Co-founder Erin Nathanson visited the magically industrious home studio of Ruth Ballou. In this space, the collaborative duo, Ruth Ballou and Rena Lasch (Lune Mer Porcelain), are creating 32 ceramic works for the 2015 summer season.


Tools, engineered supports, decorative stamps, slips, and re-purposed pool noodles for molds are organized throughout the studio.






A favorite piece of machinery in the studio is the pug mill!


The pug mill allows the artists to mix/process large blocks of porcelain faster. This time-saver allows more time to roll, mold, and create.

For Lune Mer Porcelain, color choice and mixing is a science. They formulate their own glazes to create custom colors. Test tiles are created by following a process named The Currie grid method.

LMP_SV_Test Tile Results



The trusty Magic Bullet is used for mixing test glazes. And this baby kiln fires the tiles up!


The test tile results are saved and the formulas are documented. The CSA glazes have been specially mixed and will be exclusive to the Summer season!


Once the porcelain has been formed and is ready for firing, they enter one of the three ” Wall E” family of kilns.


We can’t wait to peek inside these kilns. Lune Mer Porcelain is one of the 2015 summer season artists!




Co-founder Ann Simmons recently paid a visit to the studio of summer share artist Riki Matsuda. Riki creates in the ultimate live/work area – her bedroom! Scroll on for a peek at her work space in a historic home on a quiet street in downtown Charleston that she shares with friends.

Matsuda_SV_01RikiStudio2Riki’s bedroom/studio is very well-organized with many boxes and compartments - everything seems to have it’s place. “I have to clean my room whenever I want to make work,” she says. “I find myself doing a cleanse of stuff at least once a month.”


She works on one piece at a time, with many of the components of her pieces coming from old books that she collects from bargain sales, friends, and an uncle who lives in Ireland that owns a book shop. She flips through with a general idea of what she wants or a concept that she is trying to convey, and either draws from or cuts from the imagery.

Matsuda_SV_26RikiStudio3RikiStudio6RikiStudio5Riki’s must-have tools: sharp Xacto knives, pencils, and adhesives (particularly Uhu sticks). She’s recently begun incorporating more painting in her practice – adding washes to her pieces. Her favorite paints are these old watercolors.


Aside from creating artwork in the traditional sense, Riki also makes stationary and creates letters for friends and family that could easily be viewed as works of art.



Riki Matsuda is one of the 2015 Summer season artists.



Mast batik artist, Arianne King Comer, works out of her home studio in Park Circle. It is filled with luscious plants, paintings, batiks, and so many textiles. Scroll on to have a peek at where the artist has been creating her pieces for summer shareholders.

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Arianne’s studio shelves are fully stocked with dyes, wax, and all of the supplies she needs for batik.

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She has a beautiful collection of wooden blocks used for stamping dyes or wax.

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Arianne King-Comer is one of the 2015 Summer season artists.



Summer share artist, James Wine, creates work that is reminiscent of coral, wrinkles in the brain, and other elements found in nature.  Read on to learn more about what inspires James’ work.

Illustrators and Storytellers

Some of my earliest memories were of my dad telling me stories. Most of them were like even cheesier versions of Goosebumps books, but I loved them. However, the real treat was that sometimes I could get him to illustrate his stories as he was telling them. With just a few strokes of his pen, I saw what he saw.

That was a powerful thing to me as a child. I think that’s why I’m an artist today, and why I’m so in awe of storytellers like Mike Mignola, S. M. Vidaurri, Eric Powell, and of course, my father.

Left to Right: Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, S. M. Vidaurri’s Iron, Eric Powell’s The Goon

Repetition, Pattern, and Nature

I like to wake up, eat, grab an iced coffee, work, come home, play games, eat, make art, go to sleep. This is the pattern of my life. Repetition is not only evident in how I live, but in the way I work, and the way nature works.

One of my favorite patterns in nature is called a meander. Meanders can be like winding rivers, veins, and coral. These have had a large influence on my current body of work.



Sometimes, motivation comes in the form of other people’s artwork. I look at my contemporaries like Sarah Lucas, France Goneau, and Zoe Ourvier and immediately get a desire to create something. I’m always incredibly fascinated with how other artists, who use similar elements, solve similar problems that I’m facing.


Sarah Lucas

 France Goneau

Zoe Ourvier

James Wine is one of the 2015 Summer share artists.




Summer share artists Ruth Ballou and Rena Lasch of Lune Mer Porcelain are inspired by their mentors, masters of their medium, the environment in which they live, and more.


I am intrigued by the intent of geometry and its intersection with chance in working with porcelain. Process sets in motion physical forces which are taken over by chance at various stages of the making. The nature of clay gradually changes as it slowly dries during formation into a three dimensional object. A specific technique may have different results depending on the stage of its use. Other techniques are best used at specific stages. The finished form, fragile in the dry state is transformed into a bone-like skeleton under the glaze in the final firing to 2300F.  One might see a connection between the resulting pieces tempered by fire and the human experience.


I have traveled throughout Europe soaking up the ceramic art of the past and present.

1. British Museum - I have spent many hours looking at the extensive ceramics collection from the earliest times, such as this ceramic stemmed dish depicting recurring symbols in Sumerian art. We are connected to the very distant past through clay.

2. Ceramic Stemmed Dish, Ur, Early Dynastic III, 2600 - 2300 BCE.

Tuscany, Italy

Artist, Giovanni Cimatti and La Meridiana School of Ceramics

Glaze Mentor, Ian Currie

A book by my glaze mentor, Ian Currie. Very influential in my study of glazes! Examples of glaze testing with the Currie grid method.


Fellow Ceramic Artists

Jane Wheeler, UK.  A textile artist 30 years, Wheeler returned to an early interest in ceramics. Made simply and directly, the vessels push the boundaries to bring artifacts into the present. (pieces shown are from collection of Ruth Ballou)

1. Interior of anagama of David Louveau in La Borne, France.

2. Handmade brushes by the artist.

3. Interior of his studio in La Borne, France.

1. Eddie Curtis, UK. From his Blast series inspired by a dumping ground for a coal mine near his home town. His work references the changing brutal and beautiful landscape created by humans and nature.

2. Korean contemporary artist. Collection of Ruth Ballou.

3. Piet Stockmans, Belgium. Personal collection. Though very simple and direct, the geometric design invites interaction with the viewer to place the pieces in various positions. Collection of Ruth Ballou.

4. Sandy Brown, UK. Porcelain. The brushwork on both the inside and outside of the piece brings the two areas together. Collection of Ruth Ballou.

My Kilns

Here, I’m kissing my old kiln goodbye, but welcoming a new one with help from friends.

Friends and Family

(L) Friends from England and Belgium who helped build my kiln. (R) And, last but not least, Gus!



Every time I walk outside I find inspiration - it surrounds us - all of Nature.


Color and Form

Artist, Isamu Noguchi

California Scenario, also known as Noguchi Garden, is one of the country’s preeminent sculpture gardens. The garden is a peaceful, quiet oasis in the bustling South Coast Metro area of Costa Mesa. I attended college near this garden and found much inspiration in it.

Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was one of the twentieth century’s most important and critically acclaimed sculptors.  Through a lifetime of artistic experimentation, he created sculptures, gardens, furniture and lighting designs, ceramics, architecture, and set designs.  His work, at once subtle and bold, traditional and modern, set a new standard for the reintegration of the arts.

Source: Isamu Noguchi Museum website/biography

Madeleine Schimming

This little seven year old’s drawing inspires me more than anything has in a long time. Madeleine’s strong desire to clearly convey her ideas and feelings through art is thoughtful and profound.

“Her mother, Melanie, gave Madeleine photos of the nine victims. ‘[Madeleine] wanted the Angels to be a good representation,’ Melanie said.

And it was there, in their quiet home several miles from the site of a devastating act of violence, that Madeleine armed with blank sheets of paper and crayons looked on the faces of the people killed — Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, and Myra Thompson — and started to draw.

Mother Emanuel AME Church stands large in the picture, taking up most of the page. Flying above are the nine slain church members, most holding a peace symbol or a heart.” - for the full article, visit ABC 4 News


Lune Mer Porcelain is one of the 2015 Summer share artists.



We’re midway through year two of this year’s program and are offering the community another chance to get to know our 12 artists and their work. Shares for the 2015 program went on sale in February and the first season of artwork was revealed at a spring pick-up event in April at The Faculty Lounge. Shares for each of the program’s 2015 seasons are currently available for purchase online. To aid collectors in their buying decision and accommodate in-person purchases, this FREE Meet + Greet event is set for June 18, from 6:30-8:30pm, at Local Works. That’s just one week away!

The 12 featured artists will be present so that the public can get to know them and their work. Complimentary refreshments for the evening will be provided by The Frothy Beard Brewing Company, Cannonborough Beverage Co., and Wine Awesomeness. AutoBanh FoodTruck will be on site offering up their delicious banh-mi sandwiches for those looking for dinner or a snack. DJ Black Olive will be playing the mingling music! All are welcome to attend.

This is an excellent opportunity to buy and/or reserve a share, meet other artists and collectors, enjoy some tasty food and beverages, and witness the growth of Charleston’s art scene for yourself!

Our 2015 artists can’t wait to meet you!

SPRING >> NOW AVAILABLE - take one home at the Meet + Greet!
Chambers Austelle (painting)
Elizabeth Calcote (printmaking/textile)
Chris Nickels (illustration)
Karin Olah (mixed media)

Pick-up Event - August 6 at Mixson Bath & Racquet Club
Arianne King Comer (printmaking/batik)
Lune Mer Porcelain Studio (ceramics)
Riki Matsuda (mixed media)
James Wine (painting)

Pick-up Event – November 5 at Blue Ion
Jordan Fowler (metal sculpture)
Nina Garner (photography/mixed media)
Lisa Shimko (painting)
Alex Waggoner (painting)


Textile and batik artist, Arianne King Comer, has traveled the world teaching others  and learning from masters. She draws inspiration from the connections and traditions that different cultures have in regards to textiles and fiber. Read on to see the people, places, and things the summer share artist finds most inspiring.


Right, Scarves by Sally Campbell

Arianne is a master indigo dyer, grower, and educator.  Indigo is a color that has roots worldwide and especially in Charleston, where it was cultivated and exported in the 18th century.


Indigo, batik and many other textile techniques are woven into the cultures of West Africa. Arianne had the oppurtunity to travel to OshogboNigeria, to study under master Batik artist, Nike Olyani DavisThis experience has influenced her work ever since.
“I was named Oshun Ronke in Nigeria by the Yoruba Priest in the adjacent village I studied in Oshogbo. It means daughter of Osun that speaks from her Creativity.   The Goddess Osun represents Nature, Love, Mermaids, Indigo Dyer speaking through creativity.”


“I admire how she took herself out of her mainstream life in The NY Art world and began exploring the culture, the terrain of New Mexico and embrace her new awareness of dissecting the essence of nature, the terrain that became prominent in her work and her simplistic life style . Her new way of seeing the world served her to life a long productive life.”


“My interest in wearable art has come with my awareness that in other cultures, it is a tool of affirming self esteem historically. It seems that textile art is the highest medium to express love of self and it’s culture….it certainly resonates that for me.”

Arianne King Comer is one of the 2015 Summer share artists.



Summer share artist Riki Matsuda creates delicate works that shed light on the subtleties and inconstancies within our everyday lives. Made up of found paper with bits of color and line, her images ask her viewers to look harder and see reality with more clarity. When asked what inspires her, she replied “Sometimes I find myself oohing and awing at things all day, but the things that have stuck with me are very solidly glued down.” Read on to learn more.



I remember reading Roald Dahl books and being so impressed by the way his mind worked and how fast you could fall into one of his stories. It seemed effortless like the drawings that accompanied his writing. In fact, the words and images fit together so well, that It was years before I realized that Quentin Blake, not Dahl, was the man behind the illustrations. This tag-team-duo were so similar in the way they could capture a whole scene or a whole feeling in only a few swooshes of their hands. I have modeled my work in a similar way, condensing the necessary and the complicated into bite-size-snipits that are easier to understand.



(L) still from “Strangers” by Miranda July (C) a still of Paw Paw from “The Future” by Miranda July (R) a piece from “Eleven Heavy Things” by Miranda July

It is amazing how Miranda July is actively able to embrace the world and people around her. Her work inspires and shows people how to slow down, question, and rediscover. She does so in her tender approach to strangers (get more insight from this vimeo video) as well as the way she uses humor to point out oddities or similarities amongst us. When I’m at a point in my work where I’m drained of fresh thoughts, her words and movements always bring about newness and nowness.



(L) “The Small Hours” by Louis Bourgeois, 1999 (R) “The Blind Leading the Blind” by Louis Bourgeois, 1947

Louis Bourgeois is a beautiful artist. If you have ever seen an interview with her you will see she that she says exactly what she wants to say and nothing more. Unlike her words, her work holds nothing back and shows you everything. The intensity and genuineness that each piece relinquishes are what have transfixed us for decades and has kept me on my toes.



(L) “Shingleshed Foldback” by Matthew Flegle (R) banister from Riki’s childhood home

They have a lot going on.



still of Mei from “My Neighbor Totoro”

Miyazaki has been a part of my life since I first saw My Neighbor Totoro. It was the first movie I watched and thought, “This is me.’” The character’s name was Mei and she was the younger sister who cried half the time and spent the other half smiling and eating. More than beautiful story-lines and imagery, I found Miyazaki to be an artist whose delicate decisions changed the way we interacted with others and our environment. Over the years he has taught me how to fall in love with landscapes and running water and that magic is never that far away.


‘It’s obvious in his work. It’s constant, this concern, this respect, for his audience.’ - Mr. Moebius (JeanHenri Gaston Giraud)


Riki Matsuda is one of the 2015 Summer season artists.



Spring artwork is released!

Last night was CSA’s first pick-up event of the year at The Faculty Lounge.  The artwork for the  Spring Share was finally revealed and it really blew us away! The four artists (Chambers Austelle, Elizabeth Calcote, Chris Nickels, and Karin Olah) went above and beyond, creating work that is fresh and exciting.  That’s not even the best part! There are still some spring shares available, so you can have a piece from each of these collections brightening up your home.  To make it easier and more accessible, we have the option of purchasing via a payment plan.  Make a deposit of $200 to reserve your share, then pay the balance ($225) plus tax when you’re ready to receive the work.  We offer free delivery in the Charleston area, or you also have the option to receive your share at the upcoming Meet + Greet at Lowcountry Local First Local Works on June 18 or our Summer or Fall pick-up events (August 6 & November 5 respectively).

Chambers Austelle

Austelle works from her home studio as a photographer and painter. Her work is surreal in concept, influenced by her interest in Biology and Psychology. She employs fundamental elements and principles of design to explore the complexity of human perception. This body of work focuses on the dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious. “My entire life I have dreamt intensely, so much so that sometimes it is difficult for me to discern between real memories and dream memories. Using dematerialized bodies paired with discernible faces, I reflect the strangeness of memories not understood or explained. I balance the duality of the imagery using simple elements of color, composition, and space.”

“The 32 paintings I created for Charleston Supported Art’s spring 2015 share, is a continuation of the body of work, Portraits. Each piece was created from my home studio in Charleston, SC and painted with Golden Acrylics onto a 6 x 6 inch birch wood panel. Although characteristics familiar to my work, such as negative space, dematerialized bodies, and juxtaposition between two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces, were incorporated into these paintings, my focus was the face. Each composition depicts a cropped, precise moment in time.  The movement and gestural lines of the hands are contradicted by the stillness and isolation of the face, while the color palette offsets the tension of disembodiment.”

Elizabeth Calcote

For thousands of years, women told their story through textiles, unable to read or write due to lack of education, or confined to activities such as needlepoint and weaving. I follow in that tradition, using symbols, patterns, and colors to tell a narrative from history.

The Lucas is inspired by Eliza Lucas Pinckney. At 22, she cultivated the first successful strain of indigo in the Carolinas and gave the seeds to other planters in the region. As a result, indigo became the second largest export of our state in the 18th century. The center of the pocket square is modeled after the rose window on one of Eliza’s homes, Hampton Plantation. The columns are ionic, like the columns of Eliza’s downtown Charleston home, which was destroyed in a 1861 fire. The paisley pattern comes from an embroidered tea cloth that Eliza stitched with threads dyed in her indigo. The block ink is indigo blue, and the charmeuse silk is hand-dyed using natural pigments. The block ink is indigo blue and the charmeuse silk is hand-dyed using natural pigments. The Lucas comes with a poem in a block-printed box.

Chris Nickels

When Nickels puts down his pen he enjoys the outdoors, graphic novels, old cameras, and trying new foods. He loves conveying a narrative through images, whether it be an abstract interpretation or a memorable scene. The focus for this project was to create a series in which to explore color, texture and composition in similar ways, but leave each piece feeling very individual. In this series, Nickels interprets and amalgamates archetectural imagery that he has gathered while living on the Atlantic Coast. They are repurposed from specific elements of memories, images, and experiences into something completely new.

Karin Olah

Spending time near or on the water has a positive effect on mood and health. Lucky for Olah and her fellow Lowcountry water- lovers, they have plenty of the wet stuff surrounding and influencing well-being. She’s soaking in the inspiring views and excited to share her own twist on a beloved subject.

Olah’s collection for CSA began as 8 panoramic paintings based on photos she took at Charles Town Landing, Folly Beach, and Shem Creek. She started with a background sketch, then under-painted the landscape, then applied fabric soaked in rice starch, then painted details using gouache, pastel, and pencils. Next, Olah cut the panoramic paintings into individual paintings, carefully choosing my favorite scenes for the CSA series. Each painting is unique and has “sibling paintings” that share its story.

She is interested in finding metaphorical connections between fabric and subject matter. This is why she pastes fabric into her paintings. Fabric has a load of memories that comes with it. It’s something everyone connects with.



Many thanks to our talented Spring 2015 artists for creating some extraordinary art for the program, The Faculty Lounge for being such gracious pick-up event hosts, and the Frothy Beard Brewing Co. & Cannonborough Beverage Co. for offering up some tasty beverages for our guests to enjoy.

Spring 2015 shares delivered April 23

April has been branded “Eat Local Month” in the Lowcountry and Charleston Supported Art, LLC, is offering up a visual feast for “localvores” consisting of curated collections of artwork by artists living and creating in our community. The debut pick-up event of the year, dedicated to the spring season, takes place on Thursday, April 23, at Faculty Lounge (391 Huger Street, downtown Charleston). Shares may be purchased online or at the event.

The twelve artists participating in the second year of Charleston Supported Art (CSA) were announced in February and the public was invited to get to know them and their work at a Meet and Greet event at Redux Contemporary Art Center shortly after. The gathering provided potential shareholders a glimpse of the quality and variety in styles and media of the works offered in each of CSA’s 2015 seasons.

CSA’s spring season features works by Chambers Austelle, Elizabeth Calcote, Chris Nickels, and Karin Olah. The four artists will be present at the April 23 pick-up event to mingle with patrons and speak about the 32 pieces of original artwork they each created specifically for and exclusive to Charleston Supported Art at 6:30pm. The pick-up event, open to current and prospective shareholders, will be the first time these works will be revealed. The pieces, which include paintings, block printed textiles, digital illustrations, and mixed media works, will not be available for purchase anywhere else.

Spring shares may be purchased and carried home on the night of the pick-up event. Summer and fall shares may also be reserved, with pick-up events scheduled for August 6 and November 5 respectively.