Inspired by the happy world of 1930s cartoons where all of the birds and teapots were singing and swaying, Cuteware® was born from a wish to evoke that joyous world and make people smile.
No two are alike. Each is hand signed "Cuteware USA" and dated with the year it was made. Only non-toxic, food-safe glazes are used, so while some people treasure and collect Heidi's work, others "use the good china" and drink their morning cup of Joe from a very special vessel.
How to bid:
You can contact Heidi via: Facebook: Heidi Bekebrede, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Texting/calling: (530)400-2817 The minimum bid for each cup is $50
Why have a silent auction? “For years I have been donating to art auctions for the benefit of many local charities and non-profits. Just last month I donated pieces to KVIE and CASA. Sometimes artists get a percentage back when an auction bidder buys their work, but sometimes we do not. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to help out, but this time I have decided to turn the tables and create my own silent auction and have a percentage of the sale go to a variety of registered charities, both local and world-wide.”
By using a bidding system, the price for an item of Cuteware® will not be arbitrarily determined by the artist and sold to the first person who wants it. The Cuteware@ collectors right here in town and around the world will have 25 days to view, ponder and bid on their favorite pieces. Bid sheets will be in the gallery as well, so that locals will have the advantage of seeing the work first-hand and having the last say at the gala closing event scheduled for Monday, October 24, 2016. At the gala, to be held at The Artery from 7-9 PM, Heidi will sing a repertoire of her original songs as the bidding reaches a crescendo and the refreshments are enjoyed.
There will also be an artist’s reception during Davis’ Second Friday Art About, on October 14, from 7-9 PM when many other galleries will also be open late.
Heidi Bekebrede has been making art with clay since she was an art student at UCDavis in the late 1970s. (actually her first pot was made in Mrs. Yin's class in at Julius West Junior High School)
Her colorful, playful work is inspired by the happy, singing world of early 1930’s cartoons and is continually influenced by the thousands of projects made by children in her clay workshops at local schools and at the Davis Arts Center where she has been an instructor since 1990.
“I think it is important for viewers of my work to hear all the details and steps involved so that they can get a better idea of the provenance of each piece. The unique, Cuteware® cups featured in this show each started out as a spinning lump of recycled, California clay on a pottery wheel. After the initial shaping of the cylindrical form, the piece is left to dry until it is ready to be trimmed.”
"Trimming is so satisfying” says Bekebrede, “It’s when the cup gets refined and really starts to looks like something. I do not measure out my clay or weigh it like some potters do, because I want them all to turn out differently. As soon as they are standing on their dainty, trimmed “feet”, I can start to get an idea of what I would like to create from these little blank canvases of clay. Next, I ‘scratch and slip and stick’ on all the various parts, carve my trademarked eyes and voila…Cuteware® is created! At this point. each piece is signed, dated and marked ‘USA’. Then it dries. It must dry thoroughly before being placed in an electric kiln and slowly bisque-fired so that it is hard enough to be easily handled during the meticulous glazing process that I call, “Glaze-o-rama!” 2-3 coats are carefully laid onto the porous ceramic surface. Then each cup goes back in the kiln and is fired to a higher temperature. During this firing, the glaze melts, gets shiny, changes color and adheres to the cup. If all goes well, the joy of unloading the glaze kiln is exhilarating!”
Because each Cuteware® cup is glazed and fired in such a way that it could be used as a functional vessel for enjoying a favorite hot or cold beverage, it is also a work of art. The new owner of the cup whether they be in Australia, Japan, or South Davis, will have to decide for themselves if they want to actually use the cup or keep it safely in a display cabinet.
Thank you Mrs. Yin for continuing to teach and inspire me.