Deborah Britt: Pitcher Set, 9” x 14”, Wheel-Thrown and Altered, Salt-Fired with Slip and Glaze Decoration, Cone Ten, 2011
Deborah Britt: Stamped Box, 6” x 4.5”, Hand-Built, Salt-Fired Porcelain with Honey Weiser Glaze and Stamp Decoration, Cone Ten, 2011
Deborah Britt: Stamped Vase, 9” x 4”, Wheel-Thrown and Altered, Salt-Fired Porcelain with Honey Weiser Glaze and Stamp decoration, Cone Ten, 2011
Deborah Britt: VC Matte Butter Dish, 4’ x 5.5”, Wheel-Thrown and Altered, Salt-Fired Porcelain with Slip and Glaze Decoration, Cone Ten, 2011
Deborah Britt: Whisky Flask I, 5.5” x 6” x 4”, Wheel-Thrown and Altered, Salt-Fired Porcelain with Slip Decoration, Cone Ten, 2011
Deborah Britt: Whisky Flask, 6” x 5.75”, Wheel-Thrown and Altered, Salt-Fired Porcelain with Slip and Glaze Decoration, Cone Ten, 2011
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→ The full interview with Blaine Avery is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One / Winter 2011-2012.
Ceramics Now Magazine: You’ve been working with ceramics for over twenty years now. Do you remember your first works? How did you evolved in time?
Blaine Avery: It has been just over 20 years since I stated in the field of ceramics. I remember my first works very well I know at every point in my career I strived to produce the best possible work I could, going against any business plan and striving to be the best artist I could. I threw away many of my works because in my opinion they just did not meet the mark. I felt it better to show and sell only what I felt was the finest quality I could produce at any point of my development as an artist. My first works were refined shapes as I was trying to get to the root of the form. Most were based on early american folk pottery that of, Edgefield South Carolina, Central North Carolina stonewares and slip trailed earthen wares.
These first works were simply glazed or left unglazed and fired in a wood-fired salt glazing kiln. In my early work I wasn’t ready to decorate the surface, I was only concerned with the root of the form; once I felt that I had achieved mastery of this, only then was I able to begin to think of working with surface design, by adding patterns a zoomorphic imagery. However, some forms still call me to show their true essence.
Dancing turtle platter (salt glazed, local clay, hand painted slip, glaze) - View Blaine’s works
You work with great delicacy when using patterns and symbols of ancient cultures on your works. How do you choose these patterns?
I first began looking at my surroundings, taking patters and imagery from nature. So much inspiration can be found in nature, if you just pay attention to its rhythm and symmetry. With other designs I do look back on many cultures, taking from them what I feel is relevant to me in this time and place. I first started looking at early American ceramics of the 1600’s forward, than from there I began studying pre-Columbian ceramics and folk art from around the world. There is a common thread that links all ancient cultures, a trueness and simplicity that I feel drawn to. I also study textile patterns for many ideas as in nature there is a rhythm, a symmetry and a repetition that calls to me. Sometimes, I take only one small part of a pattern and cover the pot with it, repeating the process over and over; repetition can be very powerful if done correctly.
Kjersti Lunde: Vase, 2011 - Porcelain (Photo: Tor Lie)
“My art forms are created from red earthenware using hand built processes of stretching, altering and joining slabs of clay. While the clay is still workable, shapes, coils and other features are incorporated. My vessels use a three-sided form as a consistent point of departure and I challenge myself by creating each piece uniquely, developing patterns or referencing nature or an historical style. Faux forms such as pitchers give the viewer an added delight where distinct surface treatments distinguish two views. The contrast of clay and glaze is important to my expression as it draws attention to shapes, patterns and rich textures. I enjoy creating works that can be appreciated visually as well used functionally.” Barbara Fehrs