Interview with Roxanne Jackson - Artist of the month, June-July 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Roxanne Jackson - Artist of the month, June-July 2011

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

Ceramics Now Magazine
: The theme of your works is very dramatic and sometimes macabre. Why did you take this challenge of confronting with your subconscious?

Roxanne Jackson: I want to make work about whatever comes natural to me. Instead of, for instance, sitting down to brainstorm different ideas to see what comes up, and then pick the ‘best one’ to use, I would rather see what surfaces naturally— when it is uncensored. Of course I am making decisions but, I allow room for intuition—rather than forcing the work to go in a particular direction. Art certainly has many roles—one is to depict and create beautiful objects. But, that is not the only way art can serve us.


Cadaver-Stirrup - View Roxanne Jackson’s works

We all know that the human nature has a dark side. You explore and question this side with your works and with what they express. Do you find exploring this side of human nature to be hard?

Not at all. I find the work honest and refreshing. I am currently building a two-part piece to be installed at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens (Long Island City), New York this fall. Socrates is a contemporary sculpture park which support truly innovative outdoor sculpture.  I am creating two dead animals—one will be a white unicorn (with a crystal formation for the horn)—made from fired ceramic. The other form will be a life-sized adobe (and cement) buffalo, also dead. I am creating this work to comment on traditional outdoor sculpture that commonly depicts animals—usually, the powerful, regal stag in its prime-is represented (and cast in bronze). I have often wanted to see a nature sculpture that depicts an animal that is aging, for instance. Because, then the work would raise a different type of emotion and/or empathy within the viewer. In the same way the viewer can identify with beauty, she or he can also identify with pain, aging and all sorts of other complicated emotions. So, since I have never seen any outdoor sculpture like this, I decided to just make it myself.

Read More

Interview with Liza Riddle - Recognized artist, June-July 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Liza Riddle - Spotlight - Recognized artist, June-July 2011

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

Ceramics Now Magazine
: What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces?

Liza Riddle: I am exploring using soluble metal salts on low-fired porcelain clay, a project I began two years ago and am just now achieving the effects I desire.  All of my work is hand coiled, then carefully burnished to a smooth finish.  I bisque fire the clay at earthenware temperatures, paint them with water soluble metals – iron, nickel, cobalt and other salts, and fire again at low temperatures.


Three Closed Forms - View Liza Riddle’s works

Ceramics Now Magazine: Where do you get your inspiration for your pieces and what motivates you?

I seek to create work that evokes a sense of wonder and mystery, forms that beckon to be held and admired.  I delight in closely observing and then interpreting natural objects and events – weathered boulders on a mountain slope, wind ripples on a gray blue sea, complex designs on a delicate bird egg – their rhythms, patterns and forces have greatly inspired my work.  I am an avid traveler and hiker.  During my adventures I have discovered the magnificent pottery of ancient cultures in the American Southwest, South America, and Asia, which speak to me in very profound ways.   

In what techniques do you usually work and what materials do you use? Do you find working with soluble salts hard?

I have been experimenting with soluble metal salts for the past two years, a collaboration with my husband, Mark Goudy, which draws on the inspirational work of the master of soluble metals, Arne Åse. Through trial and error, I have developed my own techniques for applying these almost transparent, highly sensitive “watercolors.” The chemicals are toxic and care must be taken while working with them, so my experiences working with photography chemicals and in a scientific laboratory have been extremely helpful. Although metal salts are challenging to work with, I love the sense of anticipation as I wait for a kiln load to finish firing, the joy of seeing their almost magical effects. Some results are disappointing, but I enjoy challenges. Because working with metal salts requires continual testing, inventing and learning, I am certain this project will keep me engaged for quite a long while.

Read More

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.

Read More

Interview with Carol Gouthro - Artist of the month, May 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Carol Gouthro - Artist of the month, May 2011

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

Ceramics Now MagazineIn what techniques do you usually work and what materials do you use?

Carol GouthroAll 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.


Aurlia Barnacles - View her works

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.

Read More

Interview with Carole Epp - Artist of the month, April 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Carole Epp - Artist of the month, April 2011

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter if you want to read more interviews with ceramic artists.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: In what techniques do you usually work and what materials do you use?

Carole Epp: Since I create more than one line of work, I’m afraid this will be a long answer! I have for a long time maintained both a sculptural and a functional line of ceramic objects.

My sculptural work incorporates hand built and slip cast components; found objects, and constructed objects of various materials (most often wood). Through hand building and slip-casting the clay form is developed. I then use underglazes, engobes and China Paints to decorate the work.

My functional line of objects varies in terms of techniques all the time. I will sometimes throw porcelain, or hand build dark mid temperature clays, or slipcast forms. This is a process for me in which I aim to simply have fun, explore technique, and ideally constantly evolve. I love throwing with porcelain (Southern Ice in particular).  My aesthetic leans towards more crisp bright white objects with a bit of color added through glaze or underglazes. Lately I’ve been developing a body of work that is inspired by my young son. I’ve been stamping and drawing (scraffito) a lot of cute imagery on my work. Surprisingly this work has been incredibly rewarding in that it simply brings joy and smiles to me as I make it, and to those that use it.


She felt like a joke and was falling a part at the seams, 2011, Mid-fired white stoneware, underglaze, china paint - View her works

What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces?

My present project is a series of figurative sculptures that reference kitsch figurines, lowbrow art, DIY culture, and popular/ western/ consumer culture. Drawing from very personal narratives the work is an investigation into the human condition presenting figurative tableaus of death and love, hope and failure, family and social pressures. The aim of my work is always to stimulate conversation, thought and action in a pro-active method. I desire to address issues of political, social, humanitarian concern. Issues are taken from contemporary media, but addressed through my own personal voice.

I have been working on this type of work for over six years now. There is always new subject matter to develop, more dialogues to be presented and discussed, new imagery that floats into my mind. As life changes, this body of work changes for me.

Read More