Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A show not to miss... Andrew Otis, potter

Featured Artist: Andrew Otis

Opening Thursday August 15 from 6-8 pm.

Parkside Arts Council is proud to announce August’s feature artist, Andrew Otis. Don’t miss this display of unique pottery, from small pieces such as mugs and bowls to six-foot tall vessels. Andrew attributes his interest in clay artistry to his parents David and June Otis, of Otis Pottery in East Jordan. He grew up watching his parents in their studio in Germany and in East Jordan and then studied art at Hope College. He did not truly become interested in creating clay pieces until after college graduation, when he began helping out in his parent’s studio. He began as an apprentice and soon began creating his own designs and handling the production pieces for the pottery. For the last three years, Andrew has found a fascination in creating stoneware vessels from three to six feet tall.

There are endless variations of pottery depending upon the type of clay used, the glazes, the techniques, the types of kilns used, and the temperatures reached to fire the pieces. Andrew creates vessels using stoneware clay and firing them to approximately 2400 degrees. He uses a variety of glazes for unique colors and effects, and he fires the pieces in gas, electric and wood kilns to produce different styles. The large pieces offer a rich canvas from which to create a bold design or sculpture. Andrew enjoys carving into the pieces to add dimension and effect. The task of throwing large amounts of clay on the wheel as well as handling their vast size during glazing and firing can be quite a physical challenge.

Andrew finds inspiration from nature, shares inspiration from his parents and also finds some design ideas in Japanese art. Andrew travels throughout Michigan and the United States entering his pieces in art shows. In 2013 he has won First Place in Ceramics at St. Stephen’s Art Festival in Coconut Grove, Miami; Third Place Ceramics in Vero Beach, Florida; Honorable Mention at Art Rapids! in Elk Rapids; and Best of Show in Petoskey.

We invite you to drop by Parkside Arts Council Gallery and view these creative vessels. Andrew Otis Pottery can also be seen at his studio located two miles south of Ironton on M-66. Visit or contact him at 231.536.7856.