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ceramic artist

Interview with Ian F. Thomas, Ceramic Installation - October 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Ian F. Thomas - Ceramic Installation, October 2011

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

Ceramics Now Magazine
: You are a very creative artist, working with large scale installations, ceramic objects, sculptures, vessels and various drawings. When do you have time to transpose all your emotions and ideas into them?

Ian F. Thomas: Thank you. I obsess about ideas. My methodology for making, for creating, has me developing many works at the same time, not just in the beginning phases, the thought process, but also during the construction phase. Mold making, throwing, painting, welding, drawing, functional, non-functional—everything that happens, it all develops simultaneously. I enjoy working right up to, and, sometimes, past my limit. I view making work on all of these different platforms, using different materials, and incorporating as many ideas as I can ideas in the same way that I see conversations. Each day I have vastly different types of conversations with many different people; from humorous to serious, political to chit chat and minutiae. When an idea surfaces, the process may demand a particular size, finish, or material. Following the concept and its needs supersedes the necessity of conforming to a particular style or material. 

As a father of two, husband and professor, it is difficult to manage time. My wife, Lori, who is not an artist, has an amazing tolerance for the creatively obsessed mind. If it were not for her support, I would never find the time to work on so many projects. Working with clay, I can take advantage of the timing/drying constraints, and toggle between works, maximizing my available studio time. I have also recently taken on an assistant, Eli Blasko, to help better manage my time so that I can focus more in the studio.

Ian F Thomas Contemporary Ceramic Installation Art

Di-analytic Variables - View Ian F. Thomas’ works
Wheel-thrown, altered, hand-built, earthenware, electric fired cone 02, steel, paint, gold leaf / 38x37x30 inches, 40 lbs

How do you see this relationship between idea/intuition and the final work itself? Is it always continuous or sometimes gap comes through?

The final work is an entity all of its own. An idea starts the work and then intuition supports that idea during the development of the piece. I keep true to a cautious respect for the moment. While I’m in the process of working, my intuition may shift the work’s original intentions, or trigger a new idea(s) that can rearrange the work while I’m still in the process of making it. My idea can fluctuate as much as the physical object I’m making. Using this method, gaps occurs naturally and when that happens, I embrace that.

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  • Interview with Antonella Cimatti, Spotlight - October 2011

    Interview with Italian ceramic artist Antonella Cimatti - Spotlight - Recognized artist, October 2011

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    → The full interview with Antonella Cimatti is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One / Winter 2011-2012.

    Ceramics Now Magazine
    : You are a very consequent artist, having worked with ceramics all your career. Why did you embark on this journey?

    Antonella Cimatti: I was born in Faenza, I studied in Faenza at the “Ballardini” Art Institute and I have been teaching at this same school for over 30 years. It has just been so natural to work with this material in this city, because it’s so well known throughout the world for its ceramics.

    The techniques and subjects you are approaching are very different - paperclay, fibre optic installations and low temperature. Working with so many different materials may be difficult, how do you manage to combine them?

    Well, I come from Italy, a country where the artists feel the weight of our history and ceramic traditions, but where there are also many new influences from the world of design and fashion!

    In fact, in the last few years, in the design and fashion sectors there has been a notable trend regarding lightness and attention to detail, which is so incredibly in line with my way of being and working.

    I believe that the greatest undertaking of the artist is that of professional maintenance. As a matter of fact, along with spontaneous creativity, you indissolubly must add an elevated professional competence regarding technique; through reading and observation, the joy of experimentation, of combining, and of moving forward.

    Antonella Cimatti Contemporary Ceramics

    Trame di luce (Weft of Light), detail, 2008 - View Antonella Cimatti’s works
    Installation with translucent porcelain paperclay, fibre optics and handbuilt  flowers in glazed porcelain, temp. 1250°C.
    Exhibited at the 54th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennial, in the Italian Pavilion, for the Emilia Romagna Region. Photographed by Bernardo Ricci

    Your attention to detail makes your paperclay works unique and pure within their shadows. Tell us about the constructing process.

    I’ll tell you how you can, while having an idea in mind, transform and tame my technique. 
    My way of working is not traditional. My objective is to create a lightness in ceramics- not only regarding weight but also visually. I need to discover the right combination of materials in order to obtain the results you see.

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  • "I enjoy teaching, in fact I feed off of it. I would like to be teaching a lot more and making less to be completely honest. Why, you might ask, would anyone want to make less? I feel that my work needs to be restricted behind a dam so to speak so that when I release it or it breaks free, it comes out with serious intensity."

    Ian Shelly, Ceramics Now Magazine (October 2011)

  • Hayashi Shigeki: KOZO, 2008 (installation), Glazed porcelain, 12” x 12” x 24” (H)
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Tanoue Shinya: KARA-10: Fu- b, 2010, Glazed clay, 9 1/2” x 12 1/2” x 9” (h)
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Takeuchi Kouzo: Modern Remains (detail), 2010, Glazed porcelain
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Interview with Kawabata Kentaro - Japanese ceramic artist, Keiko Gallery

    Interview with Kawabata Kentaro - Japanese ceramic 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
    : You were among the first contemporary Japanese artists to combine ceramics and glass when constructing a new work. How did you start to connect these materials?

    Kawabata Kentaro: I wanted to to extract the ingredients from the glaze and embed them into the clay. For example, I tried to use fragments of smashed glass bottles, feldspar, silica stone and beachsand in my white porcelain works, and I did that by mixing these fragments with the glaze. I also wanted to observe the chemical reactions between those materials and the clear glaze after the firing. Throughout these experiences, I was fascinated about the harmony of the different kinds of translucency between glass and white porcelain. I also love touching the unfired clay with bits of glass inserted into it, and I want to get the similar feeling after the firing. I want to constantly develop my work, so I am still looking for new glazes and new kinds of glass as well as interesting materials which go well with my style of work.

    Kawabata Kentaro Japanese Ceramics - Contemporary Ceramics Magazine

    Batista, 2011, Glazed clay, glass, silver, 26” x 18” x 12 1/2”. Photo by Taku Saiki - View his works


    What is your present project and how do you make the pieces? Tell us more about the process.

    Now I am trying to construct a few sculptures using slip casting. After making several different kinds of plaster casts, I connect them. I use my original technique in my newest works, which consists in applying small clay balls and sand on the surface.

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  • Interview with Niisato Akio - Japanese ceramic artist, Keiko Gallery

    Interview with Niisato Akio - Japanese ceramic 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.

    → The interviews will be published in the first printed issue of Ceramics Now Magazine. Pre-order Issue nr. 1 - Winter 2011-2012 or subscribe for one year.

    Ceramics Now Magazine : You are about to start working as artist in residence at the Harvard Ceramic Studio. What do you hope you’ll learn from this experience?

    Niisato Akio: I am very interested in the different perspectives on craft art, especially Ceramics between US and Japan. I feel that the vessels are more appreciated in Japan rather than US, as well as the ceramic art itself. I would like to know why and I will research on these issues during my stay at Harvard. I am looking forward to seeing new people who will give me a lots of inspiration.

    Niisato Akio Japanese Ceramics

    Luminous Vessel, 2008, Glazed porcelain, 5” x 5” x 10” - View his works

    Ceramics Now Magazine: The lightness and pureness of your works makes them unique. Tell us more about how do you make them.

    Niisato Akio: White is a simple color, but it can express the subtle nuance between sensibility/ pureness and lights/ shadows.

    After I throw the pieces, they are razed as thin as possible, and then I drill the holes with an electric drill, one by one.

    After the firing, I sand the surfaces and the glaze is applied manually into the holes. Another glaze is applied all over the surfaces with a compressor and then the pieces go into the kiln at 2246(F). It is not so easy to make the smooth surface with a single firing, because the holes absorb the glaze very easily, so they need to be fired two or three times to get a nice result.

    Niisato Akio Japanese Ceramics - Ceramics Now Magazine

    Luminous Form, 2008, Glazed porcelain, 12” x 8 1/2” - View his works

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  • Tanoue Shinya: KARA 11: Fu-b, 2011, Glazed clay, 9” x 9 1/2” x 19” (h)
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Tanoue Shinya: KARA-10: Fu- a, 2010, Glazed clay, 7” x 26” x 4 1/2”(h)
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Tanoue Shinya: KARA-10-8, 2010, Glazed clay, 7 1/2” x 7” x 12”(h)
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Takeuchi Kouzo: Modern Remains D II, 2006, Glazed porcelain, 21” x 22” x 9”
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

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