Tag Archives: clay

Artist Highlight: Andy Tarrant

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Trespasser Ceramics Samian Ware (I love this piece)

I met Andrew Tarrant years ago and he was already making truly awesome pottery. A graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design, it looks like he hit the ground running and has been a successful enough artist to make a living and support his family. He teaches from time to time and then works on his wares.

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A jar made with sprigs of Andrew’s design.

Andrew Tarrant’s Trespasser Ceramics blends old and new. There is an obvious love of the medievaland ancient art that influences his pieces, whether, Celtic knotwork, green men, Venus of Willendorf, Roman figures or other historical elements. But he blends his pieces with other designs, which can be fantastical or just different. He has made teapots with a gear design, and other steampunk inspired pieces. While he does mostly vessels, he has created one of a kind pieces such as busts that incorporate sprigs.

Sprigs are a mold designed ornamentation that can then be made over and over and applied to the thrown pot. This is one of the signature elements of Trespasser Ceramics. He also uses the clay with a wash and specific applications of a shinier glaze, as evidenced in these pictures.

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Andrew’s steamed teapot blends elements of steampunk in clay.

As in the middles ages, Andy would be considered a master of his guild. His work is clean, precise and yet whimsical and beautiful. I aim to own a piece when I can afford it. His art ranges from beads that you can buy off of his site to large urns that are several feet tall. The art evinces both a feel of the ancient and mystical and of future bizarreness.

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What dark mysteries lie ahead in Andrew Tarrant’s studio as Cthulhu takes shape?

He is working on some mysterious new piece and from the sprigs he’s designingCthulhu will be involved. Cthulhu, for those who do not know, was created by writer H.P. Lovecraft and is revered by fans of horror and industrial metal alike. I’m sure everyone will be interested in seeing what this master artist comes up with.

You can check out Trespasser Ceramics at his website or on Facebook to see what he’s up to. And if you happen to be in Calgary, you could take a class from him or find his work in the local galleries. Anyone who owns a piece made by Trespasser Ceramics cherishes it for the unique and wonderful art that it is.

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Piggy Banks

I got talking with someone the other day about piggy banks. Her four-year-old daughter had got one for Christmas and although she didn’t ask for it was ecstatic about it, telling people she had “finally” got a piggy bank.

I mentioned how I had seen one that me and my siblings had as children. I think they were mapiggy-2ss produced in cheap plastic. It had cartoon style eyes, stood on its hind legs in overalls, and wore a cap. There was definitely no high class style to these and I think they show up from time to time in Value Village or vintage stores. These guys stood about 6-8 inches high and I know I never filled it with money, though there was the handy plug on the bottom should I need the coins.

piggyThe other piggy bank I had was a little ceramic pig, white with painted designs, similar to the one shown here (except there were no indentations). The slot was right on the top and I did store money in it, which then took some fancy maneuvering of shaking or wedging a knife in to try to get the coins to slide out. Along the way it broke, maybe from shaking it too much but it was patched back together.

Then many years later I was trying to save money to go to India. Vancouver’s West End had this area near Davie St. where people would set out items to sell. I put out various things, including books, jewellery and the old patched piggy bank. I never knew it would be such a hit. A gay guy came by and gushed all over it, how cute it was, how it was just the thing, etc. But then he left. Well I was trying to sell my stuff so when another guy came by to buy the broken pig, for all of a couple bucks I sold it. Then the first guy showed up an hour later and was incensed that I’d sold it. Hey guy, you snooze you loose.

Those are the only two piggy banks I’ve ever owned that were piggy shaped. I began to wonder why piggy banks came to be. Was it like the teddy bear, where Theodore Roosevelt played a major part. Well no, it seems that a type of clay was called pygg, and people used to save their money in pygg jars. In the 18th century the spelling changed and people made the connection, playing on the word.

According to Wikipedia the etymology of the word had a similar evolution in Indonesia with this 15th century Javanese pig. I would love to have a piggy bank that looked like this. Of course, these days I have no money to save…or it’s in the bank. WordPress has gone wacky. I’ll try to upload the picture later or you can go to Wiki and type in piggy bank.

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