Miguel Abugattas

Jake Allee

I employ the ideas of the Gestaltist to arrange and rearrange the vocabulary of formal elements I have developed over the years that represent different elements of my life. I view my forms and textures as a bit of a scrabble game, arrangement and order create meaning; the possibilities are infinite. With this approach I construct vessel oriented objects with surface attributes that are designed to complement the act of firing as a transformative process that is unique to the time of execution. Once this is achieved I use the object for experimentation in the finished surface through firing. I am constantly referencing the formal attributes of historical movements in Fine Art and Craft to give my work a context for understanding by the viewer or user. My work is always a record of where I'm at in time and an expression of living life as an adventure!

Steven Allen

Art Train (homage to Peter Voulkos) brings together my childhood memories and artists that inspire me. Trains have held a special place in my heart from an early age. I hear the train in the distance. The noise it makes chugging along its rails and the whistle sound fills me with a sense of peace as it approaches the crossing above my childhood home. Sent to my room in tears for doing something wrong, I lay in bed, pacified by its opus. I imagine the places it has been and where it is heading. Is it cargo for a distant town or empty cars in search of goods? What is it like to be the conductor? Many questions and diversions filled my head and help to alleviate the tears. I knew I was getting a toy train for Christmas when I saw my dad painting a sheet of plywood green with a white figure eight shape. What else would you do with a big sheet of wood with a big "8" painted in the center? It WAS for a train to share with my brothers. We played with and fought over that train for many years. In addition to these memories, the Art Train series was inspired by images in a book I received from Jun Kaneko. It contained pictures of his Freemont project depicting large monumental sculpture on the back of a big semi-truck. I received the book in Pittsburg Kansas at a kiln opening reception for Kaneko's even larger freestanding ceramic sculpture. Truly awe-inspiring, I imaged seeing these pieces, and other considerable ceramic works by Voulkos and Frey, being transported on the bed of a train along the foothills above my childhood home. A magnificent sight that would bring anyone smiles and cheers.

Kazem Arshi

Kazem Arshi was born in Shiraz, Iran -- known as the city of poets, gardens, wine, nightingales, and flowers. Given his heritage, he quickly discovered his artistic talents and earned his B.F.A. in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphics Communications. He believes in being both practical and artistic, having worked as a web designer, and graphics communications artist. His interest in pottery began over 15 years ago when he took a wheel-throwing class at a local community college. Influenced by his tea-drinking culture, Kazem focuses on creating Zen-inspired teapots.


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Michael Aschenbrenner

Every human being is born with the desire to express themselves in some manner. My work speaks of events in my life time, which I want to express. Some have said my work is social/political in nature. Perhaps, but the desire to express runs much deeper than merely a documentation of an event. It is about the human condition. These thoughts have evolved into 'Abstract Expression' using glazes on handmade tiles to form images. I found that clay has a direct relationship within the world we live. During the early development of this current series using clay, images appear with enough frequency, so as to form a language of symbols. Much like my Glass Sculptures of past series. These abstract images show strength and fragility which enter into the unconscious thoughts I have about life. Long ago I stopped forcing ideas into reality. From a technical point of view much of my work is quite simple. It does not attempt to flatter the viewer. There is no reliance on technique for its'own sake. The object is the remaining statement left after we are gone. It is about life itself. Artists are the mirrors of society. They are the witness of our time.

Rebecca Barfoot

My narrative works in porcelain explore the danger and comfort of domesticity, and capture the poetic space between what we reveal and what we conceal in the crafting of personal identity. Layered images and text created using multiple ceramic processes and kiln firings allow me to tell stories which evoke the passage of time, while questioning the relevance of personal and collective memory. My most recent collection of vessels is inspired by several months spent living in Denmark by a turbulent winter sea in intense solitude. I am obsessed with the closed bottle form as an analogy for self-containment, and the formal aesthetic reference to the stoppered glass apothecary jars of the 19th century. These pieces are a whisper of things we both covet and fear, like the hush of a long-held secret... push pull. Intimately-scaled vessels- a record of seeking and finding, hope and despair, remembering and forgetting. I love the ocean as metaphor, of boats which speak of epic journeys, lighthouses that remind me to reach for brilliance, and the storm-ridden women that sailed with me along the way.

Ginny Barrett

My work explores the dynamics of construction and connection. I reference architecture and containment; something held within, any entity that holds feelings, ideas, experiences and beliefs. My own memories, insights and changes in beliefs inform my work, but even though they are personal, a universal quality is present. They address universal issues. The way I build is about people, our bodies made of cells, our insides versus our outsides, about life unfolding moment by moment, day by day, and the progression of our lives chapter by chapter, milestone by milestone and conclusions that we reach. My constructs are made of cut pieces (I call them my "components") which must join together to be structurally sound. It is an observation of human beings on the planet, appearing separate, but we are really all in this together…working, creating our lives and relationships. My components illustrate the movement, rhythms, and changes that progression entails, and are meant to commemorate transitions yielding insight and revelation, perhaps heightened perception leading to new conclusions. The untreated clay body represents willingness to be who and what we really are and the willingness to engage – unadorned and honestly – in a very basic way.

Barbara Broadwell

I am interested in the human condition. I like to make work that comments or reflects upon our social, philosophical and political activities. The human form has always been the vehicle for my work, but I often combine it with animal bodies. Like Goya or Francis Bacon, I lean toward the grotesque or unusual, because the dark side of the human condition is so intriguing to me. I use the anthropomorphic figure as metaphor to expose human frailty under social, psychological or religious pressures. I use clay as my primary sculptural medium and supplement it with a variety of mixed media. The ceramic human frame juxtaposed with rusted metal and found materials express the corrosion of our human nature. I believe the combination of varied material; especially found objects carry a history that is essential to my work. The weathered metals and wood bear the marks of age, time and events, as do our psyche. I also believe the use of such varied materials echoes the many facets of the human condition. This particular artwork relates to my research and investigation of the nature of obsession. I currently reside in the Bible Belt area of the United States, where people have little qualm about voicing their religious beliefs as emphatic truths. Particular sects of the protestant faith are obsessed with the final chapter of the Bible called Revelation. It has been dissected, interpreted, analyzed and finally chewed up and regurgitated into an easy to understand literal dogma. Abbadon is my version of one aspect of this obsession.

Jinah China

Michele Collier

I look for the edge where consciousness leaves judgement behind. I want to cultivate that moment in the creative process when I trust my inner self completely. I draw upon my life's experiences as they are remembered by my soul with the sure and perfect knowledge that others have felt this way. Clay is a medium like no other. In slab form It can be stretched, compressed twisted and torn to match the image I hold in my imagination. I work to preserve the fluidity of the slab and manipulate it to express the figure in motion. The clay remembers every touch and faithfully preserves the evidence of it's birthing process.
Michele@burningclay.com

Kimberly Cook

In my body of work I create imagery that reflects my life experiences and certain elements of human ritualistic thought and control that intrigue me. Using clay as my primary sculptural material allows me to explore these thoughts and questions using techniques that actually originated in human ritualistic practices. Figures, deities, and fetishes were modeled into figurines for magical or religious practices long before clay was used for utilitarian ware. This harnessing of imagery deemed as powerful has survived for centuries, allowing humans to access manifestations of 'supernatural' forces believed to improve their daily struggles in life. Personally and intuitively driven, my work with the figure is grounded in the exploration of the universal human condition, focusing on aspects of the ceremonial; serving as embodiments for the physical, spiritual, and psychological being. My preoccupation with human existence, alienation, and transience is what motivates me to express elements of autobiography, ritual, and the significance of life's struggles. Working between narrative and abstract, revealing both the powerful and the powerlessness perceived by people as a whole, the figures and symbols that I create are often purposely rendered disfigured and dysfunctional; even humorous at times.

Austin Danson

Artists are constantly striving to find what makes them and their medium unique, and then convey these concepts to their viewers. This is a never ending challenge and a constantly evolving process, but it brings much life and enjoyment to being an artist. Recently, I have been absolutely fascinated with the immediacy, motion, and dimension one can bring to life in clay, and have been searching daily for new and exciting ways to put these aspects into my work.So far, I find my favorite ways to add these dimensions to my work are coating freshly thrown forms in a thick slip and/or altering the otherwise round shape of a wheel thrown piece. I have also been enjoying the exploration of alternative firing techniques such as pit firing, saggar firing, and raku. The inherent depth and uniqueness these process lend to the finished surface are something I find quite exciting. The jar in this show has been coated in a thick slip that I have run through with various objects. I then saggar fired the piece in a wheel thrown container to 1970 degrees wrapped in copper wire, and buried in sawdust, rock salt, and staples.

Rebecca Degagne

Guided by my role as both scientist and artist, I explore concepts of ecological and aesthetic functionality by recreating elements of the earth's biota as art forms. I draw inspiration from different levels of bio-organization: dynamics of populations, single organisms, specific features, and cellular configurations. As organisms' forms are translated into clay, I alter their scale and morphology as well… exaggerating patterns and protrusions, manipulating edges, accentuating folds, deepening shadows, and embellishing textures. In this process, my mind takes the place of natural selection and becomes the force driving the evolution of these creatures. Each is influenced by imagination and emotion, limited by medium and construction techniques. My ceramics invite contemplation of humankind's relationship with Nature.

Caroline Earley

My vessels are formal explorations where form, appendage and surface elements are combined in a process that begins at a specific starting point and progresses spontaneously to a finished piece. I want the works to occupy an undefined space between reductive minimalist geometry and exaggerated, baroque ornamentation. Multiple spouts protrude from stacked forms, investigating proportional relationships and the unsettled state between balance and imbalance. Commercial decals are used to accentuate humor and absurdity. I am interested in creating conversations within the components of each form.

Titia Estes

The expansive landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park region is the inspiration for this sculpture. I often spend early mornings there climbing giant granite rock formations, stopping to watch the sun slowly flood the landscape. The discoveries of wildly sprouting plant life in all shapes and colors fill the desert floor and seemingly morph into massive boulders of shape and texture. The idea for this piece was to construct a tower that appears to be assembled by natural forces that have sculpted the California high desert. Built in segments while supported vertically through the center by a steel rod, the sculpture incorporates torn slabs, thrown and altered pieces. The dry-brush application of dark brown, bright pink, red and orange engobes gives the surface a unique softness. Reassembled, these segments fit together like a puzzle to create a tower. The end result is one of opposing elements that fit together to form one large seamless sculpture.

Ilena Finocchi

"Society Freak Show," is the new direction in my work that began during my McKnight residency. This body of work explores the social political aspects of freaks in our modern culture, the games we play and the power of propaganda. I am interested in exploring our modern society's greed and selfishness as our culture's true freaks. What we are advertised and the ideology we are promoted is not a true reflection of the kind of lives the majority of American's live. The Future of the Gulf Coast parallels the future prediction of our hurricane, oil drenched New Orleans and the forgotten responsibilities to our city. It is a powerful time to be an artist and my current work is the clearest way to communicate that we livein a time when people are valued much less than the almighty dollar.

Anthony Foo

My sculptures makes a statement about who I am, my life experiences and the world I find myself in. They force me to question the path I've taken thus far, and even more importantly, where I'm heading. My Asian heritage and martial arts training in traditional Japanese swordsmanship inspires my concepts and designs. I'm drawn to the Buddhist's philosophy and viewpoint about life, specifically the search for the Way, the impermanence of this life, the relationship between body, mind and spirit, ultimately leading to relationships between human beings. This new piece, "Chrysalis", explores the genesis of life, as it transforms from one form to another. The outer "cage" provides protection to the inside and creates a safe sanctuary for the inner being to develop. Website: www.anthonyfoo.com Blog: http://antjhfoo.blogspot.com

Barbara Frey

The nature-in-a-blender aftermath of hurricanes and the almost instantaneous reduction of matter during the collapse of the World Trade Center have allowed us to see a terrible disorder in which the nature of objects and materials must be reconsidered. The drifting paper that was expelled from the World Trade Center buildings left an indelible poetic image within the horror. Rethinking physicality has led to a consideration of glaze beyond its customary role as the skin of surface embellishment. Glaze is used as the agent of attachment that binds the collected material together as well as a visual force that leads us through the clutter. The supporting "bubble cloud" structure derives from the memory of the ash, dust, and debris clouds of 9/11 yet the cellular-like form allows for multiple references. The bubble cloud holds material that has fallen and found its final resting place, conferring preciousness on the random.

Jon Gariepy

I have spent many magical hours exploring harbors and quiet old boatyards and am especially moved by aged and battered vessels. There's a kind of meditative energy emanating from them. I imagine that our human energy is absorbed by the objects we love and spend a lot of time with, and then, as they decay these objects release that energy into the atmosphere — the joy of a fair wind and a sunny day, the love of sailing, the love of making a living on the water. And there's the sadness at the end of a day for the mortality of all things. I work in a gestural manner, almost throwing each object together. I love rough edges, ragged textures against smooth, flakes of clay clinging to the work. I want my material to retain its clayness. I also work very loosely with underglazes and cold finishes, brushing on the finish with wide brushes in thin washes, drawing on my background in watercolor. Through form, texture and finish it is my intention to give voice to a simple part of our everyday existence.

Heidi Preuss Grew

My observations are transformed and re-presented in a new way through figurative sculptures and relief works. I meld animal and human features to develop specific meaning, symbolism, and psychological impact—it is a combination that allows great freedom in the creative process and results in characters that straddle both real and fictional worlds. My working methods are intuitive, yet I consciously and deliberately choose specific materials and methods for the impact they will have on the outcome of a work. For the last three years I have worked almost exclusively with porcelain because of its delicacy and sensual responsiveness. Through this medium, I seek to reveal the vulnerable and pathetic side of the human condition as well as the heroic and beautiful.

Mark Hendrickson

Ingrid Hendrix

This body of work is based on toys. Originally toys were used to teach children lessons such as how to be a mother or how to drive a car. My toys teach the less obvious lessons. They are more connected to the psyche and dreams than day to day life. My toys are misfits and compilations as most of us are. These toys are hybrids that evoke the intangible and a sense of the mystery of childhood.

Abe Holston

One reason I work in ceramics is that it merges the elements of many art forms such as drawing, painting, sculpting and perhaps others. I try to capture the interplay of tactile experiences and private inner worlds. Two ways I achieve this is by spending a lot of time in a material and taking risks: stretching the physical limits of a material and finding its' voice. My ideas are from nature and all art forms and periods including the Prehistoric. Learning lithography and etching from artist Daniel Owen Stolpe has also influenced my work.

John W. Hopkins

I tend to work in cycles of making sculptural pieces or functional pots. Currently I'm interested in making functional pieces in porcelain. By doing so, I have once again become intrigued by the melting, overlapping and interplay of ceramic glazes. It is the ceramic decoration process that holds infinite possibilities. The decoration must become part of the form and the form must be strong enough to carry the decoration.

Stephen Horn

Anyone who works in clay is confronted with a multitude of possibilities. Complexity and surprise are built into the medium, the process, the technology. Take one purposeful step down an artistic path, and you're immediately face to face with a crossroads that wasn't on your mental GPS. Should you keep going straight—or, what the hell, wouldn't it be more fun to turn left or right and see what you run into? Exploring the unexpected side roads has always appealed to me. It's like going on a walkabout. As a teacher I always say to students: "Try it and see what happens." This is my own artistic mantra. My aesthetic wanderings have been guided by the works of the ancient Minoans, Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans; by Japanese ceramic traditions—Jomon, Haniwa, Iga, Bizen, and Oribe; by artists like Gauguin, Miró, Picasso, Motherwell, Pollock, and George Ohr; and by the ideas of minimalism and other art movements. My modes of working in clay encompass drawing, painting, and printing as well as handbuilding, moldmaking, and throwing (if only, sometimes, to smash a pot on the wheel or to engineer its collapse). What I hope unites my work is a sense of the excitement I experienced in going offroad—and there's still so much to explore out there.

Stanton Hunter

"Text Translation Project #2" is more an explanation of what this work is than being the real title. Rumi's poem itself is the real title, and here it is: We are alive with other life, as clear stones take form in the mountains. Each word is represented by a thick porcelain tile, some with melted glass, and used according to a simple key depending upon whether the word is 1 or 2 syllables, a pronoun, an article, a punctuation mark, etc. For me, each element is its own work, each its own little abstract world, trying to mirror how Rumi's gorgeous use of words combine to point to something beyond language.

Patricia Griffin

On my daily walk, I follow a bluff trail overlooking the central coast of California where I live. What I experience here shows up in my work — the rhythm of the sea, patterns of pines needles, and changing colors of rocky coastline and grassy meadows. Most of my pieces start on the wheel, and then are altered by cutting a dart, squaring a rim or creating an oval shape from the original round form. I paint blocks of color and etch line drawings and patterns into the clay. After the bisque firing, I use stains to define areas of drawing and unify the piece, finishing with a final glaze firing. Each piece is unique. My desire is to create art that people will use and enjoy in their homes, pieces that make them smile and help make ordinary moments special. Unlike previous years of fitting my work in clay around a career in marketing and design, I now devote long stretches of time to making. My studio is a converted one-room schoolhouse building, located on the main street of Cambria, CA. Visitors are welcome to the studio gallery and friends often drop by, punctuating my day with interesting conversation. The slower pace of life here and rhythm of long days devoted to my studio practice are wonderful gifts. I'm grateful for every day.

Reem Hammad

Whether it is sculptural, decorative or functional designs, my focus is on creating aesthetically balanced and eye-catching designs that speak with the viewer, tell their story, or weave together the past and the present. 'Kaftan Caravan' is part of a series of work inspired by the Amphora vessel shape used in Ancient Greece and the Mediterranean cultures to transport and store wine, olive oil, grains and other essential goods. To me the Amphora shape embodies the female body. She carries life and abundant goodness. She is beautiful, adventurous and travels near and far always on a quest. In this instance, she caravans with her sisters across the dessert all dressed in their prized Kaftans.

Shane M. Keena

Having grown up near the ocean, I spent a considerable portion of my later childhood exploring the shallow tide pools of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California. My recollection of discovering various life-forms occupying these shallow tidal regions, along with being an avid scuba diver for over twenty years has had a direct influence on my work. However, while many of the diverse marine forms are sources of visual and formal influence, I also draw inspiration from sources ranging from microscopic images of pollen to the exotic durian and jackfruits of Southeast Asia. Inspired by the work of Ernst Haeckel, his 1904 book of drawings, Kunstformen der Natur/Art Forms of Nature has served as a visual thesaurus for my work over the years. I am a guarded person by nature, prickly on the outside but deeply vulnerable on the inside. The objects I make are the creative by-products of trying life experiences; long and personal investigations of an abusive childhood and recently, the birth of my daughter and the death of my mother from cancer. It was during the last six months of her life that I also became a first time father of a little girl and it was this overlap of these two life changing events that ramped up the aggressiveness of the work. Having a daughter heightened the protective lens I now view life through. The primal need to protect my little girl, along with coming to grips with the loss of my mother began to resonate within my work. While my art has always been cantankerous, the openings began to recede deeper into the vessel, becoming more protected with more and more "sub-interiors" protecting that gutty "soft spot". The parallel between the experiences of life and death began to blur into each-other within the context of my work. The forms and behaviors of the natural world are my visual inspiration, and with the vessel as my vehicle, my ceramic sculptures echo the characteristics of my guarded personality. More specifically, my work reflects a keen interest in structural defense mechanisms and behaviors found in the natural world. The way a sea urchin securely locks itself into the crevice of a rock when threatened, or the way an anemone quickly recoils when prodded are responses that have always fascinated me. My forms swell with bravado, often adopting aggressively inflated or recoiling postures in a fight-or-flight state, always protecting the vulnerable, "gutty" interior. I aim to create enigmatic and uncategorized art-forms that seductively lure the viewer in only to physically repel if clumsily prodded. My agenda is not to recreate what already exists in the world, but rather to create objects that are hybrids; the result of a blending of ideas begging the question; "is it animal, mineral, or vegetable?" Through this fusion, I aim for my work to come to life within arm's reach, where eyesight blurs into touch. Combined with exteriors that flaunt thousands of dazzling lustered spines or noxious and toxic encrusted skins, I weave a vibrant electric warning palette into my sculptures through a marriage of color and form. By juxtaposing the semiotics of these brilliant and alarming colors in combination with spiny physical defense barriers, I stress the presence of my guarded nature within the work. At the end of the day, my artwork is the manifestation of my exploration of the self and the investigation of territoriality, defense mechanisms, and most importantly, vulnerability.

Jim Keville

Black Iris Sprouts is one in a series of wall sculptures exploring my interest in organic abstraction. It is purposely ambiguous, meant to evoke a strangeness or unease at the same time drawing one in to look closer, embodying the simultaneity of attraction and repulsion. With this work, I am interested in gesture, relationships and contrasts. The gesture of forming the sprouts and their resultant postures, the manner in which they relate in pairs or groups and the contrast with the host form, from which they grow all coalesce.

Stacie Logue

Impressions Having worked as a costumer for the last 5-6 years, in the apparel business prior to that and even going back to my home economics class in high school, I have had a longstanding love of textiles, fashion and clothing. I can be drawn across a room to touch a fabric that catches my eye. Equally I have a passion for working in clay. So in a way to merge my love of fabric and clay I started exploring different textures in clay. Finding fabrics and objects of unusual materials, I began pressing them into the slabs of clay. With the textures I have also created a visual vocabulary of "buttons", "seams" and "zippers" with specific texture making objects. These are repeated throughout my series. The clay I am using is recycled and is a combination of several cone 10 clays. Currently I am drawn to the juxtaposition of iron oxides and under glazes with clear glaze to decorate the clay surface. I am able to control the color and get a painterly look.

Sharon McCoy

I am a narrative artist that is in love with clay. Clay gives me the placidity to capture my thoughts when it is wet and permanency of the form when fired. My work is layered with meanings from my past, from other cultures and their history. I use my own personal symbolism as well as borrowed symbol from my travels. Previously I made a vague reference to the figure in my imagery. Lately the figure has become of grave importance to the story-telling nature of my work. The clothing on the figures pays homage to the heritage of seamstresses in my linage. Color is of the utmost significance in my work. The layering of bold, vibrant colors invite the viewer to take a closer look. Once captivated, the viewer is asked to look at the details. Next the viewer is welcomed to create their own story. It is not my intention to to give up my whole story, but to entice the viewer to make up their own. Satirical humor is a considerable potion of my narrative vocabulary. It makes the sarcasm a little easier to digest. Sarcasm is a way of life for me . This work, although seemingly fantasy, is a reality for me. This work of multiple-meanings is fired with multiple-colored underglazes and glazes. The work is multi-fire, up to five times, in an oxidation kiln to cone 04 to give each sculpture its desired visual depth.

Leslie McQuaide

Finding grace and beauty in the worn and discarded, McQuaide's constructions lead down a path littered with signs of the mysterious, the miraculous and the transcendent. Statues arise, angels appear and the Holy Spirit still descends. Remnants of a catholic parochial school childhood riddled with nuns, plaster saints, Jesus and the Virgin Mary, are revisited and put to practical use. Major tenants of McQuaide's early religious education are remodeled and revised. Angels get new job assignments and God is only a breath away. The plaster saints of childhood are dismantled and reassembled for today's world. Some offer benediction and protection, while others aim to eradicate the confusion and mayhem of today's secular society. McQuaide's visual commentaries continue the historic conversation that centers on the connection between divine and human creativity, divine benevolence and the relationship between God and the affairs of man.

Garrett Masterson

My work as an artist has moved steadily toward a focus on sculptural work in clay. I am interested in artwork that connects with the viewer on an emotional as well as aesthetic level. I also feel art should make some connection between our present age and antiquity. The forms in my three dimensional sculptures are constructed of torn clay slabs, pressed and padded into shape. The resulting textures give the forms a stony, archaic quality. I am concerned with enclosing a volume of space rather than manipulating the surface of a solid mass. Consequently, there is a tension created between the fragmented surface and the assertive interior volume. The active interior volumes press out against the stony surfaces of the forms, which combine to suggest qualities of strength and endurance of the human spirit in association with the elements of time and decay. I draw mythical and mystical elements from many different cultures in order to demonstrate a commonality in all cultures.

Marlene Miller

My primary interest is giving expression to interior realms both personal and universal. As an artist, I have always been drawn to, and I continuously draw upon, what is mystifying in life. My work examines the relationship between power and vulnerability, the comic and tragic, intelligence and imbecility, youth and old age. Working in an improvisational mode, I experience the creative process as an intimate conversation with my materials and the figures that emerge.

Paula Moran

The impulse to touch to "see" what is real drives my work. I feel drawn to Tromp-l'oeil because of this real/not real tension. Recreating objects that are familiar, literal, sometimes nostalgic, are used to tell stories. It is the object and its content that covey the specific message. The objects chosen become metaphorical for what is happening personally in my life and what I see happening in my environment, relating current events and the human experience. Viewers must question for a moment "what is real", then interpret using ones own experiences as to the meaning and creating ones own story.

Joan Takayama-Ogawa

Miso Deflated Today's interest in food, the subprime real estate crisis, and monetary deficit inspired Miso Deflated.

Juan Carlos Ornelas

The use of hair in my work began with my mother's story about her experience when losing her hair due to chemotherapy. She expressed her devastation as clumps of hair began to fall off. Her story triggered memories of a reoccurring dream that I had when I was a teenager; I dreamt that I had hair coming out of my mouth. In my dream these strands of hair were not a disfigurement, rather they were viewed as normal as the hair on my head. To see hair in dreams signifies sexual virility, seduction, sensuality, vanity, and health. I investigate how the use of hair, in simulation, both attracts and repels the viewer. In my ceramic sculpture, hair is simulated by applying tentacle-like strands of clay that drape above and around an interior clay structure. These strands, although motionless, grow from within the form and appear to be in the process of motion. The combination of line, repetition and negative space become architectural characteristics that inform these interior structures and affect the visible movement and growth pattern of the simulated hair. My motivation to create sculptural form that moves visually is inspired by a combination of up tempo pop music and my body's reaction to sound through interpretive dance. I interpret how I see the sounds that I hear by providing visual shapes into the unseen. Music lies in between something that is both unseen and has visual shape. By taking this external energy, these shapes become tactile and physical through my experience. Having no formal training in either music or dance, I am allowed the freedom to express myself intuitively and in close proximity to this experience. I want to encourage the viewer to experience a visual journey and heightened awareness.

Beth Ozarow

I have noticed that much of my sculpture has a particular personal energy: it feels quiet; there is a sense of stilled breath. Such moments of deep quiet are the focus in my recent work. I have been using subtle gestures, specifically hand positions of holding and grasping, to explore the relationship of the body to hidden, inner aspects of spirit and the world beyond physical. Some of the figures have become quite understated; they take on a quality I think of as shadow, or ghost. The birds themselves, starting as only delicately visible, have begun taking flight away from the human form altogether, perhaps appearing in that moment when form separates from spirit. The work is built from the bottom up, using flattened coils. By pushing from the inside out, I develop the overall form as I go, leaving working marks of joinery, fingers and hands visible on the surface. The pieces are fired from green ware to cone 4 in a single oxidation firing. I began using acrylic paints to finish the surfaces of my sculpture some time ago, taking great pleasure in the immediacy and flow that this medium allows.

Jessica Regalado

When I was younger I never questioned who I was or where I came from. I never asked why we would have to go to Washington State every summer; it was just something that was customary. As I grew older I realized that not all families traveled in order to keep working when jobs were at a low during the summer season. That is when I realized that (like most people who come to the United States looking for a better life) we didn't travel for a vacation but for as a necessity. In my work I have been exploring the necessity that most families face when they migrate to the Unite States. My work also deals with the obstacles they face in order to obtain the "all American dream."

Heather Rosenman

Contraptionology: An absence of context shrouds these dioramas. Relics of fictitious artifacts representing possible future technologies or perhaps icons of a forgotten belief system

Damian Ross

My recent clay work is a simple adventure into the use of line, how it can affect the surface and form of a basic cylinder. By exploring with these limited tools it allows me the freedom to venture on and see where it takes me. The cylinder becomes my canvas and yet the lines portray an unmistakable third dimension. The choice of Raku Firing allows an immediacy that rapidly feeds me with the information and the spontaneity that inspires me to continue travelling.

Adrian Sandstrom

My current work deals with the idea of how the design and form of the pot relate to one's life. We are all born the same; it is the bumps and curves along our path that lead us to significant endings. Each pot has the potential of becoming anything but all start with a dark base. The dark bases keep everything grounded. However I ask grounded to what? The idea of what we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to live, or grounded to the idea that everything starts off the same and you create your ending. Each vessel is adorned with circles. Circles represent many different emotions and ideas for each individual. For me the each circle represents "zero". Gottfried Leibiz, a German philosopher and mathematician once said when defining zero "…a fine and wonderful refuge of the divine spirit – almost an amphibian between being and non-being" The main premise behind the circle is that in each action, word, thought, or experience we all start at zero, or nothing, and therefore have the potential of everything and anything. Within the larger circles are smaller circles showing challenges we deal with on a day to day basis that help mold us into very people we are today. The Rise series depicts that with each day, there is a new beginning, and a new beginning has the potential for anything.

Tiffany Schmierer

"In my ceramic sculptures, I create assembled environments with dense detail that reflect the excess of visual information in today's world. Our lives are a collection of moments, memories, fragments of a bigger whole, which we relate to each other and assemble together. My ceramic sculptures are investigations into the patterns that connect our lives to our surroundings. They represent the dialogues that exist in a dynamic world where everything is linked together. I think of my sculptures as three-dimensional collages. I layer printed, painted, and carved imagery with recognizable and abstract forms. The viewer must explore the piece, building connections, unable to take in the work in one bite." Tiffany Schmierer grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester. She completed her BFA degree at the University of Oklahoma, and then moved to the West Coast where she earned her MFA from San Francisco State University in 2004. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Skyline College in San Bruno. Schmierer has exhibited in national and regional shows and has been included in various collections, including the Dianne and Sandy Besser Collection and the John Natsoulas Collection.

Jose Sierra

My past and present surroundings influence my work. The images and memories of coffee mills, intensely colored mountains, dramatic landscapes, pre-Colombian art and architecture of the Andean region of Venezuela all form an important part of my visual inspirations. These elements combine with contemporary design as well as the geometry of the Catalina Mountains to influence and inspire my work. The range of textures and colors of the Andes and Catalinas also inform my palette of glazes and engobes, which are achieved through high-firing in oxidation and reduction. By altering wheel-thrown porcelain and stoneware, my work fuses organic and geometrical forms, in which I express both the fluidity and abruptness of the shapes and lines in the landscapes and architecture that surround me.

Dino Sophia

I am obsessed with letters and numbers for their abstract qualities. They are timeless--suggesting a whisper, a prayer, a mantra, a stream of consciousness. My forms are simple and sculptural giving a nod to their utilitarian ancestors.

Stevens Strauss

These sculptures exist only because of my exposure to crosscurrents of cultural aesthetics- both Western and Asian. Through the study of the arts of Japanese floral arranging and tea ceremony, a deep appreciation developed of the use of space as the most central and critical design element. The principles that govern the spirit of ikebana and tea in their meditative approach appear in this work: both disciplines depend as much on what is absent as what is present. This concept aligns with a disposition toward spare and amorphous lines, terse expression, and an organic approach to the clay. Raku provides the perfect medium to express these ideas-surrendering to this firing technique's unpredictability is an essential part of animating the work. Using this method also ensures the least amount of conscious interference in the work's emergence. Ultimately, this sculpture is meant to be an expressed appreciation of emptiness, literally and figuratively. "The function of objects is to restore silence." -Samuel Beckett

Vincent Suez

BIOGRAPHICAL: Date of Birth, 6-12-38, Petaluma, CA Military Service, Honorable Discharge, 1959, USMC Professor of Art, California State University, Fullerton, 1970/ 2008 Professor Emeritus, 2003 ARTIST STATEMENT My work has its basis in traditional pottery. First and foremost I consider myself an artist/ potter. I draw and paint, using traditional ceramic processes to achieve particular affects on my work in order to exploit and develop form. My concern with nature is revealed through my use of animal and bird imagery. Marks of stamps, inscribed lines, and the touch of brush emulate this fantasy in nature. Included in this colorful landscape are dragonflies, a dash of gold a glimpse of purple and brilliant blues. Saying that, I am not particularly interested in a specific genus but rather in that fleeting moment the leap of faith if you will when they are suspended in air for a brief moment, the quick yet magic moment when they seem oblivious to gravity, suspended, or "braking" as they gracefully land on the most delicate of branches. The dragonflies' rush and dip across the puddles leaving only a trace. Included in this rapture is my use of creatures imbued with the human condition. The intimacies of these anthropomorphic lovers expose my wit and curiosity of the human condition. To paraphrase Susan Peterson's quote of Hamada, each morning while I'm having my coffee, I sit and watch with delight as the birds and dragonflies dance and converse around the feeders. I am amazed because the birds always carry on the same prattle, yet it is always different and continues to delight and amaze me and I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in this venture. The drawn landscape dwells somewhere inside and it is with great anticipation and patience that I wait to open the kiln and expose joy (sometimes grief) of life. Interspersed with this are both personal and worldly experiences, such as religious personifications as well as events like Saddam's burning of the oil wells in Kuwait and the 911 catastrophe. The giving and sharing of my pots will enhance ones life. My pots are made to experience and use. EDUCATION: 1966 B. A., Art, California State University, Fullerton 1969 M. F. A., Claremont Graduate School & University Center

Takao Tomono

Express through your art what is truly in your heart and you will move the hearts of others, bringing joy to them and to yourself.

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