2018 “Shapes of Influence” exhibit at Springfield Art Association; Post #5: Vases, bottles, and other vessels.

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 vases, bottles, urns, and other vessels from the exhibit

“Vase’ by Jessie Martin


On his website Jessie states that he started making functional pottery only ten years ago. There are plenty of other examples of his work at that site.

I liked this piece, because of the translucent surface had a blue-accented crackle pattern.







“Green Bud Vase in Landscape” by Lisa York, Lyndon, IL
“Tumbler Set” by Lisa York, Lyndon, IL

On Lisa’s web site you find many wood/ceramics combination items.  I like the idea, although I don’t see the visual match in the “Landscape

Lisa states: ”   When we share a meal around a particular table, start off the morning with a specific mug, or serve our favorite food on a special platter—each object evokes memories of previous meals. As a maker, I observe how ceramic vessels and dining room furniture bring us together—how the mere sight of them informs us that a celebration, or specific event, is forthcoming. I design utilitarian pieces that not only promote social gathering, but are also meant to become cherished objects.


“Three Tumblers” by Jason Hess, Flagstaff, AZ

On a galleryweb site Jason states:”A desire to have objects that fulfill specific purposes inspires me to make functional pots. The infinite and elusive variety of texture and color attainable through the various making and firing processes that I use has generated an interest in presentation.    By grouping similar forms of differing size and color I hope to compose a visually dynamic display, which invites the viewer to enjoy the tactile nature of each individual piece and how they relate to one another.”




“Triptych” by Paul A McCoy, Waco, TX

On his departmental web site Paul states: “It requires me to fully consider what is worth committing to the third dimension and reveals an inner drive that cannot be reasoned away. It is precisely this drive, which seems to exist simultaneously within and beyond the artist, that has, throughout the milennia, chronicled our human presence at this moment in the life of Creation.





“Soda Fired Bottle” by Morgan Barton, Lawrence, KS

On his web site Morgan states: “During the act of creating, I am intrigued by how my movements will affect the relationship people have with my work.  I make alterations while the wheel is spinning, moments prior to removing each piece.  I push in and out with my fingers and tools, letting them flow down and back up again.  This is how I strive to create organic shapes that are alive and reference human form and movement.

I liked the irregular, still visually attractive shape, and the glaze flows and crackles that enhance the curvatures of this bottle.






“Avery Teardrop Bottle” by Michelle Coakes, Taylorville, IL

On Michelle’s web site you’ll find baskets, bottles, and other ceramic items.  I couldn’t find an artist statement from her.  I did find out that  the Avery in the title of the piece means a type of dirt from Kentucky; this dirt fires orange in a ceramic kiln.









“Textured Flat Bottles” by Louis Colombarini, Dowelltown, TN

On their husband/wife web site they state: ” We strive for excellence and celebrate the success of an aesthetically-pleasing ceramic piece. Over the years we have taken our audience down visual avenues of classical, abstract, Deco, and futuristic design. Currently, we are involved with two separate and highly-specialized techniques focusing on “Neo-Primitive” firing. ”  These bottles were done using saw dust-based “neo-primitive” firing.





“Pentagonal Bottle” by Casey Beck, River Falls, WI

On his web site Casey states: “The most interesting aspect of creating pottery for me is the amount of variation that ceramics as a medium can create. The materials that can be used and the various ways of firing kilns are endless. In working with this medium, I am never let down with the wealth of knowledge gained from each firing. Each of these firings tells something different, letting me know how the materials and forms of my pottery have interacted with how the kiln was fired. ”

This bottle a very good looking interaction with the kiln.






“Celadon Striped Mug” by Andrew McIntyre, Oxford, MS

On his web site Andrew states: “My goal as a potter is to make ceramic objects that move in and out of someone’s home that will enhance their experiences of intimacy, consumption and nourishment.  I want to engage the viewer and focus their attention through these different physical elements as well as design, arrangement, and presentation of objects. My work is a balance of elemental control and natural effects of the firing.”







“Famine Cups” by Drew Ippoliti: Akron, OH

Check out Drew’s web site where you can see his other creations, and read about his extensive international experience. These cups are square in cross section. I couldn’t find a narrative for this piece.






“Gold Mosaic” by Paula Diaz-Sylvester, Springfield, IL
“Black and White” by Paula Diaz-Sylvester, Springfield, IL

On a design web site her work is described as: The sources of inspiration for Paula’s work are multiple and include Celtic knots and keys, traditional Islamic tile design, Japanese geometric patterns, Native American pottery, modern tessellations and optical illusions, textile print design, basketry, modern architecture and contemporary stained glass design.

Paula has dedicated a significant amount of time to learn the principles behind the golden ratio, Fibonacci’s series, sacred geometry and the regular division of the plane. She enjoys combining the soft, organic imperfection of a handmade shape with the hard and elaborate structure of the geometric designs decorating the piece.”

According to this design website it takes about 20 hours to complete a piece.  Paula uses masking tape to lay out a pattern onto the surface.


“Yunomi with Biidoro” by Lucien Kaance, Haydenville, MA


On his web site Lucien states: “My alteration and manipulation of solid clay emphasizes the plasticity and gestural qualities of that material while achieving asymmetry. I seek to push the disorganization and the subsequent reorganization of the vessel from being a member of the “pot” realm to becoming an abstract object in the sculptural realm while retaining its function.”

His anagama fired sake cups, teacups (like the one pictured here) look very attractive.






“New Amphora” by Lois Harbaugh, Bellevue, WA

On her web site Lois states: “Her art explores the ceramic vessel — its forms, its functions, its symbolic capacities.
Her ceramic techniques include using the potter’s wheel, hand building, and some slip casting.”.  Besides that I couldn’t find any narratives for this piece; most of her works on her web site are porcelain pieces, so the New Amphora may represent a new direction for her.





“Canopic Urn: Parable of Serving Tea” by Auguste Elder, New York, New York
“Canopic Urn: Doomsday Clock” by Auguste Elder, New York, New York

On his web site he states: “he focuses primarily on wood-firing vessels and urns inspired by Japanese and Etruscan wares.  Paleontology, biology, archaeology, cultural anthropology, and Eastern philosophy inform Elder’s disparate trajectories, unifying his enduring curiosity of and reverence for the transient. Fracture, strain, stain, pit, erode, vitrify, decay: words that evoke the weak and strong forces at play in our grand universe also define the set of actions that shape and define his oeuvre.”




“Untitled” by Bob Bruch, Oberlin, OH

On his web site Bob explains his latest work: “In my latest work, I have begun focusing on creating a set of asymmetrical forms by using elements of chaos theory. I am intrigued by the potential range of unpredictable – though not random – forms that can be achieved by introducing the slightest variances into organic shapes in the initial phases of the process.”

This is the very first ceramic piece I can recall that was influenced by mathematical modeling.




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