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Pick & mix: Heather Mae Erickson in the Penland Gallery

Now open until October 26 in the Penland Gallery is a new Focus exhibition: Heather Mae Erickson: Pick Mix / All Sorts Collection 2014. “Pick mix” plays into the language and experience of the candy shop where customers have an array of confectionary colors, shapes, surfaces, and possibilities at their finger tips.


White/Yellow Cupcake Cup, slip cast porcelain with underglazes, mason stains, and glaze, 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 in.



The candy names that I remember are inspiration enough
to conjure interesting forms and surfaces: Spogs, Strawberry Pencils,
Gobstoppers, Black Jacks, Sour Dummies, Flying Saucers, Fried Eggs,
Jazzles. Just as in the bins and bags at the candy store, I am mixing the
multiple types of objects and allowing users to create
their own sets and compositions. Ultimately the user gets to decide if a
dot is as interesting as a pin stripe or a heart or a bunny or a star.

To touch upon process, the use of multiple types of clays, firing methods, and surface decoration application lend to more variety of candy-coated objects. I use hand-cut or die-cut paper resists on greenware, sponging on greenware and bisqueware, stickers for the outlines of shapes on bisqueware, and different widths of vinyl tapes on greenware.I am pleased when one thinks something looks perfect at a distance but when viewed up close they see variation in a dot or a pattern. Underglazes and mason stains in glazes and casting slip give most of the color in the patterned or solid color work.–Heather Mae Erickson



All works included in Heather Mae Erickson: Pick Mix / All Sorts Collection 2014 are available for purchase online at the Penland Gallery.


Blue Dot L Dish, slip cast porcelain with underglazes, mason stains, and glaze, 1 x 5 x 7 in.
Blue Dot L Dish, slip cast porcelain with underglazes, mason stains, and glaze, 1 x 5 x 7 in.


Erickson1-WPHeather Mae Erickson is an artist, craftsperson, and designer. She is currently Assistant Professor of Ceramics and Studio Art at Western Carolina University in Cullowee, North Carolina. Heather has held residencies from the Archie Bray Foundation and The Clay Studio (PA), and in 2004 received a Fulbright fellowship to conduct independent research at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. She has earned numerous awards, including first place for the Horizon Award presented by the Museum of Art and Design in New York and honorable mentions at the Korea Biennale International 2007 & 2009 Exhibitions.