Artisans - Michael Adcock
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pricing includes Free Shipping by UPS Ground
and Free Insurance for the Full Retail Value of the Item.