South Bend, IN
For one week in October 2016, fourteen ceramic artists worked together in the Notre Dame ceramic studios. In addition to making their own signature ceramic artworks, the artists interacted and collaborated with each other.
Sometimes collaboration occurs in the making of objects or through the sharing of glazes. In the case of wood firing, there is no escaping collaboration. Philosophically, the artists collaborate with the kiln, wood, and the ancient process. Practically, they collaborate by putting their artworks within another artist’s kiln and by allowing others to fire their work. Whether the artist wishes to acknowledge it or not, work realized through wood firing is never the product of one’s sole sensibility.
These artworks were fired within the Notre Dame anagama kiln, which is located at the Michigan studio of ND Professor of Art William Kremer. In most situations, the preparation for a wood firing is more time consuming than the actual firing. This can require several days or weeks to cut, split, and prepare the wood for its use as fuel. The firing process lends itself to an amazing happening of sorts. Aside from the tangible goals––accumulation of melting ash and temperatures reaching nearly 2400 degrees Fahrenheit––there is typically a rich range of creative interaction between the artists from firing strategies to aesthetic/conceptual discourse. The end result is a smattering of earthen tones and a ubiquitous patina over the work.
The fourteen participating artists are Bede Clarke; Keith Ekstam; Dale Huffman; Howard Koerth; Bill Kremer; Dick Lehman; Tony Marsh; Scott Meyer; Tom Meunick; Dan Molyneux; Lindsay Oesteritter; Ann-Charlotte Ohlsson; Dennis Sipiorski; and Zach Tate. The artists generously lent their artworks to this exhibition and all artworks are stoneware, except where noted on the object label.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website