Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA. If you enjoyed this post, then give me a “like” on my Facebook page. There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.
Traditionally, the Central Time Ceramics exhibit has been split between the Heuser Art Gallery, and the Hartmann Center Gallery. These two buildings are on the campus of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
On top is the Hartmann Center with a nice gallery space immediately right to the entry doors.
Below is the Heuser Art Gallery, through those doors and then left.
The Call for Entry
Submissions were open to all ceramic artists over the age of 18 who currently reside in the Central Time Zone. Central Time Zone states include: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin; however not all counties within these states are within the Central Time Zone. Artists who reside in areas of Canada and Mexico that are within the Central Time Zone are also eligible. Artwork submitted must have been completed within the last three years.
The Ceramic Art Pieces
This blog is part 2 of 5. Abstract sculptural pieces are included here. Following blogs will cover lidded vessels, unlidded vessels, and bowls/mugs. Part 1 of this series (covering figurative sculptural pieces) has already been published.
This was an imposing size (more than a foot tall) piece with a puzzling title. When you visit Mariko’s web site, you’ll see her Ming dynasty-like pots from 2015. Then in 2016 she started making more abstracted pots where the bands that “create registers to frame” her imagery are still there, but the jar form is squished into that orange-rimmed layer. The lid, as I see it, is the large egg-shaped, terracotta part on top. In my book the top almost qualified this piece into the abstract sculptural category.
Here is another large piece by Mariko, This piece also has those bands or layers that create registers for framing her imagery.
These three boxes looked so neat, because of the flat, slightly curved shape, the 6-8 inch diameter, and the matte, stone-fired surface. On her web site she states that “Having a fascination with form and scale and it’s impact on the viewer, I’ve worked to push the boundaries of both with my wheel thrown vessels. This has led me to a body of work that speaks to balance and volume; the forms seem to inhale and float.”
She uses saggar firing where the still hot ceramic piece is dropped into a container of sawdust. The burning sawdust creates unpredictable patterns on the surface of the piece. She says: “Refined and contained forms are balanced with the unpredictability of the smoked surfaces, creating a relationship between the two seemingly opposing aesthetics”
Christy’s Facebook page states that she “makes pottery that enriches daily life. Each pot is hand thrown, soda fired porcelain, made with attention to detail, every one as unique as you!”
This piece certainly lives up to Christy’s standards. Very nice shape, wondeerful handle, and great looking surface decoration.
This is a foot tall jar with geometric-looking decorations. Nolan states on his web site that: “I focus on making work that can be used comfortably and easily. I want my work to vaguely reference some sort of thing you’ve seen before, but you’re not quite sure where. The surface is defined with arches, ellipses, and “lotus” petals that I render in slips and glaze. The patterns are mapped out based on the golden ratio, and by repeating and flipping simple math equation graphs, certain Asian or Middle Eastern motifs emerge. ”
The Eshelmans’ web site has newspaper articles, and many eye-catching images of their functional pieces. The red clay body combined with lead-free glaze, and simple design produces pieces like this covered casserole. n one article these pieces are described as ” beautiful, clay vessel creations that scream simplicity, function and strong architectural lines.”.