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Artist Inspiration

Nick Mackman - Animal Sculptures

posted Sep 26, 2011, 7:10 AM by Megan Hinman   [ updated Sep 26, 2011, 9:42 AM ]

Nick Mackman is a sculptor of one-off clay animal models. She has been widely exhibited and in 2010 she won the Open Category in the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition. Most of her pieces are Raku fired, giving a rich but natural crackle glaze. Drawing on her experience as a rhino keeper and on safari, she aims to get under the skin of the animal, giving each animal sculpture its own personality. Many of her subjects are highly endangered and she aims to enlighten us to their beauty, humour and tenderness, even though they may be largely perceived as ugly or aggressive. She lives in Devon, in South West England, with her husband, twin children and two dogs.
Nick Mackman’s animal models and wildlife sculptures are based on detailed observations and careful study. She has travelled on safari in Botswana, Madagascar and Nepal to observe animals in the wild, making sketches and photographs of her subjects.
The majority of Nick Mackman’s animal sculptures are slab built using a clay called T’Material, a type of porcelain with added molochite. Paper pulp is added to the clay, creating paper clay, which has great strength and structure. The paper pulp burns out in the firing so the finished animal model is very lightweight, opening up many sculptural possibilities. The Raku firing imparts the distinctive smoky finish used in most of her sculptures. Bristles, papier maché and other media are sometimes used to complete the piece. (all above information and images taken from artist's website.)
Check out all of her amazing work at http://clayanimalsculptures.co.uk .

Emily Schroeder - Pinch pots

posted Sep 20, 2010, 7:05 AM by Megan Hinman   [ updated Sep 20, 2010, 1:14 PM ]

Emily Schroeder is a young ceramic artist who works in porcelain.  Her work is all hand built using the pinch method.  This is the exact method used to make the nesting pinch pots, which is the first project of Ceramics 1. Her work is elegant and very finely crafted with nothing other than her fingers. Here is an excerpt of her artist statement:
"Sometimes what is present is the mark of what is absent.  To touch something with a fingertip and leave the impression on an object only signifies that once was there, is now gone...Elements of touch, intimacy and mark making are extremely important to the work that I make.  I create subtle forms on which I draw imagery that is sensitive to how each pot was touched and formed.  An aspect unique to my work is that every movement and gesture is marked and recorded on the surface of my pots.  I have chosen this rather slow and tedious process of pinching because I believe that pinching pots instead of throwing them on a wheel or building them with slabs creates a different type of intimacy. I see my fingerprints as a sort of brush stroke."
Imagine how much time goes into making a single object?  Her process is very intimate and definitely meant to be cherished.  Check out more of her work as well as her full artist statement here: www.emilyschroeder.com

Jose Yamunaque

posted Sep 16, 2010, 6:54 AM by Megan Hinman   [ updated Sep 16, 2010, 7:12 AM ]

Traditional Peruvian artist Jose Yamunaque creates his vessels with nothing more than his hands, a stone, and a paddle.  Watch this video of him giving a demonstration to Harvard undergraduates in their ceramics studio.

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