Visit to Richard Bresnahan's Studio 5/09

Last week, gallery staff member Linda LaNasa and I drove to St. John's University, north of St. Cloud, MN, to visit gallery artist Richard Bresnahan at his studio.  Our purpose was two-fold:  to meet to discuss planning for a new show of Richard's work and that of several of his apprentices, and to have Richard give Linda the full tour of the studio, explaining all aspects of studio operations, and the philosophies behind all that they do.  Ecological conservation is very important to Richard, and it underlies all aspects of studio operations:  equipment is reclaimed/recycled, water from the University power plant is re-used over and over in the studio for washing ash and clay; and the ash for the glazes that they formulate there all comes from burning that was already happening for other reasons - straw from farmer's fields, fallen trees etc.

No visit to Richard's studio is complete without tea and treats at the beautiful Japanese-style tea table that is the centerpiece of the studio.  We outlined plans for the new show around the table, then went down to the kiln where Richard told us about all aspects of the firing process, as well as the extensive cleaning and maintenance work that goes on in between firings.  The Johanna kiln is the largest wood-fired kiln in North America - at 84 ft. long, it consists of four separate firing chambers.  The next firing of the kiln is planned for the Fall of 2011, just prior to the opening of the new show at The Grand Hand in early October.

I will have more info on our visit, and more photos of the studio and the Johanna kiln in a separate post.  I see that while I have been away, colleague Rachel Nusbaum had already gotten photos of the new work that we brought back from Richard's up in a blog post below!  How's that for teamwork?!  

That's all for now, from Ann in Las Vegas - still one more day of trade shows to go.  Have found some wonderful new artists, and new work for existing gallery artists for the Fall.

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