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lorielle

Who Is The Historical Figure That Has Influenced Your Art The Most?

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We draw upon all kinds of sources when making our work, nature, stories, and history, for example.  Is there someone in the past that you look to for inspiration?  Who is the historical figure that has influenced your art the most? 

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Whew! That is a tough one.

Mary McLaughlin,Adelaide and Sam Robineau, Maria Martinez, Taxile Doate, Bernrd Palissey, Piccolpasso, Louana Lackey, Rudy Autio,

Michael Cardew, Sarah Irvine,Bernard and Janet Leach

Love the Arts and Crafts Movement..I assumed they had to be deceased.

Marcia

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I am most influenced by prehistoric pottery. Just knowing that 6,000 years ago some human was trying to make a useful item from clay but then just could not resist the urge to add surface decoration warms my heart. It connects me to the whole history of pottery while still giving me the freedom to try something "new to me" which actually might have been newish then.

ChenowethArts and Stellaria like this

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The perfection of form and careful attention to finish classical Greek potters showed is always humbling to me.  About every couple of months I try to make something Greek like an askos, or a baby amphora, but it's a cheap knockoff (if not an utter failure) by comparison to the real deal.  The kind of discipline and attention their work required is something I strive for in my own work.  To me, given their technology, it is as close to perfection as it gets.

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Currently that would be the French physics and chemistry professor, Alexandre Bigot (Alexander Beegoo in English), who opened a ceramics studio in 1889 within weeks after seeing the Chinese porcelain at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.

 

Between 1889 and 1914 his Paris studio employing 150 craftspeople produced most of the Art Nouveau architectural ceramics found in Europe today.  He spent extensive time in Frankfurt and Budapest teaching local artists to use his patented process. 

 

Bigot was able to free kiln-fired ceramics from the tyranny of clay's constraints of size and thickness by using pre-bisqued materials mixed with a binder.  Fifteen years later he patented an new type of kiln with greater efficiency.  http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/gallery/album/679-alexandre-bigot/

 

The ceramic-clad residence of Alexandre Bigot at Avenue Rapp no. 29, Paris.  Designed by Jules Lavirotte.

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The ceramic-clad entrance of Alexandre Bigot's home in Paris.

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Alexandre Bigot   1862 - 1927

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An eight foot tall parapet created by Bigot, at the "Applied Arts Museum" in Budapest  Iparművészeti Múzeum

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Bigot working in small-scale in 1900 in Frankfurt "Sitting Bear" - in the Hetjens Deutsches Keramicmuseum, Düsseldorf

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The ceramic balustrade at the entrance of the Applied Arts Museum in Budapest.

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The ceramic clad exterior the Applied Arts Museum in Budapest.

Museum_of_Applied_Arts_%28Budapest%29.jp

 

Portion of a Bigot frieze in Budapest.

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A ceramic frieze by Bigot in the Applied Arts Museum in Budapest.

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How thick is that ceramic balcony? It's fired ceramic.  http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/uploads/gallery/album_679/gallery_18533_679_43193.jpg

Marcia Selsor and Tyler Miller like this

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There are a bunch of influential folks from the last 100 years ago that continue to inflence me and ceramics in general. Sadly we have lost some of those just recently...I would include in that list: Paul Soldner, Eva Zeisel, Ken Price, and Gwyn Hanssen Pigott. Surely there are others that have just slipped my mind. Their influences will likely grow stonger in years to come.

However, I return to an un-named Peruvian clay artist from around 1,000 BC who 'figured out' and constructed the very first double-chambered whistling vessel. It is humbling to me to know that something this sophisticated and ultimately influential to mesoamerican cultures for centuries to come happened with simple tools, simple clay, and simple firing techniques. Humbling!

I don't make very many of these things...I consider whistling vessels to be the teapots of the whistle world in terms of complexity and functionality.

For the uninitiated, here is a demo video of my first successful attempt at making a sculptural statement using my historical, Peruvian, double-chambered influences:

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I think my earliest connection with potters was with books-first Ceramics book in college by Nelson had wonderful pieces, but did not connect with me.  Then when I was teaching, I bought the Penland School of Crafts Book of Pottery. This included examples of work with demonstration style text by Paulus Berensohn, Robert Turner, Tyrone and Julie Larson, Jane Peiser, Tom Suomalainen, Bruno La Verdiere, Cynthia Bringle, Toshiko Takaezu,  Donald Reitz, and Ron Propst. 10 potters, and for me everyone of them connected in some way. I think that there is some influence in my work of many of these, and definitely Don Reitz with his early work. I had thought that I had lost the book until the other day when I unpacked another box of books to put on the shelf, and there it was! The only other name that connects with me well over the years is John Glick.  I have been really blessed to see both Cynthia Bringle and John Glick in demonstrations. 

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Rene Magritte, Man Ray, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The dadaists, the Bauhaus artisans and more recently (ceramicists) Jun Kaneko & Takuro Kuwata (they still alive though, so technically not historical!)

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