And Jim's approach was never far from the jar he did for the Everson. More expressive than Nan, he continued to do thick, robust stoneware at Loretto Heights. A good example is in a case toward the end of the show. It is a lidded jar with a pair of ridiculously oversized slab-built handles. There's a ceremonial quality to this piece, enhanced by the subtle decorations in panels on the body. It looks like a parody of an ancient Chinese jar.
In another case, just to the right, is an abstract-expressionist centerpiece in white glazed raku, also by Jim. This is a type of bowl that he calls a "tramp pot" because he "tramps" on the clay with his feet to create its surface.
Porcelain bowl with translucent patterns, by Nan McKinnell.
Finally, there are a great many pots produced in the last few years, some major examples of which were done in 1999. Neurological problems forced Jim into retirement a couple of years ago, but Nan is still working. In one showcase are a few of her latest accomplishments -- monumental vessels in copper red, some with floral decorations.
Most of the pieces in the show sold on opening night during a collecting frenzy, but there are plenty more available from the McKinnells' longtime dealer, Meryl Howell, a potter who runs the Evergreen Gallery in Evergreen.
Assistant curator Sagara hopes that Tandem will give the McKinnells the recognition they deserve; the NCECA conference is just the vehicle to accomplish that. But even more so, it gives those of us who live here a chance to see the work of a couple of great ones who have been quietly working in Colorado for decades.