Ceramic artists list
> Ceramic artists list 100. Tim Rowan 99. Graciela Olio 98. Michal Fargo 97. Ryan Blackwell 96. Ellen Schön 95. Francesco Ardini 94. David Gallagher 93. Elizabeth Shriver 92. Jason Hackett 91. Patricia Sannit 90. Bente Skjøttgaard 89. Steve Belz 88. Ruth Power 87. Jenni Ward 86. Liliana Folta 85. Kira O'Brien 84. Annie Woodford 83. Kwok-Pong Bobby Tso 82. Bogdan Teodorescu 81. Kimberly Cook 80. Paula Bellacera 79. Debra Fleury 78. Cindy Billingsley 77. David Gilbaugh 76. Teresa & Helena Jané 75. Marianne McGrath 74. Suzanne Stumpf 73. Deborah Britt 72. Kathy Pallie 71. Els Wenselaers 70. Kjersti Lunde 69. Brian Kakas 68. Marie T. Hermann 67. Mark Goudy 66. Susan Meyer 65. Simcha Even-Chen 64. Barbara Fehrs 63. Shamai Gibsh 62. Natalia Dias 61. Bethany Krull 60. Amanda Simmons 59. Arthur Gonzalez 58. Chris Riccardo 57. Akiko Hirai W 56. Johannes Nagel 55. Rika Herbst 54. Liza Riddle 53. Chang Hyun Bang 52. Virginie Besengez 51. Jasmin Rowlandson 50. Chris Wight 49. Wim Borst 48. Rafael Peréz 47. Guðný Hafsteinsdóttir 46. Cathy Coëz 45. Merete Rasmussen 44. Carol Gouthro 43. JoAnn Axford 42. David Carlsson 41. Margrieta Jeltema 40. David Roberts 39. Patrick Colhoun 38. Abigail Simpson 37. Signe Schjøth 36. Katharine Morling 35. Dryden Wells 34. Antonella Cimatti 33. Cynthia Lahti 32. Carole Epp 31. Blaine Avery 30. Ian Shelly 29. Jim Kraft 28. Wesley Anderegg 27. Connie Norman 26. Arlene Shechet 25. Young Mi Kim 24. Jason Walker 23. Peter Meanley 22. Shane Porter 21. Jennifer McCurdy 20. Yoichiro Kamei 19. Debbie Quick 18. Ian F Thomas 17. John Shirley 16. Grayson Perry 15. Vivika & Otto Heino 14. Georges Jeanclos 13. Daniel Kavanagh 12. Nagae Shigekazu 11. Matthew Chambers 10. Tim Andrews 9. Claire Muckian 8. Adam Frew 7. Maciej Kasperski 6. Roxanne Jackson 5. Keith Schneider 4. Celeste Bouvier 3. Tim Scull 2. Kim Westad 1. Sara Paloma

Interview with Jim Kraft - Ceramic Technique, June-July 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Jim Kraft - Ceramic Technique, June-July 2011

→ Subscribe to our monthly newsletter if you want to receive news and interviews with ceramic artists.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: What was the starting point in your investigation (research) with earthenware clay?

Jim Kraft: When I set up my studio I bought an electric kiln which satisfied  my needs as I was interested in making objects that were not meant to be functional or to be displayed outdoors.  I did not want to cover the clay with a glaze, I wanted the earthen colors of the clay to be prominent.

In what techniques do you usually work and what materials do you use?

My work is solely hand-built. I roll  25# slabs of clay by hand. I use a clay extruder to make my coils .I imbed dry colorants in both the slabs and the coils. I throw dry colorants on the ware boards as I roll the slabs, the moist clay picks up the dry materials.  Depending on what series I’m working on I build the vessel forms using cut up or torn slab pieces and twisted off sections of coils. I use earthenware clay in either a buff or a red color.  After the piece is bisqued I brush on a black/brown slip, I let that dry and the next day I wipe it off.  It stays in the cracks and crevasses.  Then I brush on a clear glaze.  I let that dry and wipe it off the next day.  I leave enough to give it life but not shine.  I want the surface of the clay to absorb light not reflect it. This is a building up of the surface, layering, as you might do in print making or painting. Then I fire it a final time.

Cord 5 - View Jim Kraft’s works

What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces? Tell us more about the process.

Currently I’m building vessel forms using short torn pieces of clay coils and stacking them, like cord wood.  The end of each torn piece faces the viewer.  It’s like building with wine bottle corks or cigar butts, but end up looking more like natural, organic objects such as bird nests, bee hives or tree stumps.  The trick is finding the place where they don’t look like any of those things but allude to any and all of them. However I always want them to read as vessel forms, something that contains.

Unfired piece - View his works

Do you remember your early works, how it all started?

When I originally went to college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I took all the art classes available.  Print making, drawing, photography, cinematography,  jewelry making, ceramics.  It was ceramics that sparked me ten times more that any of the other disciplines. Although I learned to use the potters wheel it was hand-building that attracted me. My forms then were as organic as they are today.  I eventually moved to Seattle and studied at a small private art school called The Factory of Visual Art.  After that I attended the University of Washington then began working at home in my own studio.

You say that your work connects you with past cultures who used the same materials to make vessels for ceremony or everyday use. How important is this connection for you?


I recently saw Werner Herzog’s film CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, about the caves in France containing wall paintings done thirty thousand year ago.  Also discussed were objects, weapons and vessels made during these times. It thrills me to know that today  I’m “making” things my predecessors made so very long ago.


Where can we find you and your works in the next future?

I’ve never been one to have a plan. I just keep working.


Give an advice for the young ceramic artists.

Let the work come from your gut, not so much from your head. I feel art is another language, not one of words and ideas, but a visual language that speaks to your senses.
Also, make what you want to make, not what you think you should make.

——————————————————————-

“My work in clay has been a succession/evolution of ideas over a thirty year period. I take certain elements that “work” in one series and often build the next series based on those elements. That could include the color of the clay body, the colors of the surface treatment, the texture of the surface, the form or the building technique.

I enjoy working with the idea in mind of smaller parts making up the whole. Tiles covering a wall. Vessels made with coil and brick-like pieces, or cut and torn clay parts that make a vessel look basket-like. The vessel form appeals to me on a level that I don’t understand. It is a sort of mystery. When I am out in the world and see such a form I am immediately drawn to it. As much as I am concerned with surface texture it is ultimately the simple form of a vessel that appeals to my eye.

I would like to think my work, and the act of making the work, connects me with past cultures who used the same materials to make vessels for ceremony or everyday use. I like the idea of being a part of the long history of people making things with their hands.” Jim Kraft

Visit Jim Kraft’s website.

View Jim Kraft’s profile and C.V. (resume) - View his works

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and like our Facebook page if you want to stay in touch with us.
→ Read more interviews with ceramic artists and search through our featured artists.

Interview by Vasi Hirdo - Editor of Ceramics Now Magazine with help from Miruna Pria.


  • 28 Jun 2011
  • 17 Notes
  • -
  • Ceramic Technique
  • Earthenware
  • Earthenware clay
  • Interviews
  • Interviews with ceramic artists
  • Jim Kraft
  • June July 2011
  • June-July 2011
  • Techniques
  • art
  • ceramic artist
  • ceramics
  • ceramics magazine
  • ceramics now
  • ceramics now magazine
  • clay
  • contemporary artist
  • culture
  • interview
  • kiln
  • modern art
  • modern ceramics
  • process
  • series
  • slabs
  • technique
  • techniques
  • traditional
  • Techniques
  • 17 notes | Show
    1. ceramicsnow posted this
    All work is copyright of respective owner, otherwise © 2014 Ceramics Now. Website design by Thomas Cullen. Powered by Tumblr.