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Art by fire

Get a days worth of clay at Keramos


Colorado College's grandly-named Coburn Gallery, in reality just a windowless little room tucked into the south side of the Worner Center, nevertheless manages to put on some pretty good shows. Keramos: Colorado Clay Artists is no exception. Featuring 56 works by nine Colorado-based ceramicists, including Colorado College's Greg Marshall, the art is interesting, diverse and engaging.

Take a look at Dan Fogelberg's (no, not that Dan Fogelberg -- this is Dan Fogelberg the art teacher from Longmont) five vapor-glazed ceramics, curving sensuous forms with glistening, irridescent metallic glazes. Fogelberg first throws simple forms on a wheel, then hand-forms them. Finally, he fires them in a high-temperature kiln, where the glazes, vaporized metallic compounds, are deposited. The process is neither completely controllable nor predictable; Fogelberg only knows what color the glaze will be when he removes the piece from the kiln. The pieces on display show a range of colors, from deep blue to copper gold.

Spend some time with nationally-renowned potter Bob Nelson's pieces, particularly his "Porcelain Pilgrim Bottle" tenmoku with rutile glaze. The surface is buttery, reflective, tactile.

Carla Kappa's painted and burnished earthenware has a nice solidity to it, rooted and anchored. "Dreaming," a tall, creamy, pebble-burnished vasiform sculpture, is as slow and contemplative as smoke curling from a late-night cigarette, as solid and present as a lone rock formation emerging from the fog.

Greg Marshall's "Umbilical Vase" series, six virtually identical pieces -- two yellow, two red, two blue -- has a repetitive, hypnotic quality, but it also seems very like a display at a particularly hip Crate & Barrel store.

In sum: a good show, bright, varied, energetic and well worth struggling with the CC parking problem to get to.

-- John Hazlehurst


Keramos: Colorado Clay Artists

Through April 19 (closed March 16-27)

Coburn Gallery, 14 E. Cache La Poudre (in the Worner Center)

Call 389-6797 for info.

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