Sunday, October 11, 2009

Autumnal Tints Artist - Robert Santerre

I'd like to start this blog entry with a personal note...with appropriate apologies to Robert Santerre. I've often mentioned in my Twitter tweets that I'm headed up to or coming back from "camp," which is the Maine equivalent of a cottage in the woods or a cabin by a lake. But Mainers, being Mainers, call these structures "camps" ... doesn't matter if it's a shack worth $500 or a sprawling 5-bedroom home with its own golf course worth $5,000,000 ... it's still a "camp." My camp is on a lake up in northern Maine in the tiny town of Mt. Chase (year-round population 200), where softwoods, such as pines, hemlocks, spruce, and tamaracks, grow in abundance. There are plenty of hardwoods too, maples, aspen, birch, and others, that produce brilliant colors in the autumnal months. But the softwoods produce a scent that is alluring and captivating. I can't breathe in enough of that glorious scent, made even more sensational when there is just a hint of wood smoke in the air on a cool fall day. Any decent camp in Maine has a name, and mine is "Heaven Scent," because when we first found our property all I wanted to do was breathe in that delightful smell from the softwoods.

Pine Cone Pitcher, Pine Cone Bowl, Pine Cone Wine Cooler

Well, I've rambled on a bit. But I can't help but think about this when I look at the three beautiful ceramic pieces in the Autumnal Tints exhibition by Robert Santerre, of Arrowsic, Maine. The pine needles and pine cones on these pieces are actually impressions of real pine needles and pine cones that are pressed into the clay after it is allowed to dry to a "leather-hard" stage. Then, after the piece has dried completely, it is fired to a low temperature, burning out the plant residue. The impressed "image" of the plant is then filled in with colored ceramic stains. The piece is then dipped in a clear over-glaze and fired once again. As a result of this process, not only do these impressions from plant material result in an image that is botanically correct, but each piece is completely unique. Any of these pieces would bring a piece of Maine right into your home.

The three pieces may be purchased together for $700. Individually, the Pine Cone Pitcher is available for $175, the Pine Cone Bowl is $350, and the Pine Cone Wine Cooler is $175. Please Contact Christine Cote at christine@stillpointartgallery.com or 207.837.5760.

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
October 11, 2009

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