Ceramics

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A + J

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“Our pieces are the result of an attraction for playing a game where we would exchange ideas, invert materials, assemble and disassemble. Their unique character, both playful and simple, combines with a high functionality, which makes them decorative but still very functional. But before all this, the combination of glass and ceramic takes a large part of our work, and we are always pleased to see the other coming into our playground, suggesting, modifying or trying something crazy. All of our products are handmade in Montreal.”

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Andre & Virginia Bally

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Andre Bally primarily works with Stoneware usually fired to Cone 5, creating a variety of forms, finished in a semi-gloss black glaze resembling cast iron. These pieces range from closed forms to bowls and rattles to platters and bowls that are decorative and utilitarian. The primary focus of Andre’s work is on texture, and he is currently experimenting with a methodology that utilizes liquid rubber to mask textural patterns. The pieces are then sandblasted to incise the patterns into bisque ware prior to glazing and firing. Andre also works with glass and glass etching, typically working with Northwest Indian design.

Virginia Bally has been greatly influenced by many diverse cultural heritages and works primarily with a style of modern majolica, utilizing low-fired stoneware. Her work reflects the beauty that is found in nature. She gets her inspiration from the beauty and diversity of the oceans, the American Southwest,vthe orient (particularly Japan), botanicals, and even her own back yard.

Above: Andre and Virginia Bally, “Three Shrimp in a Celadon Bowl.” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Eileen Braun

“The unifying theme of my ceramic work is growth. Through the subtle stretch of a vessel’s neck in exploration, or the serpentine thrust of a teapot spout, they are caught in the ‘stop-action’ moment. My works often take on a playful biomorphic turn to animate themselves and project a haughty attitude.

In my world, traditional wheel-thrown silhouettes are altered into bulbous shapes, grafted into the iconology of land-sea-air. My home studio is a perfect incubator. It is where I cross breed and graph a bird’s neck here or a crustacean there, capped with a mushroom. My mosaic of surface embellishments is heavily influenced by my fascination with 17th-century Staffordshire ceramics and my personal collection of mid-century Hob-nail Milk Glass.”

Above: Eileen Braun, “Large Matchstick Teapot.” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Christina Carfora

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Using ceramics and mixed media, Christina Carfora  creates engaging narrative sculptures that explore the mind and human relationships. Through the use of imagery and symbolism, such as people, animals and organic forms, she tells stories about triumphs, failures, opinions or revelations that everyone has experienced during their lives.

Using slab and coil construction, as well as altered wheel-thrown forms, Carfora explores a variety of techniques in her work, including colored slips, glaze, salt-firing, raku and cold finishes. She begins each piece by deciding its title and then creating a series of sketches to decide which visuals communicate the narrative. Paying particular attention to the subtle nuances in the face or the posture of the form, she completes the story in the details. She says, “I leave the story open ended to create a setting of dialogue with the viewer. It is my hope that the viewer may be able to personalize the experience and become psychologically involved in the work.”

Above: Christina Carfora, “Elevator Ride.” Ceramic. 2012. Photo courtesy the artist.

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Elizabeth DeLyria

“My art has always been about the landscapes of northern Michigan: its waters, rolling hills and trees. Originally, I used the vessel as a canvas to convey landscape. My technique evolved over time such that the vessel became the landscape.”

“Stoneware, glazes, and stains became birch logs or a cairn of Lake Michigan beach stones cradling a pool of water. I then began to combine elements of birch, water and stone in non-traditional ways, incorporating non-traditional firing techniques. Functional pottery began to transcend function and became sculptural, combining pit firing and trompe l’oeil surfaces in ways nature never intended. I believe a functional pot that exhibits qualities of nature brings both art and nature into one’s daily experiences, thereby enriching the quality of one’s existence.”

Left: Elizabeth DeLyria. Birch Logs, 2011. Stoneware, glazes and stains. Photo by Elizabeth DeLyria.

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Terry Hagiwara

”Let my pieces speak to you.”

Born in Kyushu, Japan, Teruhiko (Terry) Hagiwara came to the U.S. in 1969 and to Houston in 1981. Though he enjoys a day job as a research physicist in the petroleum industry, he has been passionate about ceramics since he began taking classes at Houston’s Glassell School of Art in 1989. He is inspired by that which is almost, but not quite, symmetrical, delighting in the element of chaos a slight skew brings to the order and control of symmetrical forms.

Terry works with high-fire stonewares and sometimes wood fire, but more often with raku firing. With raku, he uses glazes, whether metallic copper or crackle white, in simple geometric surface designs.  He also uses a process he calls “jade finish,” during which he omits any glaze and instead burnishes, applies slip, then removes the slip after raku-firing.

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Roy Hanscom

“I enjoy working with clay; it is a material that sets no limits and has practically no boundaries in its ability to adapt to my ideas and designs. My latest body of work is the exploration of the functional form. The forms are thrown and altered, giving each piece a sense of life and movement. Constructed of a high-fire stoneware clay body, the forms are reduction fired to cone 9 in a gas kiln. A combination of ash glazes are used to help accentuate the forms and further enhance movement.”

Above: Roy Hanscom. Mug and Bowls. Ceramic. Photo courtesy the artist.

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Joyce Joe

Joyce Joe uses the fine craft of porcelain to create her well known variety of faces. Porcelain is a hard, fine-grained ceramic ware that consists of kaolin, quartz, and feldspathic rock, and is fired at a high temperature.

Everything has a story–it is all in the telling. This is the central idea behind Joyce’s work. Using ceramics, she crafts a story into each piece, leaving the viewer to bring it to life. From the unending expressions of the faces to the whimsy she crafts into functional objects, Joyce presents many tales to follow. What will you see?

Image courtesy of HCCC.

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Jason Kishell

“My work addresses the way things grow, live, receive support from the environment, decay and ultimately start again. The features that are produced through these actions are the source of my visual vocabulary. The subtle details found in the natural world, the cyclical quality of life, and the way nature interacts with human society are the topics I generally work with. The media used in my work reflects my appreciation for process and learned skill. I enjoy the process of making just as much as the end result.”

“Smug Mugs are inspired by my series of sculptural works that feature mouths with various expressions. Each one is unique and completely handmade–thrown on the potter’s wheel, hand carved, glazed, and china painted. These mugs are meant to be used. They are made of porcelain and are dishwasher and microwave safe, although heating liquids in a separate container and washing by hand will extend the life and finish of the mug.”

Above: Jason Kishell. Smug Mug, 2011. Porcelain and china paint. Photo by Aimee Kishell.

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Lebeth Lammers

Lebeth Lammers has long known that clay, as an artistic medium, has the versatility to allow her to express her ideas in both two and three dimensions, using surface and texture, opacity and translucence. With both painterly and traditional ceramic techniques, she creates work in series which evolve piece by piece into works distinct from the original.

“Sometimes when I open the kiln, I see a shape which approaches my idea or a surface which perfectly fits its shape. At those times, I like to think the fulfillment I feel may also be felt by the person who will own that piece. For the opportunity to make art which touches both nature and my own creativity, I am forever grateful.”

Above: Lebeth Lammers, “Frog/Lily Pad Mug”. Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Lotus

“My functional work reflects the way I live, from the way I cook to the way I like to shop. My designs are based on my passions: cactus, Houston, Texas, television, cooking, science, shopping, and family nostalgia.”

“I am constantly stimulated by the world around me and feel compelled to translate it into a way that I can share with others. Functional work is inspired from objects I use myself or would like to use. My figurative, sculptural works become conglomerations of my encounters sprinkled with the kind of nervous energy persisting in present-day America.”

“Inspiration for sculptural work is based on the human figure and my un-verbalized concerns about life and the human condition. Many of the forms are influenced by the objects I collect.”

Left: Lotus, “Spike Cup” and “Skull Mug.” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Tom Perry

“I want to create pots, whether tea cup, salad bowl, lemonade pitcher, platter, or flower vase, that, through their use, add spirit and pleasure to someone’s life. My own pleasure derives from the process of forming the vessel while the clay is plastic and malleable. I use white stoneware and porcelain clays because they produce smooth surfaces and respond well to color in glazes, in slips, and within the clay itself. I often mix colorants into the clay to integrate layered and patterned color combinations with wheel-throwing and hand-building processes. Carving into the swirling colored surfaces of wheel-thrown vessels, for example, exposes variegated patterns resembling agate and marbled cores, wood grains, and stratrigraphic earth layers, while stretching clay slabs during hand building distorts and expands original patterns into new designs. The result is always a surprise.”

Above: Tom Perry. Agateware Teapot and Cups, 2009. Colored stoneware, wheel thrown, carved, glazed. Photo by Rick Wells.