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10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics


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#41 Stephen

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 11:46 AM

I looked up a number of the artist and enjoyed looking at other work they have done, maybe some of you would like some of their other work.

 

Some of these artist simply work with clay as a medium and have not and probably will never will work on making beautiful dinnerware or other functional pottery. I like all kinds of ceramic art as well as beautifully crafted functional ware but I think there is such little synergy between the work in this article and functional ware that it is extremely hard to compare them. 

 

Plenty of room for both.



#42 Idaho Potter

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 08:05 PM

Benzine's comments on page one of this thread took me back a few (nay, much more than a few) years.  Back in the 1950's when I was trying to learn something about technique in painting, I took a class at San Francisco State in oil painting.  I'd been fortunate to have a really great teacher in high school that taught me composition; challenged my imagination; inspired me; and made me work at art because he believed that to produce art you at least needed an idea of where you wanted to end up.  Not so, the college instructor.  

 

The class was entitled, Techniques of Oil Painting.  I wanted to learn technique--the application of paint to canvas--whether using a brush, knife, forearm, my nose, or any means necessary.  Regrettably, the class I'd signed for ended up more about painting large swathes of paint next to equally large areas of paint with no thought as to application, color, composition or anything else.  When the instructor kept referring to his work as "abstract", I finally spoke up and asked what was he abstracting.  His response was to shout he didn't need to explain himself to a "child" ( I was almost 20 and he was probably about 30). I said if he couldn't explain what his subject matter was, then it wasn't an abstract, but merely planes of color arranged in some manner that suited him.  

 

I got bounced out of that class so quick!  Had a heck of a time getting my tuition fees returned, too.

 

That episode did two things. (1) Made me rethink taking classes in higher learning.  (2) Made me realize that if you throw cow poop at a barn wall and end up framing it , it's still cow poop!  

 

Before you rag on me, let me state that I like Jackson Pollock, Mondrian, Picasso and a whole slew of other non-traditionalist artists.  BUT, their early work shows that they studied and then departed from traditional aspects, but with an idea of where/what they wanted to achieve.  No art speak, just a view of where the work would end.

 

I'm sure all of you have experienced throwing a pot early in your career and having it collapse in a strange way or fold in on itself.  Sometimes it even looks good enough to keep.  However, those happy accidents are few and far between.  Students would ask if they could keep it.  I would say, can you produce another?  Most often, the answer was no.  We work hard and every once in awhile serendipity gives us a gift.  Most often, the gifts come about by perfecting our techniques to the point where we no longer have to rely on happy accidents or serendipity.

 

my two cents,

 

Shirley



#43 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 10:55 PM

Shirley, Sorry you had such a lame instructor. not all higher ed is that awful.
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#44 Benzine

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:05 AM

Shirley,

 

I had some questionable instructors in college, but none that bad.

 

I had a Painting I and II teacher, who students either loved or hated.  He didn't really teach technique.  He assigned a lot of paintings every couple weeks, but never had a required size.  So a lot of students ended up doing a bunch of small (like note card small) paintings, while slowly working on a large-scale one.  By having to do all the paintings, I found myself experimenting a lot more with numerous styles and techniques.

 

Like I said, not every student liked that.  But in my opinion, he did get us to think.  Also, at the end of each class, we had to hand in a piece of paper asking him a question, and telling him something. It could be about anything.  He took the time to read and answer all of them.  Another little thinking exercise.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#45 Rebel_Rocker

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:39 PM

I can't say the article is wrong.

 

 First it is contemporary 'ceramics' not contemporary function pottery.

 

 I have seen works that would fit each group just fine. I think they left out 'cabbage leafs', seems certain types of vegetable leafs are popular to recreate these days.

 

 But you also can't discredit 'graffitti' art or culture as a passing fad. Times are changing and the world I grew up in and my influences are completely different than my parents. Though classics are still a strong influence there is desire to go beyond, create new stuff with new visions.

 

 I agree though that technique is still required. Just slapping stuff together as opposed to thoughtful and technical work will result in different work. Slapped together stuff can often fool those who know no better but the same item finely crafted will be recognized as such.

 

 For example, Face jugs have always been hideous imo. Though I can appreciate the history of them. But without the history making them now is just copying an old culture. Judge that how you will. The face jugs in the article imo are also hideous but don't really represent the origins. I don't think they even look finely crafted, but that's also hard to say looking at small pictures.

 On the other hand face jugs could inspire finely crafted ceramics that are marketable. Take for instance 'thebigduluth'.

http://thebigduluth....llery/?offset=0

minor_head_trauma_jug__wip_by_thebigdulu

 He has set his own standard in face jugs, is very creative, a great sculptor and artist.

 



#46 drmyrtle

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 03:15 PM

I have been riding along this post for several days, thinking about various viewpoints. ...what makes a trend, who defines what, the role in art criticism that provides verbal skill as a stand in for pieces being able to speak by themselves without linguistic interpretation....

Then, I thought about how many art/ceramic students I've met over time, and how I am frequently amazed by their profound lack of technical skill, and simultaneously dumbfounded by their gift of opinionated description. To date, I have met three technically skilled individuals: two trained at Alfred, the other ignored all advice until given the degree that allowed them to go make and sell pottery. These thoughts are not unique.

Today it occurred to me: this stuff does represent a trend, perhaps. People who graduate from art schools are not learning solid technical skills. They are taught how to wax on verbally about "eh" work.

I understand the place for verbal skill. After all, the art critic of Artnews needs a job. But the abstraction of "pointed, political edge" from the work highlighted in the "anti ceramic mush" section seems to prove my point of b.s. making the art have a story that a nonverbal viewer would NEVER create themselves. I realize that story sells the art, but doesn't it seem reasonable that skilled artists strive to make technically proficient art that can stand without the artist or critic explaining it for the viewer?

Thus my proposed trend: language substitutes for skill in ceramic arts?

(Water buckets ready ;o)

#47 JBaymore

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:30 PM

People who graduate from art schools are not learning solid technical skills. They are taught how to wax on verbally about "eh" work.

 

Painting with a very broad brush there, Dr..  ;)

 

I invite you to visit our college.

 

best,

 

..................john

 

PS:  You are correct that SOME programs are (or already have been) headed in that direction.


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Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#48 Colby Charpentier

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:56 PM

 

People who graduate from art schools are not learning solid technical skills. They are taught how to wax on verbally about "eh" work.

 

Painting with a very broad brush there, Dr..  ;)

 

I invite you to visit our college.

 

best,

 

..................john

 

PS:  You are correct that SOME programs are (or already have been) headed in that direction.

 

 

This is another discussion entirely. But honestly, one can get as much or as little out of a collegiate program as desired. A BFA is only a BFA. Even at Alfred, the BFA is in Art and Design, there is no option to declare ceramics.

 

Another point, paraphrasing a discussion with Chris Gustin, the talent today is scary. Perhaps you're in different circles...



#49 drmyrtle

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:12 PM

Painting with a very broad brush there, Dr..  ;) -snip-
 
PS:  You are correct that SOME programs are (or already have been) headed in that direction.


I was theorizing, not trying to generalize, my pardon. If my theory is correct, does this explain the void between the skill displayed and the trendiness of the work? Why would an artist care to make the distinction that they are not ceramic artists, but artists working in clay? (To see this you need to drill down into a previous article at the top of this clip.) is clay so base that one needs to distinguish them selves as not "a part of" but still able to work without skill?

These questions baffle me. I do not have the answers. It seems like a fragile place to exist. Why would any institution foster this mindset in a student? Wouldn't it set them up for a world of hurt and/or disappointment when they leave to work as artists? I agree to some extent that everything yields what you put into it. However,I think there's something here that explains why such poor technical work represents hot trends. ?

Thank you for the compliment on my brush work, too. Here I thought I wasn't good at painting ;).

#50 Benzine

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:12 PM

Another point, paraphrasing a discussion with Chris Gustin, the talent today is scary. Perhaps you're in different circles...

 

 

No doubt there.  One just needs to watch some Youtube videos, or fall into that alternate, time sucking dimension, that is Pinterest to realize how much talent is indeed out there.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#51 Babs

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:25 AM

I know this is a bit off hte topic but if a work needs someone in you ear proclaiming its worth to the viewer, what is going on?

I am fortunate to live on the very beautiful coast and now in the last 10 years there have sprung up  numerous "interpretive" signs telling me what I am looking at, or should be looking at.

Similar disease?

In Educational institutions, a different scenario.

The success of artists, from anothe rpost, much more than talent and talk.



#52 Colby Charpentier

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 08:44 PM

 

Painting with a very broad brush there, Dr..  ;) -snip-
 
PS:  You are correct that SOME programs are (or already have been) headed in that direction.


I was theorizing, not trying to generalize, my pardon. If my theory is correct, does this explain the void between the skill displayed and the trendiness of the work? Why would an artist care to make the distinction that they are not ceramic artists, but artists working in clay? (To see this you need to drill down into a previous article at the top of this clip.) is clay so base that one needs to distinguish them selves as not "a part of" but still able to work without skill?

These questions baffle me. I do not have the answers. It seems like a fragile place to exist. Why would any institution foster this mindset in a student? Wouldn't it set them up for a world of hurt and/or disappointment when they leave to work as artists? I agree to some extent that everything yields what you put into it. However,I think there's something here that explains why such poor technical work represents hot trends. ?

Thank you for the compliment on my brush work, too. Here I thought I wasn't good at painting ;).

 

 

Are you suggesting undergrad art programs put a large percentage of their alumni into the art industry? I would rethink this. The number I've heard tossed around is 4-5%. This suggests the programs are doing something other than preparing students to become self-sufficient artists... Or also as likely that the success of the individual has very little to do with the program.



#53 Stephen

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 05:54 PM

A popular blogger I read argues that intent is ill relevant, or maybe less relevant. I argued that our intent largely defines us and our work.

 

I think everyone's opinion of skill is so subjective that I almost believe that only the artist themselves truly knows if they are skilled.       



#54 Babs

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:56 PM

Someone wrote that if a large percentage of artists became craftspeople, the art world would benefit as would the craftworld.

Intent..  goal? Feeling of the end piece, content of the artist/craftsperson?

Artists often do not create art or craft pieces; craftspeople sometimes create art??



#55 Mudslinger Ceramics

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:46 PM

I have been riding along this post for several days, thinking about various viewpoints. ...what makes a trend, who defines what, the role in art criticism that provides verbal skill as a stand in for pieces being able to speak by themselves without linguistic interpretation....

Then, I thought about how many art/ceramic students I've met over time, and how I am frequently amazed by their profound lack of technical skill, and simultaneously dumbfounded by their gift of opinionated description. To date, I have met three technically skilled individuals: two trained at Alfred, the other ignored all advice until given the degree that allowed them to go make and sell pottery. These thoughts are not unique.

Today it occurred to me: this stuff does represent a trend, perhaps. People who graduate from art schools are not learning solid technical skills. They are taught how to wax on verbally about "eh" work.

I understand the place for verbal skill. After all, the art critic of Artnews needs a job. But the abstraction of "pointed, political edge" from the work highlighted in the "anti ceramic mush" section seems to prove my point of b.s. making the art have a story that a nonverbal viewer would NEVER create themselves. I realize that story sells the art, but doesn't it seem reasonable that skilled artists strive to make technically proficient art that can stand without the artist or critic explaining it for the viewer?

Thus my proposed trend: language substitutes for skill in ceramic arts?

(Water buckets ready ;o)

 

drmyrtle, you make me smile.......studied my undergrad at my first college that was all about skills, materials, processes, experimentation etc by local and international practicing potters, the idea of 'learn to make a 'good' pot first before you go off with all your ideas'...

 

did not understand how grateful I would be for the solid foundational training I was given until I went to my first post grad in a college renowned for its contemporary approach..... standing at the photocopier in the post grad room I see a PhD student copying passages of a book on contemporary Chinese ceramics, so to start a conversation, I said hello and commented on the work she was studying and asked her about what kind of ceramics she liked to make.......the look on her face!...... you''d think I had just spat on the floor!!

 

"I don't MAKE ceramics,'she said 'I STUDY ceramics. If you want to make ceramics then you go to a technical college.' She picks up her bits and leaves the room!   I was stunned both by her rudeness and by the concept that you could 'study'ceramics to PhD level and seemingly not MAKE/MADE any!!??   It was my first close up experience with the truly ''all icing/no cake'' defensive nonsense some conceptual artists operate by....

 

the kicker to this story is that the head of ceramics department was retiring the year later and she, as the only graduating PhD student that yea,r secured the job!    

She has been head of ceramics for 8 years but to this day I still don't really know what her oeuver actually is!

 

drmyrtle, maybe I'm conservative and old fashioned with my 'skills first 'approach, but I'm with you on your 'trend ': language substitutes for skill in many quarters of the (ceramic) arts field statement!!

 

Irene


Mudslinger Ceramics :   www.mudslingerceramics.net

 

'Don't worry about your originality. You couldn't get rid of it even if you wanted to.

It will stick with you and show up for better or for worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do.'

                                                                              - Robert Henri


#56 drmyrtle

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:23 AM


Are you suggesting undergrad art programs put a large percentage of their alumni into the art industry? I would rethink this. The number I've heard tossed around is 4-5%. This suggests the programs are doing something other than preparing students to become self-sufficient artists... Or also as likely that the success of the individual has very little to do with the program.


Yes, yes. I think you are correct on this point. No study of interest produces artists, per se. I'm sure teachers hope for artistic development. Learning how to learn, and what skills to practice is a lifelong pursuit that some choose to forgo. Not much a teacher can do about that.

#57 JBaymore

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:38 AM

Someone wrote that if a large percentage of artists became craftspeople, the art world would benefit as would the craftworld.

Hamada Shoji.......

 

best,

 

...............john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#58 JBaymore

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:43 AM

.......studied my undergrad at my first college that was all about skills, materials, processes, experimentation etc by local and international practicing potters, the idea of 'learn to make a 'good' pot first before you go off with all your ideas'...

 

You more or less just described our undergrad ceramics department at New Hampshire Institute of Art. :)

 

best,

 

.................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#59 Babs

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:40 PM

 

Someone wrote that if a large percentage of artists became craftspeople, the art world would benefit as would the craftworld.

Hamada Shoji.......

 

best,

 

...............john

 

Thanks,

And with no "weasel words"! Plain speak.



#60 grayfree

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 05:36 PM

I have enough mess to haul that doesn't sell I won't be adding any of that crap LOL






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