Elizabeth Shriver: Large Floral Pod, 2011, Ceramic, 16 x 16 x 16 in.
Elizabeth Shriver: Large Floral Pod, alternative view, 2011
“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
“The flowers of the woodlands and gardens of my upstate New York home are the subjects of my work. The intricate beauty in nature compels me to employ a complex process to translate this to the surface of my pots. I choose to use porcelain because it is the most pure of clays and when left unglazed and polished , an enticingly smooth rich surface is revealed. I began carving my porcelain forms during graduate studies at Skidmore College with Leslie Ferst and Regis Brodie. I continued my exploration of floral forms and structures by pursuing postgraduate study in botanical illustration at The New York Botanical Gardens. I create the bas-relief botanical images by carving into the leather hard wheel thrown porcelain pot. It is a process that can take more than one hundred hours. Each piece is hand polished after the first firing, the bisque, and again after the final high temperature firing to achieve the smooth marble like sheen.
My pots are my response to the natural world and my wish for its preservation. I strive to record the resiliency of nature in the bas-relief botanical images. I attempt also to capture the delicacy and fragility of the blossoms that will ironically be outlived by my pots
As objects of contemplation, it is my hope that my pots will celebrate the beauty and strength of nature and encourage its preservation.” JoAnn Axford
In addition to teaching at both the college and community arts levels, JoAnn has exhibited extensively in juried exhibits throughout the United States, including The Strictly Functional Pottery National, Crafts National, and San Angelo National Ceramic Competition. She was recognized as an Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly magazine in 2006. Her work has been published In Clay Times Magazine, Surface Design for Ceramics by Maureen Mills, Lark Books, and 500 Raku by Lark Books.
JoAnn Axford: Peony box
JoAnn Axford: Hydranges box
Rika Herbst: Tree of happiness
Rika Herbst: Ou Lettere
Rika Herbst: Bowl of leaves
Rika Herbst: Untitled #5
Rika Herbst: Untitled #4
Rika Herbst: Untitled #3
Interview with ceramic artist Carol Gouthro - Artist of the month, May 2011
Carol Gouthro: All 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.
Carol Gouthro: Aurlia Blastula (detail)
Carol Gouthro: Aurlia Butterflies