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Showing posts from July, 2012

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 have…

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 chick…

Ceramic Productive Traditions

TWEET THIS ! http://goo.gl/FBBf9D 
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 the mold , in shrinks in …

Developing Economic Growth At The Roots.


Our Stoneware Wren Sculpture is a popular classic  from our Ceramic Birds collection 
When, as described in the previous post, I  presented my pitch to Mr Burns, I believe that he responded to the what he perceived to be a large scale idea, but did not recognize that the the need for a larger scale arises from the need to accommodate the breath and depth of our line of designs as well as the development of new designs. Our designs have retained their marketability for over half a century but because we use a hand crafted production process, our designs never saturated the market. The reason for envisioning  a number of networked production studios is because of the complexity of producing such a large line. If one can contract the crafting of designs to other studios, those studios can then focus on the specific skills and artistry involved in specific designs.
Each individual piece has individual tricks that one has to keep in mind. Some pieces such as our small birds a…

The KickStarter Option to Big Government Inc.

In 2009 I attended a competition for what I thought was a small business grant, but later I found was "an investment". I made this mistake in part because I learned of it through the Maine Art Commission which had been sending announcements all year about the availability of stimulus grants - but when one opened the link, it was inevitably and exclusively for non-profits. When The Maine Arts Commission announced a competition for small business investment from an anonymous source I assumed it was a grant for a variety of reasons, including that it was for a very modest amount and that the source was anonymous. I wasn't paying much attention to those details as I had never entered such a competition before and there was a lot to processing taking place in a short amount of time. As later became apparent the anonymous source was the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, an investment corporation chartered by the Maine legislature to serve as an "instrumentality of …