‘One Per Day’ the result of ceramic artist’s yearlong challenge

No. 38 and 39, Chicken and Waffles, by Angel Brame

By Sarah Weinman

Before I saw any of Angel Brame’s work, the premise of her show in and of itself intrigued me. The exhibition, titled “One Per Day: A Year of Small Decisions”, on view at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, Ill., features 365 small ceramic vessels. 

Brame created one piece per day from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2017. Each measures 4” x 6” or less and must function as a pouring vessel in some way, such as a teapot, pitcher, or salt-and-pepper shakers. All of the objects are combinations of wheel-thrown and hand-built elements. 

“The goal of this project was to encourage a small and disciplined amount of creativity every day,” said Brame.

The pieces are laid out chronologically and zigzag back and forth across the gallery space. They comprise an extraordinary range of subjects, styles, and designs. Subjects include hot-air balloons, animals, fruit, trains, fantastical creatures, and even whimsical contraptions that look like spaceships or submarines.


Most objects are displayed on shelves or pedestals. The flying ships and hot-air balloons hang from shelves. Each piece is numbered from 1 through 365, according to which day during the year that it was made. Brame either stamped the number into the clay of the vessel or created a separate clay hangtag attached to the piece by wire.

Examples include: “Teapot” (No. 28), which has the typical domed shape of a teapot. It’s glazed in white and gray, and has a wire and ceramic handle.

“Chicken and Waffles” (Nos. 38 and 39) serve as a visual pun on the soul food dish. No. 38, the waffle teapot, is glazed in a brown lattice pattern like that created by a waffle iron. No. 39 is humorously decorated with the stylized face of a chicken.

“Oil Can” (No. 5) has a red body with gray handle and spout. The spout is twice the length of the body and gives the piece the classic look of an old oil can. 

Brame used holidays as an opportunity for more creativity. Halloween-themed vessels include a bone and a tombstone. For Thanksgiving, she made a cornucopia and a turkey.

The show unfolds one vessel and one day at a time. It’s exciting to see what kinds of pieces come next, and also to see what inspired and interested Brame on any given day during the year.

“One Per Day: A Year of Small Decisions” is on view at the Jacoby Arts Center through July 1. The Center is located at 627 E. Broadway in Alton. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call 618-462-5222 or visit www.jacobyartscenter.org