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Haakon Lenzi, Undergraduate Showcase 2010

Posted By Ceramics Monthly On August 10, 2010 @ 10:10 am In Ceramic Artists,Ceramics Monthly | 6 Comments

Lidded jar, 18 in. (46 cm) in height, stoneware with colored slip and glaze, soda fired to cone 10 in oxidation, 2010. Photo: Mike Fleming.

Lidded Jar, 18 in. (46 cm) in height, stoneware with colored slip and glaze, soda fired to cone 10 in oxidation, 2010. Photo: Mike Fleming.

Haakon Lenzi

New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. Instructors: Andrea Gill, Kala Stein


CM: What is your procedure for creating the surface of this piece?


My process itself embodies the concept of festina lente, which translates to hurry slowly. Layering colored slip involves attention to timing and a great deal of patience. I often begin with a coating of black or colored slip, followed by a layer of white slip, and then more colored slip. The time-consuming act of layering slip is offset by the speed with which I make patterns in the slip. Wax resist provides me with a line quality that is fast, loose, and gestural. After the wax is applied, it is left to dry before the surface is wiped down with a sponge, leaving the slip under the wax and erasing the excess, producing an effect similar to etching or relief. The wax resist process is repeated with glaze after the bisque firing. The work is then fired in a downdraft cone 10 oxidation soda kiln. The soda ash is introduced unevenly, accentuating the atmospheric quality of soda firing.


Working within the realm of functional pottery, I feel the need to be attentive to both its history and its role in society. Drawing from antiquity, I employ familiar themes such as latticing and arches, so that my work may open a dialog between all cultures. Rather than making a historical document, I strive to create objects that embrace as well as expand on tradition.


To see more of Haakon Lenzi’s work, visit his blog at http://Haakonlenzi-ceramics.blogspot.com.


This article appeared in Ceramics Monthly magazine’s September 2010 issue. To get great content like this delivered right to your door, subscribe today!

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