Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035 USA
Between August 5 and September 3, 2016, the art exhibit titled “Shapes of Influence, Contemporary Ceramics” took place in the M.G. Nelson Family Gallery of the Springfield Art Association. The gallery is built right next to the famous Edwards Place, a 19th century building that housed many generations of the Edwards family. The exhibit is a biennial event, and this is the second such exhibit.
This is the facade of the Edwards Place; information about the links to Lincoln and the Lincoln debates are in the front left of the building.
Below are two pictures of the gallery space.
These two pictures show the opposite sides of the same jar. Hugh likes the action of creation where he pushes the objects to their limit sometime to extreme distortion.
To make this bowl, and a line of similar ones, Bob was influenced by a trip to Andalusia where he liked the geometric patterns on the tiles covering castles, mosques and palaces.
Joan is an accomplished ceramic artists who follows foreign cultures, and makes a variety of functional pieces. Her latest technique includes atmospheric salt firing, and I suspect that this teapot was done that way.
I didn’t see an actual logo on this pot, but that wouldn’t be unusual for Robert’s creations. He states that he likes to tell stories, and he also likes the look of the soda-fired surfaces. So, he frequently combines the two.
Jason’s long career in ceramics have included lots of experimentation regarding the circumstances of wood firing. He has explored the effect of the type of wood, the architecture of the kiln, the pattern of ash dispersal in the kiln. He has been producing in those wood-fired kilns uniquely patterned surfaces, like the ones you see on the vase and teapot.
Casey starts his work by the goal of putting something beautiful in someone’s hand. He focuses on making utilitarian objects, and likes using the shino glaze, as well as other materials.
I especially liked the vase, because of the elongate shape, the long neck, and the ribbed body.
Hannah aims to form pieces that reveal the soft, plastic qualities of clay. She believes that her fingerprints and other marks lead to an individual narrative for each piece. This piece, like several others in this exhibit, had a spout formed a long, downward progressing layer of clay.
Lucien uses several forming techniques to make her pieces. In most cases she uses a mixture of glazes, and a long (several days) anagama wood firing. It’s that long wood firing that gives the unplanned and unpredictable combination of color hues on the surface.
The chawan is a kind of tea bowl; many of Lusien’s pieces have Japanese names,a s most of those pieces have utilitarian functions within Japanese culture.
I didn’t find anything about Paula or her work on the internet. This is a relatively small, but intricately patterned vase.
Rosalinda has done a lot of work in glass, but she works in other media, too. This vase was nicely crafted, and very pleasing to the eye.
Karen has been throwing or otherwise forming her pieces that usually appear in pairs. The pieces serve as metaphoric memoirs that complement each other and relate to each other by proximity, color and contour.
Don approaches his pottery with a tongue -in-cheek sense of humor. He uses either mundane or fabulous objects to create the surface decorations. His influences include the spectacles of circus, carnivals, county fairs. He is happy to create items that uses archeological influences from cave paintings and Greek pots; his creations are for the modern stone age family.
Joan is an accomplished ceramic artists who follows foreign cultures, and makes a variety of functional pieces. Her latest technique includes atmospheric salt firing, and I suspect that this teapot was done that way. This piece creates the impression that the vase got broken, and the broken pieces were reassembled.