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raku

Şirin Koçak / Kuğulu Art Gallery, Ankara, Turkey

Sirin Kocak exhibition, Kugulu Art Gallery Ankara, Turkey

Şirin Koçak / Kuğulu Art Gallery, Ankara, Turkey
February 10-28, 2014

"Şirin Koçak sticks in our mind with her works in which senses, experiences, broken hearts, and memories of today and the past are blended with a deep and shocking taste. Traces from the past finds a new integrity and expression in her both subjective and universal works made of ceramic clay.

First of all, Koçak prefers to use all the advantages of ceramic clay to the utmost in her works. Natural structural properties of clay and the identity codes forming the virtual identity of clay come to life again in her works. As in “Line” series, consciously unremoved traces of the production techniques can become the main purpose of the study. We can see the story of clay out of these traces, and we are left alone with the reflections of these traces in our inner world. The linear structure on the surface establishes a direct relationship between a function like “drinking” and “touch-tactile” features. Pure and tactile effects of hand shaping present the visual expressions of mankind’s existence as a part of nature in “Light” series, which are full of Neolithic allusions. These works being the integral parts of an archaic expression question the association of the substance with light. They emphasize the significance of the footprint of the matter in the universe, and the space. Concave and convex structures gain new dimensions with different reflections of light and create an illusion effect in places. We see the traces of this inner space also in closed forms of “Circle” series. Although the forms stand out with their natural linear glazed textures on them, the inner space is full of the load of inner energy imprisoned in a body.

Ups and downs in life, happiness and disappointment are the witnesses of her subjective history in Şirin Koçak’s works.

"Days of one heart" project is a cinematographic-photographic expression of this witnessing. Koçak describes this work in her sensory language: “this work is so special to me! The work in the form of a single heart is presented with its photographs in new stories which take place in different venues, and in the hands of different people. This heart has been an object that has been with me anytime anywhere in this two-year period that I felt all alone. Without prior planning, I took photos of the object in different places and tried to reflect the object’s (my) mood. The journal of one and same object… sometimes it was cracked, and I repaired it, sometimes it was broken, and I fixed it; my fighting spirit that still continues to exist”. Although the photographed places are examples of a spontaneous selection, their coexistence with the ceramic heart takes us to different fictive worlds. Sometimes a door sill and sometimes a pond presents an opportunity to navigate our own dream world. That a vital organ such as heart is left such open and exposed refers to unprotectedness and finding life in any condition. The presence of heart disembodied reveals the contradictions that make our life meaningful.

Şirin Koçak pushes the boundaries of traditional and cliché expressions of ceramic. The photographic expressions and different materials that she uses in her works help ceramic to be regarded as a modern art medium.

One mustn’t think that she is an artist who is technique-dependent and focuses on technique since some techniques such as Naked Raku are in front in her works. Şirin Koçak is an artist who can use all the advantages of different techniques in different production processes consciously and skillfully. A dream explorer travelling around senses, experiences, and upsets…”
Words by Kemal Tizgöl

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  • Susanne Silvertant / Terra Delft Gallery, Delft, the Netherlands

    Susanne Silvertant exhibition, Terra Delft Gallery

    Susanne Silvertant / Terra Delft Gallery, Delft, the Netherlands
    November 30 - December 31, 2013

    Connection is one of the most important themes of Susanne Silvertant’s work. Art is a language for her. With her art she tries to communicate and show who she is. This vision is enhanced by scratching signs in some of her pieces. Signs refer to language that cannot be understood instantly. This is the most intense way of expressing herself.

    Inspiration she gets in the beauty of rugged nature, a garden, a landscape or the structure, atmosphere and colour of a city. During her travels in Spain and Portugal, Susanne was inspired by in the architecture of ancient civilizations, translating it into her own free way into contemporary and personal designs. In her pieces, Susanne tries to reproduce this layeredness and erosion caused by the passage of time.

    Susanne has restricted herself to the raku technique. Since then, this has determined the character of her work to a great extent. Besides her characteristic box shapes, she also makes objects constructed from separate parts. If an object consists of several parts, these must all come out of the kiln intact. If one part breaks, the entire object must be made all over again. Risk, unpredictability and chance are very close in Susanne’s work.

    From 2007 onwards she has added sparkling elements of self-cast glass. The clay seems to form itself around the glass. Weathered glass, found along the coastline, served as the inspiration for this development. By melting the glass in fine sand, Susanne succeeds in approximating this weathered look very closely.

    The combination of ceramics with copper foil or wire cast in glass, resulting in a visual continuity of the separate elements, enhances the layeredness of her pieces. She adds details from nature to her pieces, for instance a twig, a bud or a beautifully weathered tree trunk, imprinting it into porcelain or glass and incorporating it in her pieces. This way she emphasizes the organic nature of her work.

    Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11.00 - 18.00; Saturday, 11.00 - 17.00.

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  • Marta Jakobovits - Romanian ceramic artist, October 2012

    ROMANIAN CONTEMPORARY CERAMICS, October 2012: Marta Jakobovits

    Marta Jakobovits - Romanian ceramic artist

    Interview by by Ileana Surducan and Alexandra Mureşan for Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two

    What message or emotion do you want to convey to the observer through your works? Is your artistic undertake based on a certain idea or is it more of a searching process and experimentation?

    For me, this process is never conscious, programmed or preconceived. It is more of a constant experiment that is absolutely instinctive. My only guides on this path are those primal, undefined sensations generated by touching and feeling the malleable and permissive clay.
    Only afterwards I come to realize with wonder that a kind of actualization takes place - a humble identification, like a translation of some archaic, immemorial message. When I stop and ”read” the pieces that I created, and I analyze the way I created them, I marvel and realize that an actualization was already in me, that that translation was made through me.
    Good or bad, this is my path; through it I try to understand, not in a rational way, but rather through sensations and feelings, some of the facts of my existence, trying at the same time to leave some signs behind, signs that have meaning only if they are perceived by others.

    [] Read the full interview in Ceramics Now - Issue Two

    Many of your works are created in raku – a technique that is not the most convenient for everybody. Why did you choose this technique? What are the advantages and disadvantages that it presents?

    Raku is a technique that allows one to obtain very special and organic effects, both surprising and discreet. The expressive potential of the surface is greatly enhanced and can vary according to time and to different types of materials used in the burning – crumbled paper, sawdust, grass or dry leafs. Because of the strange appearance obtained through the ulterior reductions, the objects that are born through raku seem to me to be part of an ancient world, they appear timeless.

    The process of preparing the clay for the object that will be raku fired is special and equally important to me, because this offers just as many possibilities. The preparation involving different salts, oxides, engobes or glazes, in diverse combinations gives the final piece a special and unique visual individuality.
    Throughout the years I tested many of these possibilities, and through numerous repetitions I tried to understand and feel the spell of prompt intervention and immediate decision. These interventions can give you the impression that you work directly with the magical proprieties of the ceramic material.

    Marta Jakobovits Contemporary Ceramics featured on Ceramics Now

    Clay is perceived by many to be a docile and easy to manipulate material, but a real ceramic artist knows its potential and limits. In your opinion, what should be the relation between an artist and the material he uses?

    Clay is a material that is very open to the tactile dialog of touches, and this opening is very important to me because it creates a link to a world full of miracles and secrets. Through the material I am capable to connect with messages from ancient times. Clay seems to transport me into a different time, a different dimension. This is the reason why, whenever I find myself face to face with clay I try to reach the highest level of sincerity.

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  • Cindy Billingsley: Anteater and baby, 2009, 15” x 28” x 9”, raku clay, hand built solid, hollowed for firing, low fired, cold finish acrylic and wax

  • Mark Goudy: Vessel (r19) - w/raku smoke pattern, 11.5”w x 5”h

  • Mark Goudy: Vessel (r15) - w/raku smoke pattern, 11”w x 6”h

  • Simcha Even-Chen: Integrated Cycles B

  • Simcha Even-Chen: Integrated Cycles A

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