In this opening at the new interdisciplinary workplace-gallery loft: Fitzhugh Ryland’s “Profile” encourages the viewer to find his or her center, Careen Stoll’s ceramics comfort via her carbon-neutral kiln, Dunbar Aitkens’ “Glass Plate Game” facilitates conversations, Alex DeSpain’s “Shapes” represent unity through diversity, and Maggie Nichols shares some lines and colors.

Place: “Collective Agency”
Address: 322 NW Sixth Ave (between Everett & Flanders), 2nd Floor, Portland, Oregon 97209
Open: to the public Mon-Fri 9-5, and First Thursdays 6-9pm. This show will run September through November.
Contact: Phone: (503) 517-6900
Fax: (503) 517-6901
Email: Website:

Artists (click names for info)

Careen Stoll

ceramics comfort via her carbon-neutral kiln.

Porcelain, clear soda glaze
Ask for prices

Porcelain, clear soda glaze
Ask for prices

On the bookshelf, a sampling of current functional work:
Porcelain, clear soda glaze

  • Belly Pitcher 65
  • Two tumblers 45 each
  • Mug 30
  • Cup fired twice 15
  • Little celadon bottle 30
  • Winged plate 30
  • Winged bowl 15
  • Oval lunch plate 45
  • Oval toast plate 25
  • Oval bowl 35
  • Flared bowl 65
  • RC Brunch Box sample 30. Comes in padded envelope.

Clay With A Conscience

I design my pots to be comfortable and minimal. Think of beach stones and soft bodies: a full curve, muted color, asymmetry and dimples. I choose porcelain for its working qualities and skin-silky touch. As the densest clay available, it becomes impervious when fired to 2300 degrees in my highly innovative kiln. In keeping with strong environmental ethics, I built an efficient kiln that fires primarily on waste vegetable oil in a carbon-neutral footprint. Trained in the use of reduction-cooling methods, I achieve a palette of red, orange, and salmon in the porcelain’s unglazed exterior. I also use a smooth dark stoneware that registers brick red, violet and black tones with yellow ash. Pots from my kiln resemble wood-fired work and are finished with a light coating of clear soda glaze to make a smooth eating surface. I dabble in sculpture; mostly I make durable dishes for everyday use.

We crave comfort in a world whose only constant is change. What generates comfort? Time-honored rituals, pleasant memories associated with a space or encounter. Sometimes we may find a memento to embody the favorite memory. Handmade dishes live in this lovely limbo between simple service ware and ritual object. We can still create environments that speak of generosity and sensory comfort. When food is prepared and presented mindfully, I find a nourishment far beyond simply eating.

Info about the work here at Collective Agency:

I am delighted for my work to be exhibited in a space whose operating principals are so close to my heart. Should you wish to meet me or visit the studio and carbon-neutral kiln, the best time is during the Portland Open Studios tour in October.

On this shelf is a sampling of my everyday dishes. Feel free to hold them and imagine them in daily use. They are designed for heirloom quality and longevity. Fine in the oven and dishwasher.

The RC brunchbox is a special project for Research Club, designed to be held while snacking and chatting at Sunday brunch, then tucked away into an envelope for light-hearted transport to the next event.

Other work is selected to suit the space. Some of it was wood-fired for days or fired twice in my kiln. If it is for sale, there is a small tag on it. Or you can ask Alex for the price list.

Best Wishes-

Ps- I like to trade :)

Dunbar Aitkens

“Glass Plate Game” facilitates conversations

Glass Plate Game
Cardboard box, ink on wooden squares, plastic squares, ink on cardboard cards, instructions on paper.
$22.95 each

The Glass Plate Game, inspired by Hermann Hesse’s Glass Bead Game, is essentially a conversation in the trappings of a board game. Hesse’s game us alluded to as a The idea is to spark creative and interesting dialog as the players explore connections between ideas against a dynamic mosaic map. There are no winners or losers. There is no order of play. Conversation continues throughout, and anyone can make a move at any time. The end result is an artifact of the conversation. The “game board” makes it easy to follow the twists and turns of the conversation.

Co-creator Dunbar Aitkens will be visiting to help lead the session. We will begin with an introduction to the game followed by a period of idea card making to especially bring concepts from players’ own projects and interests into the card deck, then launch right into playing. Stay for the 3rd hour, and we’ll build Glass Plate Game sets for everyone who’d like one to take with them. The sets contain “idea cards” for composing the mosaic and wooden cubes and colored transparencies for tracking the thread of thought.

Come for fun, friends, and stimulating conversation.

On First Thursdays September and October (see link above), there will be a private game and a public game at Collective Agency, each led by experienced players. The private game will begin with an introduction to the game then launch right into playing. The public game will be open for passer-by.

Players are also encouraged to make their own cards and their own versions of the game.

  • The history of the game
  • A description of the game with photos
  • A diagram of the game

Maggie Nichols

shares some lines and colors.

The hills and neighbors
Acrylic, crayon and fabric on canvas

B&B by the sea
Acrylic, crayon and fabric on canvas

Everyone uses technology differently
Original illustrations from “My Robot Friend”, a digital booklet about technology
Gouache on paper

Maybe the robots can help
Original illustration from “My Robot Friend”, a digital booklet about technology
Gouache on paper

Alex DeSpain

representing unity through diversity.

Paint on plywood
$700 each

Fitzhugh Ryland

encourages the viewer to find his or her center.

String, wood, and oil on plastic.

As a response to a world driven by decontextualized images and reproductions, the dynamic and shifting nature of this project necessitates the literal presence of the viewer. By allowing the viewer to manipulate the space and content of this piece I encourage the viewer to find his or her own center.

Written by Fitz Ryland