December: Watercolor Decal Mugs
As fall rolls on by us, transforming Denver from a city full of changing leaves to a city of snow and hibernating trees, I have been spending most afternoons in the studio trying to get the shelves stocked before winter arrives in full tilt, it becomes too chilly to throw, and I disappear for a while into the mountains for ski season. This past month my work has focused on finishing a new collaboration project with a good long time artist friend of mine that I am excited to release, the new Watercolor Decal Mugs.
I became friends with artist Britta Albrecht at Goshen College where we both spent most of our time in the art building, me at the potters wheel and her in the drawing and painting studio. Shortly after college, I moved out to Denver and a few years later, after a year of teaching English in South Korea, Britta did as well where we reconnected. Through mutual friends and communities in Denver we run into each other from time to time.
Each year some friends of mine and I hold a joint Art party for family and friends to show and sell our work, drink wine, eat cheese, and enjoy time together. At last years party, I purchased a watercolor painting from Britta that has been proudly displayed on the walls of my home ever since. Her style is compatible with my own and since owning that piece; I have been interested in working on a collaboration project, which would incorporate her watercolor work onto a mug.
Our collaboration project began at the birthday party of my roommate, where I presented the idea to Britta who agreed to give it a go. Once she sent me a couple of images of her work, the transformation of the images into workable decals began. I spent time in Photoshop transforming the images and then got to work on preparing the mugs. Each mug was wheel thrown with handles pulled separately and attached, then fired three times; a bisque firing to harden the clay, a second firing to glaze the mugs, and a final time to apply the decal.
Britta, first became interested in watercolor through a May-term class at Goshen College in which her class spent the majority of their time outdoors using trees in mid-seasonal changes as inspiration. In her words,
“The process of drawing and watercolor can feel transformative in many ways. Watercolor is this quiet, beautiful beast that does whatever it wants. While it forces one to slow down in the beginning stages of application, there is also a need to act quickly and intuitively before things dry. Often times, this means there are mistakes, or that the direction of the piece doesn't go as planned. Finding creative ways of changing or manipulating the mistakes and re-working areas, is an incredibly freeing feeling. In turn, this provides many opportunities to experiment by learning what works and what doesn't. Starting a new piece gives me the butterflies because I never really know what the outcome will be. I equate a similar mentality to planning a hike or camping in a new location. The calm, quiet, and transformative effect of being outdoors is what makes the process so wonderful. The mistakes will come, and it's a matter of acceptance in how they are approached and handled. I think this provides a sense of vulnerability that the viewer may not even be aware of, but is important to me as an artist.”
Thanks to Britta for collaborating with me and for continuing to do beautiful work! Check out the mugs here, and continue reading below to learn more about Britta and how to contact her!
Britta Albrecht is a Goshen College Alumna with her Bachelors of Arts degree in Fine Arts (Drawing and Painting). She is originally from Goshen Indiana and now lives in Denver Colorado. In her free time, she takes any chance to be outside, whether it’s camping, hiking or taking her Lab/Shepard out for a walk. She also enjoys film, coffee, visiting art museums, Korean food, and staging/rearranging furniture. Her work aims to represent a walk through the woods---energetic, quiet and sincere; a sense of balance we all crave. Check out more of her stuff on Instagram or contact her via email or on her website http://brittaalbrecht.weebly.com/.