Interview with Els Wenselaers, Belgian ceramic artist

Interview with Els Wenselaers / Spotlight
By Ileana Surducan
Published in Ceramics Now Magazine Issue 2

What made you choose ceramics as a way of expressing yourself?

Clay is as good as any other medium, it is a material with lots of possibilities but it doesn’t influence my personal perception of art. Sometimes because of its limitations in format, in height, due to the measures of my kiln I have to find other solutions than I used before, but that are technical issues. I have also used other materials like papier maché before but the outcome of my figurines would be the same.

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Interview with David D. Gilbaugh (The Tectonic Method)

David D. Gilbaugh (The Tectonic Method)
Author: Ileana Surducan
Category: Techniques
Published in Ceramics Now Magazine Issue 2

The objects you create realistically mimic the texture and look of wood stumps, roots and branches. What is your connection with this natural element, and why did you choose to investigate it in ceramics?

Human emergence is the overarching theme of my sculptural work; as metaphors for that I use the aging tree as well as the natural land features of the earth. My life connection with trees and land extends from childhood when I remember exploring the woods and mountains of Colorado with my older brother and friends. Today I continue my fascination and exploration with the woods and mountains here in Southern California, where I live a short walk from the local foot trails of the San Gabriel Mountains. Ceramics is the most appropriate medium for me because clay seems to know what I want and interacts with me in a very agreeable way. The characteristics and behavior of clay seems to have a common goal with me as if it wants to behave in a way that yields a pleasing result. Clay naturally takes on the characteristics of wood and earth.

David D. Gilbaugh Ceramics - Interview for Ceramics Now Magazine

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COMMON GROUND: Craftsmanship in Ceramics, Jewellery, Basketry and Wood / Oxford Ceramics Gallery, Oxford, UK

COMMON GROUND exhibition, Oxford Ceramics Gallery

Craftsmanship in Ceramics, Jewellery, Basketry and Wood / Oxford Ceramics Gallery, Oxford, UK
December 1, 2013 - January 12, 2014

Oxford Ceramics is staging its first exhibition of contemporary applied art in December, with ceramics, wood, basketry and jewellery by some of the UK’s most distinguished artists. The exhibition celebrates the richness and diversity of their work, as well as a shared quality of fine craftsmanship.

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Ceramics/Glass / Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago

Ceramics/Glass exhibition, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art Chicago

Ceramics/Glass / Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago
December 6, 2013 - February 2, 2014

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago (UIMA) presents the exhibition Ceramics / Glass. This exhibit focuses on the medium of ceramic or glass in contemporary art – mediums that require high temperatures, special tools, kilns and specialized studios. UIMA has selected some distinctive personal styles from numerous glass / ceramics studios in Chicago and from artists working in national and international cities.

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Keisho-Ha - A New Materialism and the Yufuku Aesthetic / Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo

Keisho-Ha, A New Materialism and the Yufuku Aesthetic at Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo

Keisho-Ha - A New Materialism and the Yufuku Aesthetic / Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo
December 5-21, 2013

Contemporary Japanese art in the 21st century is heading in a new and unique direction. Artists are using traditional techniques to create not craft, but objects of self-expression that are very much a type of sculpture that can change space itself. Such artists are pushing the boundaries of their respective mediums to new heights, using new techniques and materials that have not been used before.

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Kerry Jameson: Unbounded / Marsden Woo Gallery, London

Kerry Jameson: Unbounded exhibition, Marsden Woo Gallery London

Kerry Jameson: Unbounded / Marsden Woo Gallery, London
November 7 - December 21, 2013

Kerry Jameson’s new sculptures have an emotional charge that is presented through a mix of narrative set pieces, tableaux and individual figures. Subjects include historical events and the exploits of folkloric and storybook characters. She derives inspiration from an equally eclectic range of sources, which include portrait paintings, the figures of British myth such as the Burryman and Wicker Man, the work of animator Ray Harryhausen, a fascination with the polychrome religious sculptures of 17th century Spain and the toy collections of the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. She explains: ‘A work starts with a thought or feeling, an undigested experience that needs to be worked through.’

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Ken Mihara: Serenity in Clay / Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney

Ken Mihara: Serenity in Clay, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney

Ken Mihara: Serenity in Clay / Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
November 16 - December 12, 2013

Ken Mihara’s ceramics are a visual ode to his native land, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, known as the capital of the gods; a land steeped in ancient Japanese myths and legends. The vessels are a culmination of elegant shapes, soft delicate curves, and ancient forms inspired by the surrounding land. Mihara’s striking palette of blues and dark greys intersperses with bursts of beige, gold and orange hues.

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Michal Fargo: Else, 2012, Porcelain, metal ring, fired models technique, fired to cone 6 electric, 11x7 and 13x8 cm. Photo by Mel Bergman. The second work is sold to the collection of Holon’s Design Museum.

Molly Hatch: REVERIE / Philadelphia Art Alliance

Molly Hatch: REVERIE exhibition Philadelphia Art Alliance

Molly Hatch: REVERIE / Philadelphia Art Alliance, United States
February 7 - April 28, 2013

"In a continued effort to claim the functional surface of the dinner plate as a painting surface, REVERIE includes a new collection of historically sourced plate paintings. In response to the domestic nature of the galleries at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, I have designed “Tea for Two” a historic teacup inspired fabric wallpaper installation.

For REVERIE I worked closely with curators at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA to source their largely unviewed collection of historic teacups for “Tea for Two”, a fabric wallpaper installation. The story of Francine and Sterling Clark personally collecting hundreds of teacups over a lifetime now housed in the Clark Art Institute archives resonated with my own personal Metcalf family history of collecting and coveting decorative arts.

Rather than seeking source material from an additional museum collection for my new plate paintings in REVERIE, I chose to mine my own family’s collection of ceramic objects. My own family history of collecting resonated with the Francine and Sterling Clark cup collection. Thanks to the generosity of my family, my new plate paintings will be exhibited alongside the originals on loan for the duration of the exhibition.

REVERIE is a personal exploration of the relationship between the historic and the contemporary with artworks crossing over categories of decorative art, design and fine art. Fascinated by how we live with objects, how and why we acquire objects and what happens to them throughout history, I see this exhibition as a reflection of the life of surface pattern through the decorative art continuum.” Molly Hatch

“No art is simply, blithely contemporary. That would be like saying our parents had no influence on us. Today’s art responds to and reacts against yesterday’s art. Hatch serves up the magisterial landscape on a grid of 30 hand-painted ceramic dinner plates. The grid of circles cleverly breaks up and abstracts the scene, but doesn’t abandon its coherence. Indeed, it spotlights the mark-making.” Boston Globe Review of COVET: Modern Riffs on Old Ideas by Cate McQuaid, May 30, 2012

Artist and designer Molly Hatch grew up on an organic dairy farm in Vermont surrounded by a startlingly diverse set of visual influences: the earthy reality of rural life, and the mysterious, disembodied luxury of antique decorative objects from her mother’s family, prosperous Boston merchants who used Chinese export porcelain as ballast in their ships. Inspired by these two seemingly disparate family narratives, Hatch became an artist with a life-long passion for the decorative arts and the dialog between old and new. She has developed a robust studio practice that encompasses both works of art and design for industry, keenly aware of the different concerns and goals of each, while engaging with the ambiguity of objects that seem to exist in both the decorative and fine art realms.

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New Blue and White / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

New Blue and White exhibition Museum of Fine Arts Boston, work by Harumi Nakashima

New Blue and White / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
February 20, 2013 - July 14, 2013

New Blue and White at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, showcases inventive works in blue and white by 40 international artists and designers.

Over the past millennium, blue-and-white ceramics have become an international phenomenon—familiar as Dutch Delftware, Ming vases, and Blue Willow china, among other forms. Today, the popular ceramic medium continues to offer inspiration, especially to the more than 40 international artists and designers whose works are presented in New Blue and White at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA).

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NCECA 2013 National Student Juried Exhibition / Glassell School of Art, Houston

NCECA 2013 National Student Juried Exhibition at Glassell School of Art Houston, work by Sasha Alexandra

NCECA 2013 National Student Juried Exhibition / Glassell School of Art, Houston, USA
February 15 - March 23, 2013

Reception: Thursday, March 21, 6-8 PM.

NCECA’s National Student Juried Exhibition (NSJE) is open to all full time undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students enrolled in the United States of America, except for those enrolled at the institutions of the jurors. Applicants must have been working towards a degree or be a post-baccalaureate in art at the time of submittal.

In conjunction with NCECA’s 47th Annual Conference in Houston (March 20-23), The Glassell School of Art of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston hosts NCECA’s 2013 National Student Juried Exhibition from February 15 – March 23, 2013. A reception takes place on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 6:00- 8:00 pm. New this year NCECA has included the 2013 NSJE artists in the 2013 NCECA Biennial catalog featuring color reproductions of works by all participating artists. This catalog may be pre-ordered on the NCECA’s Online Store.

Participating artists: Sasha Alexandra, Molly Allen, Samantha Bachman, Cori Crumrine, Stephanie Galli, Tyler Houston, Kahlil Irving, Michelle Laxalt, Kathryn Whistler, Tiffany Bailey, Melisa Cadell, Heather Davis, Virginia Eckinger, Thomas Edwards, Marty Fielding, Marisa Finos, Donna Flanery, Anastasia Gabriel, Nick Geankoplis, Violet Goode, Elizabeth Head-Fischer, Natasha Hovey, Michael Hurley, Ah-Young Jeon, Kevin Kao, Lauren Karle, Margaret Kinkeade, Jennifer Kirkpatrick, Robert Kolhouse, Shasta Krueger, Yeon Joo Lee, John Loveless, Marsha Mack, Leslie Macklin, Ashley Maxwell, Spring Montes, Norleen Nosri, Sara Parent-Ramos, Alia Pialtos, Brian Pierce, Louis Reilly, Justin Schortgen, Mitchell Spain, Diana Synatzske, Kristen Tripp, Josh Van Stippen, Austin Wieland, Bill Wilkey, Wesley Wright, Crisha Yantis.

Jurors: Bonnie Seeman, Kevin Snipes.

Bonnie Seeman received her BFA from the University of Miami in 1991, and her MFA from the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth in 1996.  She is a two-time recipient of the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, and has twice served as a panelist for the Florida Fellowship. Seeman was nominated for a USA Fellow grant in 2010 and was awarded The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation 2005 Biennial Award.  A participant in numerous international and national exhibitions including Art Basel, Switzerland; Art Brussels, Belgium; and the World Ceramic Biennale, Korea, Seeman’s work is featured in many museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; the World Ceramic Exposition Foundation International Collection, Icheon, Korea; the Sadberk Hanım Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; and The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. Seeman has taught as a summer faculty member at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Santa Fe Clay, and has presented visiting artist workshops at numerous art centers and universities across the U.S. She currently teaches at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, and serves on the board of Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts.

Kevin Snipes combines his love of constructing unconventional pottery with an obsessive need to draw on everything that he produces, creating a uniquely dynamic body of work. Snipes received a B.F.A. in ceramics and drawing from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1994 and completed graduate school at the University of Florida in 2003. Since then, Snipes has led a seemingly nomadic artistic life, constantly making no matter where he is. He has participated in several artist residency programs including the Clay Studio in Philadelphia and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine; and, he received a Taunt Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana 2008. Exhibiting nationally and internationally as far away as Jingdezhen China, Snipes had a recent solo exhibition at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. Kevin Snipes currently resides in New Mexico.

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L’usage des jours. 365 ceramic objects by Guillaume Bardet / Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne

L’usage des jours. 365 ceramic objects by Guillaume Bardet Musee de design et d'arts appliques contemporains, Lausanne

L’usage des jours. 365 ceramic objects by Guillaume Bardet / Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne
March 27 - May 26, 2013

Opening reception: Tuesday, March 26, 6 PM.

During the period from September 21, 2009, until September 20, 2010, the French designer Guillaume Bardet drew one object a day. As an extension of this «artistic and human performance», from fall 2010 he saw to the creation of each object. He did so in collaboration with fourteen ceramists from the Dieulefit region (Rhône-Alpes, southeast France), where he had settled in 2009 in order to flee the Parisian hullabaloo.

It took a good measure of determination, passion, enthusiasm and energy for Guillaume Bardet to become the hub of an alliance built up of individuals, companies, institutions and collectivities, all of whom agreed to join this human and creative adventure with him for an over two-year period. It also demanded a great deal of nerve and talent for the designer to bare himself, revealing not only his basic concerns and strokes of imagination, but also his weak spots, his doubts and his trial-and-error approach. And all this in order to uncompromisingly give their full due to his formal and aesthetic solutions.

Guillaume Bardet entrusted the scenography for this itinerant exhibition to his friend, the designer Vincent Dupont-Rougier, insisting nonetheless on a preconception whereby time passes very slowly (a one-year period) and very rapidly (that of a single day). And this by resorting to elements in the service of simplicity, structuring and narration, so as to bring to mind both linearity and profusion, families and uses, moods and fancies.

The exhibition also brings to light various phases of inspiration, the artist’s manner of working and his search for solutions. Interspersed among each of the seasons, information is provided alongside Guillaume Bardet’s sketches, his 3D drawings, and photographs, together with a written record of the remarkably fruitful dialogue Bardet inspired between himself and the many ceramists involved. In the words of one of the latter, Guillaume Bardet found out how to «tell a story» and «seek out the lines» in each of the forms he had designed and observed taking shape in the artisans’ hands.

This outstanding personal challenge entailed a nigh-to-monacal and introspective approach in 2009; it was followed by a more collegial phase in 2010, climaxing in the production of 365 brand new ceramic works. These have since been presented as the theme of a monographic exhibition of a new kind, shown at several museums and exhibition venues partnering this initiative. The mudac represents the last lap on the exhibition’s itinerary, which included Sèvres («City of Ceramics») in France (near Paris), Le Grand Hornu Images in Belgium, the Château des Adhémar (Contemporary Art Center) in Montélimar (France), and the Maison de la Céramique du Pays de Dieulefit in 2012.

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