Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions – Nautilus Series, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 32” H x 23”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions – Nautilus Series, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 32” H x 23”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Nautilus Improv 1, side view, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 26”L x 23”W x 33”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Nautilus Improv 1, side view, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 26”L x 23”W x 33”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Improv 2, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 21”L x 13”W x 8”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Improv 2, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 21”L x 13”W x 8”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Open call for submissions

We’re opening submissions for all contemporary ceramic artists. If you submit your work to Ceramics Now, you could be featured on our website (as a featured artist), and in print, beginning Issue nr. 2 (March 2012). Contact us.

Ceramics Now Magazine is a contemporary ceramic art magazine published in Romania. We feature exclusive interviews with world-renowned ceramic artists, high quality images with their works and news from the ceramic field. The first printed issue of Ceramics Now will be published next month (Winter 2011-2012), and will contain more than 40 interviews with ceramic artists.

We think it’s an amazing opportunity for artists to be featured and to be promoted in Ceramics Now. We have a strong presence online and we are trying hard to enter the top contemporary ceramics magazines in the world.

Read more about us and about Issue nr. 1.

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Interview with Ian Shelly, Ceramic Installation - October 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Ian Shelly - Ceramic Installation, October 2011

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→ The full interview with Ian Shelly is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One, Winter 2011-2012.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: You’re a very prolific artist, with lots of exhibitions, lectures and workshops being held in the last years. How do you find the time needed for all of this? Do you also teach?

Ian Shelly: Thank you for the considering me prolific, that is an adjective that has been used before to describe not only the breadth and quantity of what I do and what I call “My” art but a diagnosis that I find most properly describes my unyielding need to make. I don’t know how to make art any other way…never have. I think that the only way to find the time to work “prolifically” is by making the best out of all the other tasks that you do. Be it exhibiting, lecturing, and teaching workshops. All of these moments and all of the moments not making provide us with a unique opportunity to think, plan and daydream. I need my time spent talking about other artists to think of how I am different. I also need my time as a Sunday afternoon mechanic fixing things around the house to remind my brain that my hands like moving this way or that. All of this activity then tells my wallet what kind of clay and glaze I need to use to keep my brain and hands satisfied. My brain still cannot keep up with my hands.
The teaching that I also do is like a buffet. In some ways it provides me with necessary exercises that a growing artist needs to flourish. It also provides me with a multitude of materials and technologies to further understand the science and dexterity needed for ceramics. I find one of the most helpful aspects of teaching to be the communication development. When I started in education, I couldn’t walk a person through making a paper airplane, and now, through all of the practice I can teach all kinds of different styles of airplanes. Most importantly, I, myself, make a better airplane. This has been very helpful. Inevitably though, if you do too much, like any buffet…it isn’t healthy.

Ian Shelly Contemporary ceramic installation

Playtime (detail) - View his works

Like the system and language of chemistry, your works behave like an equation, trying to connect human relationships. Tell us about the process of constructing a new work, from sketch to firing.

This is a great question. One that I believe all artists answer differently at different times in their careers and lives. My works attempt to answer relationship equations in the final product but also in the process in which they are made. Like I say in just about every artist statement and writing I do, I see my art making and general studio process as a living, breathing, eating, growing and even more important, a mutating organism. One that is fed helpful amounts of media then distilled and filtered clumsily through screens made of new materials and techniques. Like any healthy science project, random samples are taken to ensure the highest quality of homogenization and communication. At times it is absolutely similar to a chemical equation made of compounds and bonds, but one that is never ending, moving and ultimately insolvable.
Ian Shelly Contemporary ceramic installationI am sure that we all do things like these in our pursuits to make art. For me, I believe it is important to keep the theme and scenarios of my project in mind. In the case of this work, the themes are systematic and a-systematic routines of study and classification. I think what you may be asking is whether or not I start with sketches and end in a fired ceramic work that installs in a viewing space. Of course I do. However, it rarely follows the paths that I see my colleagues using. Sometimes I wish it did, because I wonder if I would be more productive with someone else’s art routine.
The journey that my work follows often begins with an accidental gluing of one thing to another and after a very calculated series of profanity and failures, what you see is my work…in all of it’s sticky, gooey, orb-ness.

What is your present project? Tell us about it.

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Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue nr. 1 / Winter 2011-2012
Arthur  Gonzalez's work is on the cover of the Ceramics Now Magazine Winter  2011-2012 issue, introducing an amazing interview about his work. The  issue also features Roxanne Jackson's work, as well as two partnerships  with the Denver Art Museum (Overthrown: Clay Without Limits) and Keiko  Gallery (Japanese artists).
Issue nr. 1 also presents interviews and articles with new and world-renowned ceramic artists: Claire Muckian, Carol Gouthro, Ian F. Thomas, Cynthia Lahti,  Carole Epp, Simcha Even-Chen, Liza Riddle, Patrick Colhoun, Mark Goudy,  Chang Hyun Bang, Ian Shelly, Shamai Gibsh, Margrieta Jeltema, John  Shirley, Jim Kraft, Connie Norman, Blaine Avery, Antonella Cimatti,  Maciej Kasperski, Wim Borst, Signe Schjøth.
Overthrown - Denver Art Museum:  Gwen F. Chanzit (curator), Katie Caron and Martha Russo, John Roloff,  Clare Twomey, Paul Sacaridiz, Linda Sormin, Del Harrow, Benjamin DeMott,  Mia Mulvey.
Japanese artists - Keiko Gallery:  Niisato Akio, Kawabata Kentaro, Takeuchi Kouzo, Hayashi Shigeki, Tanoue  Shinya, Fujita Toshiaki, Murata Yoshihiko, Jorie Johnson, Takeda Asayo,  Mariko Husain.
Read more about the magazine: www.ceramicsnow.org/magazine
BUY THE FIRST ISSUE NOW FOR JUST $15www.ceramicsnow.org/nr1 + FREE DIGITAL ISSUE
SUBSCRIBE FOR 1-YEAR (4 ISSUES), $59www.ceramicsnow.org/1year + FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue nr. 1 / Winter 2011-2012

Arthur Gonzalez's work is on the cover of the Ceramics Now Magazine Winter 2011-2012 issue, introducing an amazing interview about his work. The issue also features Roxanne Jackson's work, as well as two partnerships with the Denver Art Museum (Overthrown: Clay Without Limits) and Keiko Gallery (Japanese artists).

Issue nr. 1 also presents interviews and articles with new and world-renowned ceramic artists: Claire Muckian, Carol Gouthro, Ian F. Thomas, Cynthia Lahti, Carole Epp, Simcha Even-Chen, Liza Riddle, Patrick Colhoun, Mark Goudy, Chang Hyun Bang, Ian Shelly, Shamai Gibsh, Margrieta Jeltema, John Shirley, Jim Kraft, Connie Norman, Blaine Avery, Antonella Cimatti, Maciej Kasperski, Wim Borst, Signe Schjøth.

Overthrown - Denver Art Museum: Gwen F. Chanzit (curator), Katie Caron and Martha Russo, John Roloff, Clare Twomey, Paul Sacaridiz, Linda Sormin, Del Harrow, Benjamin DeMott, Mia Mulvey.

Japanese artists - Keiko Gallery: Niisato Akio, Kawabata Kentaro, Takeuchi Kouzo, Hayashi Shigeki, Tanoue Shinya, Fujita Toshiaki, Murata Yoshihiko, Jorie Johnson, Takeda Asayo, Mariko Husain.

Read more about the magazine: www.ceramicsnow.org/magazine

BUY THE FIRST ISSUE NOW FOR JUST $15
www.ceramicsnow.org/nr1 + FREE DIGITAL ISSUE

SUBSCRIBE FOR 1-YEAR (4 ISSUES), $59
www.ceramicsnow.org/1year + FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

Ceramics Now Magazine - Digital Issue nr. 1 / Winter 2011-2012
Roxanne Jackson’s work is on the cover of the Ceramics Now Magazine Winter  2011-2012 digital issue, introducing an amazing interview about her work. The  issue also  features Arthur  Gonzalez’s work, as well as two partnerships  with the Denver Art Museum (Overthrown: Clay Without Limits) and Keiko  Gallery (Japanese artists).
Digital Issue nr. 1 also presents interviews and articles with new and  world-renowned ceramic artists: Claire Muckian, Carol Gouthro, Ian F.  Thomas, Cynthia Lahti,  Carole Epp, Simcha Even-Chen, Liza Riddle,  Patrick Colhoun, Mark Goudy,  Chang Hyun Bang, Ian Shelly, Shamai Gibsh,  Margrieta Jeltema, John  Shirley, Jim Kraft, Connie Norman, Blaine  Avery, Antonella Cimatti,  Maciej Kasperski, Wim Borst, Signe Schjøth.
Overthrown - Denver Art Museum:  Gwen F. Chanzit (curator), Katie Caron and Martha Russo, John Roloff,  Clare Twomey, Paul Sacaridiz, Linda Sormin, Del Harrow, Benjamin DeMott,  Mia Mulvey.
Japanese artists - Keiko Gallery:  Niisato Akio, Kawabata Kentaro, Takeuchi Kouzo, Hayashi Shigeki, Tanoue  Shinya, Fujita Toshiaki, Murata Yoshihiko, Jorie Johnson, Takeda Asayo,  Mariko Husain.
Read more about the magazine: www.ceramicsnow.org/magazine
BUY THE DIGITAL ISSUE OF CERAMICS NOW MAGAZINE FOR ONLY $4www.ceramicsnow.org/nr1digital
SUBSCRIBE FOR 1-YEAR (DIGITAL - 4 ISSUES), $15 - BEST DEALwww.ceramicsnow.org/1yeardigital

Ceramics Now Magazine - Digital Issue nr. 1 / Winter 2011-2012

Roxanne Jackson’s work is on the cover of the Ceramics Now Magazine Winter 2011-2012 digital issue, introducing an amazing interview about her work. The issue also features Arthur Gonzalez’s work, as well as two partnerships with the Denver Art Museum (Overthrown: Clay Without Limits) and Keiko Gallery (Japanese artists).

Digital Issue nr. 1 also presents interviews and articles with new and world-renowned ceramic artists: Claire Muckian, Carol Gouthro, Ian F. Thomas, Cynthia Lahti, Carole Epp, Simcha Even-Chen, Liza Riddle, Patrick Colhoun, Mark Goudy, Chang Hyun Bang, Ian Shelly, Shamai Gibsh, Margrieta Jeltema, John Shirley, Jim Kraft, Connie Norman, Blaine Avery, Antonella Cimatti, Maciej Kasperski, Wim Borst, Signe Schjøth.

Overthrown - Denver Art Museum: Gwen F. Chanzit (curator), Katie Caron and Martha Russo, John Roloff, Clare Twomey, Paul Sacaridiz, Linda Sormin, Del Harrow, Benjamin DeMott, Mia Mulvey.

Japanese artists - Keiko Gallery: Niisato Akio, Kawabata Kentaro, Takeuchi Kouzo, Hayashi Shigeki, Tanoue Shinya, Fujita Toshiaki, Murata Yoshihiko, Jorie Johnson, Takeda Asayo, Mariko Husain.

Read more about the magazine: www.ceramicsnow.org/magazine

BUY THE DIGITAL ISSUE OF CERAMICS NOW MAGAZINE FOR ONLY $4
www.ceramicsnow.org/nr1digital

SUBSCRIBE FOR 1-YEAR (DIGITAL - 4 ISSUES), $15 - BEST DEAL
www.ceramicsnow.org/1yeardigital

Interview with Fujita Toshiaki - Japanese lacquer artist, Keiko Gallery

Interview with Fujita Toshiaki - Japanese lacquer artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011

The special feature in partnership with Keiko Gallery includes interviews with 10 Japanese artists represented by Keiko, and many images with their works.

→ This interview is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One, Winter 2011-2012.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: Not many people know that lacquer is used to make art pieces. Can you tell us more about this material and how do you use it?

Fujita Toshiaki: The Urushi tree (Rhus Vernicifera) is a member of the sumac family of trees, found in various parts of Asia. The trees produce the sap which has been used as the coating and the adhesive material in Japan more than 9000 years. A poisonous substance when in liquid form (causing skin irritation), it becomes non-toxic on hardening and is waterproof and acid-proof. There are some examples that Native American use the sap of sumac, poison ivy or oak with the same purposes.

Fujita Toshiaki Japanese Lacquer art - Ceramics NowThe season for harvesting sap is from June to October, and an Urushi tree must be between 8 to 13 years old before it is mature enough to produce only one cup of sap. The sap, an opaque light brown color, oozes from the slashes on the trunk, and it’s carefully scraped with a special tool; after this procces the sap is called Arami-Urushi. The Sap is stirred and carefully heated to equalize its components and remove excess fluid. Those Urushi is called Sugurome-Urushi or Kijiro-Urushi and used as the coating material for the upper layers.

The drying system of Urushi is very different from other painting materials. Drying Urushi means to be harden. The laccase enzyme reacts in Urusiol which is hardening constituent and initiates a chemical reaction: oxidation polymerization. To increase the activity of the chemical reaction, the ideal temperature is 77F and the moisture set to 80%. That means if the air is too dry, the lacquer never gets dry.

I focused on this characteristic drying system on Urushi and pursued to create the sculptures called layered forms. I daringly remove other elements in Urushi crafts, because they might interrupt my essential concept for my layered form series. However to understand what is lacquer or lacquer art, I should not deal with only unusual dying systems of Urushi, but also should focus on the traditional techniques, because sometimes we can find the answer in the techniques which were sophisticated and established by our forefathers. For the reason, I worked hard to acquire techniques like woodwork, dry-lacquer, colorings, coatings and decorations.

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Interview with Jorie Johnson - Textile artist, Keiko Gallery

Interview with Jorie Johnson (Joi Rae) - Textile artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011

The special feature in partnership with Keiko Gallery includes interviews with 10 Japanese artists represented by Keiko, and many images with their works.

→ This interview is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One, Winter 2011-2012.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: From functional, to decorative or aesthetical, your works also vary in techniques and materials. Tell us about your woolen felt creations.

Jorie Johnson: I am drawn to the painterly and sculptural characteristics of feltmaking with its broad capabilities as a “hard textile” but which also lends itself to soft, sensual body wraps.  I like the challenge of completing a work that functions in a practical way as well as becoming an object of aesthetic value. Unlike weaving, each felt piece is disconnected from the next,  so in that way, a seamless, three-dimensional vessel, hat or bag may remind us more of a ceramic form than a textile.

The essential material of wool comes from sheep which grow new fleeces each year and which have served mankind in very isolated regions of the world. I love the natural color of wool, as well as, the possibility to blend it with other fibers, to dye the wool or to over dye a completed piece and manipulate its’ shape through this procedure. Now with years of practice I can approach a work from different angles, theorizing which method works best for an expected results, but while shaping and finishing I am on the alert to pick up on a characteristic born through the process that I never figured on. This spontaneity keeps things very interesting.

Jorie Johnson Textile works - Joi Rae on Ceramics Now Magazine

Jorie Johnson Spring Collection 2011 (beret, vest, skirt, neck wraps), wool, novelty yarn, silk fabric, linen lace fabric, silk cord. Photo by Toyoda Yuzo - View her works

You are using many layering techniques. Can you explain the process of making a new piece? How long does it take?

The matrix of the work is hard to see by the naked eye but while the selected wool fibers start their migration progress they entangle and actually pierce and consume auxiliary materials such as Japanese Washi, silk organza, cotton gauze, skeletal leaves, lace and so on, into the surface of the fabric and become an integral part of the finished fabric we call as FELT. Under optimal conditions (increase in humidity, higher temperatures, change in pH, application of agitation, etc.) and using a selection of different sheep breeds a variety of fabrics result from dense, coarse carpet weight to silky merino blends for sensual neck wraps.

In order to achieve fine fabrics I use many thin layers of carded wool but for the loftier carpets I use coarser wool in thicker layers. Once the design and materials are selected and the shrink factor determined I work as swiftly as possible to complete a piece within a few days as not to cause the wet wool and auxiliary materials to begin to break down.  I have to commit to a “work swipe” as I call it, not to damage the wool, silk or other materials by keeping them wet for too long.

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