MIDWEST FIRE FEST ARTISTS 2023
Broadwing Clay Studio
JOHN LUPIEZOWIEC – BLOOMING METAL
Fort Atkinson, WI
John Heats and welds various types of metals, copper, steel, and brass fand forms them to create his art.
John is also part of the sculpture support team.
Amanda’s work investigates the conflict and harmony between steel and fiber. By exploring the dualities of the materials she works with, she seeks to expose the similarly riotous natures within people, relationships, and between the lager systems of human societies. Amanda enjoys discovering how fiber and metal can be transformed and combined in surprising ways in order to create visual metaphors that reflect journeys of trial and conflict, resolving to find harmony and create peace.
TONY & MINDY WINCHESTER
Tony loves to facet, alter and add sculptural elements to my wheel thrown forms, using a mix of cone 10 stoneware and B-Clay, colored slips, and spraying contrasting glazes, seeking both depth and detail in color, and contrasts of texture that will accentuate the sculptural aspects of his forms. Tony collaborates with his wife Mindy, together they each add their own unique slip-trailed imagery. They do reduction firing, but salt-firing is their current passion as they are always seeking new and exciting surfaces.
CRICKET HILL POTTERY
With degrees in art education Rich & Liz continue to “teach” through their work and face to face sales. Liz works primarily with hand-built techniques. By using thrown pots as supports for her forms she retains the linear qualities of the construction as a decorative base for glazing. Each piece has a unique pallet of colors chosen from over 200 glaze colors.
CRICKET HILL POTTERY
With degrees in art education Rich & Liz continue to “teach” through their work and face to face sales. Rich works mostly with wheel turned forms that are assembled into sculptural forms, each vase or sculpture is cut with patterns based in nature.
Nataure-inspired, handcrafted jewelry, created using a technique know as fold-forming. Metal is heated repeatedly while folding, forging, and forming it. Jewelry is made from copper, and sometimes sterling silver or brass. Etching and traditional metalsmith techniques are often combined wit the folding of the metal. Stones, beads, and found objects are sometimes included. Each piece of jewelry is a small sculptural piece of wearable art that celebrates the natural world. (and fire!)
CJ Bliss Metal Art
As an artist, CJ is drawn to the raw, elemental nature of steel, its strength and flexibility, and the ways it can be transformed and manipulated. I am equally fascinated by the possibilities presented by combining it with other media, and how disparate materials can be brought together to create something new. I often incorporated salvaged materials, such as stone, tile, various scraps, or repurposed metal. I also use wood and epoxy resins, which imbue the steel with warmth and color.
Barbara Di Ulio
Dichroic glass is highlighted in all of Barbara’s work. The glass is cut, cold worked, layered and kiln fired via her original firing programs.
“Strict timing and temperature control allows me to vary my result, ranging from tailored clean lines to electric, textured looks. I often chemically etched my designs into the dichroic coatings, further individualizing my pieces. Many pieces incorporate titanium. Anodized to alter its natural color. All work is original in design and technique.”
The Metalest Works
“The potential of re-purposed materials are an inspiration to the sculpture artist. The use of these materials with their configurations in the welding process is most rewarding in the puzzling of parts in a sculpted collage creation. The variety of sizes and shapes, are each fantasy inspired pieces of whimsical, wild or domestic decent, for shelf and garden display. As an artist, he is a hobbyist at heart, by which my work cannot be determined from my play.”
Glen Cutcher Pottery
Glen makes contemporary functional pottery in stoneware.
“I’ve been making pottery and working in clay for nearly 50 years now and see no reason to stop now.”
StormCloak Forge, LLC
Blacksmithing has been a calling for Sam Laturi for over 25 years. From inspiration to installation, he creates ironwork to last lifetimes. Sam takes pride in designing and creating everything from simple roses to complex commercial designs. His hop is for people to find his work useful in their daily lives and be inspired to create their own. He has taught blacksmithing to hundreds of students and inspired many more while demonstrating this ancient craft at events throughout the Midwest.
Howling Wolf Knifeworks
Pat has 17 years’ experience in metalwork and makes forged custom knives for all purposes in plain steel 80Cry2 or high layer Damascus, copper san mai or stainless san mai. This year Pat has added a fiber laser engraver to the shop and has been adding embellishments or decorations to his work. Pat has been on History channels Forged in Fire (2019) and Knife or Death (2018).
Sam Hitchman Ceramics LLC
Thrown & altered vessels made with a porcelaneous stoneware. Numerous house-made slips & glazes are dipped and sprayed to enhance the sculptural forms which are inspired by the lines and colors found in nature. All work is gas fired to either cone 11 reduction or cone 12 oxidation
REFRACTIONS OF LIGHT, LLC
Sun Prairie, WI
As an artist, Andrea creates spontaneous pieces following no strict influence. Working in powders, frit and sheet glass, she uses techniques such as flow and pattern bars, and strip constructions to make kiln form pieces that are functional and/or art.
RICHARD’S FIRESTARTERS AND CERAMIC
Richard Berkholtz is the owner and operator of Richard’s Firestarters. Richard lost his site in 2015 and since then has been staying creatively active by making art and starting his own business.
In the past seven years, using adaptive equipment and natural materials, Richard has developed his own process to design, manufacture, package and sell his firestarters.
Before losing his sight, Richard enjoyed his creative side working with metal to make sculptures and creations for friends and family, so after his accident it was a natural progression into his art practice today, incorporating textures in ceramic work and continuing to investigate ways to add tactile design elements.
Richard works with ArtWorking. A Madison area nonprofit program that provides career development and support for artists and entrepreneurs with disabilities.
BY ANNIE GOLDMAN
Annie’s pots are all wheel thrown. Her glazing techniques vary from a splash of glazes to her own “Moon Rising Motif”. She purposely leaves exposed areas of unglazed clay body in all her pieces, giving each pot a wonderful visual and contrast. Annie is proud to produce affordable, beautiful & functional pieces which her customers can enjoy and use for years. All pieces are microwave/dishwasher/oven safe.
CAMBRIDGE WOOD-FIRED POTTERY
With over 40 years of throwing pots in the US and France, and inspired by Japanese and European traditions, each piece of Mark’s work takes on a spirit of its own. He’s a founder of Midwest Fire Fest, pouring a ton of energy into helping the Cambridge area elevate the arts, and is a member of The Clay Collective.
JOE FRANK MCKEE
Joe Frank is a potter residing in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. He enjoys participating in art festivals around the country and the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival, a yearly event in NC. Joe Frank creates a wide range of work, from the low-fired Horsehair, Raku and Fumed families to high-fired functional pieces for everyday use. He strives to create pots that appeal to a wide range of people and that reflect natural scenes in an abstract and contemporary way.
DEMO: “I will be demonstrating 2 or 3 of my decorative lines. All are low fired and can be heated in an electric or a gas kiln. Each line is finished with heat and fire in a different way. The smoked black burns in a small lidded can filled with paper until it cools. The horsehair has feathers, strands of hair and sugar burned onto the piece at about 950 degrees. The raku is a crowd pleaser due to the fire burning directly on the pot in a rubbing alcohol reduction.”
KATE MAROTZ CERAMICS
Kate makes pinched stoneware objects that combine sculptural qualities with functional ware. The forms are both familiar and unfamiliar to the user, bringing genuine interest to the details of daily life through their use. The process used to create each object increases the tactile quality and makes the work approachable and a little playful. Tension is created by handles compressing forms or the visual weight of one layer pressing down on another. The organic forms are inspired by chrysalides, shells, seed pods, and other natural vessels. Every vantage point of each piece is different, inviting the user to handle and investigate every object. Some pieces are rather tame, while others verge on precarious.
The objects are both natural and man-made, functional and sculptural, familiar and unfamiliar.
Ric Lamore has worked as a production potter in the area for over 30 years. In his own Broadwing Clay Studio, Ric splits his time between two distinct lines of work; functional pots which are either gas or wood fired and more sculptural pots which are pit fired.
DEMO: Witness Ric’s pit fired process during his DEMO loading and starting the pit fire Saturday, July 22 at noon, Unloading and a chance to buy one of a kind pots happens at Noon Sunday, July 23.
RYAN MYERS CERAMICS
Ryan was raised on cartoons and comic books, super heroes and villains. Growing up around Native American artifacts and American antiques, he learned early to appreciate the intimate qualities of aged objects: the textures of rusty iron and crawling paint on old furniture. Things that come with embedded narrative and a worn history have always surrounded him.
Many of the objects he creates join the realms of sculpture and utility. Not always concerned with “pretty” though form, color and shape are important to him, the notion of function in his work is important as well, but not but is not the primary focus. His pieces are a combination of thrown and hand-building processes.
GUNS TO GARDEN TOOLS
Jeff Wild is aware of the devastating effects gun violence has upon families, friends and communities. As a Lutheran pastor he presided at six funerals where the cause of death was from suicide by use of a firearm. His guns to garden tools is inspired by a biblical passage, “they will best their swords into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks.” (Isaiah 2:4) The first annual guns to garden tools gun buyback on June 11 2023 took place in thirteen cities around the country. Wild organized the first guns to garden tools buyback in Wisconsin.
Upper Midwest Blacksmith Association
We call our events Other Side of the Anvil.
• Make it yourself. Volunteer blacksmiths work one-on-one with guests to forge a bottle opener.
• Free of charge.
• Experience forging. We hold the hot iron. You swing the hammer. Together we make something.
• Everyone gets to be a blacksmith and take home what they make.