Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA. For more info on Beachfront Pottery please visit my Facebook page, or my web site.
The end of the year is an ideal point in time to look back, and remind ourselves that there were many successes among the many ceramic pieces I submitted for juried exhibits. All the pieces in the Hall of Fame were made by me, and all of them were judged to be a good fit with the theme and quality requirements of the particular exhibit. This look back is through the year 2014; all pieces were on exhibit in that year.
I am proud of the fact that my works have been selected to appear on public display, because it means that my ideas, techniques, artistic concepts, craftmanship has reached a level worthy of putting in front of art lovers or casual exhibit viewers.
The Craft Alliance in University City, Missouri had a juried exhibit titled “Works from the Studios”. This exhibit showed pieces from the studios of artists who took a class with Craft Alliance during 2013 or 2014. I took a glass basics class with Kitty Mollman, so I was eligible to send my artwork for jurying. This piece won the Best in Glass category.
This piece was on exhibit in the gallery of ArtStLouis in 2014. The exhibit was titled “Food Glorious Food”. While most artists submitted creations that represent food or dishes that serve food, I got a different idea.
I wanted to convey the thought that our consumption oriented society may need to be re-examined. The bottle served as a “food” related item, but the message: mene mene tekel ufarsin, suggested that our frenzy of consumption has been “weighed and found wanting”. That quote is in orange glass on the surface of the white glass sheet inside the bottle. The quote is from the Old Testament (Daniel 5:21-28) , where those words appear on the wall of Belshazzar’s palace in the middle of a feast. I’m saying that the writing may be on the wall for consumption-focused societies, and that there might be other values in our society that are more rewarding to cultivate.
These two pieces were on exhibit in Peoria, IL in the galleries of Bradley University during the 4th Biennial Central Time Ceramics exhibit. These pieces represent the first crop of pieces that resulted from experimentation with the combination of glass sheets on top of formed ceramic shapes.
The Unsheltered Great White Shark is in the spirit of the Aboriginee dreamings, where the sacred entities enjoy the protection of dreamers. Ocean life, and great white sharks are slipping out from under such protection, as those white shark-glazed arching ceramic sheets are slipping out from under the white crackled glass sheet.
The Broken Great White Shark has a set of ceramic beads strung on a wire, and held in place by molten glass sheets. The red glass forms the fins of the shark, but the rest of this magnificent animal is falling apart. This piece symbolizes the vulnerability of this strong apex predator.
This is one of the functional pieces that got into a juried exhibit. It was not only displayed, but was purchased at the “delecTABLE, The Fine Art of Dining” exhibit organized by the Art Student League of Denver, in Denver, CO. The Palau Island pattern is coming back on new functional pieces; more on that in another blog.
These two tiles are representatives of my reflections on the Aboriginee dreaming ritual and the related art works. Both tiles (11 X 4 inches) have three bands: green for shallow ocean pool, blue for the deep ocean, and white or yellow for a sand bar. The stranded scallops and starfish are dreaming of the blue ocean, but may never get there. The scallops tile has glass pieces melted onto the top to represent scallops shells.
The starfish tile was made by overlapping several glazes that resulted in a dreaming-like changes of the green and blue ends of the starfish.
This is a large (24 X 36 inches) wall hanging where folded ceramic rhomboids were affixed to a canvas board, and framed. The rhomboids represent the slow wave movement of an ocean surface that is slushy with ice crystals. The crystals were made of small ceramic droplets, and glazed onto the surface. White glass sheet were slumped on top to emphasize ice.