She had studied pottery there with the Belgian artist Alfred William Finch — Soon after she landed in New York, Grotell found work teaching at art schools and community socio-educational cooperatives such as the Henry Street Settlement, all the while building up critical notice for her work through small gallery shows and exhibitions. Her forms, whether round, ovoid, cylindrical, or flared, are always in perfect proportion see Figs 4, 5. What excites the collector, though, is the continuous refinement of her artistry with glazes. Her motifs from the s into the s range from geometrics to lustrous chevrons, to striations, to jagged, eye-popping abstracts.
She was so prolific. By contrast, once Gertrud nee Amon and Otto Natzler found their style, they never strayed from it. And a transcendent style it was. Although they took classes, they were largely self-taught, and were shocked when they took a silver medal at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Modern in Paris in in which both Lukens and Grotell participated. The following year, the Natzlers joined the great Jewish cultural and intellectual diaspora precipitated by Nazism and moved to Los Angeles. Awards, and the attention of galleries and museums, came quickly.
They act! You get the sense that had Mary nee Goldsmith and Edwin Scheier been cast ashore, Crusoelike, on some forsaken island, they would have searched for a way to make art before they searched for fresh water see Figs. The Bronx-born Edwin haunted museums, took a few crafts, arts, and performance courses, but followed no single path in the cultural world. Mary, who was from Virginia, did receive formal artistic training in New York and Paris, and in accepted a post running a federally sponsored arts center in Appalachia.
They met in Chafing at their bureaucratic work, they quit their jobs and traveled, supporting themselves by staging puppet shows. When they could not make ends meet, Edwin took a job running an arts center connected to the Tennessee Valley Authority. To offer the Scheiers a creative outlet, a sympathetic friend who ran the TVA industrial ceramics studio offered to let them try pottery making after hours.
The couple took to the craft immediately. Together they created a palette of soft blue, green, pink, and purple glazes. Condition: Very Good.
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Makers History American Studio Craft by Koplos Janet Metcalf Bruce
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