Archive for Thursday, March 5, 1998


March 5, 1998


— Who says good things don't come in small packages? Just take a look at this year's entries -- more than 600 of them -- in the International Cone Box Show at Baker University.

Each of the entries fits into an Orton Standard Pyrometric Cone Box, or a space measuring 3 inches by 3 inches by 6 inches. Ceramists use pyrometer cones for monitoring temperatures inside the kiln during the firing process.

``We have more people entering than ever before. We have up to 14 countries,'' said Inge Balch, an associate professor of art at Baker University who is assembling the show. `` ... In the past we've had one from Japan and one from England. This time, we have a dozen from Japan and a half dozen from England.''

Other artists hail from Denmark, Cuba, South America, Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and, of course, the United States.

The entries -- which are for sale -- range from simple sculptures to complex constructions and from abstract designs to whimsical images.

``On March 7, the jurors will pick out the pieces for the show and narrow it to about one-fourth (of the entries),'' she said, adding that the jurors also will pick 50 artists to received $100 awards.

The jurors include Michael Simon, a studio potter from Winterville, Ga.; Harris Deller, an art professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale; and Anna Calluori Holcomb, chair of the Kansas State University art department and past president of the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts.

After its run at Baker University, Balch said, the International Cone Box Show will be displayed throughout the summer at Ohio University in Athens. The show then will move to Kearney, Neb., and La Crosse, Wis., before heading to the East Coast. The tour will end in 1999 at the annual National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts convention in Columbus, Ohio.

The pieces will then be shipped to their respective buyers.

The International Cone Box Show was the brainchild of Bill Bracker, a Lawrence artist who died in 1993. He began the show in 1975 while he was a professor at Purdue University.

Bracker and the Orton Cone Box Company wanted a show that demonstrated the beauty of small ceramic pieces and decided to limit the size of the show's pieces to the standard Orton Cone Box.

The national show moved to Lawrence from 1977 to 1979. Baker University resurrected the event in 1994, the first time entries were solicited from overseas, and has presented the show every other year since then.

-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is

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