The Resemblance: Oliver Farrell and Anna Magee
The Falmouth Art Market will feature music by the Resemblance from 2 to 4 PM on Thursday, August 2, along with an array of paintings, jewelry, pottery, weavings, crocheted items, and more by 28 artists and craftspeople. The weekly event takes place from noon to 5 PM at Falmouth Marine Park, 180 Scranton Avenue, on Falmouth Harbor, every Thursday through August 30.
The Resemblance is Anna Magee and Oliver Farrell, a mother and son duo. Anna, a life-long musician, has been playing with Oliver for about 10 years, ever since he started learning the fiddle (training with Nikki Engstrom and the Sonnay Fiddlers, among others). Both are members of two large New England contra dance bands, and various other groups and ensembles, large and small. They share a combination of old-time, Celtic and contra dance tunes at many local arts markets, harvest fairs and contra dances on the Cape and along the Southeast Coast, on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and keyboard.
Richard Seaman makes whimsical pottery animals and quirky little birds—bluebirds, cardinals, blue jays, penguins, and owls—seated giraffes, lounging pigs, playful panda bears, colorful fish, alluring mermaids, sprawling octopuses, and much more. He also makes flat, round ornaments decorated in floral motifs.
Seaman’s love for whimsical creations dates back to when he was 10 years old and sick in bed. “My parents bought me some plasticine clay and I started making funny little mermaids,” he said. Later, when he taught high school art, he used humor to help teach human anatomy.
Most of Seaman’s career has been in more serious art though. He has a BFA from UMass Dartmouth and a master’s degree from Bridgewater State University in ceramic design and metal design. He started making pottery in 1971 and taught pottery for nine years before realizing he could make more money selling pottery full-time.
Seaman made large sculptural pieces and traveled up and down the East coast, doing the big art shows. He and his wife, a quilter, also owned a couple of galleries where they sold their work and that of others.
Humor was an element. “I made big, three-foot-tall giraffes and mermaids and my wife used to dress them up,” he said. For a time he did pottery parties in people’s homes, demonstrating on his potter’s wheel, and selling finished works. He also sold his work at shopping mall craft fairs, “back when shopping malls were new.”
He still enjoys doing shows, like the ArtMarket, but prefers smaller items now and has no shortage of ideas. “One idea leads to four or five,” he said. “I picked up a kids’ book the other day and saw a picture of a panda bear—they’re new this week—and then I started thinking about making polar bears.”
He fashions each of his whimsical creatures by hand, lets them dry, cleans them up with an Exacto knife, and fires them in the kiln. Then he applies the glazes, three coats of each color, and puts them back in the kiln. Finally he applies a brown glaze to bring out the features, fires them again, and finishes with an acrylic sealer. The amusing little creatures are now ready to take to the ArtMarket, where they bring a smile to everyone’s faces.