Shane Porter's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works
→ Read the interview with Shane Porter, Spotlight - May 2011
“My current practice explores the role and function of the vessel within ritual theory and practice. The Vessel contains and protects liquid which during the mass is transubstantiated from wine to the literal blood of Christ. I seek to convey feelings of silence, reflection and reverence by abstracting and subverting religious connotations and metaphors, referencing my uncertainty.” Shane Porter
Shane Porter graduated from the University of Ulster in 2010 with a 1st Class Honours degree in Fine and Applied Art.
Liza Riddle's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works
→ Read the interview with Liza Riddle, Recognized artist - June-July 2011
“I have been deeply inspired by the rhythm, patterns and forces of life, boulders on a Sierra slope, the sensual shoulder line of a human figure, wind ripples on a gray blue sea and, during extensive travels around the world, by the ceramic work of ancient cultures, carefully crafted work that speaks to me, perhaps from the maker’s spirit still residing in the artifacts themselves.
I draw on the same techniques these cultures used to hand coil my vessels, using smooth porcelaineous clay. Some pieces are carefully burnished and polished before firing, others are sanded after being low-fired to soften edges and create a fine, matte texture.
My pieces are unglazed, and without a glassy surface, have the same cool, smooth feel of a weathered pebble on a sandy shore. Instead of glazing, I paint the bisqued vessels with water soluble metals – iron, nickel, cobalt and other salts – chemicals that permeate the non-vitrified clay and reveal the earth’s elemental palette after firing. Through trial and error, I have developed my own mixtures of metal salts and techniques for applying these almost transparent “watercolors.”
Metal salts are often unpredictable, but can create magical patterns – halos encircling galaxies of dots, colors that break from an iron-rich red to brilliant cobalt sky blue, subtle designs that mimic the colors and patterns of nature.” Liza Riddle
Chang Hyun Bang's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works
→ Read the interview with Chang Hyun Bang, New artist - June-July 2011
Born in South Korea, ceramic artist Bang Chang-Hyun studied ceramics and English language and literature at Kyung Hee University in Seoul and continued his studies (a master’s in ceramics) at the State University of New York, New Paltz. Bang was a literature student devoted to practicing novels in his mid-20s, dreaming of becoming a novelist. His career later helped him form his own distinctive visual grammar in his creative activities as a potter. Based on literary imagination, metaphor and symbol, Bang leads viewers to empathy with his personified swine characters.
Bang employs expressionist content and minimalist visual elements in his work. His work represents the gaze at his soul through recollections of the past in unique narratives. Employing a dramatic narrative structure in which a swine appears as protagonist, Bang acutely captures our diverse daily emotions - depression, anxiety, desire, obsession, loss, hallucination, horror - from the viewpoint of an animal. His small, cute swine characters echo viewers who think of them logically and rationally as weak, poor animals. Viewers obsessed with the pigs come to contrast their own life with that of the pigs cast in a dark shadow.
Connie Norman's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works
“All my life I have struggled with writing, now my work is completely covered in text. This paradigm shift has allowed me to experiment in different art forms, and face fears through the medium of art. An interesting adventure in self-discovery! The text in my pieces acts on several levels. For instance, it has texture, pattern, mystery and a path to look inward to decipher a glimpse into my private thoughts.
I am fascinated by the rhythmic qualities created by color, texture, and patterns. Decoration and the act of decorating are essential because it celebrates and enhances form and speaks purely of aesthetics. I use pottery as a vehicle to explore decoration and other formal questions. It allows me to investigate form, space and image. My greatest satisfaction comes from thoroughly filling surfaces with color and finely detailed decoration in a spirit that I feel is playful and whimsical. My attempt is to make the environment an expressive participant and to address the importance of aesthetics in our daily lives.” Connie Norman
Connie Norman was born in Japan, and raised all over the world. She is a graduate of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and concentrated in ceramics and ceramics sculpture. She has also studied ceramics in Tokoname, Japan. Her work has been shown nationally and juried into many national shows, including Strictly Functional, Ceramics USA, and Origins in Clay, and a solo exhibition at NCECA, 2006. Connie is a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fellowship recipient winner for 2002. Also, in 2005 she received a Wyoming Art Council Visual Art Fellowship. Her work has been published in Ceramics Monthly. In December 2004 she was on the cover of Ceramics Monthly Magazine.
Arlene Shechet's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works
Arlene Shechet’s modeled surfaces demonstrate how clay mirrors the artist’s touch. Her objects bear the mark and memory of her hands. The sculpture’s bulges, hollows, spouts, and holes evoke bodily features, and as the artist notes, are “suggestive of the curving forms found in classical Indian sculpture.” By coating the clay with eccentric color combinations and metallic glazes—created with an experimental disregard for traditional firing temperatures—Shechet not only fractures the objects’ surfaces but also undermines any single association with nature. Seeming to expand and deflate like a breath, Shechet’s dynamic works continually transform, as they reappear anew moment by moment.
Born in New York City, Arlene Shechet received her BA from New York University and her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2009), the Walker Art Center (2009), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2008), the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (2008), the Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2007), Real Art Ways, Hartford (2005), and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2003). She has created on-site installations at the United States Embassy, Beijing (2008), Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, Woodstock (2007), the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York (2001), and elsewhere.
Young Mi Kim's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works
Young Mi Kim was born and raised in South Korea. she and her family immigrated to New York City in 1974. She studied painting, graduating from Cooper Union. Chance adventure led her to discover clay fifteen years ago and she is still inspired to explore its depths and possibilities.
Kim began her career as a painter and is a graduate of Cooper Union. She has been working in clay for over fifteen years, having discovered the medium best expresses her artistic vision. Her range of work includes tall open vessels, deep bowls and altered sculptural forms. Kim uses the two dimensional line to give her shapes visual form and strength, while her organic, hand-coiling technique and gently worked surfaces give her forms life. The space contained in her vessels balances deftly with their vegetative and marine inspired radiating, decorative patterns.
Jason Walker's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works
Jason Walker’s ceramic sculptures offer narrative in both two- and three-dimensional forms. Walker’s painted porcelain tells part of a story depicted also by the object and the actions it may be committing. While the relationship between nature and technology are common themes touched about by Walker, some more recent pieces seem more sociological. Ideologies aside, the sheer skill and technique involved is also worthy of note.
“The culture I live in does not emphasize our physical connection and dependence on nature. The current ideology is reliant upon technology, and it promotes disembodied activity such as television [and] computers… The gap between man-made and natural is ever increasing.
Light bulbs, plugs, power-lines and pipes that grow from the earth are common images found in my work, juxtaposed with birds, insects, and organic matter such as leaves and trees. Similar to the thinking of the Hudson River School of painting, I attempt to portray nature’s vastness and human-kind as a small proponent of it. Yet I draw the small things of nature large and the huge creations of man small. I want to show how we influence the landscape, or nature. My ideas stem from my own experiences bicycle touring, backpacking and the daily hikes I take with my dog.” Jason Walker
Peter Meanley's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works
“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
Jennifer McCurdy's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works
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
Yoichiro Kamei's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works
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.
Debbie Quick's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works
“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
Ian F. Thomas' profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works
“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
John Shirley's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works
→ Read the interview with John Shirley, Ceramic Technique / Soluble salts - April 2011
“Born in South Africa in 1948, I have been working in ceramics since 1970. Having always been drawn to its translucent and ethereal qualities I worked mainly in porcelain for a number of years. My current work is in Bone China which due to its exceptional translucency seems to be the perfect material for the expression of my ideas. The work is decorated with a combination of wax resist and soluble metallic salts, which permeate the body and create a ‘watercolor’ effect.
Early in 2000 I was employed at the TWR (now University of Johannesburg) and I enrolled for my B Tech Ceramic Design. It was during this period that my experimentation with bone china began, and I produced a body of extreme whiteness with excellent translucency. My early work in bone china was pierced and sandblasted. On completion of my B Tech, for which I gained a distinction in ceramic practice, I started exploring and using soluble salts.
This still occupies me today and it seems that after all the experimentation I am finally making the work I want to be making. I find the soluble salts to be so different to the oxides with which one usually colours ceramics, not only their subtlety but also the way they gently permeate the surface of the work creating a watercolour effect. For this work I have garnered several accolades. Two of the most important of these being; in 2008 I won an award of merit at the Corobrick National Ceramics Biennale held in Johannesburg, South Africa, and I was honored to have a piece of work selected for the 5th World Ceramic Biennale, in Korea 2009.” John Shirley
Grayson Perry's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works
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.
Vivika and Otto Heino's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View their works
Vivika and Otto Heino collaborated from 1950 until 1995, the year of Vivika’s death. Their work is distinguished by its clean lines and distinctive glazes. Despite getting under way during the Depression, the Heinos supported themselves as potters throughout their careers. Their world was guided by a strong work ethic and a love of clay. Unfazed by ceramic trends, they remained true to their sense of what pottery should be—traditional and utilitarian.
Otto and Vivika were part of a generation that sought to redefine the art of ceramics in relation to modern art and culture. The “potters,” as the Heinos and their contemporaries were proud to be called, were influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement, Germany’s Bauhaus, and the potters of Japan.
Otto and Vivika’s work is collected world-wide and has been exhibited internationally at the Picasso Museum in Vallauris, France; San Francisco’s De Young Museum; Los Angeles’ County Art Museum and Craft Folk Art Museum; New York’ American Craft Museum; Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian’ and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Twentieth Century Fox commissioned them to create 751 pieces of pottery for the film, “The Egyptian.”