Monday, February 21, 2011


In the Graduate Seminar class that the majority of the ceramic graduate class is in, there has been a lot of discussion pertaining to conceptual art.  There seems to be an abundance of lackadasical objects floating around in the artworld with pages of concept supporting the objects.  My question is, why do people spend so much time trying to prove the worth of an object they spent all of five minutes obtaining?  It just seems to me, that if you are an excellent writer, then why try to pass yourself off as an object maker?  Why not just become a theorist, or a philosopher?  And more so, why are these "artists" being supported by major contemporary museums?  

Friday, February 18, 2011


Hello Everyone!  Please stop by this coming Wednesday and Thursday, February 23rd and 24th, to see our visiting artist, sculptor Magda Gluszek.
She will be demonstrating both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and she will be giving an artist talk on Wednesday night in the East Hall Classroom at 8:30 p.m.
We look forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Is Thomas kinkade an artist or a craftsman? Paint versus Clay

I have found that in the realm of ceramics, there is often a stigma attached to clay.  Outside of the people that actually work with clay, there seems to be a popular misconception that clay working can only be craft, and not fine art.  I personally believe that it is not what you use to make your work (artwork), but it is the thought, passion and ideas that lead you to make an object or image that define whether or not something is fine art, craft, or design.  That is not to say that one is better than the other (craft versus fine art); that is an entirely different debate.
Most of us know of the popular paintings of Thomas Kinkade.  Because Kinkades medium is paint, he is often advertised as an artist, but when your work becomes production is it still art?  Perhaps his first original paintings were art because he had an idea or a vision, but now, after they have been mass-produced is it still art, or is it craft? Or, is it something else?  I leave this entry as an opening into the discussion of art versus what?.  Feel free to add your two cents to this topic . . .  

The Allure of the Human Face

I find myself compelled to integrate imagery of the human face into much of my work. A persons face can act as a window into their thoughts.  I look at the physical body, or a persons face, as a shell we can often hide behind; but also as a way to express our thoughts, and emotions.  This is one reason in particular that you will often find faces emerging from sections of my work.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Layers of the Spiral

Spirals have been used symbolically throughout the ages of humanity to represent an abundance of ideas and philosophies of the human spirit, as well as representations of nature and the universe.  A spiral is probably one of the most recognized symbols throughout the world, used and manipulated for what ever purpose we choose. It can represent the the centering, layering, or abundance of one's thoughts or self, while also representing the spiral of life and existence. Perhaps there is a deeply embedded reasoning in the human psyche for our connectivity to spiral imagery.  With the questions, emotions, and ideas that drive my work, I certainly see, and feel, an appropriateness when integrating this type of symbolism.

Why the crow?

This past week I spoke on the phone with an old friend of mine that I haven't heard from in a little over a year.  We talked and laughed for a long time, and toward the end of our talk she asked me how my work was going.  I gave her the typical answer of, " Oh, it's going really well," and not much more was said, but I did tell her to take a look at my website.  She later e-mailed me and said how much she enjoyed looking at my pictures, and the typical kind, supportive words that people say to good friends.  Then, she asked me "What got you into the crows?"  This question is one that I have heard many times from various people about crows and other imagery I have used.  Crows arise in my work quite often, and I don't believe that there really is just one particular answer for me to give.  There are certain symbols that I feel connect to different people.  Crows are one of those symbols for me.  My belief is that each person views the world of symbolism differently, and for one reason or another, we make associations and connections with imagery that we can't always explain fully to others.  Crows have the gift of flight, they are believed to be one of the most intelligent species of birds, and they are as black as the darkest sky.  When you see them, they are rarely alone, and they seem very protective of their crow "families." Even their calls to each other can often have an ominous tone to them.  So, when I am searching for imagery to represent a persons spirit, or a persons thoughts, or a pattern or flow of questions mixed with the carrying of knowledge from one space and time to another, or the death of the body, and lifting of the spirit, crows often fly in and out of my thoughts.