ARTIST STATEMENT | Saggar-Fired Terra Cotta

I have been exploring the low-fire saggar process for several years, and I have come up with my own combination of materials and technique that allows me to create unique results.

I start with red terra cotta clay and make vessels of various shapes.  I brush some surface areas of the vessel with white terra sigillata slip, and leave other zones red, which I burnish with a smooth stone. After a low bisque-fire, I wrap copper wire and copper-infused paper around the pot, and put it into its own saggar, a larger covered pot, with wood shavings sprinkled with copper carbonate and salt.I fire several saggars at a time in a gas kiln, where the combustible materials fume and swirl around the pieces inside, creating an atmosphere of oxygen reduction in the enclosed saggars. The carbon and minerals are deposited variously onto the original burnished red clay, the white slipped surfaces and the different vessel shapes, veiling some parts and revealing others. The temperature of the kiln and the length of firing influence the results.  The pots manifest a synergy of unique colors, effects and patterns which I have not seen in anyone else’s saggar-fired work. I believe that I have brought the saggar technique to a new place, and I hope that I have created work that engages and resonates as an aesthetic experience.

Setting up the Saggar process: organic materials soaked in copper carbonate

Setting up the Saggar process: organic materials soaked in copper carbonate

Welcome to Abbie Thomson Studio.

Welcome to Abbie Thomson Studio.

Exhibits and Shows

  • BOSCO Riverside Hotel Show September 2018

  • BOSCO Open Studios Juried Artists’ Studio Tour October 13 - 15, 2017

  • Boise Open Studios. Juried artists' studios tour October 7-9 2016

  • Opening Doors. Show of BOSCO artists. Boise State U Student Union. September-October 2016.

  • Surel's Place Small Works Flash Show, with BOSCO artists. Boise ID February 28, 2016

  • Fort Boise Art Center Fall Show and Sale. October 4-5, 2015

  • Boise Open Studios.  Juried artists' studios tour October 11 - 12,  2014.

  • Gypsy Gallery. On the Grove, Boise ID, June 3, 201 | Empire Building, Boise ID, December 2, 2010. 

  • We Art Women Show and Auction, Boise ID, April 8, 2010.  

  • Tortuga Studio Christmas Sale, Petaluma CA, December, 2008.

  • Mistongo Show.  Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico 2005.

  • Idaho Triennial 2004.  All media statewide juried show.  Boise Art Museum. Juror Arthur Danto.

  • Featured Artist.Basement Gallery.  Boise, ID January-February 2004.

  • Group Show. Basement Gallery.  Boise, ID November - December 2003.  

  • Seven Idaho Ceramicists.  Northwest Nazarene University.  Friesen Gallery, Nampa, ID, February 2003.•  

  • Mosaic Gallery and Wine Bar. One person show.Sculptural Terra Cotta Vessels.   Boise, ID December 2001 - January 2002.  

  • Treasure Valley Juried Art Exhibit.  Boise State University, June 2001.  

  • Idaho Creations in Clay II.  Idaho clay artists juried exhibition, second place.  Tony Martin, juror, Boise, ID July 2000. 

  •  Idaho Commission on the Arts Quick Arts Grant. Study with Pueblo potter Dolly Naranjo in Santa Fe, NM, September 1999.•  

  • Idaho Creations in Clay.   Idaho clay artists juried exhibition, third place, Garth Claaesen, juror, Boise, ID, July 1999.•  

  • Feats of Clay XI.   National juried ceramics exhibit.  Lincoln, CA  May - June 1998.  Clayton Bailey, juror.•  

  • Idaho Triennial 1998.   All media statewide juried show.  Boise Art Museum.  Cheryl Conkelton, juror.•  

  • Beaux Arts Christmas Show.  Collectors' Corner.  November 1998.  Boise Art Museum.•  

  • Vision/Power.  Juried exhibit featuring women artists.  Boise State University.  March 1998.•  

  • DecorCreations Gallery.  Boise, ID.  Featured artist October 1997.•  Casa de Artistas.   Scottsdale, AZ, exhibited 1996-2000.•  

  • Stonington Gallery.  Ketchum, Sun Valley, ID, 1996 - 1998.•  

  • Weardon Designs Gallery.  Boise, ID, June 1995 - June 1996.•  

  • Galos Gallery Two Person Show.  Boise, ID, August 1994.•  

  • Boise State Union Gallery One Person Show:  "Sculptural Works in Clay."  July 1994.•  

  • Lanigan Gallery.   Boise, ID, April 1994.