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bridge cups thirsty music pips bailout misc




April 26 2012

A big thanks to all the great folks at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis Minnesota.  The image bellow is a shot of my studio as i was completing my 3 month residency at NCC.

NCC studio




November 29 2011

Have a drink, eat some popcorn, buy local gifts at the 6th annual Thirsty's Gallery 104 Holiday Sale!
Opening Reception Thursday Dec.15th 6-9pm music by The Get Lively Experiment
Sale Hours Saturday 12-6pm





August 10 2011

Located on the pier in India Point Park, Providence's most beautiful bay side park, Park Series is a free city grant funded music series taking place on the last two consecutive Saturdays in August. Running from 5-10p, Park Series offers a host of family friendly activities, bike powered gadgets, food trucks, and a beer tent for the adults.

Saturday August 20th Park Series offers special guest DVS* from Brooklyn for the headlining set. Saturday August 27th we have local dj heroes Micah Jackson playing the headlining slot. In addition to the headlining acts both Saturdays will feature sets by the Get Lively Experiment and Thirsty Sounds.





April 20 2011

Group show, Providence artists!!!  Candita's space in the Hope Artist Village is huge, naturally lit, and beautiful.  I've been working all winter for this show and will include new wall work, large wheel thrown objects, and every bodies favorite.. new Thirsty cups.  You may even catch a glimpse of Unkle Thirsty himself at the opening, approach with caution.


Candita Gallery






February 15 2011

Big Thanks to Wendy Lawton for the fantastic and fun interview with Unkle Thirsty!  Click here for the full link to the article and much thanks to Jack Lenk for the image of Thirsty.

ri palate


David Allyn is an artist, DJ, and, when the spirit moves, a hustler.
A few times a month, he paints on a pencil-thin mustache and fake chest hair, dons a golf visor and gold chain and a pair of gynormous 1970s sunglasses cast off in the old ALCO Building. Then he peddles a small cart behind his bike to some gallery opening or birthday party or underground art fest and mixes stiff, free cocktails as Unkle Thirsty.
David Allyn is a mensch – a 37-year-old potter with a pompadour who helped found the ceramics program at the Steel Yard, the West Side industrial arts organization, and who currently heads the ceramics cooperative there.
Unkle Thirsty, however, is a rascal. Thirsty is a 40-something bachelor with an ankle bracelet and illegitimate children and a fog machine. He is unemployed. He is from New Jersey. A staple of the Providence arts scene, Omnivore caught up with the mobile mixologist and his creator to talk alter egos and cocktail ice.

Is Unkle Thirsty performance art or commerce? Or a bit of both?
Performances sprinkle a little bit of money into my pocket, but Unkle Thirsty is totally an art project. It’s a gag, a spoof. It’s a release valve. You put the mustache on, and look out.

What is he a release valve for?
Taking art so seriously, I think. Half of making art is selling it. And that can be stifling.
How would you describe Unkle Thirsty?
Unkle Thirsty is faded glory. That’s the best way to describe him. Not someone you’d want your daughter – or son for that matter – to hang out with.
He is very interesting combination of cheesy and dangerous.
Yes, yes. Perfect way to describe him. There is room at the bottom for Unkle Thirsty. He spends winters in Florida, mostly on the run. He is an odd jobber – he sells used cars, he is sometimes a paid escort, generally with the older population. He summers in Rhode Island. He also is a DJ. Dirtbag hits are his genre.
He is like a low-rent Paris Hilton.
How did you get the whole look?
It all started with the fake mustache. You put on a fake mustache, especially a pencil-thin mustache, and it really snowballs out of control quickly. I found this big huge chain in Olneyville, and it went from there. The chest hair painted on with a Sharpie is really just the cherry on the whipped cream.
What is Thirsty’s signature drink?
Vodka, lemonade, twist of lime.
What makes a good cocktail?
Lots of ice. Ice is really important.
What makes a good party?
Good people. Seed the party with good people. The rest comes together.
Is there any connection with your ceramics and mixology?
Not a whole lot except the cup – the vessel. The idea of a beverage and how it can bring people together for a conversation. Sharing a drink is still the best way to start a conversation.
Or pick someone up.
That, too!
One last thing. Do you kind of feel like a superhero, with Thirsty as your alter ego?
Definitely. There is a bit of it that is exhilarating. I host openings in my studio, and in the middle, I head upstairs and change and come down as Thirsty and start pulling out my cart. And everyone is like “All right!” It’s great to have this other identity.

For more about Unkle Thirsty, or David Allyn, see http://www.davidallyn.net/index.html






February 14 2011

Providence Monthly ran a feature article this month on "Bringing Bass to Public Space" a shared project myself and neighbor Damian Ewens founded last summer (link http://www.providenceonline.com/providencemonthly/read.html)

prov monthly







January 21 2011

Metropolis Magazine's January article Community Activists: Rising from the Ashes, had a fantastic feature on the Steel Yard (full link): http://www.metropolismag.com/story/20110117/community-activists-rising-from-the-ashes

I was honored to have an image of myself in the Steel Yard ceramics studio as a representation of our community!


photo by Erik Johnson






December 2010



Toast the Holidays with this Local Artist’s Cups!

If you’d rather not get pushed and shoved around big box stores on Black Friday on a frenzied chase for holiday bargains, then try shopping outside the box. The Creative Capital has a wealth of choices for the thoughtful buyer of all things hand-made, local and original. Mayor David Cicilline kicked off the annual “Buy Providence/Buy Art” campaign this week to remind us that many local retailers and individual artists are offering great products for your gift-giving deeds!

Ceramist David Allyn is one of the four featured “Buy Art” artists whose photographic transfer of the Capco Steel building can be seen on buttons throughout the city this season. His live-in studio at the Monahasset Mill, just across from where Allyn teaches “Heavy Metal Ceramics” at the Steel Yard, is a veritable workshop of stunning hand-made ceramic cups from his Thirsty line. Using a wheel-thrown, high-fire porcelain process, Allyn combines photo and silkscreen prints to make unique and winsome ceramic objects like cups, vases, and fine art tiles. You can own an original David Allyn piece, or give it to someone you love this holiday, for anywhere from $20 to $1,200. City News paid a visit to his studio for a sip of this local cup maker’s lair.

What’s behind your winning design for the “I Buy Art” Campaign?
I chose an image of Capco Steel, which is located a couple blocks from where I live. I think the beauty of all the mills in Providence is just something worth exploring. It’s really remarkable to see all these brick, beautiful sleeping giants waiting to be awakened – very similar to where I live in the Monahasset Mill. I do a lot of photography and photo transfers on porcelain. It originally started with just a photograph, and through my process, was able to work with that photo, translate it to a three-dimensional material and do several other print methods on top of it to incorporate it with the actual photo. It’s nice to have an image as a foundation for the work you’re creating and to be able to manipulate it.

From your student days at RISD to your teaching days at the Steel Yard, what do you think makes Providence a creative city?
It’s a hundred percent user-friendly and affordable. It’s a really great place to develop and extend your network, as far as meeting, working and collaborating with other people and artists. It’s also a very easy place to start promoting yourself. Once you begin doing that, it’s also a very great place to enrich your own personal development. Location-wise, Providence is also very close to large metropolitan areas which make it nice because since it’s more affordable here for studio space.

I’m originally from the Midwest. I fell in love with Providence. After I got my MFA at RISD, I was looking to move on and get a teaching job at a university and began to do a little shopping in that market. Then I just realized there are so many fantastic things happening in Providence that it was worth my time to stick around. The year I graduated from RISD, the Steel Yard began their redevelopment campaign and I was able to found the ceramics department here. It started out really raw. You saw metalworking next to ceramics next to glass. It was just a really exciting time and now it’s just grown and become more formal. It was definitely worth staying.

I’ve been teaching here since 2004. I currently teach three-quarters of the year at the Steel Yard, all adult classes, and open enrollment. It’s just really fantastic to get people in that might not have a lot of art background and work with them rather than having apathetic college students anyway! It’s really an enriching experience for me.

What originally attracted you to this space?
I became friends with the cofounders of the Steel Yard and Monahasset Mill. So I got on board right away from the day I stepped foot on the Steel Yard. I knew it was definitely something I wanted to be involved in. It was definitely kind of a diamond-in-the-rough in a lot of ways because it was this messy, post-industrial site that had been a steelyard for a hundred years. With the right lens, I think anyone could see the beauty in this place. Knowing the people that could make it happen was really a good networking opportunity for me. It was very easy to meet them and very easy to collaborate with them on building this nonprofit. Also, the Monahasset Mill (adjacent to the Steel Yard) has been fantastic in developing a true artist community.

Why should people buy art in the Creative Capital?
Because art enriches people’s lives, makes them feel good about their community and their surroundings, especially if they are local handmade objects. Beginning to break away from the Made-in-China model, I think it’s really important for us to begin to take more seriously the things that we make and buy. For me, utilitarian objects – like a cup, for example – are mundane but important at the same time. It may be a relic of our past or something contemporary. I think it’s very important that we use local clay, made by my hand, fired here, and then hopefully appreciated here. I use a lot of imagery from Providence and I think that reinforces the connection of the object to its location.

Did you always want to be a working artist?
Yeah but I hesitate to say it because I first went to business school for the first two-and-a-half years of my undergraduate degree. I didn’t exactly know that I didn’t want to be in business. I just knew I wanted to do something other than business. I kind of fell into art because I had a really fantastic ceramics professor in my undergrad years in college. Ceramics just stuck! I look back without a day of regret as far as being an artist goes.

Where do you shop for art in Providence?
I support my friends. I have a short list of folks who I visit – Karen Beebe, who’s my neighbor, owns a fantastic boutique called Queen of Hearts downtown. I also buy locally from other artists that have print studios in adjacent mill buildings. It’s one of those things where I can just do a studio visit, which is my preferred method because you get to talk to the artist directly. There are a lot of really fantastic artists in Providence and it’s not very hard to get into their network. Some people make big things; some people make little things. But everyone’s making something. And it’s all easily accessible.

Describe your work as an artist.
Thirsty Cups began as a gag. It’s a character that I played on several occasions. There’s a persona that goes with the object. It started as a spoof. I did this little mobile drink cart and ended making cups to serve drinks at kickball matches and other art events in the city. I would go to galleries, crash art openings, and put on a pencil-thin mustache and serve drinks in these cups. Then I started getting requests from people to make other things. I wasn’t really taking ceramics or object-making seriously at that time. I was post-RISD MFA and was really more into performance and the idea of the contemporary art scene. It was a really interesting opportunity for me to make that bridge back to contemporary craft as opposed to doing performance, like doing more grounded art and working with materials. I’ve doing this now for the last seven years, increasingly more seriously. It’s always interesting to look back and know that my career started from performance and now has grown into something that has a rich following now. I really appreciate the objects that I’m making and I know that people appreciate using them too.

Where can people see your work?
They can come down to my studio here at the Monahasset Mill #104. I do studio visits all the time. Currently I have a gallery stopping by from Portland, Maine and they’re picking up a bunch of stuff for the holiday season. I’m also having an open studio on December 2nd and it’s open to the public. Locally, you can probably find my stuff at RISDworks, Queen of Hearts, and Craftland. But like I said, come to my studio and come to the Steel Yard. You’ll definitely see me teaching or working inside the studio. Having my studio right next door is a really a fantastic opportunity to see the process to the end result and learn a little bit I hope.

It sounds like you’ve really found a home here. You plan on sticking around for awhile?
Yes, definitely! I’d really love to see the seeds that I planted flower. Now I can actually I can sit back a little bit and notice my work taking root. It’s very exciting – so yeah, let’s wait for those flowers to bloom. It’s just a really great community here. So please support local art! Come by the Steel Yard for our Studio Sale on December 2nd! Also stop by the RISD Holiday Sale on December 4th! Buy local art! Look at the bottom of your goods and if it says “Made in China” put it down!

To view more of David’s work, visit him online at www.davidallyn.net. For more info on local holiday shopping and list of participating local merchants, visit the Buy Providence/Buy Art website.








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