Subscribe to Ceramics Now Magazine Monthly Newsletter. You’ll receive a monthly newsletter featuring interviews with new and recognized ceramic artists plus the latest news from the contemporary ceramics field worldwide.
If you are a ceramic artist and you want to be a featured artist on our website (and in print), all you have to do is send us an email at ceramicsmagazine[at]gmail.com with your statement, C.V. (resume), and 20 images of your work. Submissions for Ceramics Now Magazine are free of charge!
“My extensive collection of historical ceramics numbering many hundreds of which are broken, has been a source of inspiration for me for many years. Whilst in the past my work has mainly been of teapots or indeed things that can pour, the last few years has seen a change which at the time shocked me: It was so unexpected.
The German salt glaze tradition featuring the face mask of Cardinal Bellarmine – with beard, instilled the thought of perhaps a few vessels of Peter Meanley – with beard, but the few vessels became more as the beard became more elaborate. Also, the English tradition of using complimentary coloured sprigs which I would call ‘drabware’ opened up other possibilities to the surface.
Of equal surprise, but as an extension of the Bellarmines, I began to look at Toby jugs and translate my work through the Toby tradition: indeed I have even become and avid collector of Toby’s. So far my work has been autobiographical although recently I have undertaken a Toby of a very good friend and former colleague in the University of Ulster.
My work is in salt glaze, is high fired, and at the age of 65 I am perhaps at the height of my capabilities. I remain passionate about the ideas yet to be made. Drawing is compulsive for me.” Peter Meanley
Ceramic artist Jennifer McCurdy lives on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. She has been working with porcelain for over twenty five years. For the last few years, she has been working with structural questions. How thin can the high fire porcelain be before it collapses in the fire? How much can it be cut away and still maintain structural integrity? How can the structural form be integrated with the visual, as in nature? How can the movement of the potter’s wheel and the fire of the kiln be reflected in the finished piece, which is rock-hard and permanent?
“Emotion fills me when I see perfect forms in nature, from the cracked conch shell on the beach revealing its perfect spiral, to the milkweed pod burst in the field, its brilliant airborne seeds streaming into the sunlight. The ordered symmetry and asymmetry of nature’s forms reveal the growth of life, the movement of life.
Living on Martha’s Vineyard, island time, especially in the winter, seems to conform to nature’s cycles. As a potter, I strive to make my work reflect the balance of life around me. It is important that the patterns I see around me are integrated into my forms.” Jennifer McCurdy
Tribute to George Jeanclos - Clay and bronze / Exhibition - Galerie Capazza, Nançay, France
Tribute to George Jeanclos - Clay and bronze
Georges Jeanclos (1933-1997) is one of France’s great twentieth-century sculptors. His œuvre is rooted in the traumatic events of the Second World War. To escape the round-ups that threatened French Jews, his family was forced to hide in the woods ; Jeanclos, barely ten at the time, had several close brushes with death. When the country was liberated, he saw the corpses of former collaborationists strung up from lampposts ; shortly thereafter, he discovered the skeletal bodies of camp survivors. Decades later, Jeanclos would respond to these seminal events : not by locking himself away in his own experience but by opening up to universality and paying attention to all forms of suffering, past and present ; not by representing horror, but by finding within himself the strength to create beauty.
Jeanclos’ choice medium was clay. He transformed it into thin sheets with which he then shaped human figures. Simultaneously children and adults, men and women, their faces are almost identical. Some are dormeurs resting beneath a coverlet of clay ; others are hidden within urns bearing Hebrew letters drawn from the Kaddish; others are boat travellers bound for the Beyond; still others are kamakuras, meditating bonzes lost in contemplation of the soul’s gardens. To all these, Jeanclos would later add Pietas, amorous Adams and Eves, couples tenderly grazing or stroking one another other. His images reveal both the undeniable weakness of human beings and the invincible strengh of love ; by the simple fact of their existence, they help us to live.
The present show consists of some sixty works in clay and bronze, representing all the periods of Jeanclos’ career. (Tzvetan Todorov)
Capazza Gallery, a superbly restored place of historic interest (from the XVIIth century), connected with the castle of Nançay, is located in the heart of the Sologne, about 90 minutes from Paris and close to the Loire Valley. In exceptional surroundings of 2000 m², you can admire the works of 80 artists with international reputation. These artist represent contemporary art in the most important fields of Fine Arts.
Born in 1974 in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan, Yoichiro Kamei is one of the most appreciated young ceramic artists. With more than 10 solo exhibitions had in the past ten years - in Kyoto, Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka and Faenza, he was awarded Merit Prize at the 1st Taiwan International Ceramics Biennale in 2004.
In 2010 he received the Kyoto City Artist Prize, which is one of the most valuable Japanese art awards.
“I am a storyteller. Or at least I’ve wanted to be one for as long as I can remember; yet, the verbal telling of situations is not how my mind works. Instead, I physically construct my stories which speak of emotional interactions and reactions experienced during intense social exchanges. Just as social interactions are layered, having a number of interpretations, visual information leads to a multitude of possible understandings as well. This is why the idiom “A picture is worth a thousand words” describes how I choose to create narratives. Having more than one interpretation of an experience is why I desire to pack multilayered thoughts into every thing I make. Through exploring these concerns I attempt to communicate the numerous nuances of emotion weathered during awkward social exchanges.
I watch. I love to watch. I draw inspiration from the watching. I collect awkward exchanges between people and then sculpt them into stories. My narratives visually speak of uncomfortable social interactions and the intensity of feeling born out of them. The pieces I build depict the slippery quality of emotional intelligence and how it seems to elude explanation. Since there is often more than one side to a story and no singular truth to a situation, my pieces are stuck at the point of experiencing and contemplating uncomfortable and irresolvable situations. I explore the pain and discomfort of social interactions through the visual narratives I make.” Debbie Quick
“I have been making art objects for most of my life and I have found that I have a greater understanding of my work after making it. There is a mystery to things that people make. I choose the process of art-making as a medium to pose questions about my relationships with (art) objects, people and myself. Each time I start a work, regardless of the known impetus, the content of the work changes into something I didn’t previously know. I have been enjoying this unpredictability, lending my creative process to my intuition.
In the spectrum of communication I find making objects to be an efficient vehicle. I find myself engaged with object making in a similar way a writer is engaged with text. For me, objects and their relationship with their surroundings manifest into a language in itself. As in the installation “Weather Underground” I was interested in the site-specificity of the space I was working in, which used to be a classroom. Working in an intuitive mode without an intended outcome, I knew the materials I wanted to use and allowed the piece to develop through me. It was not until later that I came to the realization that the work was about me revisiting my own experiences of academia.
I have considered my work to be a window into my subconscious. After completing this work, it allowed me to question the original idea, the process of making it and the actual outcome, and through the work I am able to gain a better understand of its possible meaning and message. The practice of art is now a renewed engagement with my personal history. The visceral understanding that it grants my senses is as pleasurable as the beauty of the produced object. It is not my intent for the view to grasp these specific notions but to come to the work with their personal histories and to derive a visceral understanding through their senses.” Ian F. Thomas