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Showing posts from 2012

Visualizing A Photo, Graphics and Marketing Studio

            The Flying White Bird will be one of our Kickstarter rewards I haven't been able to write so often these days because I have shifted my focus to creating the rewards pages for our upcoming KickStarter Project, which you can find in my pages links to the right. Every step of the way, the work is more than one realizes.  At first I thought we would have half a dozen rewards based on the model of other KickStarter projects but then realized that we should be out own model and think of this along the lines of the New York Gift Show which we used to be preparing for at the start of each year. The concept is similar- taking advance orders to be filled in an estimated lead time. Why not offer our fundraiser supporters a similar line of selections that we offered at the NYC Gift Show ? As I am creating the pages I am imagining the way I would like to be working - with a photography and graphics studio and office space and a team of assi

A Prayer For The Victims of Sandy

   Our stoneware Flying White Bird  Dear Folks, I haven't been posting here for a while since I was focusing on getting our Kickstarter project ready to launch, feeling that sense of urgency to turn that page. But Hurricane Sandy has changed all of that. It doesn't feel right to launch our project at a time when so many of our customers are in the affected areas. I lived in NYC for many years and still have friends in that part of the country. I wrote to them after the storm but I am still waiting for news. So many of the people who have summer homes in Boothbay or just are visitors come from the affected area. And then there is the Bounty, which was frequently docked in Samples Shipyard for repairs. Everyone here is wondering why the Bounty headed into such dangerous conditions with only a volunteer crew. The chart of their journey shows they were at first headed East and likely found the conditions mild when they turned toward the South West and soon after thei

Andersen Stoneware Enters the NYC Antiques Market

Brenda started the tradition of using ceramics to express very personal art as shown in this mug designed by Weston and decorated by Brenda, circa early 1950's Weston and Brenda Andersen are recognized as an important historical figure in the ceramic and design fields. This weekend we were visiting with a New York antique dealer and historian, who came to us with a recommendation from Eva Zeisel's daughter, At the time of our first introduction, he was looking for industrial design drawings of the fifties era and he came to our house and purchased a group of drawings which Dad had done when a student at Pratt. On a day as I was taking photographs, Weston  engaged in an animated dialogue about the displays. But this time around the antique dealer was looking for pieces to display in the upcoming antique show at the pier in New York City scheduled for this November. It is an international antique show. Our dealer is going to have a display case

Ceramics Slipcasting: Art Meets Business As A Way Of Life

This is the current Introduction to our soon to be launched KickStarter project- still a Work in Progress A Ceramic Slip-Casting Studio: An Art, A Business, A Philosophy and A Way of Life by Susan Mackenzie Andersen Andersen Studio's Mold Making Kickstarter Project is a foundational process  for kickstarting  our envisioned evolution of a historical family run ceramic design and production studio, established in mid-century by our esteemed parents, the twentieth century ceramic designers, Weston and Brenda Andersen.  Our dream is to pass on the creative lifestyle and a living legacy in the form of the Great American Ceramic Designers Craftsman Network built on our brand, Andersen Studio- Andersen Design Stoneware established in 1952. A page from Images of America showing Andersen Studio Andersen Design in the early 1950's when we were known as Ceramics by Andersen. Click to see more. Andersen Studio is a local historical landmark on the Boothbay

Andersen Studio Kickstarter Preview

Andersen Studio's Preview of our upcoming Kickstarter project. This will be a mold making project which is needed to kick start our ultimate vision of transforming the ceramic art and design, wholesale and retail, handcrafted production business that we built, into the future as the great American Ceramic Designer- Craftsmen network built on our internationally recognized brand, Andersen Studio- Andersen Design Stoneware established in 1952. Help to kick start an evolution and to keep the great traditional art of ceramics alive and well in the USA and Maine. The Andersen Studio Kickstarter Project- Coming Soon!

Andersen Studio's Preview Video of Our upcoming Kickstarter Mold making Project

Greetings after a long break. I have completed my first animated video for our Kickstarter project. which I am currently publishing as a preview. I wanted to embed it here so that it instantly displays- which is supposedly as easy as inserting any other image- except one uses the video function- but alas, Blogger keeps rejecting my fla file. And so for the meantime , i have published it as a web page which you can view by clicking Andersen Studio's Preview of Our Upcoming Kickstarter Project. I hope you will enjoy the video and SHARE it to help us spread the word around since the success of our project depends on the base that we are able to reach. Thanks for your support. Mackenzie

Ceramic Silpcasting and Mold Making - An Endangered Art in America?

One day  a mysterious object landed  on the table, wrapped in rubber bands. I occasionally get inquiries from other ceramic designers looking for slip casters to produce their work. When the network that I envision manifests we can pass the request along to  production studios in the network. There once was a slip-casting studio in Maine, which, I had been recommending, but I looked for the website yesterday to find that it is no longer active. leading to the conclusion that the production studio is no longer in business.  Suddenly the rubber bands came off and the pod fell open. Back in 2009 when I entered the competition for what I took to be a modest grant  appropriate to the micro economy. the same slip casting studio was then looking to expand to a new facility. It needed a specified amount of advance work orders to get off the ground. My Vision at that point had been published on-line for a  number of years, wherein I state that the development of a ceramic desig


You may have noticed that I haven't posted here for a while. That is because in order to start the KickStarter project we have to include a video, which we have not worked with so I have been busy learning animation using Adobe Flash CS6, which may or may not be faster than learning to make a more movie style video- but being that I didn't know how to do either, I had to choose one or the other and I chose animation. I will get back to posting here but I need to keep my focus there for the moment. I hope to get back to writing this blog again soon. Meanwhile- more pictures of the classic designs we have created in over 60 years. These are production pieces that retain their market appeal over the decades and are the basis for both productivity and a brand identity foundational to an American marketing enterprise.

A New Model of "Public Benefit", Learning Institutions, and the "Creative Economy"

     We will be offering the large Fish as a reward in our KickStarter project, as a signed and dated One of A Kind series. The large fish was modeled by Weston Neil Andersen, after he developed macular degeneration. The stoneware fish is based on a Carp but is primarily an archetypical Fish, assembled, carved and decorated with artistic imagination by yours truly, Susan Mackenzie Andersen Going back to the post on the British Pottery Industry, I introduced this research paper  The Strategic Management of Outsourcing in the UK Ceramics Industry , published by by The Manchester School Of Management in 2001. The paper represents industry thinking on outsourcing at that time, which advised outsource all activities except the core business activity. However, as valuable a paper as this is, there are no set rules for which activities a company should outsource,and no set rules on what motivates the thinking process that leads one to such conclusions. The article merely discusses t

Precison Manufacturing VS Organic Production

When my parents decided to create a handcrafted product, affordable to the middle class, they "innovated " their own category which existed somewhere between factory made table top ceramics and handcrafted art ceramics sold in high-end art galleries. There has always been a great deal taking place in ceramics that does not fall into any of these categories because ceramics attracts so many individual artists working in many different ways, and so this statement is made  within the frame work of larger categories, which are used by galleries, organizations, competitions, shows and governments. For instance design shows tend to focus on designs that are reproduced in a factory setting. For some, factory settings have a bad name  as a throwback to the days of the "sweat shops" but that is not what I intend here. Factory reproduction uses "precision methods" which often involve the use of jiggering machines to create the desired uniformity . They usually

Historical Future

This is an image of the last sculpture that my father, Weston Neil Andersen, did before the day he fell down on the pavement  and suffered a brain injury. The sculpture, in my view is the most gentle and tender sculpture that Dad ever did. It invites one to enter into the intimate activity of looking for food. It seems quite daring to do a sculpture in which the beak is not complete as it is buried in the sand, the form of the belly is so round, full and sensuous. the curve of the neck so natural and our brown slip treatment of the surface seems to melt, lifelike, into the form. The last sculpture that Dad is likely to do, is actually a new direction for him and it is interesting in respect to the fact that the brain injury prioritized a different aspect of Dad's personality. It brought his own gentleness and tenderness to the surface, and it rearranged his experience of time so that we get to know our father at many different ages of his life. As a child he was raised on a

Ceramic Productive Traditions

TWEET THIS !  Andersen Studio is not a school but it is a place of learning. When Weston and Brenda  brought their ceramic slip casting studio to Maine, there were no other slip casting studios in the area and so they taught the skills of ceramic slip casting, glazing, and decorative techniques to local women who had formerly worked in the fish-packing industry. Weston and Brenda also created their own marketing brochures. We still create our marketing in house but today it includes web design , social networking and related skills which we can also teach to others. as we encourage them to learn on their own. This historic Maine Coon Cat was modeled by Brenda Andersen probably in the late fifties. It is featured in Images Of America . There were a few pieces cast but the mold was retired early on because the Coon would split in the mold. As you can see, this Maine Coon has places at both ends that hold the mold in place. As the clay dries in