when I returned from Maine was to attempt to share the amazing experience I’d had. The pop-up shop happened because one inquiry turned in to two and so on.. It really is about the first step. I highly recommend taking it. I also recommend living in a community where people value the work their neighbors are doing. I’m stunned by the support for the shop. I’ve known for a long time that I love making pots, but I now know I love making pots for my neighbors and my community. Thank you all so much for thinking about how using something made with passion and a respect for the power of beauty can enrich our lives.

I didn’t know how fortunate I am to have to good friends and neighbors. I thought I did but I didn’t. The people I know are solid gold.  I don’t know what I’d do without them. I don’t want to know. Thank you.

Something else I didn’t know: I didn’t know I’d be surprised again by the Love of my family. Never has this been more apparent than when, after my return from Maine during what seemed like one huge celebration after another, I had a cancer scare. “It’s benign” are the words that everyone prays to hear. I am aware now, more than ever, that not everyone hears those words. I heard them. I hear them. I pray them for those who are waiting. I am humbled, grateful and once again, in Love with the world. I am awed by the power of my family’s collective energy To Love. And, once again, I am surprised by the Love and support of my husband. Wow. These have been our goals these recent years. We are meeting them. We are a prayer.

Thank you, 2014, for these lessons. Thank you for the mysteries great and small.

Hello, 2015.  Here’s to what we don’t know.

 

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pop-up jan

 


Shaker Visions Table

fancy goods gold

Shaker Dance

infinity and milkweed (background)

fancy goods 

(one of kind serving bowls and platters inspired by Shaker visions)

When I was planning my 6 week residency at Watershed, I had a number of possible directions to pursue with my work. I have a number of lines that I generally concentrate on in the studio. The seed stamp dinnerware is the bread and butter of my wholesale business and I enjoy making it. However, I wanted to take a break from making dinnerware while in Maine. When I packed some pieces for a sale opportunity at Watershed I left behind my Shaker-inspired bowls. I had been working on these bowls and had spent  a lot time over the last few years visiting Hancock Shaker Village and Mount Lebanon,  and reading about this intriguing and industrious religious community. Also, having spent many years at local antique auctions, I’ve come across pieces made by the Shakers; often incredibly simple forms — a wooden box, a shirt hanger, a ladder back chair. I am very drawn to these items. I am very drawn to these people, who designed things for daily use and desired to share their devotion and rituals through their work. But what is it about the Shakers that really speaks to me? I started asking myself a few questions, and the questions were about the Shakers and their work, but they were also about my process: What is at work in their/my handmade objects? What sets them/me apart as people of faith and as makers?

Recently I came across the Gift Drawings and songs. By the mid-19th century, Mother Ann Lee, the founder and spiritual leader of the Shakers had passed on to the next life and numbers in the community were dwindling. Around this time a small number of women and a few men, or “instruments”, began to make drawings based on visions and visitations by Mother Ann and other departed members of the community. These works were meant to inspire and reassure believers. The drawings were given only to members within the community and not meant for “the world”. This was likely intentional because some are almost psychedelic in nature and would surely have been seen as lunacy by some. Largely forgotten until recently, they are an example of the devotion of the Shakers to God and their spiritual leader.

This Fall I studied these drawings. While in Maine I was lucky to attended the exhibit The Shakers: From Mount Lebanon to the World. I also spent the day at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, where the last 3 living Shakers reside. I was thoroughly inspired by these visits and I became more  captivated by the drawings. I’m really excited to share what’s come out of this exploration.

Below are three examples of the Gift Drawings:

A Bower of Mulberry Trees, Hancock, Massachusetts,1854.

Hannah Cahoon.  A Bower of Mulberry Trees, Hancock, Massachusetts,1854.


Shaker Gift Drawing

 

visionary dance

visionary dance

please write with any questions about my work. As always, you’re invited to visit the studio anytime by appointment. 802-823-7977

 

Here are a few shots from my Fall residency at Watershed in Newcastle Maine. I’m still sorting images and will share as I organize.

The day to day scenery was incredible. Being away from my studio and working with other artists was inspiring in so many ways. My visits to the Farnsworth Museum to see the Shaker exhibit and my day at Sabbathday Lake Shaker community had a profound effect my recent work, and I can’t wait to share their influence.

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Fellow 2014 Watershed residents from left: Alex O’Neil, Meredith Morten, Charal Hatfield, Dana Bergman, yours truly, Molly Allen, Kristina Hamm, Sarah Southwick

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Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village


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 Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

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 queens anne’s lace through a greenware bowl


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 late night in the Watershed studio

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 throwing demo at the Wiscassett Art Walk

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 one of the barns at Dandelion Farm, neighbor to Watershed

 

 

SAMSUNG

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piper white server

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DSC_0013Please contact me if you have questions about any of these pieces.

      


              odds and ends from summer projects, travel, and visits:

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We had a wonderful visit with Zach Lihatsh, who was the first student I met in 1995 when I started teaching clay at Buxton School. We had a great catch up and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him around these parts over the next couple years. (seen here introducing my gear plate to his elbow)


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 the fabulous Lizz painting signs

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teacupsness


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 new bowl design

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 finally… some living room drapes

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sublime Prince Edward Island