Fire and Fiber at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild
Robert Compton's pottery and Christine Homer's weaving will be on view at the Guild from August 12 through September 26.
Compton's pottery ranges from petite porcelain tea bowls to huge urns reminiscent of Greek amphora. Robert's inventive nature has created such unusual works as hanging stoneware aquariums and 6 foot tall porcelain waterfalls.
Robert set up his pottery in 1972, on a former dairy farm in Bristol, Vermont. It has expanded into an extensive studio with an eclectic mixture of architecture and buildings.
His studio is unique in having a wide variety of kilns built by him; including a Japanese style "Noborigama" two-chambered kiln, a single chambered salt kiln, a Raku kiln, a gas fired car kiln, as well as a primitive pit kiln. Each kiln fires pots in a specific and unusual manner marking the surface of pots with flashes of color and texture.
His work is comprised of functional Stoneware pottery as well as decorative Raku and Pit Fired vessels. Traditional glazes such as Temmoku, Celadon and Shino are enhanced by "fly ash". Toasty blushes of color mark the unglazed portions of pots fired in the wood kiln. Pots with nearly identical forms may enter the firing, but each will emerge with a color, texture and character unique to its placement in the kiln. Wood firing requires a large expenditure of time and energy, but no other firing method gives such honest and distinctive results.
Christine Homer, Robert's wife, has had an interest in weaving and spinning, from a young age. Visiting outdoor history museums as a child introduced her to historic textile tools.
Her path in textiles began at Philadelphia College of Art followed by teaching art in a public school. After graduate school she worked at Philipsburg Manor, a living history museum in NY.
Cooking on an open hearth, milking cows, running a water-powered grist mill, spinning and weaving inspired her to continue her love of history & textiles when she moved to Vermont in 1980. She raises Border Leicester sheep, a source of wool fiber she washes, cards and spins into skeins of yarn.
After years of working with wool, silk, and cotton, Christine now focuses on weaving Rayon Chenille scarves and shawls, using a counter balanced Le Clerc loom. Chenille is a woven yarn, which gives a velvet feeling to the work she makes.
Rayon is a fiber made from cellulose, created as an alternative to silk. Rayon has a natural sheen and shows color well. Color is important aspect of Christine’s work, using subtle colors or vibrant blends that call to her when she is creating a new warp for her loom.