Featured Artisan Michael Adcock
   

Our Artisans - Michael Adcock

View Michael Adcock's art work
 

        

Michael Adcock, vessel artistAfter working in their separate media in the same studio for five years, Michael and Christine Adcock began to see the rich potential in combining clay and fiber. Working together, they have created a collection of vessels that integrate low-fired stoneware, natural fibers, metals and other media into harmonious union. The earthy, primitive tonalities and textures of the fibers and of the sagger and smoke-fired stoneware combine to create a vessel that reveals the various media as being not only mutually compatible, but as actually enhancing the inherent beauty of each.

Michael and Christine have been collaborating for over 20 years, and have never ceased to be inspired by the possibilities of their craft. Their work is published and displayed in galleries, museums and interior design showrooms throughout the United Sstates, Canada, Europe and Japan. The Smithsonian Magazine recently presented their work as an example of the best in the modern American Craft Movement.

Michael began his formal studies in Art and Ceramics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. While there, he studied under the distinguished potter and teacher, Al Johnsen, and later became his apprentice. Michael graduated with honors in 1972 with a combined degree in Ceramics and Art History. He went on to become a successful studio potter, producing a line of hand-decorated porcelain and stoneware functional pottery that was exhibited and sold throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan.

While living in Puerto Rico and Mexico, Christine became interested in the functional art of indigenous people. She later enrolled as an Art major at the University of California. After several years of intensive study, Christine contacted some of the few remaining American indigenous weavers, and arranged to live with them as an apprentice on the Papago reservation. These women shared with her the spirit as well as the skills of their ancient craft. Later, Christine worked with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History in a program to revitalize the art of Chumash basketry. Christine's work is displayed in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan.

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The process of creating these collaborative vessels of clay and natural fibers is an extended one, spanning a period of several weeks for each piece. All vessel forms are first hand-thrown on a potter's wheel, or hand-built from slabs. When the form has dried sufficiently to allow handling (the "leather hard" stage) the form is then trimmed. This means that excess clay is shaved off with a sharp tool in a process similar to that by which wood is shaped on a lathe. After this, all notching, carving, and drilling on the pot is completed in preparation for later addition of the fibers. The pot is then allowed to dry completely.

The first firing, the "bisque firing," hardens the clay. The second, the "sagger firing," is the color firing. Each pot is placed in a larger, lidded clay jar, called a "sagger." A variety of combustible and inert materials, along with various mineral oxides and salts, are carefully packed into the space between the two vessels. The saggers are then stacked in a gas kiln where they are fired at a lower temperature. As the materials in the sagger burn off, the smoke and fumes that are created permeate the clay body and color the pot. The pots are removed from the kiln and saggers, cooled, and prepared for the application of the fiber.

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We use only hand-gathered, natural materials,mostly indigenous to the area where we live. These include Torrey Pine needles, Date Palm fruit stalks, Date Palm inflorescence, river willow, cottonwood, Eucalyptus bark, Dracaena Drago leaves, broom corn, Jacaranda seed pods, dried leaves and flower petals, Acacia seed pods, and birch bark imported from Maine. Some of these fibers are dyed or hand-painted to achieve shades and hues that will integrate with the colors of the clay surfaces. They are then attached to the vessels by stitching, gluing, inlaying and weaving techniques.

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We have also recently begun to use hand-made papers from all over the world, as well as those we make ourselves. Our intention in making these pieces is to create vessels that will reveal and enhance the inherent beauty of the natural materials that we use. About Urns.

We would like to introduce you to a new line of urns and reliquaries. For over 20 years, Christine and Michael Adcock have been creating a line of fine art ceramics, which they have sold in galleries and high-end museum shows throughout the United States and Canada. In response to frequent requests for memorial urns, we have created a line of vessels specifically intended for that purpose.

Our spirit box urns are designed to hold the plastic containers used by the funeral industry for cremains; all our other urns feature plastic liner bags. Our vessels are elegant art objects, and are suitable for use in the memorial ceremony, even when the final intention is to spread the ashes. Smithsonian Magazine featured our work as an outstanding example of the modern American Crafts movement. However our urns are used, they are beautiful, life affirming vessels, which have been treasured as art pieces for many years.

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All Pricing includes Free Shipping by UPS Ground
and Free Insurance for the Full Retail Value of the Item.


floral deco box, stone box
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floral spirit box, stone box
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tall autumn leaf spirit box
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paper tea pot
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small vase
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medium vase
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