Ceramics – African Art Products http://africanartproducts.com/ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 12:37:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://africanartproducts.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon.png Ceramics – African Art Products http://africanartproducts.com/ 32 32 Artists respond to problematic stories, racism in ceramics in ‘Our America/Whose America?’ at Ferrin Contemporary | theater arts https://africanartproducts.com/artists-respond-to-problematic-stories-racism-in-ceramics-in-our-america-whose-america-at-ferrin-contemporary-theater-arts/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/artists-respond-to-problematic-stories-racism-in-ceramics-in-our-america-whose-america-at-ferrin-contemporary-theater-arts/ NORTH ADAMS – Norman Rockwell’s illustrations with their “perfectly imperfect armies of girls” never resonated with artist Niki Johnson, a member of the “Atari 2600” generation, as they watched her from commemorative plates porcelain that seemed to be everywhere during his youth – the pages of magazines, TV screens, the walls of Central American homes. […]]]>

NORTH ADAMS – Norman Rockwell’s illustrations with their “perfectly imperfect armies of girls” never resonated with artist Niki Johnson, a member of the “Atari 2600” generation, as they watched her from commemorative plates porcelain that seemed to be everywhere during his youth – the pages of magazines, TV screens, the walls of Central American homes.

And yet, some 30 years later, she would start buying these commemorative plates, at thrift stores for only a few dollars each, putting them away for a time that seemed right to her, for an as yet unrealized project. For a decade, she would amass a collection of a few hundred Rockwell plates, as well as dozens of other patterns and designs depicting American landscapes, children playing, churches and historic monuments, flora and fauna.

Following the 2016 election, frustrated with the results, she finally stopped working on her art and found peace in the structure of cleaning and arranging her studio space. She started arranging the plates and soon found herself staring at stacks of what she describes as “illustrated MAGA” – “an America where the father knew best, the women knew their place and the people of color didn’t weren’t in the picture.”







porcelain plate squares

A close-up of the pieces of Norman Rockwell’s memorial plaques that make up “Fitting In With The Squares (Self-portrait)” by Niki Johnson.




In that moment, she said, she knew what she was supposed to do with those stacks of plates representing idyllic white American domestic bliss — separate them, insert themselves into the American narrative.

With an old photograph in hand – a photo taken in the late 1990s of his torso, bare belly and a cigarette in his hand, an accidental self-portrait that could only have survived in the days before instant access to photo film from a camera – she instinctively decided to create a mural out of porcelain mosaic tiles.

The resulting work, “Fitting In With The Squares (Self-Portrait)”, is part of “Our America/Whose America?”, a collective exhibition of 23 contemporary artists responding “to specific and deeply problematic histories in the ‘history of consumer ceramics’. on view at Ferrin Contemporary through October 30.

“I came to understand that the woman in this portrait was so much like the young women I worked with. I see in her nuances my mother, who raised me in a time she helped defend” , writes Johnson in a blog post about his self-portrait. “I see a woman with a greater capacity for action on her life than her ancestors. I see a woman who knows what to take out of life, what to leave and how to build a life from the corresponding pieces.”







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“Until We Meet Again” by Elizabeth Alexander, part of the “A Mightier Work Ahead Series”.




Elizabeth Alexander also works with collectible plates—Confederate memorial plates—which she, like Johnson, salvages second-hand from thrift stores and antique stores.

While Johnson has used his work to insert himself into a conversation, Alexander’s series, “A Mightier Work is Ahead,” aims to remove fictionalized images of the Civil War from conversation.

“I imagine these objects as Trojan horses hanging innocently among family photos. These plates were printed long after the Civil War with romantic illustrations and created for people to hang in their homes, to convey dangerous values to future generations, aided by collectible marketing,” she wrote in her artist statement.







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Jacqueline Bishop, “The story of the market woman -14”, 2022.




The plates are left whole, displayable, but with obvious changes, as Alexander literally cuts out soldier illustrations from them, grinding others, along with any symbols or traces about the Confederacy. The impact is immediate – gaping holes and large white spaces are framed by what remains, ripples of blue sky, sunsets, green grass and buildings. But the imagery it has suppressed, which fuels a contemporary white supremacist culture, should not be ignored or swept under the rug. Instead, she picked up the dust, shavings, bottled it up, and put it on display, where it can be kept under a watchful eye.

Jacqueline Bishop made her own kind of memorial plate, one in the style of the cherished ceramic plates owned by her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and kept in a special mahogany cabinet. “The Market Woman Series”, a collection of 15 plates, mixes images from early Jamaican postcards, paintings of slave women from Brazil, the colonial paintings of Italian Agostino Brunias and current photographs with images of flora and fauna. abolitionist. Here she creates a new narrative, which pays homage to the “market woman”, placing images of this defining symbol of Jamaican and Caribbean society in a place of honour.

The works in the exhibition are not limited to ceramic dishes or porcelain plates, although many use these mediums to spark conversations about colonialism, colonization, racism and sexism.







Canceled by Russell Biles

“Cancelled” by Russell Biles, 2022.




Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Russell Biles and CRANK, an artist duo, use sculptural form and contemporary cultural icons and images in response to societal issues.

Jiménez-Flores’ “A Hand Gesture To Systematic Racism”, a pedestal holding a giant green cactus in the shape of a “bird flipping” hand, is a depiction of the artist’s frustration with “visible and invisible racism on the workplace, schools, churches, government, universities and in the public through the microaggressions, xenophobia, discrimination, bullying, manipulation and more” experienced daily by Black, Indigenous and people of color, as well as immigrants and refugees.

A bronze rifleman, kneeling as he surrenders his weapon, sits on a pillar of skulls painted in red, white and blue stripes, is the culmination of Biles’ realization that freedom and security of his youth were imposed “by a magic gun” and the fear that future generations “won’t accept this reality”. “Cancelled,” recognizes the reality and price of America’s freedom, a legacy built on death and the old adage that “freedom isn’t free.”

CRANK, an art duo, who use Native American vessel shapes and red earth clay to explore “concepts such as ownership of open source material, cultural appropriation, immigration, sexual orientation, consumerism and pop music” has several giant vessels emblazoned with pop culture imagery In View. One, “Agent Orange,” features an orange cartoon cheetah, similar to the Cheetos mascot, with the presidential seal on the reverse.







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CRANK vases, “This is America… Don’t Catch You Slipping Up” and “Agent Orange”.




Although different in medium, the messages are equally clear, from artist to artist, all charged with emotion in a range from frustration and anger to hope and belief in a distant future.







five plates on a wall

“A Mightier Work is Ahead” series by Elizabeth Alexander, 2022.




IN VIEW

What: “Our America / Whose America?” curated by Leslie Ferrin and Lauren Levato Coyne.

Who: Elizabeth Alexander, Russell Biles, Jacqueline Bishop, Judy Chartrand, CRANK, Connor Czora, Michelle Erickson, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Garth Johnson, Akinsanya Kambon, Beckie Kravetz, Steven Young Lee, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Beth Lo, Niki Johnson, Angelica Pozo , Leo Quiles, Paul Scott, Rae Stern, Momoko Usami, Kukuli Velarde and Jason Walker.

Where: Ferrin Contemporary, 1315 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams

In view: Until October 30

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday to Saturday

More information: 413-346-4004, ferrincontemporary.com

SPECIAL EVENT

Hidden in Plain Sight: Illustrated Ceramics and American Identity

What: Panel discussion at the online symposium, “Illustration and Races: Rethinking the History of Published Images”, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum on September 23-24

Who: Panelists Elizabeth Alexander, Jacqueline Bishop, Judy Chartrand, Niki Johnson and Paul Scott, all “Our America/Whose America?” artists, with moderator Leslie Ferrin.

When: Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Where: Zoom

Registration and more information: rockwellcenter.org/news/virtual-symposium-illustration-and-race-rethinking-the-history-of-printed-images

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Ceramics with Attitude by Maxwell Mustardo are on display at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton https://africanartproducts.com/ceramics-with-attitude-by-maxwell-mustardo-are-on-display-at-the-hunterdon-art-museum-in-clinton/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/ceramics-with-attitude-by-maxwell-mustardo-are-on-display-at-the-hunterdon-art-museum-in-clinton/ Maxwell Mustardo’s Anthropophores are on display at the Hunterdon Art Museum until September 4. Maxwell Mustardo’s amphoras don’t approve of you. Their jug ​​handles bend impatiently and rest on the sides of the ceramic pots like the arms of a teacher with hands on hips, reprimanding a misguided student. Their collared heads are tilted a […]]]>

Maxwell Mustardo’s Anthropophores are on display at the Hunterdon Art Museum until September 4.

Maxwell Mustardo’s amphoras don’t approve of you. Their jug ​​handles bend impatiently and rest on the sides of the ceramic pots like the arms of a teacher with hands on hips, reprimanding a misguided student. Their collared heads are tilted a little, or tilted forward, as if they’ve just given a rebuke and are waiting for your fragile response. When Mustardo allows the jugs to come together on a single platform, they take on the quality of a jury, or perhaps a group of concerned aunts.

The amphorae are out in force — and tolerate no excuses for your behavior — at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, where “Maxwell Mustardo: Dish-Oriented,” an exhibition of bizarre ceramics, will be on view through September 4. This is the second time in less than a year that the historic mill’s art space has hosted an exhibition that breathes strange life into clay and enamel. Like Doug Herren, whose imaginative contraptions seemed imported from a world of mad machines, Mustardo knows how to invest humble materials with extraordinary personality. The Jersey ceramicist calls his vessels ‘anthropophorae’, but even if he didn’t, you’d still be tempted to befriend them. These are pots that have the characteristics of animate beings: statues with Muppet-like exteriors and distinctive attitudes expressed through posture, composition, and hue.

They are also — and this is important — real containers. An ancient Roman might have looked askance at a Mustardo amphora, but if he needed a place to store his wine or olive oil, it might have come in handy. Mustardo’s vases may look like stalagmites from an ice cave in a sci-fi movie, but they could hold a rose or two. If you were feeling fearless and not too afraid of spilling, you could even drink from Mustardo’s oblong mugs. The ceramist’s subordinates work to train, but most of his pieces are usable, and possibly even salable – perhaps in a secret room, in a Crate & Barrel basement, open only to the weirdest and most bizarre customers. the most broad-minded.

A buyer like that might have a moot streak. She might, like Mustardo himself, have something to say about volume. “Dish-Oriented” features pottery that wants and doesn’t want to be filled. Like authoritarian anthropophors, some of them seem to take offense to the implication that ceramics are receptive. This shot glass could take your liquid, sure, but getting it out and in your face could prove a bit of a headache. Mustardo’s “toroid” sculptures look like cheeky interrogations of our assumptions about pottery and tableware in general: they have donut holes and depressions, and they’re technically concave, but their load-bearing capacity is minimal, and their smooth sides invite liquids to drip off. .

Even the name of the show suggests recalcitrance. These parts are flat-oriented. These are not dishes, and not even facsimiles of them. They are clay objects that point, or feign, in the direction of table settings, before heading off in unexplored directions. Call them ceramics with attitude.

The textures of Mustardo’s work extend the wrong direction. The plastic coating on the surface of his pieces amplifies the singular effects generated by his clay work and helps the ceramist to weave remarkable illusions. The skin of anthropophores resembles the curled fur of fairground stuffed animals. These pitchers aren’t fluffy to the touch, but they feel squeezable. A toroid near the entrance evokes the burst-ready quality of a rubber tire inflated beyond its maximum. A cup has the character of a small stump overgrown with mycelium; a human-sized cylinder, impassive as a saguaro, gets a hot rod paint job. Automotive references are ubiquitous in this one-room exhibit, which might be expected of a Jersey lad but is rare from a ceramicist.

Mustardo seems to respond to the perceived inertia of pottery, bulking up his pieces with metallic dragster colors and streamlined contours. Nothing in “Dish-Oriented” is movable, but everything seems to be able to move if it wanted to.

The result is a robust exhibit that is far more active, and perhaps even confrontational, than ceramic exhibits usually are. It’s also catchy. “Dish-Oriented” is certainly not shy: it’s a show that demands attention. Mustardo’s confidence is seductive and his willingness to entertain is evident.

Yet the show is also distinguished by an ambivalence that is almost an expression of anxiety. From amphorae to vases to pretzel knot-shaped “mugs” that aren’t exactly cups, these are vessels that don’t know whether they want to be containers or not. It’s clear that Mustardo imagines something more complicated for the things he pulls than simple utility. He doesn’t want his coins to be passive receptacles – they will come out and meet you. They won’t just sit there and hold you water, mate. They want to talk to you. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself responding.

“Maxwell Mustardo: Dish-Oriented” will be on display at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton until September 4; visit hunterdonartmuseum.org.

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Vase translated: a memoir of Korean ceramics https://africanartproducts.com/vase-translated-a-memoir-of-korean-ceramics/ Tue, 26 Apr 2022 15:38:06 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/vase-translated-a-memoir-of-korean-ceramics/ It’s a story about the pinnacle of Korean ceramic art, but also a tragic story of disruption and anxiety. By Doyun Kim It all started for me when I met the new translated vase by Yeesookyung. This contemporary work of art consists of shards of celadon and white porcelain that have been stitched together until […]]]>

It’s a story about the pinnacle of Korean ceramic art, but also a tragic story of disruption and anxiety.

By

It all started for me when I met the new translated vase by Yeesookyung. This contemporary work of art consists of shards of celadon and white porcelain that have been stitched together until they form into an organic form that seems to grow, as if each piece has a life of its own.

Translated Vase_2015 TVGW 3, 2015

The top half is made of broken pieces of Korean celadon, the green glazed stoneware that exemplifies the artistic achievement of the Goryeo dynasty (912-1392). Goryeo celadons are characterized by extraordinary jade color and creative figurative shapes. In some cases, they have elegant surface patterns inlaid with clay of a different color, a technical innovation of the Goryeo dynasty called sanggam.

The lower half of translated vase includes fragments of white porcelain, a type of ceramic from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). They are distinguished by simple shapes, a white color that symbolizes the Confucian virtue of rectitude, and sometimes painterly designs on their surface with a luxurious cobalt blue pigment.

translated vase in resonance with another contemporary work that I encountered at the same time: the work of Nancy Rubins Our Fluid Metal Friend, to see on the Bluhm Family Terrace of the museum. For his series, Rubins had collected abandoned kiddie rides from playgrounds and amusement parks and reassembled them into a dynamic form. Joined by lines of wire, the resulting shape expands like an atomic structure.

Produced by artists from disparate cultural backgrounds, Our Fluid Metal Friend and translated vase differ in scale, material and technique. However, they are comparable: while the latter works with disused everyday objects, the former turns to the discarded fragments of traditional artifacts that are seen as an embodiment of traditional Korean culture.

Yeesookyung (b. 1963) feels a sort of aura of Korean ceramics exhibited in a museum, especially after growing up in Korea, where Goryeo celadons and Joseon white porcelains are prized as quintessential beauties of the country’s artistic heritage. .

When I look at Goryeo celadon items in a museum, it seems that the time and space inside the glass case and outside are completely different…. I feel that the time and space they have traveled have frozen and crystallized. I am mesmerized by the strange and transcendental beauty they exude.

Yeesookyung

However, she also sees the condensation of extreme stress and anxiety. After being molded and fired at very high temperatures, Korean ceramics must also bear the weight of tradition and the myth of the “masterpiece”. Potters of the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties are said to have destroyed ceramics that did not meet their ideal standards.

The devotion to the idea of ​​a masterpiece intensified during the 20th century. After the violent disruption of Korean cultural heritage during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953), Korean ceramic artists strove to reclaim their heritage by studying abroad in Japan and the United States. United States, where the Korean ceramics tradition had dispersed and practiced during those times. This effort to preserve and succeed Korea’s rich ceramic tradition has reinforced the inherited ideal. In striving for perfection, pieces with even a small, unrecognizable flaw were considered intolerable to potters, something to be cast into oblivion.

I saw a Korean master potter in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do break almost every porcelain he made in a traditional kiln because of tiny flaws. Even today, the master potters leave only a small number of their finest works and destroy the rest without hesitation. I believe such behavior is a way of interpreting Joseon white porcelain in Korean ceramic art today.

—Yeesookyung

From Yeesookyung’s perspective, the Korean ceramic fragments are not remnants of failure but are full of new stories. Removed from their intended form and function, they are freed from the immense stress and anxiety that perfection brings.

The shards of Goryeo-style celadons in imperfect jade-colored tones or imperfectly shaped now form a harmonious unity, a subtle gradation of green shades that chromatically rhythms. The imperfect white moonpot pieces now form the hemispherical base of a unique teardrop shape. New organic shapes are fashioned based on the flaws of each piece. And the artist connects and highlights their fractures with precious gold or gema word in Korean that means both “crack” and “gold”.

Yeesookyung views Korean ceramics as a visual and tactile medium for translation across time and space. Abandoning the pre-modern myth of the masterpiece, the artist fully assumes the vulnerability of beauty and celebrates the journeys of these traditional ceramics, whether due to imperfection or the fragmented cultural memory of a country.

—Doyun Kim, Korea Foundation intern in Asian arts

Quote

Yeesookyung. “Fragments transcending time and space.” Magazine of the National Museum of Korea Vol.51, 2020.

Topics

  • Collection
  • Exhibitions
  • Perspectives
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Timpview student wins national K-12 ceramics competition | News, Sports, Jobs https://africanartproducts.com/timpview-student-wins-national-k-12-ceramics-competition-news-sports-jobs/ Tue, 26 Apr 2022 03:12:34 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/timpview-student-wins-national-k-12-ceramics-competition-news-sports-jobs/ 1 / 2 Ceramic created by Milla Prokhorov, student at Timpview High School. Courtesy of Provo City School District 2 / 2 Ceramic created by Milla Prokhorov, student at Timpview High School. Courtesy of Provo City School District ❮ ❯ […]]]>

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Ceramic created by Milla Prokhorov, student at Timpview High School.

Courtesy of Provo City School District

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Ceramic created by Milla Prokhorov, student at Timpview High School.

Courtesy of Provo City School District

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Although Milla Prokhorov, a senior at Timpview High School, is a nationally award-winning ceramist, she is still a little hesitant to call herself an artist.

At the National K-12 Ceramic Art Show held in Sacramento, Prokhorov’s ceramic piece entitled “Where the Eastern Moon Meets the Western Sun” won him the Ingrid Mahan Foundation Fellowship, the Lucy Roy Award, the Artistic Achievement Award and the Kansas City Art Institute. Senior Fellowship.

Additionally, Prokhorov walked away with the Alfred University Theodore A. Randall Memorial Scholarship, which will cover nearly all of her tuition fees in addition to guaranteeing her enrollment at Alfred University, which has been ranked as the top country’s ceramics program by US News.

“I was just freaking out because things kept moving forward, and I was like ‘holy cow, where does it end,'” Prokhorov said. award was enough, then I got into the national show and I go there and come home with two scholarships to two of my dream schools. … I’m really grateful. It was a truly surreal and incredible experience.

Prokhorov’s first pottery-making experience was in a studio with his class in Suzdal, Russia, a city northeast of Moscow. There she fell in love with this art form and wanted to continue after moving to Utah.

“I was really captivated by it and it’s just kind of in the back of my head,” she said.

For Prokhorov, moving to the Provo area came as a bit of a shock after living in the bustling cities of Manhattan, Moscow and Palo Alto. Like most high school students, she searched for her place at Timpview, but it wasn’t until she discovered the art studio that she felt like she had truly found her place.

“I didn’t really fit in here until I found the studio,” she said. “This wing, the (professional and technical) and artistic wing, is so underrated but I really appreciate it because the teachers here… they work on a teacher’s salary but they really care about their children and of how they do, and how they develop their skills. »

Although his finished pieces have a classic, effortless beauty, according to Prokhorov, his skill at the potter’s wheel did not come easily, but rather with hours of hard work spent in Timpview’s artistic wing.

“I just fell in love with it. It’s not very responsible, but I was there all the time…hours a day; I was so enthralled and motivated to move on,” she said. I wasn’t natural. I had to work for it.”

In his work, Prokhorov is often inspired by everyday things. More recently, it’s the bottles. Similar to his ceramics teacher at Timpview, R. Brent Davison, Prokhorov enjoys creating things with purpose and function, while finding ways to make even the mundane beautiful.

“Over the past month, I’ve been really inspired by the bottle. I worked on creating a form that appeals to the eye, which for me is really, really interesting,” she said. “I get a lot of inspiration from my teacher. … His work is super functional and brings functionality and aesthetics.

According to Davison, the odds of a student as passionate and committed to ceramics as Prokhorov passing through a teacher’s class are one in a million.

“I’ve been teaching in the public school system for about 10 years now,” Davison said. “I’ve had a few other star students but never anyone at this level, and especially at this level of commitment. … It’s hard to find a student who not only loves ceramics but also loves teaching and is a natural teacher.

Prokhorov hopes to attend Alfred University in the fall to continue studying ceramics. She’s excited to be around other ceramic enthusiasts like her, and to a lesser extent, she’s ready to finally live somewhere wetter again.

Ultimately, Prokhorov plans to follow Davison’s shoes and become an art teacher herself.

“I really fell in love with teaching here. He (Davison) always told me that teaching is the best path to mastery,” she said. “I fell in love with it. I have a passion for teaching.



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A friendship shaped by a shared love for ceramics https://africanartproducts.com/a-friendship-shaped-by-a-shared-love-for-ceramics/ Wed, 20 Apr 2022 14:26:55 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/a-friendship-shaped-by-a-shared-love-for-ceramics/ For many, a hobby is simply an outlet to relax and requires little time. But for Megan Miao, 29, and Samantha Tan, 28, their love for pottery has evolved into something much bigger. Megan, a learning experience designer, and Samantha, a physician, first started making ceramics simply as a hobby. Now they run Eastfield Ceramicsa […]]]>

For many, a hobby is simply an outlet to relax and requires little time. But for Megan Miao, 29, and Samantha Tan, 28, their love for pottery has evolved into something much bigger.

Megan, a learning experience designer, and Samantha, a physician, first started making ceramics simply as a hobby. Now they run Eastfield Ceramicsa small business selling handmade ceramic household items.

The name “Eastfield” is a direct translation of the words Dong Tian (东田), a combination of Chinese characters found in both of their surnames. GIF CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA

Although they work day jobs unrelated to crafts, Megan and Samantha are no strangers to the art world. Having studied art earlier in their school years, they found themselves naturally drawn to ceramics.

“I studied fine art in college and a lot of my practice was conceptual. I think over time I realized that I really wanted to get back in touch with making things with my hands,” says Megan, adding that ceramics is a great entry point for her because it allows her to create functional objects that are not merely purely decorative.

Like Megan, Samantha missed the days of making art in high school.

“I was studying art a bit, but it was something that I gave up just because I didn’t think it was very practical. I found ceramics and it was something that combined both practicality and artistry and that’s how I went further down the rabbit hole.

The couple first met during a pottery class at the Euphoramics studio. Their pottery teacher, Yan, was actually one of the main driving forces behind this unexpected union.

Yan noticed that Megan likes glazing, a process where colors are applied to ceramic pieces, while Samantha dislikes it. On the other hand, Samantha loves what Megan hates – the mechanical process of sculpting and shaping parts called throwing.

“I accumulated a lot of unglazed wares piling up on the shelves and I was just complaining that I didn’t want to color any of them,” says Samantha.

“Long story short, our pottery teacher got tired of complaining to us that we didn’t want to do the things the other wanted to do,” Megan adds.

“One day she was fed up and was like, ‘Why don’t you just ice up Samantha’s work and then you can fix this?'”

When the couple saw how this arrangement worked for them, they began experimenting with making pieces together. This is what gave birth to Eastfield Ceramics.

While Megan and Samantha’s decision to start a business may seem easy, that doesn’t mean the journey doesn’t come with challenges.

With too much to do and too little time, they are constantly reminded that Eastfield Ceramics is a side business fueled by passion.

They meet in the studio for about four hours on a weekend and spend another two to three hours on non-ceramic works. This includes taking pictures of finished products and brainstorming new ideas.

During peak seasons like Christmas, they will have to work longer hours to meet the increased volume of orders.

Megan explains how important discipline is when it comes to time management. “With something like ceramics, it’s very easy to think that I’m going to book 12 straight hours in the studio this weekend, but I also know that if I do that, not all 12 hours will be spent in the studio. same way. and creative.

“Having limits on things actually allows me to be a bit more creative.”

The duo have also faced times when they feel their works have stagnated. This is especially the case when some of their pieces start to look alike.

“Halfway through our journey, there were certain expectations of what people liked or wanted to see from us and it was really hard to step out of that creative process or out of our comfort zone,” Samantha explains.

This is when they will both discuss their ideas or even go on “retreats” where they give each other space so they can individually come up with new things or ideas that they love.

“Once we’ve talked about those situations, it always comes out better and stronger because that’s also where you define your vision for your product. When you’re a single potter, you have to dictate that path, but when you’re two people, you have to decide how to move in that direction,” says Megan.

Megan and Samantha make a point of communicating with each other. As this is a joint venture, they find it important to take into account the points of view of both parties. GIF CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA

For Megan and Samantha, Eastfield Ceramics is far from ‘relaxing’. But that doesn’t make it any less of a hobby for them.

“I would challenge the idea that hobbies are meant to be a space for relaxation…relaxing is me lying on the bed and doing nothing, but I wouldn’t call it a hobby either,” Megan says, explaining that sometimes the things we do charging might not be the easiest thing to do.

Those interested in pottery and ceramic household ware making, patience with yourself and the pottery process is important. Megan explains that while short two-hour classes are a great way to learn about pottery, it’s definitely not enough to really grasp the whole process and concept.

And like any other hobby, you can’t expect a flawless result on your first try.

Samantha says, “A lot of the early work might look a little hideous, but now when I look back, there’s also a charm to it that it’s slightly wonky and unbalanced.

“You can’t go back to that charm and there’s a beauty to that moment, so even as you progress, even at different times in your life, you create beauty in different ways.”

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Heath Ceramics Founder Celebrated in Upcoming Exhibition | The F https://africanartproducts.com/heath-ceramics-founder-celebrated-in-upcoming-exhibition-the-f/ Fri, 15 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/heath-ceramics-founder-celebrated-in-upcoming-exhibition-the-f/ Edith Kiertzner’s family lost their Iowa farm in the 1920s, and the family china set was one of the few things they kept. One can imagine the Great Depression scene as out of a movie: Edith, her parents and her six siblings, wondering what’s next, their white china set in a box, ready to serve […]]]>

Edith Kiertzner’s family lost their Iowa farm in the 1920s, and the family china set was one of the few things they kept. One can imagine the Great Depression scene as out of a movie: Edith, her parents and her six siblings, wondering what’s next, their white china set in a box, ready to serve the best Sunday meals no one could afford anymore.

Later in life, Kiertzner, who married Brian Heath in 1938, would become a ceramist and would describe white porcelain – the material these dishes were made of – as “gutless”. She revolts against refined material stripped of its character and texture. And she rejected all that it represented – the imported wealth and the preciousness that people reserve for special occasions.

Heath would create dinnerware designs in the 1940s with richly textured California clays and blaze a trail that still burns today. In fact, it’s possible the dishes you just purchased were inspired by Heath’s Californian aesthetic and sensibilities.

California’s Oakland Museum brings Heath’s artistic process and entrepreneurial spirit to life in “Edith Heath: A Life in Clay,” on view through October 30. The exhibition is much more than a collection of tableware: it is a fascinating creative journey that has something for everyone.

Want to know how clay comes out of the ground and see what makes California clays unique? Check. Want to follow Heath’s rise from a ceramist who created one-of-a-kind pieces to an entrepreneur who disrupted the homewares industry? Check. Want to swoon over modern lines and get inspired? Check, check!

The exhibition is curated by Drew Johnson, curator of photography and visual culture at the OMCA, and guest curator Jennifer Volland, an expert on the life and work of Heath. Quotes affixed to the walls throughout the exhibit help tell the story. And a detailed timeline guides visitors through Heath’s difficult childhood, her teaching jobs, her marriage, and all the years she was in the right place at the right time.

Edith and her husband, Brian, moved to San Francisco in 1942, after Brian’s work as regional director of the American Red Cross. Edith took ceramics classes at the California School of Fine Arts, taught at the Presidio Hill School in San Francisco, and in 1943 began researching clays and glazes.

Heath had the mind of a scientist and an inventor, and wartime shortages prompted her to seek new materials to make her art. She and Brian spent weekends scouring California for clay in the landscape, show curators say.

“With many mining operations shut down during the war, she was unable to obtain the materials she needed to practice ceramics,” Volland explains. “So the pair would find missing clay pits and gather materials, including brick clays from Niles Canyon in the Bay Area, talc from Southern California and fireclays from Ione in the foothills. of the Sierra Nevadas. The latter, Ione, was the source of the first Heath Ceramics clay used in its production of clay bodies.

Edith knew she was breaking the mold and she reveled in it. She had embraced California’s laid-back lifestyle and modern sensibilities.

“What I’m doing is going to change things,” she said. “Things won’t be the same.”

The Second World War dragged on and imports of domestic ceramics stopped. Edith’s big breakthrough came around 1944-45, when Gump department store shoppers discovered her ceramics exhibit at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

Impressed by his modern aesthetic, Gump’s buyers asked him to create a line of dinnerware. Heath used a speckled California clay body, leaving a super-fine white porcelain in the dust. Heath Ceramics – and Edith and Brian’s business venture – was born, and the conversation around what ceramics could be changed completely.

In 1947, Heath Ceramics moved to a factory in Sausalito and began producing dinnerware that would go far beyond California. The Heaths were going national. The ceramics establishment balked and called Edith a “treason”. But consumers had the final say, and Sausalito-based Heath Ceramics is still in business today.

“The fun part was she was constantly exploring,” said Winnie Crittenden, a Heath Ceramics employee since 1974. “Stacks of seconds were piling up and just not selling. So she and I worked to pour glazes on it, and we would have a unique model. And finally, we ended up with this series of landscape plates.

One of the exhibits in the exhibition features his earthy, modern dinnerware alongside his mother’s elegant, pristine porcelain service. It’s like a “before and after”, where we can see how Heath rejected the attitudes and aesthetics she grew up with.

“People here are much more easy-going, more human, and less concerned about their status,” Heath, who died in 2005, said of California. “I was trying to do something more egalitarian than aristocratic. Not ‘Art’ pottery – functional dishes.

“Edith Heath: A Life in Clay” runs through October 30 at the Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Admission is $16 for adults, $11 for seniors, $7 for youth 13-18, and free for children 12 and under. For tickets and more information, visit https://museumca.org/.

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Maintenance. Graphic designer meets ceramics: Jonathan Yamakami https://africanartproducts.com/maintenance-graphic-designer-meets-ceramics-jonathan-yamakami/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/maintenance-graphic-designer-meets-ceramics-jonathan-yamakami/ The 38-year-old Los Angeles-based ceramist’s output is attracting the attention of art galleries and specialty shops. Born in Brazil and of Japanese origin, Jonathan Yamakami graduated as a journalist at the University of São Paulo and built a career as a graphic designer. In 2013, he was already living in the United States and had […]]]>

The 38-year-old Los Angeles-based ceramist’s output is attracting the attention of art galleries and specialty shops.

Born in Brazil and of Japanese origin, Jonathan Yamakami graduated as a journalist at the University of São Paulo and built a career as a graphic designer. In 2013, he was already living in the United States and had just obtained an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Since then, his work has been featured by National Public Radio (NPR), The New York Times, and AIGA 50 Books | 50 covers. But another business is taking more and more space in his life: ceramics.

It all started in 2017, at the University of Oregon, where her husband had been appointed professor. There, in one of the many workshops dedicated to a variety of activities open to the entire university community, Jonathan discovered ceramics through pottery lessons – more specifically, the potter’s wheel.

“As a graphic designer, I used to work in front of a computer all the time. Doing ceramics allows you to do something three-dimensional, tangible and that can be finished at the same time. It was something completely different for me,” he says.

How a hobby can turn into a career

In 2019 Jonathan became part of a ceramics studio in Culver City, California. There, the hobby gradually became another profession as other members began asking to buy his wares more and more often. Later, orders from friends and others who contacted him through his Instagram account started piling up. More recently, Jonathan entered into a partnership with In Various Forms, a gallery that will sell some of his products and which has just opened to visitors. Additionally, some of Jonathan’s items will be available at the Craft Contemporary museum shop in Los Angeles.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset. Courtesy of Jonathan Yamakami.

Jonathan intends to continue to develop his technique as a ceramist while pursuing his work as a freelance graphic designer – but in a much more selective way.

“I understood that time was precious. If I’m going to devote ten or twenty hours to design, that means ten or twenty hours less to do something else, including ceramics. So I did less design work, but better,” he explains.

Also, it is not surprising that a graphic designer brings his original skills to the manufacture of ceramics.

“I think my graphic side is reflected in my search for textures, in my surface decoration techniques, etc. he says.

Courtesy of Jonathan Yamakami.

Produce functional objects and master the Raku technique

When Jonathan started his pottery production, he focused on functional objects such as cups and bowls. Later he started making more vases than anything else.

“I think vases are pieces that offer more creative possibilities. And more recently, I’ve moved into more, shall we say, sculptural work. Vases that do not have a very clear function, but that can be used in a certain way, even if that purpose is to contain a single flower, for example. This makes it more than ‘just’ an ornament,” he explains.

Among his sources of inspiration is nature, especially marine animals.

“There are also memories, images that come from my childhood. Like some faces of my family that became portraits that I used in a few articles. It’s a very personal part of my inspiration,” he says.

Another curious fact is that he avoids mixing potter’s wheel activities with construction by hand.

Courtesy of Jonathan Yamakami.

“I like both things, but when I spend a lot of time building by hand, it takes me a while to get used to the potter’s wheel again,” he explains.

Since last year, he has mastered a firing technique called Raku, which can have unexpected results and produces objects with a more metallic appearance and more organic surfaces..

Raku is a five-century-old Japanese technique that involves taking glazed or unglazed ceramics out of the kiln while they are still glowing and placing them in a material that can catch fire – sawdust and newspaper. , for example. This way the piece is starved of oxygen, which creates a myriad of colors in the glaze, generating unpredictable results.

This method is much faster than normal cooking as it takes one or two hours compared to the typical 24 hours. Items that go through this are best when coated with a specific Raku glaze, giving them a lower melting point and thus allowing the ceramist to fire much faster. This technique can only be used when items are hand forged.

Using the Raku technique. Courtesy of Jonathan Yamakami.

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The Myrth ceramics store opens next to the studio in Somerville https://africanartproducts.com/the-myrth-ceramics-store-opens-next-to-the-studio-in-somerville/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/the-myrth-ceramics-store-opens-next-to-the-studio-in-somerville/ Potters Eric and Abby Smallwood of Myrth, a Somerville ceramics studio, are known for their sturdy porcelain dishes, tumblers and vases in soft earthy colors that exude a soothing quality. The Smallwoods create their unique ceramics on a potter’s wheel, with molds and by slip casting. “Our ceramics are very tactile objects,” says Abby. “Holding […]]]>

Potters Eric and Abby Smallwood of Myrth, a Somerville ceramics studio, are known for their sturdy porcelain dishes, tumblers and vases in soft earthy colors that exude a soothing quality. The Smallwoods create their unique ceramics on a potter’s wheel, with molds and by slip casting. “Our ceramics are very tactile objects,” says Abby. “Holding them, feeling their weight, the softness of our glazes, and seeing the nuance in the glaze color are experiences that we found important.” In August, the couple opened a small retail store — just 225 square feet — attached to their Union Square studio so customers could see and touch their wares. They set a dining table, just like you’re in their home, with Mryth crockery and other handcrafted tableware they now sell at the store. To complement the dishes and saucers and match their timeless nature, there are hand-blown glasses from Sugahara Glassworks in Japan, textured wine glasses from Italian brand R+D Lab, silver, gold and black from Mepra from Italy, and more. . “We want the items we offer to last as modern heirlooms in someone’s life,” says Abby. Creating this casual yet stylish table top is an investment — plates range from $24 to $42, wine glasses from $40 each to $130 for two, and place settings from $62 to $82 for five. rooms. But these are often collected over time. If you visit, take a look around the store in the studio and you’ll spot the Smallwoods working at their craft. The store is open from Friday to Sunday. 17 Hawkins Street, Somerville. For schedules and additional information, or to book a private tour of the studio, go to myrth.us.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND


Ann Trieger Kurland can be contacted at anntrieger@gmail.com.

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Meticulously detailed ceramics by Kaori Kurihara Concoct Fantastical New Fruits https://africanartproducts.com/meticulously-detailed-ceramics-by-kaori-kurihara-concoct-fantastical-new-fruits/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/meticulously-detailed-ceramics-by-kaori-kurihara-concoct-fantastical-new-fruits/ Inasmuch as Art #ceramics #fruits #sculptures January 3, 2022 Anna Marks All images © Kaori Kurihara, shared with permission Japanese artist Kaori Kurihara (formerly) creates ceramics resembling otherworldly fruits that appear to have grown in a magical rainforest or exist in a children’s book. Kurihara’s sculptures take a creative spin on the shapes and textures […]]]>

Inasmuch as

Art

#ceramics #fruits #sculptures

January 3, 2022

Anna Marks

All images © Kaori Kurihara, shared with permission

Japanese artist Kaori Kurihara (formerly) creates ceramics resembling otherworldly fruits that appear to have grown in a magical rainforest or exist in a children’s book. Kurihara’s sculptures take a creative spin on the shapes and textures found in thistles, tropical dishes and other fruits. One of its pieces, for example, resembles a purple durian with a brown seed-like head, while another is textured like a pineapple and features an artichoke-like top.

Kurihara studies the geometric repetition found in edible plants and reproduces their repeating patterns in similar ceramic forms, often enhancing their color. Each piece is delicately and meticulously crafted, and Kurihara first builds the base and then adds the details, carving patterns into the main shape using his hands and a series of tools.

The artist studied pottery at SEIKA University in Kyoto in addition to jewelry making in France, where she learned the enameling techniques she now uses to create her sculptures. To see more of his work, visit his site and Instagram.

#ceramics #fruits #sculptures

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All Fired Up: Carey Lowell on Ceramics https://africanartproducts.com/all-fired-up-carey-lowell-on-ceramics/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://africanartproducts.com/all-fired-up-carey-lowell-on-ceramics/ Carey Lowell, who just bought a house in Sag Harbor, is currently working at a studio upstate. Western tropes about women and aging aren’t great. But in Chinese culture, women of a certain age are believed to enter what is called their “second spring” – a period of great wisdom, freedom and creativity. A time […]]]>

Carey Lowell, who just bought a house in Sag Harbor, is currently working at a studio upstate.

Western tropes about women and aging aren’t great. But in Chinese culture, women of a certain age are believed to enter what is called their “second spring” – a period of great wisdom, freedom and creativity. A time when female potentialities flourish and where creative ambitions flourish.

It looks like Carey Lowell, the former model, Bond girl and ‘Law and Order’ actress, has entered her second spring. Ms Lowell, 60, has now added ceramist to her resume.

At a recent holiday art market featuring local artisans at the Church of Sag Harbor, Ms. Lowell stood behind a table of her homemade wares. Its range of functional and decorative ceramics includes vases, bowls, candle holders and sculptural pieces, mostly in neutral hues and touches of gold and some black. Each piece is irresistibly tactile, with holes and ridges, or a shiny, almost hidden little heart.

There is also clearly an appreciation for nature: the petals appear in distinctive decorative bursts. Everything is inherently feminine, but also strong. There is a down to earth side to her work, providing a soothing counterbalance not only to our digitally tired and tech-centric world, but also to the more colorful ceramics that are in vogue these days.

“I like things that are really serene and simple. So I want it to be less noisy. I like quiet,” she said.

Ms. Lowell first dabbled in ceramics in high school. A Long Island native – born in Huntington – she traveled the world with her family until they settled in Colorado when she was 12.

“Pottery was part of my public high school art class,” she recently said on Zoom. “We had all these wheels. It was just something I always liked to do.” Her passion continued during her year at the University of Colorado. “They even had wheels in the basement of my dorm in Boulder,” she said.

But it wasn’t until she moved to New York in the late 1980s, married actor Griffin Dunne and had a daughter, Hannah, that she was reintroduced to ceramics.

“I was looking for something to do for Hannah – she was about 2 at the time – and I went to Sullivan Street Children’s Aid Society where they had a little class. ‘d take it there and pick it up, and think, ‘That’s pretty cool.’ So she started taking adult classes there and later at Greenwich House, an art school in Greenwich Village.

She married Richard Gere in 2002, following the birth of their son in 2000, by which time she was acting, mothering and an amateur ceramicist. Although in 2013 she sold her collection to Barneys New York, the iconic luxury department store on Madison Avenue which closed in 2020.

When Ms Lowell and Mr Gere divorced in 2015, the couple sold their home in North Haven. Now Ms Lowell is returning to the area after buying a house in Sag Harbor which she hopes to move into by next summer.

“I’ve always loved the light there and I love the water,” she said from upstate, where she’s lived for several years. “Once you live on water, you’re kind of seduced. So, I was really hoping to find something on water and I did. I found a tiny little place that I’m excited about. It’s not big but it has a view.”

More importantly, he has a basement that she says will be turned into her ceramic studio. Working with clay seems to be her focus right now.

“I love its basic elements: water, fire and earth. It feels so primitive in a way that you can take that and create whatever you feel compelled to create,” she said. declared by getting his hands dirty with clay. “I mainly work in porcelain just because I really like the color and the translucency and the finesse. , and a lot more resilient. They’re a lot less picky, so you can scale up. There’s so much to learn, it’s endless.

Small-batch ceramics are suddenly the art accessory of the moment, linked to a widespread rejection of factory-produced sameness in tableware and vases and reflecting our desire to return to something more elemental. The periods of confinement and social isolation imposed by the pandemic over the past 18 months have also caused an increase in crafts. Stuck at home without the diversions of travel, commuting, or dining out, Americans have gone DIY-crazy, turning baking, knitting, ceramics, and other once-humble hobbies into a booming business. .

According to financial reports released by Etsy, the e-commerce brand focused on handmade or vintage items, the company’s revenue more than doubled to a record $1.7 billion in 2020. pottery is the new yoga,” as Vogue magazine put it.

Ms Lowell confirmed this by comparing the process of throwing clay to “creative energy flowing through you, when your creativity is flowing and you can really get lost”.

She draws inspiration from organic forms to draw inspiration, she says, from things that occur naturally in her environment. “I’ve done castings of big squashes with really long necks. I love playing around with different iterations. Sometimes I don’t cast the mold all the way. I just have the little neck. Or sometimes I take it up ‘at the top, then I carve it,’ she explained.

Although she said she remains open to acting, she acknowledged that ageism among actresses is an age-old Hollywood problem. So for now, she is content, she says, to take malleable clay and transform it with her own hands into functional and decorative objects.

“It’s in my control. I can decide what I’m going to do, when I’m going to do it and how I’m going to do it,” she said. “So in that regard, I become self-reliant. Whereas when I’m playing, I wait for someone to hire me, give me the lines to read, and then tell me how they want to shoot. I have a lot more autonomy in ceramics, which I really appreciate.”

His work will be sold in Sag Harbor at the 1818 Collective, a Madison Street design boutique that will open, fittingly, next spring.

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