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Ceramic Sculpture - Ceramic Arts Daily

Ceramic

Sculpture

Edited by Anderson Turner

Inspiring

Techniques

Ceramic

Arts

Handbook

Series


Ceramic

Sculpture

i


Edited by Anderson Turner

The American Ceramic Society

600 N. Cleveland Ave., Suite 210

Westerville, Ohio 43082

www.CeramicArtsDaily.org

Ceramic

Sculpture

Inspiring

Techniques

Ceramic

Arts

Handbook

Series


Ceramic Arts Handbook

iv

The American Ceramic Society

600 N. Cleveland Ave., Suite 210

Westerville, OH 43082

© 2009, 2011 by The American Ceramic Society, All rights reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-57498-300-5 (Paperback)

ISBN: 978-1-57498-530-6 (PDF)

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted

in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming,

recording or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher, except by a

reviewer, who may quote brief passages in review.

Authorization to photocopy for internal or personal use beyond the limits of Sections

107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law is granted by The American Ceramic Society,

provided that the appropriate fee is paid directly to the Copyright Clearance Center,

Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 U.S.A., www.copyright.com. Prior

to photocopying items for educational classroom use, please contact Copyright

Clearance Center, Inc. This consent does not extend to copyright items for general

distribution or for advertising or promotional purposes or to republishing items

in whole or in part in any work in any format. Requests for special photocopying

permission and reprint requests should be directed to Director, Publications, The

American Ceramic Society, 600 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville, Ohio 43082 USA.

Every effort has been made to ensure that all the information in this book is accurate.

Due to differing conditions, equipment, tools, and individual skills, the publisher

cannot be responsible for any injuries, losses, and other damages that may result

from the use of the information in this book. Final determination of the suitability of

any information, procedure or product for use contemplated by any user, and the

manner of that use, is the sole responsibility of the user. This book is intended for

informational purposes only.

The views, opinions and findings contained in this book are those of the author. The

publishers, editors, reviewers and author assume no responsibility or liability for

errors or any consequences arising from the use of the information contained herein.

Registered names and trademarks, etc., used in this publication, even without specific

indication thereof, are not to be considered unprotected by the law. Mention of trade

names of commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation

for use by the publishers, editors or authors.

Publisher: Charles Spahr, President, Ceramic Publications Company, a wholly owned

subsidiary of The American Ceramic Society

Art Book Program Manager: Bill Jones

Series Editor: Anderson Turner

Graphic Design and Production: Melissa Bury, Bury Design, Westerville, Ohio

Cover Images: “Immersion 17” by Kathy Venter; (top right) “Spheres with Cross” by

Barbro Åberg; (bottom right) “Floating Slabs Teapot” by Louis Marak

Frontispiece: “Spiked Log” by Mark Gordon


Contents

George McCauley: Life Experiences 1

Peter Held

Jim Koudelka: Layered Contraptions 7

Daniel Duford

Reflections on Accumulation 14

Wendy Walgate

Greg Penner: Casting Call 19

Braden Frieder

Growth in Change 23

Mark Chatterley

Adrian Arleo: Nature Studies 29

Marnie Prange

Jean-Pierre Larocque: Heads and Horses 37

Andy Nasisse

Immersion Series 44

Kathy Venter

Spraying Paper-Reinforced Clay 49

W. Lowell Baker

Paper Clay and Steel 53

Linda Mau

Barbro Åberg: Lightweight Sculpture 56

Ulla Munck Jørgensen

Gary Erickson: Organic Abstraction 61

Andrea Myklebust

Eva Kwong: Sculptural Vases 67

Kate Bonansinga

Kathleen Holmes: Dress Sculptures 71

Barbara Rizza Mellin


Slip-coated Fabric 74

Jen Champlin

Leigh Taylor Mickelson: Stacked Compositions 77

Mary K. Cloonan

Tile and Sculpture 81

Niel Amon

Right Angle Jig 87

Marcia Selsor

Sheri Leigh: Large-scale Slab Sculptures 89

Morgan Britt

Saggar-fired Sculptures 96

Mee-Kyung Nam

Mortar Construction 99

Mark Gordon

Patrick Crabb: Adobe Castings 103

George M. Tapley Jr.

Deirdre McLoughlin: Coiling Around Space 106

Nesrin During

Figurative Soft-Slab Sculpture 109

Dee Schaad

Louis Marak: Illusionary Sculpture 113

Cathy Ray Pierson

Catrin Mostyn Jones: Doing What Comes Naturally 118

Alex McErlain

Mary Fischer: Slab-built Structures 121

Jim LaVilla-Havelin

Rapid Prototyping 124

Steven Thurston

Nina Hole: Site-fired Kiln Sculpture 130

Glen R. Brown


Preface

As an artist, educator and gallery director, I’ve spent many hours looking at

and thinking about art and art making. Often I’m looking for inspiration for

my own work or for a curatorial idea I have brewing. Many times I’ve sent students

to look someone up, so they can better understand the artist’s ideas and

techniques in order to better inform their own work.

This book is a great tool for exactly that process. From beginning to end it

contains details about the making process. As a gallery director I’m forever reintroducing

patrons to people and ideas that everyone should hold dear. While

in my own art I may stick to a certain aesthetic, as an educator/curator I find,

as I grow older, a fondness for all art making. Most importantly I feel my students

and patrons often lack an understanding of the value of their education

and are more worried about what it can get them than what they can learn.

I also feel strongly that art making is a research driven activity. The information

contained in this book is written by some of the more innovative and

interesting minds working in ceramics today. While not all of the ideas are

necessarily groundbreaking, they are unique in their individual approach to

the use of the material. How these artists researched and successfully used the

processes they set out to is inspirational, informative and important. I hope

you find the research contained in these pages as exciting as I do.

Anderson Turner

Ceramic

Sculpture

vii


George McCauley

Life Experiences

by Peter Held

Through their work, artists

communicate a full range

of emotions, perceptions

and spiritual explorations. George

McCauley shapes these varied life

experiences into clay forms that are

assembled as wholly personal and revealing

sculpture. Prior to studying

art, his vocational positions included

carpenter, concrete inspector, waiter

and chef, mechanic, horse trainer

and aluminum-siding salesman.

Like many of his contemporaries,

McCauley was drawn to clay after

his initial introduction, a classic case

of the “love at first touch” syndrome.

Ron Meyers at the University of

Georgia, was a significant role model.

At the University of South Carolina,

Meyers fostered an environment of

experimental freedom, instilling in

McCauley a sense of discovery and

excitement for the medium.

The work of Peter Voulkos

also has been a strong influence.

“Voulkos works as if the pieces come

out of him, not by him,” observes

McCauley. “His devotion to making

art, breaking new ground and

his abilities to make works that are

about what he wants to make are

Candelabrum, 43 inches in height, wheel-thrown

and handbuilt earthenware, soda fired.

Ceramic

Sculpture

1


Ceramic Arts Handbook

2

McCauley hand trimming excess

clay from thrown shapes prior to

assemblage.

in spirational. The seemingly casual

appearance and freedom evident in

his work are what I strive for in my

own creative endeavors.”

George Ohr’s persona and art also

hold a particularly strong fascination

for McCauley. Billing himself

as the “Mad Potter of Biloxi,” Ohr

was a nonconformist who created a

distinctive body of work that challenged

the status quo of the day.

Both McCauley and Ohr share a hirsute

sensibility as well, sporting ample

mustaches reflecting flamboyant

personalities.

Having spent the greater part of

his childhood residing in Georgia and

South Carolina, McCauley absorbed

the rich history of folk-art traditions

of the South, particularly those of

the Jugtown potters. For a time, he

emulated these artists—inhabiting

a rustic home in the country, surrounded

by yard art and integrating

his creative endeavors with the art

of everyday living. “I have fancied

myself as a kind of folk artist, not

as a primitive or naïve practitioner,

but relating to the complete sense

of freedom in their work. Folk artists

make what they want to make

and create their art completely from

within.”

Myths and archetypal symbols,

some relating to his childhood growing

up in a strict Greek Orthodox

home, play a significant role in

McCauley’s work. He has a strong interest

in the rituals and ceremonies

found in world cultures. He is fascinated

with religious objects such

as icons, shrines and vestments.

Universal symbols—concentric life

spirals, the mati (an open palm with

an eye)—are incorporated in his

work to express needs or desires.

This implies a personal narrative

invoking historical significance.

Compositionally, McCauley is

drawn to an unconventional organization

of objects, disturbing juxtapositions

and, at times, fantastic

extravagance. Fleshy figures cavort

with a menagerie of barnyard animals,

fish, a jumble of cups, saucers

and other miniature pots. He interweaves

dopey-eyed reptiles suffering

from heatstroke in the arid desert

and skeletal remains on cylindrical

candlesticks. His totemic candelabra

and house sculptures are similar to

trees of life, a marriage between the

animal and human worlds.


Covered jar, 26 inches in height, earthenware, iron wash and glaze, soda fired.

photos: george mccauley, craig sharpe

Ceramic

Sculpture

3


Ceramic Arts Handbook

4

Wall sconce, 21 inches in height, wheel-thrown and handbuilt earthenware, with

terra sigillata, soda fired to cone 02.

There is a narrative quality to

the work, begging for a story to unfold.

McCauley denies any strict

interpretation, but, rather, places

a deeper importance on the meaning

of the subject matter. “My work

is narrative in the sense that I am

saying something about my feelings,

not always telling a story.”

Some of the relationships impart

humor, at times salacious, and he

feels this is a good enough reason to

create.

A freedom of process, where revisions

and changes are evident, not

hidden or refined to the point of obscuring

the hand of the maker, also

appeals to McCauley. “I am process

oriented in most of my endeavors.

The act of making and the vitality of

the construction are very important

to me. I alter my work when it is soft


so that I can keep all the nuances of

the construction—I want the working

process to remain evident in feeling

and posture. Techniques have

become less important as the years

go by—giving way to a looser method

of working.”

McCauley is primarily concerned

with the making of objects, so his

work is mostly wheel thrown, then

altered and accented with handbuilt

additions. Earthenware best suits

his needs, and “soda firing completes

the soft, sensual feel I strive for.”

Most of his glazes are cone 10 reduction

recipes that are fired in the

cone 08–02 range in a soda or vapor

atmosphere, as well as in an electric

kiln. The dry and irregular surfaces

enhance the imagery. Some of his

works, particularly those with hues

of purple and deep blue, take on an

apocalyptic cast, looking like postnuclear

relics.

The color palette is generally

muted. Some of his glazing strategies

include undercoating with slips

and terra sigillatas on leather-hard

or bisqued surfaces, then pouring

glaze overall and wiping off most.

Occasionally, he simply applies a

kaolin wash, then fires to cone 02 in

a soda kiln. Other times after firing,

a sprinkling of dry glaze, dirt or grog

is applied, and the work refired.

Fundamentals and technique are

merely a means to an end. McCauley

chooses to do whatever is necessary,

disregarding efficiency or practicality

over a path that will achieve

the results that best reflect his

sensibilities.

Candlestick, approximately 30 inches

in height, soda-fired earthenware,

by George McCauley.

McCauley has concentrated on

creating a body of work composed

of personal statements and expressions

about a life dedicated to the

creative act. His sculptures convey

the idea that a magical dimension

of life—partly lost in the rush of

modernity—can be recaptured and

embraced without hesitation.

Ceramic

Sculpture

5


Ceramic Arts Handbook

6

Recipes

Blood on the Saddle Earthenware

Cone 08–02

Custer Feldspar . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 .9 %

Ball Clay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 .9

Carbondale Clay . . . . . . . . . . . 39 .6

Fireclay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 .7

Grog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 .9

100 .0 %

Add 25% Cedar Heights Redart for a darker body

to be used in oxidation .

Green Barium Matt Glaze

Blue Barium Matt Glaze

Cone 10

Barium Carbonate . . . . . . . . . . 40 %

Spodumene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Nepheline Syenite . . . . . . . . . . 45

Silica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

100 %

Add: Black Copper Oxide . . . . . 4 %

Bentonite . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 %

For a green variation, replace the copper oxide

with 5% iron oxide .

Cone 10

Barium Carbonate . . . . . . . . . . 37 .3 %

Nepheline Syenite . . . . . . . . . . 48 .1

Ball Clay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 .1

Silica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 .5

100 .0 %

Add: Black Copper Oxide . . . . . 2 .0 %

Bentonite . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 .0 %

Purple Barium Matt Glaze

Cone 10

Barium Carbonate . . . . . . . . . . 36 .5 %

Nepheline Syenite . . . . . . . . . . 44 .2

Ball Clay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 .9

Silica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 .4

100 .0 %

Add: Copper Carbonate . . . . . . 3 .0 %

When using barium compounds, be aware of the

toxic nature of this chemical . Always wear a respi-

Bentonite . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 .0 %

rator and gloves when mixing glazes . To avoid the

barium risk, McCauley has begun to substitute

Green Glaze

strontium carbonate for barium carbonate in a

ratio of ¾ to 1 .

Cone 08–6

Barium Carbonate . . . . . . . . . . 22 .2 %

Gerstley Borate . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 .1

G-200 Feldspar . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 .4

EPK Kaolin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 .2

Silica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 .1

100 .0 %

Add: Zinc Oxide . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 .0 %

Copper Carbonate . . . . . . 10 .5 %

Bentonite . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 .0 %

White Glaze

Cone 08–1

Ferro Frit 3124 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 %

Ball Clay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

100 %

Add: Opax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 %

Bentonite . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 %

Mottled Brown Glaze

Cone 08–6

Ash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 .0 %

Gerstley Borate . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 .2

Alberta Slip Clay . . . . . . . . . . . 34 .8

100 .0 %

Terra Sigillata

Clay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 lb

Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

21 lb

Mix 50 grams sodium silicate into the water, then

add the clay . Decant mixture for 24 hours; siphon

off water . Lift out the top layer of slip with hands .

Yields 1 quart of thick slip . For application, thin

with additional water . Variations include adding

5% Gerstley borate without decanting, colored

stains added by eye, or using throwing water .

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