There is a new ceramics studio in Dollar Bay operated by Kenyon Hansen and Lindsey Heiden. Their first fall studio sale will be Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 23391 Dogwood Ave. in Dollar Bay. Look for signs along the way just past Quincy’s and onto Dogwood.
Kenyon received his BFA (Bachelor in Fine Arts) in ceramics from Finlandia University, and Linsdey received his BFA from Western Illinois University and his MFA in ceramics from the University of Arkansas. They met during an artist residency program at Center Street Clay in Sandwich Illinois. After internships in North Carolina and Montana, they had the opportunity to teach at Finlandia and they were happy to settle in the Copper Country. In 2013, Kenyon was selected as an emerging artist by national pottery magazine Ceramics Monthly and has conducted workshops at ceramic studios across the country. The couple currently teach fine art classes at Michigan Tech and Finlandia, in addition to operating a home studio.
“It’s always been the goal to have a home studio” Kenion said. “Just being able to cross the street to check things, like parts that are drying out”. One of the most interesting things in the home studio is the oven used for baking with soda. This is a special technique by which sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is sprayed onto the pottery when it is red-hot, resulting in cold surface variations in color and texture. The kiln was designed by a professional Illinois kiln builder whom Kenyon had apprenticed with, and built by a small community of artists.
Most of their pottery sales have been online and by invitation through galleries nationwide. “This sale will be our first house sale. It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a few years. We will have 5 or 6 pot tables set up outside our studio. Most of the work in this sale will be purely functional. Kenyon will have teapots and pitchers as well as tableware. Lindsey will have vases and dishes. Their son who has just started kindergarten will have ornaments to sell. They call it their fall sale because there’s a reasonable chance they’ll have another sale in the spring. Eventually, they would like to invite other artists to also present their works during these sales.
There will be snacks and drinks as well as a campfire with places to sit at picnic tables and chairs, so people can hang out and chat. They will be able to accept any type of payment; cash, checks, credit and debit cards. All of this will take place outdoors as long as the weather cooperates, but the studio will also be open to visitors, where they can view unfinished pieces and some of Lindsey’s sculptural pieces.
Experiment with new designs; new glazes and surfaces, Kenyon has developed a whole new range of pottery. “My recent work” he told me, “was influenced by imagery of the night sky, looking at the stars and thinking of the cosmos.”
Lindsey’s sculptural work centers on storytelling with animals, and the vases for sale will have many of these elements as well. They are very intricate and sculpted, with messages that inspire people to use their imaginations.
Currently, Lindsey has a show with Linda King Ferguson, the UP Focus at the DeVos Museum on the campus of Northern Michigan University, through early November. Kenyon had one a few months ago at the Schaller Gallery in Baroda Michigan, south of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. Kenyon and Lindsey were also invited to take part in the recent Pottery Tour just north of Minneapolis. Some of their work is available at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock, but we are truly fortunate to be able to purchase these items directly from the Dollar Bay studio and spend time talking art with these ceramicists. You can learn more about Kenyon and his work at https://www.kenyonmhansen.com/about.
In addition to the studio’s fall sale, there are other great shows to check out. Joyce Koskenmaki has a show, “Forest Spirits” at the Gallery the 5th opening on October 7 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. At this exhibit, you can see his large collection of handcrafted sculptures of spirit protectors interspersed with paintings and drawings of the forest. Joyce was one of Kenyon’s teachers at Finlandia when he was a student, and they remained friends.
To “The well-read books and curiosities about the raccoon” in Houghton, Lynn Mazzoleni’s exhibition will continue until October 10. Lynn is a professor of chemistry at Michigan Tech and delights in vibrant paintings, some abstract in nature, and many of which are female portraits aimed at inspiring women and girls to embrace their power.
Nate Bett, a nationally renowned photographer who recently moved his family to the Copper Country, has a large collection of photographs at KC Bonkers in Hancock. He is well known locally for teaching night photography classes presented by the Copper Country Community Art Center in Hancock. He also teaches workshops at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and photography at NMU.
“Arabesque” is a magnificent exhibition at the Rosza Gallery on the campus of Michigan Tech. This is an exhibition of charcoal sketches by Clement Yeh and sculptures by Tomas Co, on the theme of “movement”. The American Ballet Theater Studio Company will be at Rosza for a performance on October 27 at 7:30 p.m., and there is a reception for “Arabesque” Friday, October 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The show will last until Friday, November 4.
And finally, we must acknowledge the passing of Max Seel, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics, former provost and vice president of academic affairs at Michigan Technological University, who passed away on September 14. He was also a mixed media artist who even integrated component computing into fantastic large-scale works. Christa Walck, a close friend who once shared an exhibition with Seel, told me “Max was my boss for six years, and he was always considerate, kind, honest and fair. He was an artist and musician as well as a scientist. A Renaissance man. I had the privilege of working with him, and his untimely death is a great loss to the community and his family. Max once told me that the Keweenaw was the best place he had ever lived and that he would never leave.