Weston often experimented by cutting and pasting his slip cast forms
as with the three different lips on this slip-cast stoneware wine decanter, circa 1951
Andersen Studio was born in the age of plastics , a time when designers were defining a new modern and classic style that has remained influential to this day.
My parents, Weston and Brenda Andersen were contemporaries with Charles Eams , Russel Wright and Eva Zeisel, budding new young designers in the contemporary urban movement of their day. Before my parents veered off the beaten track and and moved to coastal Maine, they were located in New York City and then Akron Ohio, where Weston was the Dean of the Art School at the Akron Art Institute. There in Ohio, in a small Levitt style home, purchased with veterans benefits, the first simple and refined vases were slip cast in stoneware and thus began the Andersen studio line of American ceramic art and design that continues on to this day.
Weston quickly realized that it would not be possible to grow their business in the suburban neighborhood and after exploring several locations ,the young family headed off to the coast of Maine to design and manufacture contemporary ceramics using the hand crafted ceramic slip-casting method that Weston had learned from the illustrious Eva Zeisel in a course she taught at the Industrial design department at Pratt Institute. Their mission was to create hand-crafted products affordable to the middle class.
In the early 1950's Weston's Egg Form Vase with Lip won the Young Designers Award from Living Magazine . One of my favorite stories was told to me by the late Lois Seaman who saw my parents salt and pepper shakers in Living magazine and very much desired to own them. Much to her surprise she found them in the new gallery located in an old barn on a country road on Southport Island, right in her own backyard. Read More
The Ceramic Egg Form Vase with Lip designed by Weston Neil Andersen and
decoratedin a mid-century red figure pattern by Brenda Andersen circa 1960"
As you may know by now our first KickStarter Project received was not funded. I attribute this mainly to people not understanding what KickStarter is- or at least framing in in a very limited way But from the viewpoint of a small enterprise like ours, KickStarter is both Evolutionary and Revolutionary- read why HERE
The mold making project for the large Heron is on hold because I have sculpted my first bird sculpture and our mold-making budget will go toward making a mold of the Tufted Titmouse and developing it as a new product. I would like to find a gallery or galleries to market the Heron and our new limited edition line. We hope to be able to invest in the Heron project at some future date but I also have several other sculptures that I would like to do or complete and so there are choices to be made. I have found that sculpting is an excellent activity to do while keeping my father and founder of Andersen Studio company at the kitchen table. He has recently become very engaged in studying the sculptures for the first time since his brain injury a couple of years ago. I was sitting at the table working on the sculpture the other day when my father said "Why don't you show it to me": (he approves). Weston enjoys listening to the jazz classics of his own era while I keep him company at the kitchen table. The keeping of company seems most important and has a strongly evident affect. Dad sat on our front porch which looks out on the Mill Pond for several hours the other day. I have been trying to get him outside for years but he always said it was too cold. This time when I asked him if he was cold, he said "yes" but when I asked him if he wants to go in, he said "no".
There are several other sculptures started that I would like to work on but one has a special purpose as it is a very large Otter Sculpture begun by my father years ago but never completed. It represents an engaging start and I am also very curious to see how Dad might become engaged in seeing a sculpture develop which is his own.
We continue to work with the young woman who came to us with experience with another small ceramic company. She has experience in mold making . She is currently working with Elise on developing wholesale accounts and I hope she will also help us to locate galleries which can market our limited edition lines. She is eager to be involved in the productive process and so when we develop a larger budget for mold-making, I would like to try out her skills.
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Andersen Studio's vision for the future is the transformation of a small family business into a Ceramic Art and Design network of working partners in love with the alchemy of science and art that is inherent to handcrafted ceramics. The operation of a ceramic art and design and craftsman studio requires skills of all kinds from systems and business management, including legal expertise, marketing talent, including photography. graphic design and writing skills, production teamwork, knowledge of materials, glazes, and of course ceramic form design. We value the process of creating ceramics as much as we value the end result of that process, but the business of operating a successful ceramic art, design and production enterprise involves a wider range of skills than those specifically related to ceramics. All of it is creative. READ MORE