2018 “Shapes of Influence” exhibit at Springfield Art Association; Post #4: Plates, boxes, bowls, lidded jars.

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.

The Venue



The 2018 Shapes of Influence biennial, nationally juried ceramic art exhibit took place in the gallery of the Springfield Art Association in Springfield, Illinois from August 3 through September 1, 2018.











These pictures show you the reception area which is normally used as the administrative office, library, and informal party room. The picture on the right is showing the gallery space from the opening night.


The Call for Entry

2018 Shapes of Influence is a biennial exhibition of the best in contemporary ceramics. Open to all artists working with ceramics as the primary medium. This year the work will be selected by Simon Levin.

The Ceramic Art Pieces

This blog will bring you the plates, boxes, bowls, and lidded jars from the exhibit.

“Dessert Plate with Orange Line” by Samuel Thompson, Appleton, WI


Samuel has a great web site where he demonstrates his versatiliy in making functional pottery. I couldn’t find any thing about narrative or artist statement about this piece.









“Reach Over Here” by Joe Kraft, Chicago, IL

On Joe’s web site you can see sculptures, objects and drawings.  Composition and the placement of parts are of the upmost importance to his visual vocabulary.  “These parts” reference a framework of architecture and infrastructure as drawing.  The basis of this geometry can be seen through his functional ware and sculptural scenarios.In his words :”These marks and scribbles and loosely drawn lines interpret the way I see the world. I take the secure and real state of being and reimage them through mark making. Quote from Gerhard Richter, “I work until nothing is wrong anymore; then I stop.”.



“Waimea Bowl” by Karen Ellis Phillips, Ringwood, NJ


On her Instagram site she states: “In 2014, I started experimenting with dyeing porcelain clay with Mason Stains. The flowers of Hawaii are my inspiration. My pieces are one-of-a-kind.”  I couldn’t find anything more about her or her narrative.  Waimea means “reddish water” in Hawaiian, and Waiema, is a nice looking tourist attraction place in Hawaii.  Maybe that’s where the inspirations comes from.






“Large Bowl” by Ian Hazard-Bill, Appomattox, VA

On his web site Ian states: “These sculptures and pots celebrate the relational state they exist in, constituted by the relationship between them and their user/viewer. Textures are imprints of the outer world, alterations call attention to inner space, and materials are chosen for practical, aesthetic, and symbolic values. My intention is to offer invitations in the form of objects, to experience them and the present moment for you.”

The large size (a foot wide) and the robust volume makes this bowl looks more like  sculpture.



“Bowls” by Peter Pincus, Penfield, NY

Peter was one of the artists invited by the juror to present ceramic pieces.  On his web site he states: “I believe that color interaction can elicit new ways of seeing.  My work fits within a continuum and complements a broad range of investigations into the way handmade containers relate to humanity within our place in time. ”

It was very unusual to see the mirror-like glaze inside these bowls.



“Saggar Fired Box/Kimono Series” by Patty Kochaver, Skokie, IL

On her web site Patty states: “body of work that speaks to balance and volume; the forms seem to inhale and float. I’ve always been drawn to sawdust firing methods and for the past several years have been experimenting with saggar firing. Refined and contained forms are balanced with the unpredictability of the smoked surfaces, creating a relationship between the two seemingly opposing aesthetics; this interplay gives the work life, with some surfaces quietly referencing landscapes and others indulging in lively patterns and color. ” This box is showing more of the controlled pattern on the top, and less evidence of saggar.



“Tea Caddy” by Irina Bondarenko, Ann Arbor, MI


The tea container is a function I haven’t seen formed from clay.  The line pattern through the white underglaze is nicely in harmony with the clay lines and bands running from top to bottom.

Irina states: “In my work, I love to explore these connections of new and old, distant and local, and interweave my daily reflections with old ceramic traditions. Clay itself is a material with strong memory, which invites one to listen to the inborn character of the developing form. “.






“Large Astro Jar” by John Cohorst, Carbondale, CO

On John’s web site you find a repeated theme: the astronaut. He states:”I like to make people laugh. It feels good. Its how I get someone to let their guard down a bit, then from there we can start to form a connection. That’s what I want people to do when they see my pots. I want them to laugh a little or reflect a little and make some kind of connection with that object. I think having those connections to things is important and healthy. If someone smiles or laughs at one of my pots, that has power. If they are smiling when they fill it with coffee or tea I think their attitude will have brought something positive to that drink. I can’t prove it, but I believe it can. ”






“Orange One Eyed Sugar Pot” by Masa Sasaki, Atlanta, GA
“Blue One Eyed Alien Jar with Ball Handle” by Masa Sasaki, Atlanta, GA


On his web site Masa states: “We live in the world where we are surrounded by machine made and mass-produced goods today. I feel, as a contemporary craftsman, the need to validate the value of handmade items by making things that could not be easily duplicated and unique to my own artistic perspective.  For me it is not enough that a final piece be essentially functional and pleasant, it must also be lasting in its desirability for use. Long after I have ceased to be productive the pieces that I accomplish today should still be enjoyed, appreciated, and used. This is the elusive quality that brings value to functional art, the lasting character that transcends the artist.”


“Lidded Vessel, 2” by Anna Kats, Milwaukee, WI
“Lidded Vessel, 1” by Anna Kats, Milwaukee, WI


I couldn’t find anything about Anna on the internet.  These vessels look like they were wood-fired, maybe soda-fired.  I was intrigued by the casually carved shape, and the light variations of glaze coloration.







“Lidded Vessel, 3” by Anna Kats, Milwaukee, WI














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