Carol Gouthro: All my work is made using clay and fired ceramic glazes and materials. I am a bit of a purist about this in my own work. I love ceramic materials and surfaces and do not feel the need to use cold finishes. I enjoy mixing my own glazes and running glaze tests to get the resulting fired surfaces I seek. I love Terracotta clay, the color and the feel of the clay, and that is the primary clay body I use. Color is important to me in my work and I combine both commercially bought materials, underglazes and glazes and my own studio mixed slips and glazes to get the results I want.
I have two bodies of work that I make. The first is my on going explorations in sculpture and vessel forms. These are one of a kind and always evolving. In this work I use many different techniques combining handbuilding, slip casting and wheel throwing to get the forms I want. I make a lot of slip cast molds from found objects ,usually objects that I have some kind of emotional response to. I often manipulate the resulting forms making 2nd and 3rd generation molds. I also throw and handbuild forms and make press molds for future use. That way when I start working on pieces I have an inventory of shapes at my disposal. My visual library.
The second body of work I make is a line of dinnerware and accompanying serving pieces that I produce and sell exclusively out of my studio.
This line consists of dinner plates, salad and dessert plates, shallow bowl, deep bowls, tumblers, and cups and saucers. For the dinnerware I throw all the original forms and then make slipcast molds and pour the pieces in Terrecotta. They are painted by hand with underglazes and fired with clear glaze. The large bowls, and platters are press molded and finished the same way as the other dinnerware. These pieces are my production line and I do not change the designs very often unlike my sculptural one of a kind work. I make all this myself, I do not have assistants.
Where do you get your inspiration for your pieces and what motivates you to do a good job ?
The inspiration for my work comes from several sources. Ceramic vessels, Ornamentalism, plants forms and other natural forms, childhood artifacts.
I have always studied historical ceramic vessels ever since my university days. Some of my favorites are Persian Luster ware, Italian Renaissance majolica, Tang Dynasty Terrecotta, Japanese Oribe ware, Victorian Majolica, and Noritake Art Deco Lusterware. Color , pattern ,and texture are essential components in my work and I have always been drawn to very ornamental historical pieces , palace pots of all kinds.
Because we received a lot of good feedback in the last month (we really thank you for your messages and support), we are now opening submissions for Ceramics Now Magazine.
If you are a ceramic artist/ potter, you can now submit your work to Ceramics Now Magazine via email at ceramicsmagazine[at]gmail.com. We need your C.V. (resume), your statement and at least 15 images with your works (minimum 700px wide). Here you can see a list of our featured artists.
Also, if you have articles you need to publish or an event to promote, feel free to contact us. Submissions are free of charge.
Grayson Perry (born in 1960) is an English artist, known mainly for his ceramic vases and cross-dressing. He works in several media. Perry’s vases have classical forms and are decorated in bright colours, depicting subjects at odds with their attractive appearance, e.g. child abuse and sado-masochism. There is a strong autobiographical element in his work, in which images of Perry as “Claire”, his female alter-ego, often appear. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003 for his ceramics, receiving the prize dressed as Claire.
Perry’s work refers to several ceramic traditions, including Greek pottery and folk art. He has said, “I like the whole iconography of pottery. It hasn’t got any big pretensions to being great public works of art, and no matter how brash a statement I make, on a pot it will always have certain humility… For me the shape has to be classical invisible: then you’ve got a base that people can understand”. His vessels are made by coiling, a traditional method. Most have a complex surface employing many techniques, including “glazing, incision, embossing, and the use of photographic transfers”, which requires several firings. To some he adds sprigs, little relief sculptures stuck to the surface. The high degree of skill required by his ceramics and their complexity distances them from craft pottery. It has been said that these methods are not used for decorative effect but to give meaning. Perry challenges the idea, implicit in the craft tradition, that pottery is merely decorative or utilitarian and cannot express ideas.