20th ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE & STUDIO SALE!
Below is a Sneak Preview of what we will be showing
at our Open House this year!
We are very excited about our guest artists!
Join us for our 20th Annual Open House & Studio Sale!
December 5, 6, 7, 2014
2034 Fairmount Avenue
Where Fairmount, Spring Garden, & Francisville Meet!
Great Gifts for All Occasions!
Handmade Pottery, Bead Jewelry & Cards by Sandi & Neil
Guest Artist: Janice Merendino, Ink on Paper drawings
Wire ornaments by Lisa Joerling & Cloth Bags by Nita Ford
• Friday Night Opening Party: December 5th / 5 to 9 pm •
Magdaliz Roura & Her Latin Ensemble Crisol
Janice Merendino, Ink on Paper
“Have some fun with disappearing ink paper to practice
Kanji characters and brush strokes with Janice”.
Health & Fitness Guest:
Lee Kramer-Wash introducing
“Fit Over Forty”
• Saturday, December 6 / 10:00 to 5:00 •
• Sunday, December 7 / Noon to 5:00 •
• EXTENDED RETAIL HOURS THROUGH DECEMBER 21st: •
Fridays Noon to 6:00, Saturdays & Sundays Noon to 5:00
About Our Guests
Janice Merendino, Founder and Director of The Branch Out Project, is a professional artist, college professor, and one of five founders of The Clay Studio. She has designed & taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the fine arts and visual literacy at Rosemont College since 1980. She has designed & taught workshops for Accessible Programs at Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1998. As director of The Branch Out Project, Janice conducts workshops for major corporations and government agencies (including the US Navy, GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth Ayerst, & TIAA-CREF), for community non-profit groups, and in schools for students & teachers. She co-authored two articles on creativity and the practice of law.
Magdaliz and Her Latin Ensemble Crisol (a.k.a. Trio Crisol) is an ensemble dedicated to the interpretation of a variety of folk and traditional musical genres from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela and other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. Magdaliz Roura is the founder, manager, guitarist and lead singer of the Latin ensemble. You can see her perform in all kinds of configurations, from a Solo act to a Seven piece Latin ensemble. Romantic Puerto Rican Boleros, energetic Mexican Mariachi music, feisty Cuban Sones, sensuous Colombian Cumbias, contagious Dominican Merengues, jazzy Brazilian Bossa Novas are among the many styles they perform. For more information on Magdaliz & Her Latin Ensemble Crisol, visit her websites: http://www.triocrisol.com, http://www.youtube.com/triocrisol http:www.facebook.com/triocrisol
Lee Kramer-Wash has been a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor in the Philadelphia area for over 25 years. Her goal with Fit Over Forty, LLC is to help women 40 years of age and over to achieve their personal fitness goals and to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Our Popular Pottery Classes for Adults & Children
Start January 12, 2015
Welcome to our website where we hope you enjoy your visit with us. Our site is a way to keep you posted on our life and work, which are so intertwined it is hard to separate them. Our life influences and inspires our studio work.
Thanks for your interest!
To be notified of classes, events, or studio sales go to “Contact Us”.
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CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK FOR OUR UPDATED GALLERIES.
National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts:
As part of her presentation at the NCECA panel “Igniting the Workshop Circuit”, Sandi made this video on how to break the ice with students at the beginning of a workshop. The panel was lead by Tommy Frank, Studio Manager of Red Star Studios in Kansas City. The other panelists were Bill Griffith, Program Director at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, and Linda Arbuckle, Professor of Ceramics at University of Florida in Gainsville. After getting many requests to see the video again from people who attended the panel, it is now up on YouTube:
Please share the video with teachers you think might like it.
HANDBUILT for CERF+ raises $10,000! On the weekend of September 20-22, Sandi organized a benefit conference for the Craft Emergency Relief Fund and raised $10,000. Click here to see photos of the event.
SANDI NOW HAS A CIRCLEMATIC DVD! THIS ONE HOUR VIDEO EXPLAINS HOW TO USE THE TEMPLATES TO INCREASE YOUR CREATIVITY AND LEARN HOW TO COMPOSE FORMS. TO VIEW A CLIP OF THE VIDEO AND BUY THE DVD CLICK HERE.
NEW HANDBUILDING TEMPLATES TOOL BY SANDI!
CircleMatic Form Finder Template Set Now Available! Learn About Circular Templates and Conical Forms by using CircleMatic Templates. They are fun to use and you will soon find that the possibilities are endless! Go to CircleMatic.com to learn more.
Beautiful Squashes waiting to be stuffed and baked
We may have lost the sweet peaches of Summer, but now we get to have Sweet Potatoes. We love spending time in the kitchen together, so in Autumn and Winter we have a great time cooking up a storm on Sundays. Lots of good smells coming from our kitchen!
Home Grown Fennel drying out to be used in soups and stews all winter long.
We had a show at Plinth Gallery in Denver this Summer, so we went to Steamboat Springs Colorado for a few days in June. These were flowers in the Beautiful Botanic Garden there.
Botanic Gardens Rock Garden
Winter Work 2012
To celebrate our Ten years and thank our community for their continued support, we had a birthday party that included us putting our wheels out on the sidewalk for anyone to try their hand at throwing. We also had a handbuilding table set up. A few of our students helped us show how to throw, slab build and coil small pots. We made a big mess and had a blast!
As usual, Sandi is always trying new decorating techniques on her thrown work. A few years back she started a fruit and vegetable series and continues to develop that very different style of work for her. She has mostly done this work in black and white (below) but this year started adding color to some of the pots. It is a fun departure from her textured slab built work. Here she is carving a large mixing bowl.
Spring & Summer, 2010 This year Philadelphia has had a most beautiful Spring Season. It was a long season with great weather and lush with flowers and greens. We take frequent walks along the river which includes the grounds of the Philadelphia Museum of Art which is in our back yard.
Once again this year, we had pleasure of watching morning doves prepare their nest in our flowering pear tree. We watched as the mother dove sat on her nest and saw the baby chick heads pop out to get fed. Here are the young doves about a week after they flew out of the nest. We watched as the parents pushed them to fly. We live in a big city and planting this tree has brought the miracles of nature right outside our bedroom window.
Every year we await the week that the bleeding hearts bloom in the Azalea Garden near our house. They are truly amazing flowers.
Sandi rowing on the Schulylkill River, a short walk from home. This is after she won her first and only race. Rowing is for fun, exercise, seeing birds and yellow-bellied turtles sunning on rocks. Being on the river is glorious!
This Year We Celebrate 10 Years in our Studio Building as Neighborhood Potters!
This year NCECA (National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts) was held in Philadelphia. Our Pots & Potters Showcase held the week of the conference was a huge success with visitors from all over the world. We were very excited to host this group of dear friends and amazing potters. Thank you to all who attended any of our events.
March 31 – April 3, 2010 – Pots & Potters Showcase & Sale
Below are some photos of our studio during our Pots & Potters Event.
Susan Filley display Linda McFarling display Nick Joerling display
Ellen Shankin display
Lisa Naples diplay
Our group at the end of the sale, celebrating friendship and pots!
Mary Barringer, editor of Studio Potter Magazine thanking the members during their member party at our studio during NCECA.
Lisa Naples & Kristen Kieffer at the Studio Potter reception.
So far this winter in Philadelphia has been one dig out after another. We have already had more snow than ever in the recorded history of snow here. Despite hours of shoveling and chipping away at inchcs of ice formed underneath, we have really enjoyed this winter. Our city neighborhood is pretty jumping after a big snow storm. The bars are packed and there are many impromptu parties since everyone can walk somewhere when you live in a city. We have been cooking and baking up a storm in our kitchen, and spending long hours making pots in the studio. It is a great sight to look out the window and see snow falling. It always seems eventful to us. We can really enjoy the snow because we do not own a car, and that is one less thing to dig out! We have enjoyed walking around taking photos of our newly glazed landscape.
Our little row house and our cat Ruby looking to come back inside after romping on the deck in the snow. We usually don’t show photos of Ruby, but this one is pretty darn cute and he is quite a character.
Sandi recently taught a workshop at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Afterward, she worked in the studio with her dear friend, Michele Ginouves who lives in Brooksville, Florida and makes large scale coil pots. The landscape in Florida is very different from Philadelphia and the plants there are great source of inspiration for form, texture and Decoration. Below are photos of Michele and her amazing pots and also of various plants on Michele’s land.
The photos below are various plants surrounding her house.
Back in Philadelphia, some photos of our beautiful winter landscape in Fairmount Park where we love to walk. We live right near the Schuylkill River and watching nature change during each season of the year never ceases to amaze us.
The Fall is always very busy with getting ready for our studio sale. Below are some photos of the studio in action and of our most recent sale. We always have live music at our Friday night opening and this year we did something different and had The Sunshine Boys Barber Shop Quartet. They sang a variety of old time and holiday songs and everyone had a great time eating, drinking, shopping and looking at pots!
The Handbuilt Conference that Sandi organized was a huge success! See photos.
Demonstrators Hayne Bayless, Lisa Naples, Sandi Pierantozzi & Holly Walker
Our little back yard deck. This year it exploded with color from all of the rain!
This year we planted “Zuchetta” the Italian version of Zucchini. This is a wild and crazy vegetable and so delicious cooked up in olive oil and garlic. We have been feasting on it!
In August and September Neil had a solo show at the mt burton gallery in Surf City, NJ. It was a beautiful show and Neil had good sales there despite the economy.
Neil with his work just before the opening reception.
Neil and gallery owner, Matt Burton. The opening was on a beautiful summer evening.
In August we visited Chicago and had a fantastic time in the city. This “Cloud Gate” a sculpture by Aneesh Kappor in Millennium Park downtown. We had great fun interacting with this scupture!
We had a very busy and productive summer. We began our summer with a “Clay Vacation” at the Burnsville, North Carolina studio of our dear friend, Linda McFarling. Our friend and fellow potter, Peg Malloy, from Carbondale, Colorado joined us this time. We did this a few years ago with Linda, and a couple of years before that with our good friend, Silvie Granatelli at her studio in Floyd, Virginia. Working in the studio together is a great way to share ideas, learn techniques from each other, cook and eat great meals together and then go back into our own studios with “new juice!”
Linda’s studio in a beautiful setting
We got right to work and Sandi, Linda and Peg decided to work on pitchers… who could throw the tallest one? We worked hard and laughed a lot!
Linda pulling the spout on a pitcher and Sandi can’t believe she threw something that tall…she can throw, but her first love is slab building so this was great practice and incentive to keep making pitchers on the wheel.
While we were there we had the pleasure of watching hay get bailed. We learned all about how the farmers know when the hay is ready. Very interesting for us city folk! The smell in the air on that beautiful evening was amazing.
The next thing we decided to work on was faceting with kinked up wire. This was such a great thing to explore. The photos above show the beginning of a teapot.
This is the teapot that Peg made from the faceted cylinder. Sandi showed Peg how to make a slab spout that was darted to work with the form.
Neil decided he was just going to coil build the whole week since he mainly works on the wheel at home. Above he is working on the pot which is finished on the right.
Every day when we finally stopped for lunch we walked up this hill to eat on Linda’s huge porch with a beautiful view of the valley below.
Sandi and Neil coil building.
Sandi and Linda working on various ways to finish the rim of a hump mold pot. Coil pots by Neil in background and a coiled condiment dish by Sandi.
Good handles were a big topic. Here are Linda & Peg with freshly pulled handles.
Linda shows us how to make a large bowl with a fat hollow rim. She is amazing!
Here is one of Linda’s beautiful casseroles. Big love and thanks to Linda for having us all there for this week of work and fun. Neil, Sandi and Peg were also celebrating 20 years of friendship. They all met each other at Anderson Ranch in July, 1989 at a workshop lead by Chris Staley. Through lots of letters, and a few visits over the years, they kept in touch and remained good friends and Sandi & Neil got married!
Back Home in Our Studio
Sandi is always exploring new surfaces and over the past year has been trying her hand at slip trailing. It is like drawing and writing at the same time, which is the thing she loves about it. Although it challenging to learn and master, it is a technique she is excited about and plans to continue and explore in her work.
More slip trailed work. Although Sandi still mostly slab builds, she is giving herself some time on the wheel this summer to expand and grow. At this point she has two styles emerging, one with her decorated wheel work, and her textured handbuilt work keep changing to include some larger pieces and new surface ideas. There is so much to learn, and so much room for growth!
Neil working on a new teapot, and another finished coil pot.
Some of Neil’s new teapots in progress.
Some new tall slab built vases by Sandi waiting to be carved and decorated, and more summer flowers from our favorite garden behind the Art Museum.
Sandi’s exploration into Sake Sets, thrown and slip trailed.
Spring has transformed our city landscape into a wonderland of color. As always we are busy making pots!
Neil demonstrates during our annual Fairmount Arts Crawl & a glimpse of the studio set up for our Spring Open House & Sale.
Sandi & Neil glazing work for a commission.
Sandi unloading finished cups for commission from the kiln.
Neil’s finished commission for breadstick holders & dipping bowls.
We had a few studio projects to do, such as adding more shelves for our student work and also changing our workspace to include a small retail area. We were ready to get back to making pots!
Our new retail area chock full of pots, jewelry and handmade cards.
Finally back in gear and happily making pots. Time to fill the shelves!
Sandi continues to explore porcelain with these new pots and keeps adding new stamps to her already extensive palette of designs.
Although we are ready for Spring and look forward to planting our garden, we have had some good snow and ice storms that transformed our urban landscape into a bit of a wonderland. This transformation is much like what happens when we glaze our pots.
Pines and winter cabbages glisten after an ice storm.
Neil working on a spoon.
Sandi has always made pouring pots and is constantly working on making them pour well. This is a new series she has been working on in porcelain. They are happy pots that beg to be picked up!
Time for work and time for play. We only get to do this once a year!
Our back yard wall…these look like little lidded pots!
Our classes are in full swing and the students are making some great work. Here are two figures by Olivia Coran and part of a sculptural piece by Anina Banks. We love that they bring us their great energy.
May through October 2008
Below are some photos of work in progress, the Azalea Garden at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in all of its Autumn glory, last Spring in Italy, our backyard paradise at home, and some of the beautiful bounty from our plot at the local community garden in Summer.
Noah Beytin, our new assistant.
ITALY! May/June, 2008. We had a fantastic Adventure in Italy! We traveled alone for two weeks walking miles every day. Went to Rome, Florence, Venice and Cinque Terre, and then hooked up with a group of other potters in Siena to go to Volterra, in Tuscany, where we rented a villa for a week. What a week it was. Traveling to small towns, visiting museums together, cooking, eating, and drinking chianti! There were eleven of us, and we felt so fortunate to have been invited to participate in this great adventure with a group of favorite potters and friends from all across the country. Let us have a toast to clay, which brought us all together.
Here we are in Colle Val d’Elsa, a beautiful little town. Going around the table from the left: Gail Kendall, Mary Law, Josephine Rand, Jim Newlin, Silvie Granatelli, Suze Lindsay, Kent McLaughlin, Malcolm Davis, Clary Illian and us.
This is a photo of one of the rooms at the Etruscan Museum in Volterra, which houses an amazing collection of Etruscan art and POTS. A paradise for potters!
This is Manarola, one of the villages in Cinque Terre which means “Five Lands.” There are five villages all along the Lagurian Coast and you can hike from village to village along the coastline. It was breathtaking and we had beautiful weather.
This is us stopping to take in the view on one of our hikes to the villages.
Murano – This is a paradise if you are a glass artist. There are glass furnaces and shops all over Murano which is a short vaporetto ride from Venice. The Glass Museum was filled with amazing work including many glass pots. These next couple of photos are of some of the public art on Murano.
We loved this giant abacus…they are giant beads!
Burano – Catch another vaporetto (boat bus) to Burano which is where they make lace by hand. A beautiful and very colorful little island. Thanks for checking in and taking the time to indulge with us about our trip. We are filled with much inspiration from all of the pots, architecture, windows, doors, textures, food and drink. Look for new work from both of us. We were very ready to get our hands back in clay and filter through all of our new ideas for pots. Keep checking in to see what happens with our work. Ciao!
We are constantly adding new information and images here so please keep checking in for updates. As always, you can contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions about our work or the classes and workshops we offer.