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

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

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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.

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Interview with Margrieta Jeltema - Ceramic Technique, May 2011

Interview with Italian ceramic artist Margrieta Jeltema - Ceramic Technique, May 2011

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Ceramics Now Magazine
: What was the starting point in your investigation with paperclay?

Margrieta Jeltema: Some years ago, when I had finished some jewelry pieces using porcelain together with paper, a  friend suggested to translate the paper part in porcelain as well. I tried and failed but my mistakes turned out rather nice in their own way. They encouraged me to explore this path…
Now observing earlier pieces it seems the idea of folding was already there.

I think any research in art is not just a technical one. Yes I wanted my porcelain to resemble paper but most of all I wanted it to have a life of its own.
My porcelain objects have grown to be flowers, they are wishes or a song. They belong to a different world, follow different rules, not those accepted by the pragmatic world of utility, they truly belong to the “world of beauty and imagination*”.

The technical skills with paper-thin ceramics have their origin in beliefs about the nature of art. Objects made by human beings belong to the realm of art when seen as aesthetically pleasing.
Seeing something as a work of art or looking at it are not the same. Looking has a beginning and end. Seeing however is an achievement – it has no beginning, no stretch of time, it is the realization that we are confronted with something different. The work of art is not confined in a cave of individuality. It participates in an essential way in our everyday communication. From the act of seeing emerges our ability to understand a message.
The beautiful object has an intention; the intention of sharing, of telling a story and exploring our world of imagination.

Message, story, communication, these are the words which describe my previous occupation with writing, using paper, making books with etchings.
I was held captured by these sheets of paper on which I could try to communicate with others.
My Loveletters and my Ode to Monet go back to my obsession with paper carrying stories to those prepared to look, to understand and hopefully, to enjoy them.

Folded loveletter - View her works

Ceramics Now Magazine:  Do you find working with porcelain hard, especially if you try to make it look like paper?

Margrieta Jeltema: Working with porcelain is really easy if you get a bit used to its terrible shrinking, its proneness to distortion, it’s tendency to collapse and its ability to ‘remember’!…
But there are also many advantages over other clays. It is easy to join dried pieces together or repair a piece before baking, it is easy to glaze using a brush (saving on amounts of glaze) as most unevenness will disappear in the high temperatures and of course usually colors look nice and bright on the white body.
What I find really difficult is the handling of the folded Loveletters when they are only bisque fired and still extremely fragile. Because I want to glaze them only on the backside I have to turn them someway. Eventually I solved this using a piece of light foam polystyrene with which I can turn the letter like a omelet on a lid (some cooking experience helps a lot in ceramics).

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Interview with Shane Porter - Recognized artist, May 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Shane Porter - Spotlight - Recognized artist, May 2011

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

Shane Porter: My practice is multi-disciplinary in nature, from the way I draw, plan installations and think about different concepts. These areas intertwine from the research that informs my work- by rough scribbled drawings on scraps of paper, to precise computer aided illustrations. I usually need to see my pieces in three dimensions before going any further so after the initial drawing stage, I will construct rough maquettes (usually made from paper, card etc.) to get a sense of scale and presence. The series Vessels 2010 were first made from turned plaster using a lathe and from that initial investigation I played with scale and proportions before turning to clay to make the finished objects. Vessels 2010 were made in two separate stages. A bowl-like press mould was made and a large mass of white stoneware was pinched into it so to not create any seams. A top was then made from a slab of clay and the rather rough pieces where joined together and then slow dried for 4 days. The pieces were then turned on the wheel to create the desired form and finish. I am interested in clinical forms, which flirt with the idea of mass production, but which disrupt this notion by subtle marks of the maker. 


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

“If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”- Matthew 16:24

My work explores the role and function of the Vessel within ritual theory and practice. I am currently developing a new body of Vessels which are inspired by the practice of Corporal Mortification used in Orthodox Christian traditions.  Corporal Mortification is the practice of inflicting pain on the body as a type of spiritual psychology which uses the ‘body to affect the mind’, punishing man for carnal desires and indulgences, therefore becoming closer to the divine.

This work is still in an early stage of development and I am beginning to create a series of porcelain paper clay Vessels which challenge the function and ergonomics of the ritual container. I am interested in juxtaposing materials in unusual ways which enable the viewer to question the various connotations which are deep rooted in society. I manipulate typography, clay and organic materials to create narratives and conversations across the work.

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Interview with Wim Borst - New artist, May 2011

Interview with Dutch ceramic artist Wim Borst - New artist, May 2011

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

Wim Borst: My ceramic work is built from clay slabs.
The clay which I am using it is a mixture of two stoneware bodies, Molochite and flax-fiber. I have developed this clay while working for European EKWC Work Center in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 1998.

At gray/black objects a black body stain is added.
The open texture in the clay is obtained by adding organic material during the firing.


Counterpoint Series 11 - View his works

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

Currently I am working on a new series of objects, tube / pipe structures (see photo), which will be exhibit during this year.

Technique:
I begin a series/theme with a few sketches on paper or small designs in clay.
Slabs leather-hard clay and cutted molded parts from a PVC / wood or plaster mold are mixed up together with clay slip.

Special attention is given to the finishing of leather-hard.

Once bisque fired, the object is wet smoothed with diamond pads and dried.

Glazing: parts of the object are sprayed with glaze or sinterengobe, the glaze fire in an electric oven 12600 C.

Where do you get your inspiration for your pieces and what motivates you to do a good job ?

I am inspired by the abstract geometric forms in sculptural art work and architecture.

The inspiration is based on a systematic approach to design and execution of similar artists such as, among others, Ad Dekkers (NL), Jan Schoonhoven (NL), the architects HPBerlage (NL) and JJPOud (NL), including artists belonging to ‘the Style’ (Dutch art movement (1917-1931).

The objects refer to functional forms, such as vases and bowls, but they are never the starting point. The autonomous objects show how triangles, squares, circles and ovals are split and merged.

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Photographer Jonathan Vanderweit - EXTRA!, May 2011

EXTRA!, May 2011: Jonathan Vanderweit

Interview by Vasi Hîrdo for Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two

Ceramics Now Magazine: Tell us who you are and what you do.

My name is Jonathan and I make photographs in Denver, CO, USA. I have been shooting for about ten years, but have really begun to focus on the craft of photography since early 2010. I also work as a videographer and creative director for a small nonprofit organization here in Denver.

Jonathan Vanderweit monocle photo

What is your present photography project, what’s its history and how do relate to it?

Jonathan Vanderweit: My work focuses on the exploration of the world around us with specific regard to the interaction between humans and the natural environment. This means finding areas where nature has begun to reclaim the world of people, which here  in the US often happens in formerly industrial/manufacturing areas as well as at the fringes of cities and towns. I love finding where our maintenance crews haven’t caught up or which taken on a kind of serendipitous equilibrium between the forces of creation and ruin.

My next two photo projects are extensions on this theme. One is a series of portraits of people who wear glasses or contact lenses. The photos will be displayed in pairs, the left a normal portrait of the subject in their glasses and the right will be a shot without them.  The image on the right will have the focus corrected to account for the person’s natural visual acuity, with a different effect for each person depending if he/she is nearsighted, farsighted, or has astigmatism.

The second project will use some of the locations I have discovered over the last year–walls, doorways, stairs, the urban features of Denver–as settings for exquisitely-dressed floating protagonists. These photos will explore the habitation of spaces that have previously been considered industrial or austere by inhabiting them with individuals bursting with style and weightlessness. Gven the labored past of many of these dwellings, one would expect that they be drab and deserted. In fact the opposite is proving true, homes in lofts and warehouses have strong draw for creative people and have become a highly desired place of residence.

Jonathan Vanderweit monocle photo


How it all started? What was your first camera and what devices do you have now?

My first camera was an Olympus OM-1 with a 50mm lens, which was a gift from my father when I was around 15 years old. Today, I primarily shoot with a  Nikon D700 and I also have a Nikon FE2 that I use when I don’t feel like carrying much, as well as a Mamiya RZ67 medium format system which is huge and exquisite serves as a constant reminder of what a camera actually does.

The instant feedback of shooting digital has accelerated my learning curve and gives me loads of flexibility when processing my images, but I will continue to shoot film for the sheer fact that it feels like creating a real thing (which makes me shoot more slowly and thoughtfully), and that the look of many film types is hard to duplicate digitally.

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