Gibbs Gardens - Walking Tour
12 hours ago
This blog is intended for ceramic artists to have a chance to get critical input on their pots at all stages of production. If you are interested in joining and posting your pots, email Ben Stark at email@example.com
Ceramics is at once my refuge, my solace, my voice, and my offering to the world. Several years ago a desire to make a few vases for flowers, led me to clay and I am, and will always be, eternally grateful. From the beginning I was delighted as I manipulated the clay into something other than a lump of wet soil.
I find the natural properties of clay guide me in the direction I take in creating my ceramic pieces. Nature is a heavy influence in my work, but in contrast shape, form, and texture play heavily as well. While this may seem a contradiction in artistic styles, both directions are a reflection of how I view and echo the world which surrounds me, one a view of its natural state and the other a view of the human manipulations in the world.
My curiosity and deep affinity to nature and the earth never wavers and I constantly marvel at the beauty which surrounds me, the minute detail in the texture of a leaf, the shape of a city skyline, the twist of wire in a fence. My previous career as a landscape contractor prepared me for and led me to my current artistic passion in clay. I designed landscapes around the natural flow of the terrain and yet chose plants with the thought to contrast a large leaf to a small one, and to draw the visitor in to discover hidden places along the way. I use this same techniques in my ceramic work gently forming the clay where it is willingly to go, sometimes coaxing the clay, sometimes the clay prodding me into forming the piece at hand. I utilize both natural and man made textures to emphasize a form or to encourage a closer look.
My current work is a two-fold approach. One approach is of exploration and experimentation into the properties of clay and glazes. The other approach is as if I am afloat in an ocean, left to ebb and flow according to where my inspirations send me. Each piece I create contains both approaches, one where the inspiration has sent me and the other how I can manipulate the clay and learn about the glazes incorporated into the piece. For the present I am content with both approaches and the feeling of being afloat in an ocean of clay knowledge. With each piece I learn something I bring to the next one. I constantly feel lucky my inspirations outnumber the days in more than one lifetime. Often, I am pleasantly surprised at what I create in clay.