On March 9th another big clay influence in my life passed away. This year has taken Paul Soldner from us and now Toshiko Takaezu. If you see my work, it may be hard to draw parallels from me to her or even Soldner for that matter. But it isn't their physical work that I draw from, its their sense of exploration and personal philosophies. I do love their work and have admired it since I got into clay in the late eighties. It was people like these two and Volkous and Arneson that got my juices flowing back then. I came to ceramics searching for expression and a more tactile approach to art making than painting was giving me. Toshiko's large voluminous forms were very attractive to me and I felt they held a lot of quiet strength. The idea that these were essentially 3-d canvases to be glazed in an abstract painterly way further hit home for me. The surface of the work has always been one of my main concerns...wanting to be a painter in ceramics. The marks and colors of glaze and how they change in different atmospheres or in direct reaction to flames still holds great interest for me but these days so does the use of fragmented images. It is this kind of pairing that I am still seeking in the utilitarian work I have been doing this winter.
3 weeks ago