Archive | July, 2013

Ceramic Artist, Richard Notkin Creates Work In Response To War

26 Jul

Image

Richard Notkin’s teapots, ceramic sculptures and tile murals are visual explorations into social and political commentary. Through the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, when large scale abstract expressionist vessels and gestural ceramic sculptures were the rage in contemporary American ceramics, Notkin worked with a tightly controlled, high degree of craftsmanship, creating works which were often criticized as being too small, tight and precious. He took this as a compliment. He is perhaps most known for his series of unglazed stoneware teapots, inspired by the remarkable Yixing wares of China (circa 1500 AD to the present), but consciously maintaining a separate cultural identity, “reflecting the current dilemmas of our contemporary human civilization”.

Image

Image

Artist Statement : We have stumbled into the 21st Century with the advanced technologies of “Star Wars” and the emotional maturity of cavemen. If we can’t find more creative solutions to solving worldwide social and political problems than sending young men and women to shred and incinerate one another’s flesh with weapons of ever increasing efficiency, we will not survive to celebrate the passage into the 22nd century. And to make a dangerous situation worse, our country and too many of our fragile planet’s nations are now in the hands of right wing thugs and fundamentalist tyrants who are fumbling the planet towards World War III.                                                                                                                                            It is for these reasons, and far more, that I have chosen to continue to make ceramic sculptures which reflect on the social and political dilemmas of our world.

Image

Advertisements

Gary Jackson – How to Make Stamps

25 Jul

http://firewhenreadypottery.com

I start by rolling some simple coils. Different sizes. Different widths. I try to keep them clean, uniform and smooth. But that’s just me. I do roll a few of them out so they have some time to stiffen up a bit before adding the designs.

Image

Image

Then I start pressing the tools into the ends of the coils to make my stamps. I always put a different design on each end of the coil. That way I get two stamps for one piece of clay!
What could be better?!

But before you start randomly pressing in patterns, there are a few things to remember…

1. Whatever pattern you press IN to your clay coil will be what sticks OUT where you press it into your pot.
2. The impression left in your pot will appear to be the opposite of design on your stamp.
3. If you try to do letter stamps, they’ll need to look reversed on your stamp to turn out correctly when you press them into your clay.
4. It’s not just the design, but also the perimeter shape that will make impressions.
5. You need to make sure your indentations & lines are wide enough & deep enough for clay to be able to get in there. A lot of people try to “draw” with their needle tool, but then find out later that they’re not getting a clean impression. That’s because they either left it all scratchy from the needle tool… or more likely it’s too thin – no clay can get squished in there!
6. All of your stamps need to be dried and then bisque fired prior to pressing into clay.
7. I generally wait until my pots are on the slightly wet side of leatherhard for good stamping. If your pot is too wet, the stamps will stick too much. If your pots are too dry, the stamp won’t go in far enough to make a clear impression… or worse yet, crack the pot.
8. When pressing my stamps into the pot to create the design, I make sure that I have a finger inside the pot opposite where I’m pressing the stamp. So that I have even pressure – stamp pressing in, finger pressing out, squishing clay between the two.

So here’s a few examples of a few new stamps. I won’t really know how they’re really going to work until after they’re bisqued and I can actually use them for the first time.

Image

Image

After some time, I’ve made a few new stamps. Each one a little different. Of course, when they come out of the kiln and I use them for the first time, there will be favorites…. and there will be some that aren’t quite what I was looking for. But that’s okay. You can always make more. And just because they’re not making the mark you intended does not mean that it is a bad stamp. Save it for awhile, try it a couple times, and you may grow to love it more later.

Image

One last thing before I set them out to dry… I print my name on the side of each one. Working in a group studio area and teaching classes, you never quite know where your stamps may end up. I don’t think that I’ve ever really “lost” one, but it never hurts to label your things just in case. So yes, every stamp gets labeled before they dry.

Marie A. Côté: Of Vessels and Voices

23 Jul

The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery proudly presents its summer exhibitions, Marie A. Côté: Of Vessels and Voices Until September 1, 2013, Curated by Christian Bernard Singer
Image
The upcoming solo exhibition by Quebec artist Marie Côté, consists of several ceramic art and sound installations and includes a series of clay drawings on paper. At the heart of the exhibition is a sound installation that she produced in Inukjuak, Nunavik, over the summer of 2011. Production was made possible through a grant and an artist-in-residence program subsidised by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Aumaaggiivik (Nunavik Arts Secretariat), the Kativik Regional Government, and Air Inuit.

%d bloggers like this: