Vapor Trails, 14 in. (36 cm) in diameter, high alumina porcelain, flashing slips  and equisetum (horsetail plant), soda vapor fired with gas to cone 10, reduction cooled.

Vapor Trails, 14 in. (36 cm) in diameter, high alumina porcelain, flashing slips and equisetum (horsetail plant), soda vapor fired with gas to cone 10, reduction cooled.

Samuel Hoffman  Corvallis, Oregon

I am interested more in artistic exploration than expression; my work is primarily motivated by curiosity about the nature of clay and fire. My passion for ceramics is influenced by a background in mathematics, chemistry, and astronomy, and I enjoy using the scientific method of inquiry when experimenting with materials and firings. But I also employ risk and chance as allies in my creative process, an artistic balance that lies somewhere between alchemy and science. 

Orbital, 17 in. (43 cm) in diameter, high alumina porcelain, flashing slips and oxides, soda vapor fired with gas to cone 10, reduction cooled.

Orbital, 17 in. (43 cm) in diameter, high alumina porcelain, flashing slips and oxides, soda vapor fired with gas to cone 10, reduction cooled.

In my recent work, I have been using the round plate form as a kind of lens, much like that of a telescope or microscope. The concave interior surface of a platter becomes an ideal canvas on which to explore. When fired in wood and vapor kilns, subtle changes in the shape of a piece can influence how flames move over the clay and, consequently, how it is colored and textured. I am excited by the possibilities of combining intentional marks with the serendipitous glaze effects from the fire. By manipulating the two-dimensional surfaces of a three-dimensional form, I hope to create an illusion of depth, be it celestial or cellular, that goes beyond the piece it


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


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