Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shiny, White, Political

Little Joseph (2006)

 The first thing that struck me about Maxim Velcovsky's work is that he uses the most beautiful shiny porcelain.  The second thing was "Isn't that Lenin?"  Yes, it is Lenin.  I didn't know what an amazing tool of political activism ceramics can be.  If you think about it, how many of us have slogans or sayings on our coffee mugs?  I certainly do.  Maxim Velcovsky uses his ceramic art to speak about his personal history as well as taking something from utilitarian to immortal, via his clay.  He does this with the bust of Lenin, because as a child, he was raised under communist rule in the former Soviet Republic of Czechoslovakia. 

In this example, he takes simple utilitarian rubber  boots and creates high art by again casting them in fine porcelain and transforming them.  This series is titled "Waterproof Vase" (2001).  This is Pop art, the recreation of items mass produced for the consumer, however, it also speaks to our disposable and our consumerism.  Velcovsky, through his art, makes us question the notion of permenance and sustainablilty.  Our culture has become disposable.  We are just now becoming aware of humanity's impact of our planet.  Through his work, Vecovsky makes us question ourselves.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

JJ McCracken

JJ McCracken is a DC area based artist sculptor who also exposes his audience to social conscious issues such as hunger.

J.J. McCracken

He uses models and coveres them in clay, causing the art to be alive, althought the subjects are reminiscent of sculptures of Catholic Saints.

This sculpture in particular reminds me of a sculpture of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC.
J.J. McCracken  Multiple vignettes on two floors of a 3-floor installation, with live activity
His work bringing attention to Hunger is quite starteling and insightful.  It is called Hunger-Philadelphia.  Again he covers his models in clay and has them slogg around in a monochromatic beige environment.  They are surrounded by clay cast fruit and vegatables, unable to eat.  Their hunger is palpable and uncomfortable for us.  I'm starving...
J.J. McCracken

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hella Jongerius - Designer

Hella's Hella's Bio

Hella's Site Click here

So Hella (love that name) was born in the Netherlands in 1963, which makes her older than me :-)

Other than that, she is a major designer of household objects which she mass manufactures.  It was actually very hard to find ceramic objects, but...

IKEA PS Jonsberg
I found these vases which she designed and are not mass produced for Ikea. 

IKEA PS Jonsberg

Year: 2005
Material: Stoneware, earthenware, porcelain and bone china, glaze and various decorations
Dimensions: 34 x Ø 30 cm
Commission: IKEA, Sweden
Production: IKEA
Category: Unlimited production
Collection: The vase is held in a large number of musuem collections, including the Stedelijk Museum ‘s Hertogenbosch and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. It is also held in numerous private collections!

This responds to the challenge of how to pre­serve traces of the craft process within a mass-produced product. The same archetypal forms are made in four ceramic techniques and their decorations refer to specific parts of the world, the Soviet Union, Africa, Asia and Europe. This kind of timeconsuming craftsmanship is only possible at affordable prices when commissioned by manufacturers who can produce and distribute the objects in large quantities.

Her production is so varied, vast and brilliant.  The next ceramic object is a Delft Bowl.  Delft refers to a ceramic product from the Netherlands.  It is white with brilliant blue.

Delft Blue B-Set
Delft Blue B-Set

Delft Blue B-Set

Year: 2001
Material: Porcelain, glaze, bronze (handle), plastic tyrips, cotton thread; hand painted Delft Blue decorations.
Dimensions: Various (height of jug: 25 cm)
Commission: Initiated by the designer
Production: Jongeriuslab
Category: Unlimited production
Collection: Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Museum Het Princessehof Leeuwarden, Stedelijk Museum ‘s Hertogenbosch, Zuiderzee Museum, Enkhuizen, Indiana­polis Museum of Art, collection of the designer

Delft Blue B-Set represents the translation of traditional decorations into contemporary expressions. The set contains many elements, including plates with computer pixels that refer to traditional Delft Blue patterns. Other elements are embroidered plates, a water jug with an added bronze handle, and bowls that carry their images on the inside. This version of B-Set was specially designed for the exhibition ‘Delft in Detail’.

The last bit I would like to share is this Porcelain Stool.  I have seen porcelain gardent benches before, but this seems non functional.  Obviously the design factor is what makes this work worth noticing. 
Porcelain Stool
Porcelain Stool
Porcelain Stool
Porcelain Stool
Porcelain Stool
Porcelain Stool

Porcelain Stool

Year: 1997
Material: Porcelain
Dimensions: 46 x 54 x 24 cm
Commission: Droog Design and Rosenthal, Germany
Production: Jongeriuslab
Category: Limited edition
Collection: Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Rosenthal Selb, Droog Design, Amsterdam, collection of the designer (prototypes)

Experiments with the qualities of unfired and fired porcelain: flexible in the initial phase, as if it were a textile ribbon, strong once the stool is fired. The experiments are part of a project, initiated by Droog Design and Rosenthal (a German manufacturer of table services). In 2000, Jongerius developed Felt Stool, based on the shape of Porcelain Stool.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Julia Galloway - Functional Ceramics

Julia Galloway is a functional potter, which means that her art may be used to perform common tasks such as hold your coffee.   Click here for Julia Galloway's Biography

I think more than anything else in my daily routine, my morning cup of coffee is about as sacred a ceremony as it can be.  Cupping my favorite (or the only clean) mug in my palms and absorbing that delicious brew can make or break my day.  That is why this first piece, or installation, made such an impact on me.


She compared this piece to the "Book of Hours" and compared books to her cups.  To paraphrase, both can fill us!  Brilliant!

The second piece I chose to comment on is:
tea pot

I love this piece because of how the decorations are all reminiscent of different pottery found across time and earth.

The last piece of Julia Galloway I wish to comment on is:

stacking dish set

It is not only a gorgeous piece of art, but it reminds me so much of the art of Cake making, and is very reminiscent of cakes.

I am thoroughly impressed by this artist, her vision and her functional art.  EAT CAKE!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

7/7/11 Reviewing the Reading

My only knowledge of clay is what my generous co-workers tutored me on.  Reading about the various methods of creating ceramic objects, as well as the various types of ceramic, has opened my eyes to this elegant art form. I was so impressed with the various textures and shapes that you are able to create.  Form and function are so varied.  Also, the uses of ceramic is more diverse than I had realized. I was particularly struck by the potential for social commentary, especially in the use of the "Mug" as politial commentary.  Do you not drink out of something if it has a particular meaning?  If you are truly thirsty, does it matter?  If you only have one object to use, does it matter?  What if you are oblivious to the true message of the art?  Fascinating :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ann Marie Morales

This is my first post for my Ceramics graduate class at SUNY New Paltz