“I work with abstract sculptural form. I am interested in the idea of one continuous surface, with one connected edge or line running through the whole form. Clear, clean shapes; soft smooth curves in contrast to sharp edges; concave and convex surfaces; the discovery and strength of an inner/negative space - these are all form expressions that appeal to me and results in my continuous exploration and expression in many different variations.
My sculptures are either asymmetrical or with a repetition of form:
- Asymmetrical where I mainly work with the idea of continuous surface. The form has only one side and one edge connected throughout the shape. - Repetition of form with three symmetrical parts that are connected; three being both a strong number and a balanced repetition of form. The negative space - the shape of the space in between, is equally important.
My work is hand built in coiling technique. Stoneware is my chosen material for its qualities - I like to challenge the material and my own skills by building complicated shapes; fragile in the building, drying and firing process which upon firing attain the strength to be handled and positioned without support.
I often get an idea for a new form while working on another. I also find my inspiration in form I see in nature as well as architecture and design; clean curves, sparse decoration, simplicity. To emphasize the form I use a matt surface and monochrome colours.
I was born in Denmark but grew up in Sweden. I returned to Denmark to study at Design School Kolding in 2000, and moved to London in 2005 after graduating. I have since then predominately worked with sculptural forms.” Merete Rasmussen
“I have a strong interest in natural forms, cultural artifacts and personal mementos. I am drawn to ornament, embellishment, pattern, and texture. For the last ten years the vessel forms in my ceramic work have slowly been evolving into botanically inspired hybrid sculptural forms. In working on these pieces I have become more involved with the details, the close ups, the abstract, the peering into. My interest in detail, layers and encrustations has been heightened by repeated travels to India and China. I am fascinated by the complexity, diversity, beauty and danger of the natural world and this leads to thoughts about growth, nourishment, attraction, and sexuality. Built into these hybrids are some of the artifacts and mementos that form my DNA.” Carol Gouthro
“In my artistic work I am often interested in contrasts and combinations. It could be things like dream and reality, aim and result ore repetition and breaks. I frequently return to the everyday as a subject were I am fascinated by routines as well as the wish to get away from them.
I want to tell stories through clay and ceramic references and I´m aiming for an equivocal state in my works where I like to both embrace and criticize, answer and wonder in the same object.
As a ceramic artist, I mostly work with sculptures/objects where I want to combine visualized thoughts and ideas with the ceramic material and references i use. My works are often parts of longer thinking-paths and there are connections between different projects even if they don’t need a relation to each other.” David Carlsson
Born 1977, David Carlsson graduated from HDK, School of Design and Crafts, Göteborg.
David Roberts is one of the most significant ceramic artists working in Europe today. A distinguished English potter, he has an international reputation as a leading practitioner in Raku ceramics: a technique with its origin in small-scale vessels made for the Tea Ceremony in late sixteenth-century Japan. Roberts is acknowledged as responsible for the introduction and promotion of modern, large scale Raku in Europe. He has also been instrumental in its re-introduction to the United States of America, where his example has played a key role in the foundation of the ‘Naked Raku’ movement. In his personal exploration of this traditional technique, Roberts has transformed it into a vibrant and contemporary art form.
David Roberts is one of the first British ceramists to specialise in high quality contemporary Raku, the making of which he has helped popularise, as a serious discipline within contemporary British ceramics in the many exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations he has held throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. His work investigates the clay bodies interaction with smoke-marking and deep carbonisation. The resulting vessels are strongly evocative of David’s increasing engagement with the natural world and the contours and stratification of stone and landscape.
David Roberts lives and works in the Yorkshire Pennine mill town of Holmfirth.
“In each stage of the processes of my creating, new ideas and concepts seem to reveal themselves, bringing a new life to my work. Working devoutly in clay, I continue to be challenged and seduced by the medium. The manipulation of the material is what excites me, whether I am working big or small, loosely or precisely.
Interior and exterior spaces are primary oppositions that I use in my work both formally and conceptually. Using animal forms as a subjects for my process and vehicles for my content, I am able to address these spaces literally and metaphorically. The animal form allows me to juxtapose other distinct opposites such as life and death, positive and negative. I feel that through this synthesis I am presenting questions and concerns which are not necessarily answered in the work.
Recently, I am interested in creating forms or sculptures through the use of multiples. The multiples I am using are specifically segments of animals made with both hand-built and mold made forms. By fragmenting and stacking them, I am trying to obscure the initial subject and capture the evidence of a space and motion. I work and build both intuitively and analytically in an attempt to contrast these formal characteristics and to push my concepts.” Dryden Wells
Dryden Wells, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, first completed a BFA in Ceramics and a BSED (K-12) at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. In the Fall of 2005, Wells moved to Lubbock, Texas, to pursue an MFA degree in Ceramics at Texas Tech University, which he completed Spring of 2008. Wells, having previously been a resident artist at the Pottery Workshop: An Experimental Sculpture Factory in Jingdezhen, China, during the summers of 2006 and 2007, has recently been hired as the Design Studio Manager of The Pottery Workshop to assist in the maintenance and development of the Design Studio as well as to continue the development of his own work.
“My goal is to create works of art that resonate with honesty and reflect the beauty and chaos of the world. My art is influenced by human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by my personal experiences and emotions. Like the varied objects I draw on for inspiration—from 1940s knitting catalogs and outsider art, to Native American cedar carvings and Degas’ sculptures of dancers—my artworks force an explanation of reality and compel viewers to connect to a larger human experience. I work in various media, including drawing, collage, and sculpture.
Currently I am focusing on ceramic sculpture based on expressive images of the figure I find in a variety of source materials. There are so many figures out there in the world, wearing so many poses and costumes; I find those that resonate and interpret them in clay. Each sculpture expresses an intense inner psychological state, its surface effecting a fluctuating quality, part beautiful, part grotesque.
I grew up in Portland, Oregon and continue to live and work here.” Cynthia Lahti
Carole Epp is a Canadian ceramic artist and writer, who received her Masters Degree in Ceramics from the Australian National University. Her ceramics branch off into two distinct bodies of work wherein she produces lines of sculptural and functional objects. Her sculptural based work incorporates the production of collectible figurines whose traditional genre is subverted by revealing a more truthful representation of behaviour and morality in contemporary society. An analysis of consumer culture is unveiled and dialogue is presented regarding the personal relationship one has with global events and politics. The functional domestic wares investigate contemporary industrial design aesthetics and their sustainability through handmade qualities, including what has traditionally been deemed glaze-faults, in combination with the clean and calculated look of mass-produced wares.
Her work has been exhibited in Canada, Scotland, Australia and the United States. Her artwork and writing has also been published in the past few years in magazine publications, websites and books. She is editor of Musing About Mud an online blog which showcases information, calls for entry, exhibitions and artist profiles related to the ceramic arts.
Blaine’s work has been exhibited nationally in several solo and group gallery exhibitions exhibitions, like the “Strictly Functional National” in Lancaster Pennsylvania, NC State Craft Center’s “From These Hands” in Raleigh, NC. His work can be seen in publications such as Ceramics Monthly and Lark Books’ 500 Bowls and Ceramics for Beginners: Surfaces, Glazes & Firing. Along with private and corporate collections, his work is included in the permanent collection of the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC.
Blaine Avery has been a studio potter since 1991. He took a position apprenticing with Sid Oakley at Cedar Creek Gallery in Creedmoor, NC. After a year under Sid’s direction, Blaine stayed on at Cedar Creek, renting studio space as a resident artist, and selling his work through the gallery, along with other galleries throughout the southeast. In 2002, Blaine moved to Seagrove, NC to open his own retail gallery and studio, Avery Pottery & Tileworks. Today, Blaine sells his work primarily through his gallery, through select craft galleries and fine craft shows.
“Inspired by an amalgamation of ancient cultures, the gestural surface decorations on my work are applied with porcelain slip and under glazes at the green stage of the process. Layering the slip designs underneath the glaze creates a greater sense of depth that accentuates the contours of the forms. Pattern, rhythm, imagery and color are all used to complete the form, which is grounded in the bold and refined characteristics of traditional southern pottery.” Blaine Avery
“In my work, a tangible place exists where the fields of art making, weapons manufacturing and scientific research converge. This latest work is composed of these subjects existing in the same atmosphere, constantly crossing and colliding with one another as if part of the same charged electron cloud. This work as an endless equation of variables, values, formulae and solutions. Like the system and language of chemistry, these subjects are always around us and the characters, materials and scenarios of this equation and chain reaction are in constant motion.
In an effort to reflect on the early presence that these subjects have in our lives, this connectivity is expressed through a language specific to childhood and is punctuated with objects that reference my early education and play. The childish language in this work comments on two conclusions that stoke the fires of my work; the omnipresent nature of science in our daily lives and the similarity between objects used to discover and nurture and those used to destroy and capitalize.
I see this work as a mechanism to evaluate conflict as the direct result of two kinds of perennial human activities: misunderstanding – willful or otherwise – and the heroic yet flawed effort to understand through research and classification. The activities in my work show the nature of human relationships as seen through the lenses of our societies researchers and artists.” Ian Shelly
“My work in clay has been a succession/evolution of ideas over a thirty year period. I take certain elements that “work” in one series and often build the next series based on those elements. That could include the color of the clay body, the colors of the surface treatment, the texture of the surface, the form or the building technique.
I enjoy working with the idea in mind of smaller parts making up the whole. Tiles covering a wall. Vessels made with coil and brick-like pieces, or cut and torn clay parts that make a vessel look basket-like. The vessel form appeals to me on a level that I don’t understand. It is a sort of mystery. When I am out in the world and see such a form I am immediately drawn to it. As much as I am concerned with surface texture it is ultimately the simple form of a vessel that appeals to my eye.
I would like to think my work, and the act of making the work, connects me with past cultures who used the same materials to make vessels for ceremony or everyday use. I like the idea of being a part of the long history of people making things with their hands.” Jim Kraft
It’s the first feature made by Ceramics Now Magazine, and includes images from the Overthrown exhibition and interviews with 10 of the exhibiting artists, plus with the curator of the exhibition. At the end of July, we will also send a special newsletter. Subscribe here to our monthly newsletter.