Name: jason mahlke
Comment: I recently contacted Alison to plead for a private tutorial on mold making. I had a staggeringly complex face jug that I needed to make multiple copies of and a fast approaching deadline.
Alison spared me the pleading and generously found a time around my schedule to conduct the lesson. I have participated and worked in many firings at her kiln–which, by the way, is an astoundingly responsive and robustly efficient kiln– so I appreciated her professional and earnest view of the arts. But I have always been equally impressed by her warm and generous willingness to share her time and formidable expertise. I didn’t hesitate to ask her for help for one moment when I began this project.
I’m so glad I did. This mold making lesson trumped even those previous cheerful experiences. Her studio is capacious and impressively clean. It is bright and practically and thoughtfully furnished for playful experimentation or focused task-driven work. And as this work began, her expertise again became astonishingly apparent. With little deliberation–a few turns of the piece I brought in–she set to helping me map it out and get started. What seemed at first an arduous, if not utterly foolish prospect, she turned into a manageable and dare I say even pleasant experience! “Pleasant” while dealing with plaster?! That cloudy, floating, splashy, unruly stuff? Even so.
While she made sure that I did the work–thank you for that Alison–she was ever within earshot or arms’ reach to attend to questions or simply pass a scrupulous eye over my labors.
I completed my work, thanks to Alison, ahead of schedule. I cannot recommend her workshop, lessons, kiln…HER! strongly enough. She is a wildly inspiring artist with an encouraging and instructive way. Seek her out and watch your creations materialize–come to life–right before your eyes.
Thursday March 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm
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I just wanted to thank Alison for the great workshop and you both for the wonderful hospitality and fun of the whole weekend. Alison, you’re an excellent teacher, I learned so much, and I can’t wait to see how the various critters turn out! – Martha Loomis – April, 2012
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That workshop was so much fun. Thank you. I look forward to doing some more pieces to compliment my etchings. I’ll be visiting a goat farm to shoot some photos, maybe a goat series will be in the works!
The other day I visited Susan’s (my workshop table mate, from White Plains) son’s coffee shop in Hudson, NY. He made my sister & I some delicious specialty coffees. He has an interesting coffee/tea internet cafe. He resembles Susan too, a real sweet guy. Part of the fun of workshops is making those connections.
You run a wonderful studio & community workspace, a real inspiration to see.
Hope to see you soon,
Joan Levitt – April 2012
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Thanks! I really enjoyed the weekend we spent there. Thanks again for the great workshop and hosting us. Can’t wait to see our creatures. Yup, pack ‘em up and we’ll find a way to get them. Your jar people are happily placed in my home. I love them, thank you. – Molly Cantor – April, 2012
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Hi there – I bought one of your KATZFISH at the NJ show last fall, and it has a prominent place on our coffee table. My wife and I both love it. And if I had known you were married to Steve (who I met but did not recognize), and if I had known that he was THAT Steve Katz, I might have babbled on about how I love his music and still have my Blues Project and BS&T albums. Vinyl albums. My, what a talented twosome you are. Best regards – David Cowen – April, 2012
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After checking out the email of your recent 42nd firing, I had the strong internal message this morning, as I walked my dogs, that I needed to buy the Dog. A wonderful birthday present to myself, I thought. When I got home, and logged into your website, I was rocked! SOLD.
Just know, we are all watching your beautiful pieces emerge and feel so lucky you share your love with the world.
Enjoy creating – we are here to support you!
All the best, Carolyn Lackey – May 2012
Again, it was a fabulous workshop!
I certainly will come back
Thank you for your hospitality and the wonderful organization
Christa Schneider – June 2012
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Having spent the last 35 years of my life as a production potter, I felt “burned out” both physically and psychologically. I couldn’t imagine my life without daily hours in the studio making pots, but here I was, uninspired and avoiding clay. When I saw the opportunity to take a workshop with Gay Smith, someone whose work intrigued me both aesthetically and technically, I decided that it might just be what I needed. And the price is so reasonable. Gay is a wonderful, generous teacher and has much information to impart. Starting with the basics of throwing a cylinder and then fluting and faceting with the clay juicy and still wet on the wheel to create an immediacy and fluidity that had bewildered me before seeing Gay’s seemingly effortless altering. Even the simple act of cutting a piece off the hump by wrapping a taut string around the foot of the pot has now been added to my routine of throwing. Allison’s studio is clean, airy spacious and well organized. She’s gracious and generous with her space and the delicious food she provides. The workshop with Gay was exactly what I needed to bring back the excitement and love I have for making pots. – Ellen Reznick – June, 2012