CRAFT Gallery opens “A Collaboration: van der Ven and Bell”

CRAFT Gallery

Pottery by Simon van der Ven and Mark Bell

CRAFT Gallery opens its October show “A Collaboration: van der Ven and Bell” on Friday, October 3rd with work by Simon van der Ven and Mark Bell, two respected Maine potters who blend their skills of throwing clay forms, applying texture, surface design and expert glazing to create each work of art. Van der Ven compares the collaboration to a musical form called “trading fours”, a jazz music term referring to two solo instruments alternately playing four measures each. This is how the potters proceed: Bell throws the porcelain form and allows it to dry leather- hard. Van der Ven then draws, carves and/or pierces the piece in response to what the form suggests to him, bisque-fires it and hands it back to Bell for glazing and final firing in response to what van der Ven has done. They have been collaborating for three years and have achieved exquisite and fine porcelain pieces with mutual respect, sensitivity to the aesthetics of the other and, above all, trust.

Simon van der Ven’s background is printmaking. teaching and studying both here and in France. He works in his Lincolnville studio, primarily in porcelain and high-fired stoneware. The porcelain pieces in this show are carved and pierced using exacto knives, metal ribs and drill bits. His work will be shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show this November. Mark Bell, from Blue Hill, has an established reputation for creating rich, shimmering glazes on very fine, perfectly formed porcelain. His work is in constant demand by collectors here and abroad. He has close ties with Haystack Mountain School of Craft’s Mentoring Programs and workshops.

The October exhibition will also include current work by CRAFT artists Susan Dewsnap, Jan Owen, Daphne Taylor and Sharon Townshend, all of whom work in various craft mediums. The gallery congratulates them for being selected for the 2014 Biennial Exhibition at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. The show will continue until early November when the gallery will close for the winter. CRAFT Gallery is located in the courtyard at 12 Elm Street, Rockland. For more information call (207) 594 0167 and visit