Ryan Blackwell

Ryan Blackwell Ceramics, Featured on Ceramics Now Magazine - Contemporary ceramics

Ryan Blackwell's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works

Ryan Blackwell was born and raised in Indiana — receiving a BA in Studio Art from DePauw University in 2009. Expecting to graduate from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the spring of 2013 with an MFA, Ryan intends to move to Brooklyn and continue his journey as an emerging artist.

“My practice is rooted in material investigation. I find my work in a consistent state of flux. Processes change and evolve, imagery comes and goes. This minute I’m steeped in symbolism, say, through the repetition of thousands of dustpans, while the other I’m firmly rooted in geometric abstraction.

My fluid framework reflects my experience of American culture—a place where I navigate free choice and inherent socio-political and economic constraints. Through symbols and materials of domesticity my works find some continuity. It is my intention to create works that, in relation to each other, seem as dichotomous as they are connected. Although materials and processes may seem disparate, they find connection through aesthetics and systematic repetition. It is through a controlled failure of my materials and systems that I find consistency. But of course, inconsistency is always present.” Ryan Blackwell

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Patricia Sannit - Artist of the month, October 2012

ARTIST OF THE MONTH, October 2012: Patricia Sannit

Patricia Sannit - Artist of the month on Ceramics Now Magazine

Interview by Ileana Surducan for Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two

How did your experience in working on archeological sites in Jordan and Ethiopia influenced your work?

My work in Jordan and Ethiopia profoundly changed my work. I went to Jordan between my undergraduate degree and my graduate degree. At that point, I was already serious about clay, and although my early training had a functional emphasis (the well known American potter Warren Mackenzie was a teacher and influence), I had become more interested in sculpture. But my work had little focus and I was frustrated by what I saw as the triviality of my work. It didn’t seem to have a core or substance.

Before University, I had been an exchange student in Norway and had learned a lot about history, arts and culture there, but had not put it to any good use. However, when I went to Jordan, two things happened. I traveled all over the region - into Syria and Israel, and throughout Jordan, notable the amazing Petra. I was deeply impressed by the ancient culture and the design of the buildings and tombs and the handmade objects resonated with me. I understood finally that there was a connection between people and cultures and it was in a way manifested through the visual vocabulary around me. It related to the textiles of Scandinavia and the work that I had done as a kid. The desire to create some order, through geometry, on the natural world, and on roughly hewn stone and constructions seemed universal.

My other experience there that had a huge and lasting impact on me was the excavation itself. At Ain Ghazal, working in a “square” (archeological sites are frequently divided into precise squares so as to map out the location of a find onto three points in space) and seeing how the layers of the earth marked time and culture, hiding, or harboring, the evidence of past people was exciting to me. I recognized and felt awed by all of the people who had come before me. Ain Ghazal was first settled about 7250 B.C., during the so-called Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) period. The result of our excavation was the discovery of a diverse assemblage of symbols including tokens of many shapes, animal and human figurines, modeled human skulls, “monumental” statues and mural and floor paintings. My square had a beautiful floor painting of iron oxide on plaster. During the final days of the field season, I worked to uncover the floor. As a ceramic artist, discovering a plaster floor painted with iron oxide, the same Iron oxide that I used so often in my work, was a thrill. But more significantly, as I knelt, sweeping the dust from the floor, I felt a profound sense of connection to the women who had lived there 9000 plus years before. I knew that we had shared many of the same feelings and concerns; I felt connected and understood that there was a huge chain of humanity of which I was a part. I still get goose bumps thinking of it. And that sense of our common humanity is what still informs my work today.

My subsequent adventure was in Ethiopia. I am very fortunate to have married a man who works at what is called the “Lucy” site in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Lucy is an Australopithicus afarensis, and her species populated that part of Africa between 3 and 4 million years ago. She is pat of our species ancestry. As one scans the ground for fossils, walking in the same rough wadis where our earliest ancestors walked, the sense of our history coming to surface is very powerful. It’s a beautiful place, though drier now than it was when Lucy lived there. It is very quiet and empty, and potent with history.

Patricia Sannit Ceramics - Artist of the month on Ceramics Now Magazine
Patricia Sannit, Cradle, 2010, hand-built, carved and incised reclaimed clays, slip and stain, 21”x32”x12” - View Patricia’s works

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Bogdan Teodorescu - Romanian ceramic artist, October 2012

ROMANIAN CONTEMPORARY CERAMICS, October 2012: Bogdan Teodorescu

Bogdan Teodorescu - Romanian ceramic artist, Romanian contemporary ceramics

Interview by Vasi Hîrdo for Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two

You are a versatile visual artist who works in mediums such as painting, collage, video art, but also ceramics. In the process of creating a new work, do you allow yourself the freedom to change the medium of expression?

Versatility it’s not entirely a positive feature, at least not for an artist. To be consequent could be in many cases a better option. Up to this moment, my flexibility didn’t create a strong image of myself, but instead surrounded me with an aura of strangeness and ambiguity.

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Carol Gouthro: Anthozoa gouthroii “Viridis”, 2012, Terrecotta clay with underglazes and glazes, 6”h. x 10.5”w .x  6.5”d

Ellen Schön

Ellen Schon ceramics, Featured artist on Ceramics Now Magazine

Ellen Schön's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

“I have always been interested in the ability of a ceramic vessel to point to something beyond itself—to function as metaphor. Ceramic vessels, physically structured with necks, shoulders, bellies, and feet, can evoke the gesture and anthropomorphized stance of the human body; they also reveal deep aspects of human experience and of the natural world.

My fervent interest in clay vessels has led me to explore new territories in form and surface. Recent work explores three variations on the ceramic vessel form:

The ceramic vessel as a Wellspring or Womb, with possibilities of both fecundity and barrenness;
The vessel as Bottle, whose forms evoke the elongated posture of Cycladic idols and the scarified texture of Yoruba terracotta heads;
The Planet Series explores swirling colored surfaces on rounded orbs, suggesting planets and depths of earthly strata.

These series represent different but related expressive interests. Each piece in a series is part of a continually evolving solution to a set of questions or parameters I have chosen to work within. The parameters, themselves, may change as the series evolve.

Through spontaneous handling of inanimate clay, I attempt to find and breathe life into form. My creative process is grounded in reflective practice—imposing ideas on and listening to the material in cycles of learning. The material directs me as I direct it. We are in a reciprocal relationship.” Ellen Schon

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Liliana Folta exhibition / Amazing Things Art Center, Framingham, MA

Liliana Folta exhibition, Amazing Things Art Center, Framingham

Liliana Folta exhibition / Amazing Things Art Center, Framingham, MA
September 27 - October 28, 2012

Opening reception and Artist talk: October 4, 7-9 pm.

Liliana Folta is a Latin American multidisciplinary artist. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts.

"The potential ability of the imagination has an important impact in our lives. Minds have visual images that we collect through our lives.

These inner-images that represent my works are examinations of my existence. However, in this bank of memories I cherish every possible emotion; happiness, growing pains, family loss, first love, motherhood, sexuality, multicultural experiences, frustration, society’s rules and most importantly the celebration of life.

As an artist I like to work with different mediums especially acrylic paintings and ceramic sculptures. For the past few years I have been experimenting with mixed media installation. The freedom of expanding my work in another dimension makes me feel more connected with the viewers.

The process of my work mostly is very spontaneous; the rest comes along with what my subconscious has been saving in my bank of memories, throughout my life and the happening of the moment.”

Exhibition in collaboration with Mike Vickers (Light effects) and Gustavo Jiménez (Experimental sounds).
Curator: Olga Shmuylovich.

Liliana Fonta’s works are in several private and public collections in the United States, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Poland, Museum of Contemporary Ceramics - Dominican Republic, Ku Art Center - Beijing.

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Francesco Ardini

Francesco Ardini Contemporary Ceramics - Italian ceramic artist featured on Ceramics Now Magazine

Francesco Ardini's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works

Francesco Ardini was born in Padua, Italy, and graduated in Landscape Architecture at the IUAV, Venice, in 2011. He discovered ceramics during the study years. Currently works in Padua and Nove.

The vision of reality in Ardini’s studies relates to broken objects, uneven surfaces, the apparent dissolution, the linearity undermined by failure. All these lead to a naturalism where the works provide biological cycles in which the dissolution is always followed by a formal definition.

Francesco Ardini understands the scientific course that begins with Einstein’s relativity, Max Planck’s quantum theory, going on with the Hubble’s discovery of galaxies, to land - in the second half of the twentieth century - within an epistemological revolution that places the possibility/probability above the necessity. Ardini accepts the idea that a large part of reality is not linear, but chaotic, and has a view of a universe development which will end in a cosmic catastrophe. These ideas place Ardini’s work in the sphere of conceptual art.

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David Gallagher

David Gallagher Contemporary ceramic installations

David Gallagher's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works

David Gallagher is a ceramic artist from Philadelphia who completed his undergraduate work at the Tyler School of Art-Temple University. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Research Statement
In our current epoch of ever more rapid invention it becomes paramount to analyze our relationships to the technology we produce. Systems are created on the foundations of existing technology and are tied to the accepted modes of history and the present.  These technologies mediate our experiences with the physical world. We no longer have hundreds of years to determine appropriate uses for the technology we create. In many cases this time frame can be compressed to months or even weeks, with the only criteria for its evaluation being its novelty. These tools we create enter our perception with singularity of purpose, and yet cause repercussions though out our whole cultural existence.

The primary focus of my artistic practice is the systems we create to manage our society. I am constantly investigating our understanding of the physical and psychological environments we construct. Humanity is driven to invent; to create tools that aid in the managing of society’s existence. Our instinctual proclivity to transcend what exists, to constantly refine and redefine our own existence is the central idea that drives my research. My work is a simulation and examination of systems that function within the constructs of social environments. These systems provide a framework for the investigation of the possibilities of context, specific iterations of conventional relationships.

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Francesco Ardini: Porcelain Skin, 2012, Porcelain mixed with paper, Organic reagent, Plastic structure with tie rods, 1300°C

Francesco Ardini: Porcelain Skin, 2012, Porcelain mixed with paper, Organic reagent, Plastic structure with tie rods, 1300°C

Francesco Ardini: Envelopes - Yellow (left), White (right), 2012, Stoneware (1100°C), White glaze (990°C), approx 44-55 cm.

Elizabeth Shriver

Elizabeth Shriver Ceramics

Elizabeth Shriver's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

“I work with clay to create an array of graceful, sensuous, organic forms. These pieces are made through a variety of hand-building methods such as slab-building, coiling, pinching, and forming with molds. Rarely relying on glaze, I use textures, stains, and colored clay to add visual and tactile interest. I am drawn toward neutral earth tones that complement rather than distract from my intricate sculptural vessels.

The curving lines and interplay of light and shadow in my work generate an illusion of movement, giving each piece an almost lifelike quality. A successful piece is one that begs to be touched as well as explored visually.” Elizabeth Shriver

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Clémence van Lunen exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong

Clémence van Lunen contemporary ceramics exhibition Galerie NeC, Hong Kong - Ceramics Now Magazine

Clémence van Lunen exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong
October 5 - November 18, 2012

Opening: Thursday, October 4, from 6 pm.

"Sculpture, polyglot, curious and on the alert, fascinated by the countries which she has discovered, cultures and languages which she practises and likes, Clémence Van Lunen is a renaissance woman. She develops multiple works which could be defined as high curiosity in the same sense we sometimes describe ancient amateurs cabinet, but in her case it is in an eclectic and knowledgable way. The art critic and exhibition curator Frédéric Bodet wrote about her work, "rare forms are expressed with an indecisive act, dedicated to the enjoyment as much as to the dismay that she constantly tries to disturb us, her sculptures evoke a sort of sympathy which makes you stop and hesitate."
Her invitation to Sèvres in 2007 - that allowed me to get to know her better - stood out as an evidence, as a necessary stage for her after her travels a round the world and her research in ceramics.

On her return from one of her regular travels to China, she proposed at Cité de la céramique a universe of porcelain dragons (she chose on purpose the most symbolic animal of China), with the determination to produce them all herself with an never before used experimental mixture of porcelain pastas from our mill.

Compositions of a series of porcelain elements turned, deformed then wrapped up, gathered in an experimental way and delicately assembled, the monumental sculptures required the traditional techniques of production but, however, adapted in a personal and creative way. She then imagined an centre piece , consisting of several elements of biscuit which was built up of a small «archipelago» on a table, like so many islands with strange plants; it was an invitation to a new journey!

Her experience at la Cité de la céramique illustrates perfectly its capacity to create a gateway, to imagine formal round trips, cultural and aesthetic juxtapositions, which are her trademark and her talent.”

David Caméo, Director of Sèvres, Cité de la Ceramique France

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Arina Ailincai: IN-SCRIPTED BODY / Art on the Avenue Gallery, Philadelphia

Arina Ailincai IN-SCRIPTED BODY exhibition Art on the Avenue Gallery, Philadelphia - Contemporary romanian ceramics

Arina Ailincăi: IN-SCRIPTED BODY / Art on the Avenue Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
September 14 - October 7, 2012

Opening Reception: Friday, September 14, 5:30 - 8:30 pm.

Art on the Avenue Gallery, at 3808 Lancaster Avenue, is pleased to present Arina Ailincăi: IN-SCRIPTED BODY, a solo sculpture exhibition featuring recent works in clay of this noteworthy international artist.

Arina Ailincăi is a truly international artist. Raised and educated in Romania, she began her artistic career in Eastern Europe. In the 1980s she crossed the Atlantic and settled in Canada, where she was soon acknowledged as one of its most talented artists working in clay. At that time she also exhibited and lectured in the United States. Over the last several years, she has been invited to work, exhibit and lecture at major ceramic art centers and international events throughout Europe, including Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Turkey. Most recently she has held residencies in China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

Arina Ailincăi’s art focuses on the human figure, with the body cast using real bodies - often her own. The closeresemblance of the ceramic sculpture to the actual body is only a starting point for her deeper exploration of the universal human condition as an embodied self. Ailincai’s sculptures in clay are philosophically and metaphorically charged. The markings on the outer surface and the mysterious inscriptions in the hollow interior of the body transform the replica of a particular individual into an archetypal human vessel, holding the traces of inner life, time, place and history.

"My desire is to “write” a three dimensional poem to both the fragile physical body and the intangible world of our inner existence. I translate this desire into ceramic sculpture through the use of faithfully replicated, life-size clay body-casts and fragments. I press the clay into the plaster mold to create ”the shell," a hollowed out body shape: an empty vessel containing the inner self, with its personal and universal history. The scripts imprinted on the interior walls of the shell, acquire symbolic and metaphoric dimensions, becoming a palimpsest of the entire human existence.  While most of my works are made in clay, I make use of other materials and techniques, often combining drawing and photography in my installations. I want to synthesize two-dimensional and three-dimensional vocabularies into a visual language charged with meaning, which directs the viewers to sense their location, both within and without.” Arina Ailincăi

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