W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery
As a young student, I fell in love with clay. My life has changed greatly in the last three years. I have given most of my time this year to clay. I returned to clay as a particularly satisfying medium to express these changes. I feel wonderful when I work with this material.
These works are part of a larger series in different media that represent an exploration of time and memory. The ceramic work relates to landscape and the earth, inspired by trips through the Mojave Desert. I see these works as containers of memory filled with the resonance of time, beauty, change and loss.
As a ceramic artist, I work with clay slabs, often combining different clay bodies of different colors. I make and stretch these clay slabs by hand, usually on an outdoor surface.
I let these slabs of combined clays guide me when executing my ideas, seeing where it will lead me. It feels like a partnership, a form of dialog between the media and my creative efforts. After bisque firing, I use solutions of soda ash to bring out the clays inherent colors and textures that give the ceramic sculptures their unique voice.
My present series of ceramic sculptures reflect upon events and images from current and past years. A social comment recalling refugees, people forced to flee from their once safe homes and homelands, as well as lives having become fraught with anxieties, sorrow, and desperation.
Inspiration, Please, Inspiration humorously explores the transcendent creative process. Praying hands symbolize respect for the ineffable creative experience or perhaps are an expression of desperation. Harvesting some of the inspirational quotes I keep around my studio, I used yellow text to play off Kandinsky’s characterization of yellow: “Yellow is the typically earthly colour...It may be paralleled in human nature, with madness, not with melancholy or hypochondriacal mania, but rather with violent raving lunacy.” Ah, yes, indeed, that good old ‘Artistic Raving Lunacy’—’Sheer Obsessive Creativity!’
“I don’t have a clue” repeated all around the outer rim of the box is surrender to a ‘Higher Power’ or maybe just ‘Exasperation.’ Similarly, “Inspiration Please Inspiration” is written on the outside of the box.
Caroline Blackburn, a Los Angeles native, creates vessels that explore her interest in abstract painting, architecture, fashion, and nature. Trained as a painter, her work focuses on bringing a freshness and immediacy to each piece through color, form, surface, and texture. Every work is highly considered, whether it is thrown on a wheel, hand built, or a combination of both techniques.
Glazes perform at a level that engages the viewer in an abstract skin generated through the glazing process. She juxtaposes color, texture, and drawing using a variety of materials to accomplish a painterly surface, including ceramic pencil, slip, oxide, or glaze creating a sublime effect, reflecting phenomenon found in nature. Color plays a significant role in the work.
Blackburn has developed glazes that are versatile, whether used opaquely, transparently, or ones that create cratering or pitting on the surface. When she glazes a work, she approaches it as a canvas. She may first apply a slip, draw on the work with a ceramic pencil, and then hand-paint each piece with a variety of brushes to accomplish a painterly effect.
While investigating an interest in plasticity, the work produces a continual shift between surface, texture, color, and object. Each vessel provides a contemporary sense of life that is very personal and universal at the same time. Caroline received a MFA from Art Center College of Design and a BFA from Boston College.
As an anthropologist and visual artist, my field work in ergological folklore took me to different groups of potters not only in my country of Colombia but also in Chile, Mexico and Haiti. I was affected by the same simple vessels that were used in everyday life and for religious rituals. Their use of raku, saggar, barrel and pit-firing fascinated me. Their vessels were more than just pots, they told stories, and they were timeless and universal.
I have always derived pleasure from creating something with my hands. My work derives from my passion with clay, the simple forms, the playful parts, the subtle balance and contrasts in color and texture. My ceramics contain a short history through their creation and production process, every piece has its own origin and evolution, its own story full of symbols and contrasts.
My long trajectory in the investigation of indo-Afro-American groups has given her the opportunity to develop my unique style in the design of my artwork.
This work is meant to celebrate the sensual revelations of the sacred feminine and interconnected ancestral symbolism. Sustainably minded, my approach, artistic practice, home, and family life is constantly reverent of form, process, and evolution. Powerfully ritualistic by nature, as cultivated in my own spiritual practice, this work represents a deep connection to culture, tradition, and mysticism that honors the Star Nation, Native-American, and Alkebulan Ancestry. Each terracotta piece is utilized as sacred objects to invoke the divine feminine by utilizing the ancient traditions of altars and altar heartifacts.
The Clay Epoch series is an exploration of ceramic sculpture as receptacles of the human condition through surreal deities and creatures, monolithic idols, and artifacts.
I am fascinated by ceramic’s permanence and record-keeping, by mythos and resonating narratives, and the forms, symbols and aesthe- tic of Prehistoric and Neolithic art. These totems of stone, relics, and vessels, housed spirits, and stories that provided explanation and connection to the strange world surrounding humans and the worlds beyond.
The process of working with clay at a large scale is physical and immersive, inviting us into a meditative state of clairvoyance and spontaneity. Collaborating with clay’s earthy personality to bend, crack, and respond to my physical influence. It is the vehicle through which I feel a similar sense of connection to the external world and internal balance, the clay as well being equally hollow and given meaning as we find its form.
I am a form selector as much as a form maker. I gather parts of the world around me and use them as raw materials for my works. The clay becomes an impression of those materials, and through the serendipity of the process, it eventually reveals what it wants to be.
I am interested in the ideas that relate to how cultures interact, perceive, and manipulate the environment. A deep appreciation for the physical world, my inspiration comes from the landscape and natural phenomena –“nature doesn’t make mistakes.” Through the continuous process of building up and tearing down, I think about the present as well as what no longer exists. History, personal experience, documentation, ecology, and technological methods are of assistance in my research. Having a multi-disciplinary practice, I incorporate both painting and ceramic culpture. The work embodies an experimental nature using an alchemic approach, where materials become the vehicle for transformation. This information ignites a dialogue and mimics the multiplicity of layers present in a constantly changing environment.
Relocating throughout the U.S. and Australia provides a unique perspective towards contrasting landscapes. My interests are in the perception of the changing environment, and I repeatedly ask questions about how and why the transformation occurs. Through this lens, my work conveys new ways of looking at the world around us.
I began making clay balls with my cap clay from throwing pots, and raku firing them with bands of white. The graphic quality of the black and white balls, the round shape and straight lines, the curved lines and round forms are thrilling. The jumble of directions they point to is almost like dozens of voices speaking at the same time: they create a vision of chaotic energy and power.
As I began creating tableaux with balls, I created even larger balls, bringing more energy to the compositions. There are now cake-shaped pieces glazed with circles, and a bowl, black with white patterns that stops the eye, and challenges the other conforming elements. They create a very dynamic composition combined with the smooth, undulating grain pattern of the driftwood, which visually reads as long and flowing. A visual harmony is created between the disparate pieces.
I enjoy gathering contrasting shapes and patterns and materials to create a new experience. Driftwood on the floor, with black and white clay objects scattered with them, like debris on a forest floor, or small atoms, or other galaxies viewed from far, far away. I started imagining them as spinning atoms or planets, and realized how similar I perceive the world being structured, large and small through either microscope or telescope.
I’ve been a graphic design professional for many years, however, my recent work with ceramics at Santa Monica College has allowed me to rediscover a creative energy that I had not enjoyed since my undergrad days at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Incorporating my love of comic books and science fiction, I’m creating ceramic sculptures that are humorous, thought-provoking, and beautiful. It’s a joyful, toy-like world, filled with futuristic vessels and ruled by the gods who hold sway over its inhabitants.
My best friend, a ceramicist who died years ago, always wanted me to study with him. I was afraid of getting my hands dirty, but now I know that he’s somewhere out there laughing with me… and at me.
Lee’s work explores the idea of how a certain mental space and attitude can affect the physicality of a final art object. Eastern art and Shaker design philosophies are large influences in this regard, which can be attributed to her middle class upbringing as a Korean-American.
These sculptures are studies of the ‘Vessel’ as structural figures in both the tangible and metaphorical sense. The use of carving and sanggam technique on hand-built and wheel thrown pieces, combined with little to no added color or glazes, draws attention to the form and surface.
My current work explores the boundary where significant change occurs: where something ceases and something else begins. A specific line of demarcation, separating two states of being is created using extreme contrast of form and surface. The work is metaphoric with the intent of creating emotional resonance.
I was born in Minnesota and raised in California by a funky and creative family. My mother owned and operated a puppet theater in Norwalk where my family spent many weekends developing shows, building puppets, and hosting birthday parties. Art and creativity were a way of life.
In all my work, there is whimsy with a dark side. My personal narrative uses innocent childhood imagery like teddy bears, toys, and puppets to create the reactionary expressions of my inner emotional life. When something happens to me and triggers a buried emotion, a lost sentiment or a hidden pain, I must reconstruct and resurrect it outside of myself and find the story behind it.
I select materials based on their authenticity to my process. I choose clay because of its fragility, its relationship to the earth, and its tradition in arts and craft. I incorporate recycled materials such as wood and found objects because of their nostalgia and reference to aging, decay, and decomposition. Encaustic wax and resins speak to my faux finish experience and love of historic art materials. Combining assemblage with ceramics fills my current body of work. Trompe l'oeil to “fool the eye” sculptures are made of high-fired ceramic clay, oxide washes, encaustic paint and found objects. Their homespun construction and textured surfaces simulate thread-bare fabric, tattered fur, and the broken button eyes of careworn, faded toys, and carnival games.
My ceramic and wire piece, Reluctant Surrender, depicts a toy bunny falling backwards with a face full of surrender. The seam down her front, an open wound with stuffing missing, uses barbed wire in an attempt to close it. Turning to the backside of the bunny, with her fluffy fur and tail, we see one ear reluctantly rests on the ground, supporting her weight to ease her fall.
I am drawn to simple, minimalistic archetypal forms that reflect the geometries of nature. Weathered stones are a central inspiration for me. These perfect forms emerge through the planetary process of plate tectonics where cooling magma from deep in the Earth is brought to the surface and subjected to the physics of erosion over eons. These rounded shapes can be seen on any beach, in any stream bed. Echoes of this timeless progression are reflected in my work.
My approach is very much material and process oriented. Early on, I was attracted to the technical challenge and aesthetic possibilities of working with soluble metal salts on unglazed clay. These “watercolors” penetrate the bisque-fired clay and become an integral part of the material after firing. I am attracted to intricate, abstract patterns that cannot be comprehended at a single glance, and invite indepth exploration. My rounded forms are designed to be held in one's hands, and when set on a flat surface, gently rock before coming to rest at their own natural balance point.
My works are inspired by rock and stone formations. The opening in each piece ties them to pottery, instead of being pure sculpture.
I tend to work in cycles when making my sculptural pieces or functional pots. Recently, I’ve returned to the type of work I did fifteen years ago, using low-fire and bright colors. I have once again become intrigued by the relationship of the sculptural form and textural surfaces.
My designs evolve around a single image. It is important to me that this image is three- dimensionally complete. Complete in the since that I see it as a sculptural form, floating or sailing in open space. I use sand blasting techniques before and after firing to achieve my textures. I use under glazes for base color and lusters to achieve the pastel glass like quality. I complete the work with over glazes and additional sand blasting. The entire process takes five to six firings between 04 and 019.
Anyone who works in clay is confronted with a multitude of possibilities. Complexity and surprise are built into the medium, process, and technology. Take one purposeful step down an artistic path, and you’re immediately face-to-face with a crossroads that wasn’t on your mental GPS. Should you keep going straight —or what the hell, wouldn’t it be more fun to turn left or right and see what you run into? Exploring the unexpected sideroads has always appealed to me. It’s like going on a walkabout. As a teacher, I always tell my students to “try it and see what happens.” This is my own artistic mantra.
My aesthetic wanderings have been guided by the works of the ancient Minoans, Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans; by Japanese ceramic traditions, Jomon, Haniwa, Iga, Bizen, and Oribe; by artists like Gauguin, Miró, Picasso, Motherwell, Pollock, and George Ohr; and by the ideas of minimalism and other art movements. My modes of working in clay encompass drawing, painting, and printing, as well as handbuilding, moldmaking, and throwing — if only, sometimes to smash a pot on the wheel or to engineer its collapse.
What I hope unites my work is a sense of the excitement I experienced in going offroad —and there’s still so much to explore out there.
The series, Intimate Corners, points to the connections of vessels with architecture/buildings: both are functional, both are containers with useable and often intimate interior space, both have openings and walls, both have foundations, both are deeply involved with design. Not to mention, clay has been used as a building material forever.
This series of small-scale ceramic wall and pedestal sculptures are based on these connections —making abstract models inspired by contemporary architecture at the intimate hand-held scale of the vessel. So much visual information can be intricately contained at this scale, causing attention to go in, draw close, and explore odd openings, corners, and relationships of hard-edged forms.
I find interest and satisfaction in making these contemporary models by hand, rather than produced by 3D printing. Some of the works visually riff upon computer-designed/printed models, taken backwards into the unmeasured handmade. I like the idea of a conversation between low- and high-tech, how they inform each other, and reversing the order since industry usually only moves in one direction.
In my childhood, everything seemed to happen much slower. Whatever I saw, heard, smelled, touched, or felt, I had more time to think about, enjoy, and digest.
Looking back now on my sixty-some odd years, I realize that what has made life rich has been a belief in my five senses; as well as an appreciation of the slow pace at which time has patiently kept me company —as opposed to arriving with a flood of instant information.
Kumo-no-Ito (The Spider’s Thread) is inspired by a story written by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Kumo-no-Ito in the early 1900s.
Broken Landscapes is an aesthetic investigation of the tensions produced after breaking ones’ connection with the natural world. The purpose of this work is to present a space for dialogue, inviting the viewer to rethink their relationship with nature.
The sculptures are composed of porcelain slabs, supported on paraffin at different levels from the floor. The solid but fragile porcelain is supported by an unstable, slow moving column of layered paraffin; a sign of the accumulation of events and the passing of time. The gaps between the pieces represent earth fractures and man-made slices. The organic reliefs of porcelain slabs represent mountain ranges that reflect the influence that the natural world has had on me. In contrast, the geometric organization of the installations conveys the image of cityscapes and makes reference to the rational geometrical subdivision of the land.
This installation, in particular, is a collection of eighteen small reliefs reminiscent of a costal formation and positioned against the wall, except for the last block that comes forward to break the pattern. It is composed of porcelain plates supported by layered paraffin, rising four inches from the floor on a geometrical formation, and resembling geologic sedimentation or stratification.
Inspired by the sensuality of the natural world, I utilize botanical forms with their openly displayed reproductive elements as a metaphor for human sexuality. By creating abstracted flower blooms with layers of detail, my intentions are to inspire the viewer to explore the work in the same way one explores nature.
Eliminating the presence of stems, leaves, and roots removes the physical context of the plants, allowing the viewer to focus on the form specifically in terms of itssexuality. The exaggerated form of the stamens and pistils create a visual language referencing corre- lations between the botanical forms and characteristics of the human body.
These biomorphic forms are designed to lead the viewer to a subconscious association between nature and the human instinct of attraction. Through my work, I’m questioning ideas of beauty, eroticism, adaptation, acceptance, attraction, and desire.
My current work, partially affected by my new interest in quilting, has a strong affinity to pattern; sometimes organized, sometimes free. Orderly patterns, symmetric configurations, or fractals with their never-ending repetitions intrigue me. Contrarily, I sometimes take the opposite tact –reveling in abstract imperfections and chaos itself. The latter is true of my Cracked Egg Shell series, executed with random colored clay lines and ragged edges.
My aesthetic viewpoint is less about what my art says, but about what I leave out. The things “left out” are obscure references, indistinct or difficult to understand concepts, and contrived thinking. When I found ceramics, some 45 years ago, my life was consumed with the responsibilities of being a wife, mother, and housekeeper. The results of these activities were mostly fleeting, unremarkable, even routine —not necessarily unimportant or unfulfilling, but they were not measurable. Ceramics provided something concrete, something permanent, that I could point to and say “This is what I did today.” My art provides an actual accounting of work, effort, and especially expression. It is dependent on visual imagination but conveyed through REAL physical materials —what I can touch, see, and feel.
As a ceramic artist throwing on the wheel and hand-building, it’s simple and easy to make robots look like humans beings. Putting together common mechanical shapes and exaggerating the form makes it fun and inventive.
I prefer robots that are almost cartoonish; a little bit more mechanical looking. They usually have wheels and operate tasks that a human being can not do without getting into danger.
I can close my eyes and envision a world where four robotic dogs will gather together to howl at a fake moon.
With all the possible vehicles that could interest a ceramic artist, why shoes? Curiously, shoes are not just ordinary objects, they are among the most complicated and fascinating ways of expressing oneself. Shoes communicate, call up memories, awaken emotions, evoke nostalgia, and have always represented erotica.
For many years, the coexistence of opposites has influenced my work, and ceramic shoes are a way of exploring that phenomenon — the soft image of leather and fabric and the hardness of clay and glazes. Shoes are playful, fanciful and fantastic. I can transform realistic versions of them into sometimes dream-like creations by using a rich variety of forms and surfaces.
My greatest satisfaction takes place in the final stages of production, in adding finishing touches such as ribbons, found objects, tassels and beads, flirting with the prospect of almost going too far.
The shoes exhibited here, as are all my creations, are unique, one-of-a-kind. Moreover, the design of shoes represents only one dimension of my work.
I also engage in the full range of functional and sculptural ceramics, mainly working on commissions, serving the special requests of my clientele.
I throw classic forms and use surface textures to give them energy and vitality, resulting in art that is both pleasing and alive. I seek to create patterns and textures that emphasize the organic interplay between order and randomness as found in nature.
The tactile feel and visual look of surface textures are essential to my pieces. I create textures by deeply impressing patterns into thrown cylinders. Then, working from the inside only, I expand the cylinder to create the final form. This technique allows the pattern to evolve as the clay twists and expands. As the pattern adjusts to the shape and function of the vessel, it becomes reflective of Nature’s adaptation to form.
My glazing process enhances the natural aesthetic of the order and randomness. Thinly glazed surfaces highlight the macro-patterns and reveal the stoneware clay’s micro-texture created during the expansion process. I often use multiple glazes to intensify the dynamic tension of the surface.
My goal is to pursue the interplay of shape, surface texture, ordered patterns, and random effects so that work is created that intrigues the eye and demands to be touched. Although my work is functional, it is often prized as decorative.
I see all art as being political. And being a contrarian sort of creature, and now that my country is becoming a joke, I feel a strong need to get serious. It is a rather hard thing to face a reality, to deal with stupidity. I would like to suggest a strong drink, a liquid courage. But as you see, the jug is empty. Reality bites just like an angry pig. This is a trial by fire. This is one place where life imitates art; for just like pieces in a kiln, some people crack, some explode, and the good become better from being painted by fire.
This work is driven by its form and function; essentially it’s shape, how it looks, and how it’s used. The intention behind each piece is to achieve a balance between geometric and organic elements. Additionally, the balance between control and freedom in the making and firing are equally important.
Geometry was used at a basic level; simple forms made more complex by tweaking a measurement, angle, or adding a curve. The textures originate from processes found in nature and time, such as plants growing, bleaching from the sun, or rust corroding metal. These containers also experiment with the way we place our fingers to open them. Using this idea, simplifying and adding two knobs again inform the shape and function.
Ceramics can be unpredictable at times; it is a challenge to control. Have too much control, and things often will lack soul. Have too little, and a piece can lose focus. On the other hand, if one notices nuances in the making, and embraces mistakes, the process becomes freeing. It is my aim that all of the above will find the viewer feeling or seeing something familiar in these objects.
"For me, a successful piece casts an elegant shadow, vibrates with inner power, and celebrates the colors and patterns of nature."
– Liza Riddle
I am creating a body of work titled FORCE, which draws and reflects on my life experiences. My objective is to capture a moment in time, a moment in the inexorable process of desiccation, cracking, and destruction I have so often observed in nature. These works are quiet, but evoke a sense of power and resonate with contained energy; the sharp-edged surface tiles are seemingly just on the edge of destruction.
My work is hand-built, with wet clay applied to a previously-fired form. As the surface clay dries and contracts, it cracks and breaks into random or repetitive geometric patterns, forming irregular polygons, three-point stars, or small tiles. After firing, I paint the clay with water soluble metals, using iron, nickel, cobalt, and other metal salts. Through trial and error I have developed my own metal salt mixtures and techniques for applying these almost transparent watercolors. After a final firing, the metals fix and transform, revealing the earth’s elemental palette of colors.
At eight years old I was placed in foster care and later came to be adopted at the age of twelve. Being thrust from the familiar into the unfamiliar is terrifying. I remember spending much of my time observing in order to gain a better understanding of my new environment. This is a skill we are losing as a society, the ability to see beyond our own perspective.
Presently, people around the world are being driven from their “familiar” into the unfamiliar every day. My current body of work, Diasporas, is intended to pay tribute to the internal strength necessary to endure extreme conditions and still have the will to carry on. We as a society must learn to see things from alternate perspectives and make a shift towards living with compassion.
My work draws inspiration from Aboriginal culture and textiles. I blend traditional, functional forms with sculptural attributes in order to present a larger concept. Gravitating towards unglazed surfaces, I use dark colored clay bodies and employing the use of slips and oxides. The hope for my work is that it provides viewers with a sense of connection to a global community and a desire to see beyond the familiar.
My work has its basis in traditional pottery. First and foremost, I consider myself an artist/ potter. I draw and paint using traditional ceramic processes to achieve particular effects on my work in order to exploit and develop form. My concern with nature is revealed through my use of animal and bird imagery. Marks of stamps, inscribed lines, and the touch of a brush emulate this fantasy in nature. Included in this colorful landscape are dragonflies, a dash of gold, a glimpse of purple, and brilliant blues. Saying that, I am not particularly interested in a specific genus but rather in that fleeting moment, the leap of faith if you will, when they are suspended in air for a brief moment. The quick yet magic moment when they seem oblivious to gravity, suspended, or “braking” as they gracefully land on the most delicate of branches. The dragonflies’ rush and dip across the puddles leaving only a trace. Included in this rapture is my use of creatures imbued with the human condition.
The intimacies of these anthropomorphic lovers expose my wit and curiosity of the human condition. To paraphrase Susan Peterson’s quote of Hamada, each morning while I’m having my coffee, I sit and watch with delight as the birds and dragonflies dance and converse around the feeders. I am amazed because the birds always carry on the same prattle, yet it is always different and continues to delight and amaze me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in this venture. The drawn landscape dwells somewhere inside and it is with great anticipation and patience that I wait to open the kiln and expose joy, or sometimes grief, of life. Interspersed with this are both personal and worldly experiences, such as religious personifications as well as events like Sadam’s burning of the oil wells in Kuwait and the 9/11 catastrophe. The giving and sharing of my pots will enhance one’s life. My pots are made to experience and use.
Life in the city is full of fun, but everything tends to blur into one color and lose detail over time.
Throughout human civilization, many cultures have assumed legends of creation in which humans come from clay. A humble material, fragile and unassuming.
We are made from clay. And we can break.
Everyone is broken, or will be broken. Everyone has a story to tell that could bring you to tears, and that is also what makes us human.
We are the clay. And we are broken.
Most days we need an armor. A protection of some sort. Something between our fleshy, fragile clay and the outside world.
We are the clay. And we need an armor.
So I offer you this armor. An armor made from found objects, insect screen and paper fasteners; transformed into something beyond what it is intended for, beyond what the world sees. Put it on and be reminded that you are strong, that you can become whole again, and that everyone else is a little broken too.
We are the clay. And we are strong.
In puppetry, we create objects that will come to life via the puppeteer’s hand to tell a particular story. To animate the inanimate. Working with clay has a primitive pleasure. The “life” created as form is built from water and earth. If it could only be kept at the leather-hard stage, where the clay pushes back with its cold damp patina and still feels alive. The work would be complete right at that state –no color or embellishments, just the forms speaking. But as a figure dries out and is fired, the original shrinks and dies, becoming a shell archive of itself. Breathing life back in is the goal. Waking up the inanimate to tell its story, as the puppeteer does.
Each of my pieces tells its own story. They are folk tales of confidence and being brave; imagined in archetypal characters and forms which are childlike, androgynous, innocent, and playful. They aim to invoke a feeling of vulnerability, yet create a sense of risk. Confidence, being delicate in its beginnings, is lit by a sense of purpose. Images of fire imply pilot lights on and exposed to the elements. They require care in order to not be blown out.
In terms of my approach towards clay, I’m interested in the idea of natural forms that are refined down to the basic gestures. In the aesthetic sense, I interpret natural form as a singular being, something whole, without distractions. Nature in my perspective is making the most out of the least. I believe that is the essence of the stability in mind and body. I also believe that people can acquire a greater sense of happiness by surrounding themselves with simple and underwhelming objects and forms. I want my work to look as if I did as little to it as possible, even if I actually spent countless hours on details and refinements. When I see beauty, there should be relaxation that does not require unnecessary details. I have been working on this form for a year, filtering ideas over and over until it only shows what's necessary. Through each idea and model, my visual intent became clearer: How does one interpret tranquility of a raindrop, while acting like a river at the save time?
The Yoon Bud Vase is a flow container that is designed to interpret the tranquility of a raindrop, while flowing like a river. The bud vase is made through slip casting. The form used to make the mold was digitally modeled and 3D printed. For glazing, I used a satin glaze to minimalize reflections on the piece. Overall, my goal was to create a pure and whole form that conveys calm-ness and fluidity inspired by nature.
Making ordinary functional-ware on the pottery wheel is a meditational process for me; however, it is more exciting to explore possibilities of different techniques, creating unique shapes, firing temperatures, surface decoration, and inputing some messages or meaning into the piece. As a former graphic designer, I like the thinking process and sketching them out on the paper. Afterward, I do research based on the subject in order to get correct images and how to interpret the ideas into the final work. In the end, I hope these works speak both to me and others.
The mask idea was derived when I happened to come across Mexican professional wrestlers with colorful masks when I was switching TV channels. My ideas are the reflection of current cultures, such as superhero movies and animation, internet Emoji explosion, and Japanese comic imports.
These three pieces are slip cast porcelain and cleaned up with fine sand paper, then painted with underglazes on the bisque. They are protected with the cone 6 clear glaze.
Clay has allowed me to make something tangible out of fond memories.
I remember that I always looked forward to persimmon season. My grandmother would pick persimmon, or kaki, that grew in her backyard at just the right time so that we could enjoy their sweet crunchiness. Many years later, when I was making a mold of some kaki, I could almost hear her voice asking me why I wasn’t peeling them to eat rather than encasing them in plaster. I glazed the cast persimmons a bright orange, to match the fruit on the trees.
Because one can have only so many inedible kaki displayed in a bowl I began to consider other uses for the kaki shapes. I thought of the wooden kokeshi that my grandmother brought from Japan when she was a young woman. Its specialness made clear by its position high on her bookshelf, beyond my childhood reach. The combination of the persimmon and kokeshi forms resulted in my ceramic kaki-kokeshi dolls.
My grandmother’s kokeshi now has a special place on my own bookshelf and provides memories and continuing inspiration –always well within my reach.
Augmented and virtual reality will soon impact every aspect of our lives –just like the internet and cell phones have done. Why should we have to use a flat 2D screen to describe our 3D world?
This raku sculpture series traces the incredible and tumultuous history of virtual and augmented reality headset development over the last 50 years. More than 60 sculptures have been added to the collection over the last two years –from early NASA models,to the massive 80s models, to rough computer printed prototypes which evolved into massive commercial releases.
The history of the technology is full of false starts and brilliant ideas. This struggle embodies the type of thinking critical to surviving fast change in the future. The courage to scrap our ideas and start again will be a hallmark of the coming knowledge age.
Ironically, these high tech sculptural prototypes are fired using an ancient technique developed in the 1500s in Japan called raku. The drastic firing process was reinvented in the US in the 1960s at the same time as the first VR headset came into being.
Ink & Clay 43
Kellogg University Art Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona
September 16- October 26, 2017
© 2017 Kellogg University Art Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona
The artworks filmed, photographed and presented herein were used courtesy of each participating artist, with their individual permission.
Copyright of all artwork used or reproduced is owned by each individual artist and cannot be copied or reproduced without each artist's individual permission.
Anne Martens, Curatorial Juror
Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Clay Juror
Nancy Haselbacher, Ink Juror
Michele Cairella Fillmore, Curator
Kellogg & Huntley Art Galleries