Upcoming EventsMead-Making Workshop
Sunday, March 9thMagic Plants Workshop
Sunday, March 23rdSPRING Gravel & Gold Goods LAUNCH
Friday, March 28th
First Quarter Moon
8 days old
Lord Snowdon’s photograph of Lucie’s hands and Sam Haskin’s portrait of Lucie taken around 1990.
A busy schedule filling orders in 1946 and Lucie getting it done in her London studio.
Volcanic bowl with manganese border, c. 1986, then stoneware bowl with volcanic glaze, 1990 (from last firing), then yellow porcelain bowl, 1967, then turquoise bowl with bronze rim, 1983. These images from Galerie Besson.
Lucie Rie was born on March 6, 1902 to a prominent family in Vienna. In 1922 she entered the Kunstgewerbeschule, a school of arts and crafts associated with the Wiener Werkstätte, where she was, she said, instantly ‘”lost” to the potter’s wheel. She developed quickly, combining a taste for a clean, modernist aesthetic with daring technical skill.
In 1926, she married and commissioned an apartment from a young Viennese architect, Ernst Plischke, on Andreasgasse. Lucie had purchased a chair from Plischke and like it so much that she asked him to furnish her entire apartment. It was his first commission. Plischke designed every detail of the flat to suit the young potter, including studio space with a gas-fired kiln and, in the living room, walnut cupboards with versatile shelves that could be rearranged to display her work. When Lucie fled to London in 1938, she had the entire interior shipped over and re-erected in a mews house in Bayswater, where she lived and worked, to great renown, for the next 50 years. After she passed, the studio was moved and reconstructed again, this time in the Victoria and Albert Museum‘s ceramics gallery.
Lucie is often described as steely and too rigorous to be a good teacher, though she had a lasting mentorship turned creative partnership with Hans Coper and always made time to meet with anyone with a serious interest in pottery. Those who qualified for her time were invited over to her studio for tea, cake, and serious conversation, so long as it wasn’t technical talk about pottery.
Read more about this great dame on the VADS essay site set up for her in a nice timeline format and with lots more great images. The best spot to check out images of her work is through Galerie Besson, which represented her.
Did you know that Certified Professional Midwives CANNOT LEGALLY PRACTICE HOMEBIRTH in 22 STATES!!! Including North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, and Guam.
The CPM credential was first issued in 1994 by the North American Registry of Midwives to midwives with specialized training and expertise in providing safe, skilled maternity care in out-of-hospital settings.
Don’t let our precious California become a state where qualified midwives cannot practice homebirth legally. It endangers mothers and it endangers babies.
Come out for a lovely rally of support for licensed midwives. This Tuesday the 25th from 12pm to 1pm, rain or shine on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall (Goodlett steps facing Civic Center Plaza) to support Homebirth with a Licensed Midwife!!
Two shots of Guston’s studio by Denise Hare, then The Painter’s Table, 1973.A wall in Guston’s Woodstock studio showing several paintings from 1968. Photo by Denise Hare. And The Rest Is For You, 1973.
A solid many of these images were published in A Critical Study of Philip Guston by Dore Ashton. I’ve read it and it’s a great beginning! You can read it online and check out some more images here.
Looking forward to lots more on Guston from Drummer Neal Morgan TOMORROW NIGHT. See ya then. Also, it’s not so much worky, more like the ultimate dream of leisure, but who can resist—
Untitled, 2013, Flashe, acrylic, and oil on linen, 137.5 x 120″
We have been eating really, really well in Japan, thanks one night to Mike-san Abelson-san of Postalco, who shared a lot of critical information with us. For example, about the sanitary face mask situation round here: Since a flu epidemic in the early 20th century, sanitary face masks have been like sunglasses for your face. OK on a date. Worn both to protect oneself from germs and allergies and as a precautionary courtesy to prevent others from obtaining your sickness. Unlike every single other thing here, they are never bedazzled.
Also Nile has been spraining her neck bone major throwing up the peace claws, just like a local. Blast times! Thanks Mike!
TODAY IS THE FULL MOON! Today is also our shop’s fifth birthday. Mahalo for shopping and for doing all the other things that happen at Gravel & Gold. And a very special thanks to all the ladies and Dustin and Gary who help make it all happen.
I am flying into town this morning and I would also like to especially thank my sister-partner-co-owners Nilie & Lili. We will being drinking champagne and eating cake all day long until we close so that we can go spoil ourselves someplace else. Please come by and party with us! xoxo
Orange Form, then Fiesta, and Alice at the 1964 New York Worlds Fair.
Alice Kagawa Parrott grew up in Honolulu, the youngest child in a large Japanese family. She studied art at the University of Hawaii and went on to study weaving with Marianne Strengell and ceramics with Maija Grotell at Cranbrook, one of the best art schools anywhere at the time. Her long journey to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where Cranbrook is located, was her first trip to the mainland.
Here is Alice in the weaving studio at Cranbrook and pottery she was made while a student there from 1952 to 1954.
While she was at Cranbrook, she interviewed to teach at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and lodged that possibility in her mind. After completing her first year, Alice taught in Michigan and had a short stint winding warps for Jack Lenor Larsen in New York over the Christmas holiday.
She enjoyed her time at Cranbrook very much and didn’t have much notion of what do afterward, so she just accepted the New Mexico job offer to teach weaving and ceramics and made her way down South and West. This proved to be a good move.
Dry, dusty New Mexico was a completely unfamiliar landscape for this Honolulu girl, but Alice took to it right away. She visited nearby Navaho reservations, where she learned to card and spin yarn, traveled and studied in Mexico. The summer after her first year, she also went up to Pond Farm in Guerneville, California, and did ceramics with the great Marguerite Wildenhain for a month (more on Marguerite to come soon).
Alice met her husband Allen Parrott on a field trip with her students to the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe where he was a curator at the time. They were married the day after the semester ended, in 1956.
About three months after the wedding, the couple moved into their home on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, where they lived the rest of her lives. Alice set up a shop out of their living room where she sold her woven fabric and solicited commissions, like the one to make a whole bunch of ponchos for the ushers working at the Santa Fe Opera. These are ponchos I wish I could see whilst enjoying an evening I would like to experience. Also, she had her babies.
Over the winter of 1971-1972, Alice was an artist-in-residence in Puunene, Maui. While there, she took on a couple large public commissions and she taught workshops to high school teachers from several islands. She also got a nice juice up of the Hawaiian shave ice colors she loved—the great blue sky, flowers, the ocean turquoise—which always show up in her work.
Back in Santa Fe, Alice kept teaching, weaving, and radiating happy contentment.
Her work was well-admired and she began showing in the mid-1960s. At the same time, she kept her day job working on making wearables and small things like eye-glass cases for her shop, which eventually found it’s own home out of her home. I admire this high-low smartiness.
These two beautiful shots of Alice weaving were taken by Nina Leen for LIFE. And the orange shawl in the middle is one that Alice wove—one of many handwoven items she made available at her dreamboat shop, The Market, in Santa Fe. Droolola….
What I wouldn’t give to be able to shop at this marvelous shop! Just like Sam Maloof and his beloved wife Freda used to do. Alice met Sam at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, where they were both exhibiting with the American Craft Council. Alice had brought these weavings, among others:
And Sam was no fool! After meeting Alice, he’d ask her to make wool shirts for him to wear and fabrics to cover his chairs.
That’s a pile of Alice’s pillows on a sofa Sam built in the 1950′s and kept for himself. Below, Freda is wearing one of Alice’s shirts. Photos via Esoteric Survey.
The top image of Alice weaving in an amazing striped muu-muu (always with the stripes!) was taken in Maui in the mid-70s. The detail is from a hanging with wool warp, weft of maguey strings, hand-spun wool, and silk. Published in Craft Horizons, May:June 1964. Via Cathy of California. And the bottom image is Alice in her studio in Santa Fe.
How sparkly is this lady?! It’s been a real delight spending some time digging around for information and pictures of her, always flashing that beautiful smile. There doesn’t seem to be too much information out there about Alice and I for sure would like to know more. Thank goodness (again) for the foresight of the Smithsonian Archive and their brilliant oral history initiative.
Unless otherwise noted/linked, the lion’s share of these images come from a wonderful page set up by Paul Kagawa that has lots more family-style pics of Alice and examples of her work. What a very, very lovely-seeming woman and a true inspiration.