It’s raining cups at the Exploding Head. Oh no, not those paper tubes filled with your favorite cuppa ’Bucks joe or cardamom-laced chai. These aren’t even close to the travel mugs you plop into those rounds in your vehicle console, no. These are vessels primarily crafted in that age-old medium, clay, and juried by Davis artist Linda Fitz Gibbons for Affinity for the Cup II, on display until April 1. The gallery, at 924 12th Street, is full of them, from the most basic to the most chic—the sort from which your grandmother could daintily sip, with pinky extended, that quintessential cup of tea.
Pinch pots, the very first thing you learn to make in Ceramics I, are the focus in Lisa Neimeth’s “Nesting Cups One and Two,” with a double row of the simple little bowls glued to a board. You have to get up close to see that these pots are home to tiny treasures, bird eggs, dice and little figurines. Stuart Asprey uses porcelain as a canvas with a humorous message in “Pharmaceutical Fertility,” with finely drawn floating babies still attached to their umbilical cords like little sleeping astronauts connected to a spaceship.
In more genteel days, where there was a cup, there was a saucer underneath. Helen Otterson remembers that with her “Untitled” cup, connected to a puffy, sea-biscuit sort of saucer, which is studded with very realistic little clay barnacles. You can almost smell the salt of the sea emanating from this one. Kristen Kieffer’s elegant purple cup and saucer would make Queen Elizabeth happy at high tea. But the most fun is Kelly Schnorr’s “Fossils,” 10 found cups, all different and each snugly ensconced in a little clay house. For more information, call (916) 442-8424.