I was thinking about texture, color and patterns, and the artists who are inspiring to me that use these markers for their own work. I kept coming back to what I originally fell in love with in ceramics, particularly wheel-thrown functional work -- Form.
When I came back to ceramics as an adult, I was fortunate enough to enroll in a summer class at the Archie Bray Foundation. I am grateful everyday for the Bray and its community outreach programs. In any case, this particular summer was one of the hotter summers in recent memory. We experienced 100+ degree Fahrenheit temperatures many too many days in a row. The classroom managed to stay relatively cool, though the irrigation canals nearby had hatched a fine bunch of mosquitoes, so it smelled of citronella and a multitude of bug repellents.
That summer I met Jeremy Kane, known as "Jr.", though I couldn't bring myself to call him that. Jeremy is an artist par excellence, but also one of the truly committed and talented ceramics teachers I've had the joy to study with. Form is Jeremy's specialty, though I suspect some will make an argument for his finishes of layered glaze, decals and lusters. He uses his form as an elegant canvas upon which to express his observations of kitsch, his commentary of absurdity. His finished work from a distance will spark thoughts of French aristocracy, and as you begin to study the detail you may be reminded of a '57 Chevy, early Playboy, or even KFC.
It is the form of the piece that is the foundation upon which the rest of the work will stand. That is what inspires me.
Jeremy is currently the head of the ceramics department at the University of Alaska-Southeast. Here are a couple online sites to see his work: The Red Lodge Clay Center, The Alaska State Museum.