C. & C. Brown – Ceramic Artists
Cedric & Christy Brown “team potters”, spent the majority of their lives in artistic endeavors, however their greatest fascination and continued passion has been their work in ceramics. It all began in the early 1970's, being in our early 20's, with no experience, on the patio and with a $40.00 kick wheel found in the classifieds and a bag of clay from Standard Brands. After our sales took off we rented an old tin barn and shipped pottery all over the US. Eventually we were able to buy a building in Fresno and opened a pottery studio gallery. Later we found passion for antiques and enter-mingled the two in our show room. Having done that we were drawn to the “Arts & Crafts Movement” furnishings and antique art pottery which later inspired us to create vessels in that genre.
We moved to the Oregon coast in the 1990's for about a decade and opened up an antique shop and pottery gallery. That's when the turn-of-the-century movement really took off and we were very busy in our studio making pottery for our gallery, select shows and other retail locations. Some of our notable vendors included The Roycoft Inn, San Francisco Museum of Folk Art, The Gamble House, Turning Point Gallery, Rejuvenation, Craftsmen Home, Modern Bungalow, Aarnun Gallery and many more. We also had a great time exhibiting at Craftmen Weekend in Pasadena and the LA Pottery Show.
We returned to California in 1999 to live in the country and set up a studio in Springville, a very small town located in the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
In the year 2000 vases were commissioned and installed at the new Disney's Grand California Hotel in Anaheim, a beautiful arts & crafts era inspired hotel located in the Disney California Adventure Park.
Solo & group shows in our town of Springville at the Friends of the Tule River Gallery sponsored by the renowned Dagney Corcoran which included pottery and tile depicting local flora and fauna of our area and also, a show called “Shot Pots”.
Of greater note in 2005, an exhibit at The Bakersfield Museum of Art called “A Golden State of Mind” eclectic journeys through pastoral California interpreted in highfire clay vessels & tile. This exhibit along with the Irvine Museum's collection of early California Mission paintings “Romance of the Bells”.
In the course of our hands in clay adventure in life, only four hands in concert, Cedric threw, carved, sculpted and fired all of the pottery, while I made and applied all of the glazes for the vessels & tile.
In the year 2012, Cedric past away leaving a large void in our creation of pottery. After a time, I decided to carry on with the craft. So, I sat down struggling on the potters wheel and learned to throw, and started carving some designs on pots. I now understand and have empathy for past ceramic artist teams, from Marie & Julian Martinez to the more contemporary collaboration of Otto & Vivika Heino.
Our last endeavor and experiment in pottery making was Raku and that really sparked my attention. Cedric went on a tour of some local Native American Yokut cave paintings/rock art and came back with some great ideas he applied to clay for a raku firing depicting petroglyphs and symbols from days past.
Currently, my focus is Raku and rather than traditional eastern or western Raku, I have taken Raku in a new direction and merged my designs and forms with the tradition of the Arts & Crafts era style. Also, experimenting with some Native American inspired designs. Additionally, I like to make simple Asian pottery forms and apply white crackle glaze that I find relaxing and pleasant.
“Pottery making is kind of an adventure, in which, if one is successful, one finds, in the end, oneself. One must have the spirit and intuition as well as determination, to achieve a unity of chemistry and artistry that sings one clear note”, Cedric Brown.