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Ceramic Sculpture

Explore the virtually limitless world of ceramic sculpture. Meet the ceramic artists who bring clay to life in ways you may never have imagined. From the diminutive to the monumental, the figurative to the abstract, there are endless possibilities for expression in the form of ceramic sculpture. Browse through these archives to see images of the sometimes beautiful, sometimes unsettling works of talented ceramic sculptors and to find out more about their techniques and their motivations. And don't forget to download your free copy of Contemporary Clay Sculpture: A Collection of Four of Our Favorite Articles on Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture to see work by the latest and greatest new talents in the ceramic arts field.


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Changing Spaces: Making Large-Scale Ceramic Sculpture

Posted On March 19, 2014 2 Comments

Today, ceramic artist Jason Green explains his process for creating ceramic work on an architectural scale.

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Egyptian Paste: Building Sculpturally with Color

Posted On February 18, 2014 4 Comments

Egyptian paste or faience is a low-fire mixture of ceramic materials containing clay, sand, colorants, frits, and soluble salts. These salts effervesce to the surface along with water as the paste slowly dries, forming crystals, which create a self-glazing clay-glaze hybrid once fired. Deborah Sigel was intrigued by the properties of Egyptian paste the opportunity to “build sculpturally with color” and today, in an excerpt from the March/April 2013 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Mary Cloonan explains Deborah’s interesting process and beautiful results.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

 

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A Couple of Cool Clay Sculpture Techniques

Posted On December 11, 2013 1 Comment

The malleability of clay makes it possible to bend and shape in into any shape imaginable. But as we all know, this malleability can also present challenges. In today’s post, an excerpt from Sculpting and Handbuilding, Claire Loder gives some sculpting tips and shares a couple of techniques from two ceramic sculptors.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor. 

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Support Systems: What it Takes to Make Lightweight Wheel Thrown, Altered, and Assembled Ceramic Sculptures

Posted On August 14, 2013 2 Comments

Making thin, curved walls out of clay requires support throughout the process. In today’s post, Wouter Dam explains how he uses foam swimming pool floats for
support during construction, and customized clay supports to get the pieces through the firing.

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Making Delicate Porcelain Sculpture with Porcelain Slip and Flaxed Paper Clay

Posted On May 8, 2013 6 Comments

Helen Gilmour is interested in the relationships between traditional crafts. So she decided to make traditional pottery forms – like teapots and bowls – that look like they are knitted. The result is a form that at first glance appears soft, but on closer examination has the fired strength of porcelain. In today’s post, Helen explains the process she came up with to make these delicate looking vessels. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Tips for Making Multiples for Ceramic Wall Sculptures

Posted On October 31, 2012 2 Comments

We have one of Lars Westby’s platters hanging here in our office (acquired as a Ceramic Monthly Purchase Award from the Strictly Functional Pottery National a few years back), and I love it. I keep lobbying to have it moved closer to my office (to no avail). Anyway, when we got it, I added ceramic wall pieces to my list of things I want to experiment with in the studio. Like many things, making ceramic wall pieces got pushed to the back burner, but now that I have seen Lars’ article in the December 2012 issue of Ceramics Monthly, I have a renewed interest. In today’s post, Lars explains how he makes his sculptural platters. 

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Making Plaster Press Molds Using Styrofoam as a Building Block

Posted On October 17, 2012 6 Comments

I realized that we were really due for a sculpture post here on CAD, so today I am featuring the work of Christie Brown. This post doesn’t only pertain to sculpture though. Christie’s techniques could easily be adapted for functional work. In today’s post, an excerpt from Ceramics and the Human Figure, Edith Garcia explains Christie’s how Christie makes her molds from Styrofoam models and then press molds and assembles her work.

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Clay on the Wall: An Introduction to Hanging Ceramic Wall Pieces

Posted On August 8, 2012 11 Comments

Today, in an excerpt from her new book Wall Pieces, Dominique Bivar Segurado goes over several materials and methods for hanging ceramic wall art.

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Coil Building Expressive Ceramic Sculpture

Posted On July 11, 2012 4 Comments

Ceramic sculptor Arthur Gonzalez was trained as a photorealist painter, but grew to dislike the control and predictability of that genre. So it is no surprise that when he discovered ceramics (not exactly known for its predictability!) he became hooked. He explains, “I can instantly materialize a thought and then destroy it if it does not deliver what I need.” This immediacy satisfies a love of exploration. In today’s post, Arthur explains how he approaches his coil-built figurative clay sculpture. 

Finished wheel-thrown, altered and carved sculpture by Jennifer McCurdy.

Testing the Limits of Porcelain in Wheel Thrown, Altered and Carved Sculptures

Posted On January 21, 2011 72 Comments

Jennifer McCurdy has been working with porcelain for over twenty five years and for the last several years, she has been really putting it to the test structurally. She has been experimenting with how thin high fire porcelain can be before it collapses in the kiln and how much can it be cut away and still maintain structural integrity? The results of these experiments are stunning sculptures that reflect the movement of the potter’s wheel and the fire of the kiln. Today, Jennifer demonstrates her techniques from the initial thrown form to the lighter-than-air finished piece.