Saturday, January 28, 2012


One of my favorite ceramic pieces at the Museum of FIne Arts in Boston is this wonderful 12th century vessel. It was designed to resemble a bamboo shoot.

Bamboo shoot ewer

My attraction to this piece is the skill with which the potter depicted a plant form. It is graceful, beautiful, and it reflects nature.

Later I learned that pieces like this were treasured for their material purity as well their aesthetic beauty. The exquisitely refined materials like porcelain and the celadon glaze used in this Korean piece were unattainable in European craftsmanship until the 18th century.

When I was at Medalta I learned more about porcelain and celadon glaze, materials that are not only pure in their raw state--the best ones are fired at the very highest temperatures for even further refinement. I had a chance to play with porcelain and it was the finest, most luscious material I ever touched.

Spider's Dream


Two Porcelain Bricks

Material and process are both so important in making art. We think of a finely thrown pot as a highly refined object. But aren't there other types of process in making ceramic art that are just as refined?

At the end of my time at Medalta Janet came out West and rented a car. Before we went to the Canadian Rockies we spent a few days touring around southern Alberta. Here at Writing-on-the-Wall Provincial Park I had a chance to think about how much my art imitates nature and natural process.

Inspiration Stones

Clay Pose

Back in Boston this fall I became preoccupied with clay material and the way it forms itself in patterns that recall its natural origins.

Shard Moment

Failure and Success

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