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Ceramic Handbuilding Video: Get Into the Artist’s Head – An Interview with Ceramic Sculptor Tom Bartel

Today we are trying something a little different with our video of the week. We are featuring an interview with ceramic sculptor Tom Bartel, who is exhibiting his new body of work at Sherrie Gallerie in Columbus, Ohio. The interview also features a short demonstration of Tom’s handbuilding techniques. We thought this would be a great way to not only let those outside of the Central Ohio area experience this fantastic exhibition, but also, to get to know the artist, his motivations and processes. Hope you enjoy it! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
In addition to what is covered in the video, we have included some more information on Tom’s processes and some of his glaze recipes as a free download below.

The video interview of ceramic artist Tom Bartel was filmed during his opening reception at Sherrie Gallerie, in Columbus, Ohio. Tom, known internationally for his figurative pieces, introduced his new body of work for this exhibition- simplifying the figure to just the head, and concentrating on expression and surface.
“Tom Bartel: Heads” will be on display through September 30 at Sherrie Gallerie. To view the works from this exhibition visit www.sherriegallerie.com.
The video was filmed by Reel Buckeye Productions, Columbus, Ohio. Visit www.reelbuckeye.com.

Tom was featured in the June/July/August 2005 issue of Ceramics Monthly magazine. The following was excerpted from that article. To read the entire article, visit the Ceramics Monthly Archive Vault
More on Process
My techniques are quite simple and low tech. I make coil-built and pinched forms-things we learned in grade school. There are obvious connections between the body and pots, and I manipulate the volume of my figures much like a vessel. I apply vitreous engobes, terra sigillata and a few glazes to leather-hard clay.

The engobe is fired to Cone 02. Then black copper or other oxide washes are applied, and the piece is again fired to Cone 02. I often fire and refire until the desired effect is achieved or the piece is destroyed. Many unexpected things occur during the firing process that I enjoy being challenged by . . . these things sometimes take my ideas/process to unexpected places.
More about Sherrie Gallerie
Sherrie Riley Hawk opened her first gallery in 1986, in the Short North Arts District of Columbus, Ohio. The Riley Hawk Gallery became one of the nation’s premier galleries specializing in glass art and sculpture. In 2004, Sherrie opened a new gallery committed to exhibiting contemporary ceramics. The mission of the gallery is to connect the collector to what the artist is expressing, while educating each other in the process and enjoying the pleasure art brings us.
Attention artists and gallery owners!
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