People’s choice awards announced for ceramics artists at CMC/Art Guild show |

People’s choice awards announced for ceramics artists at CMC/Art Guild show

“Broken Spheres,” by Suzanne Graf, first-place people's choice winner.
Special to the Daily |

Peoples Choice awards (ceramics)

First place: “Broken Spheres,” by Suzanne Graf

Second place: “Catch and Release,” by Willow Murphy

Third place: “Shino Tall Jar,” by Bonnie Franklin

EDWARDS — More than 300 works of art are on display at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Edwards through Oct 29. All ceramics, photographs and paintings are by CMC students and members of the Vail Valley Art Guild. During the opening reception on Aug. 21, visitors voted on their favorite works of art. The top three artists are all enrolled in ceramics classes at CMC and are members of the Vail Valley Art Guild.


Suzanne Graf’s delicate work titled “Broken Spheres” was constructed using a paper clay technique and took top honors. Watery clay, called “slip,” was mixed with shredded cellulose paper and rolled out into a paper-thin layer. Once the layer was somewhat dry, it was carefully formed around inflated balloons and left to dry. When the clay was totally dry and the balloons removed, the insides were painted with an under glaze. The spheres were then fired in a kiln. The result is a delicate porcelain finish on the outside and vibrant colors on the inside of each sphere. Graf is currently teaching art at the Vail Mountain School.


Willow Murphy, the second-place winner, is a ceramics instructor at CMC. She created a mirror framed in mosaic tiles and custom ceramic fish titled “Catch and Release.” The tiles are remnants from a local flooring studio that were repurposed to provide a harmonious frame for the skeletal-like fish. The mirror itself was mounted on plywood, and the ceramic tiles were applied using mastic and grout. The ceramic fish, which resemble fish fossils, were handmade and treated with under glazes before firing.

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Bonnie Franklin’s third-place entry is titled “Shino Tall Jar.” Shino refers to the type of glaze used. The jar was thrown on a wheel and altered with the addition of handles and a top. The jar has two colors, a carbon trap shino glaze and an unglazed band of red. A thin plastic bag was tied around a portion of the clay and then the glaze was applied to create the effect. The part covered by the plastic resulted in the unglazed red color. The jar was then fired in a kiln at 2,381 degrees. This extreme temperature traps carbon and results in what is known as a “shino glaze.” Franklin retired after a 30-year career teaching art in Eagle Valley high schools.

All of the art at the CMC/Vail Valley Art Guild Art Show is available for purchase at the CMC library. CMC is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

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