Photos and text by Robert Kokenyesi, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL USA
From March 4- March 31, 2016, there was an all-media art exhibit in the ArtStlouis gallery where you could view the creations of 37 undergraduate and graduate art students from 19 universities and colleges in the greater St. Louis area. Here I review only the ceramic art pieces.
The first ceramic piece was a very elaborately shaped and decorated teapot by Catherine Anne Morgan.
Catherine studies at the St Louis Community College at Meramec in the State of Missouri; her advisor was James Ibur. The frog that makes up the spout of the teapot has a special meaning. As Catherine writes in her narrative: “Frogs are environmental indicators of the levels of pollution; their skin makes them vulnerable to toxins. They are predators to insects, control population, and balance our ecosystem.” The piece is of high-fired porcelain built with wheel and hand building methods. Catherine collected glass from local creeks, and melted then on the top of the branches of this piece.
Catherine must have much love for the preserving the environment, because her piece is full of authentic details of Nature. This is especially visible on the arching composition, and the carved knots, splits, and gnarls of the tree trunk that serves as the handle of the tea pot.
The second ceramic art piece in this exhibition was a vase by Kyle Anderson.
Kyle studies at Greenville College in Greenville in the State of Illinois; his advisor was Jacob Amundson. Kyle writes in his narrative that “My work of late has a lot to do with racial tensions. I hope that my work will bridge some gaps in the flawed logic, and help some people to see the beauty that other cultures can bring to life .”
This piece has several interesting characteristics. Let’s start with the clay: creek clay and sand. Here I have to assume that Kyle collected clay from a local creek, mixed it with some sand, and bisque fired it. The he used acrylic and oils to color/paint the surface of the vase. The shape itself is very eye catching, including the narrow top, and the two piercings.
I’ve been thinking about using clays and sand collected from many parts of the world. I saw massive creek clay deposits in Transylvania, at low water levels of the creek “Nyarad”. I’ve experimented with the use of sea sand in glazing, but that experiment still needs some work.