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