Alchemy: From Dust to Form at UF's Harn Museum

The University of Florida's Harn Museum is currently hosting Alchemy: From Dust to Form. This show of 50 works covers functional pots, sculpture, and installation work from emerging and established ceramic artists. The exhibition coincides with this years NCECA conference and the UF preconference Creating Meaning. The show has an excellent online catalog. Check it out here or visit in person until September. I'm looking forward to seeing it when I visit in a few weeks.

Here are a few highlights:

Jennifer Allen  Oil and Vinegar Cruets

2010 – Porcelain 
Fired cone 10 reduction
6.5 x 13 x 6 inches

Modest volumes and tailored profiles transition into generous knobs and ruffled edges. Details such as folds, seams, darts, dimples and pleats record the hand’s process of making as they relate to my love of fabric. The exterior surface contains patterning inspired by a fondness of textile design. I glean from post WWII textiles, Arts and Crafts Era designs and Edo period kimono fabrics as sources that historically honor and celebrate everyday life.

Amanda Small    Zoetics

2008 – Porcelain, slip, fiberglass, insulation foam, resin, digital imagery, vinyl
Dimensions Variable

Technology allows us intimate views of otherwise invisible worlds. Our relationship with nature is vastly explored and exploited through this technology. Access to inter-cellular landscapes offers elaborate glimpses of chimeric worlds. Delicate layers arranged in undulating patterns reference internal structures found in nature, biology, and plant life, and discuss the relationship between ourselves, our technology, and our subsequent experience of nature. I signify my ideas about a living web through metaphor, using sacred geometry, radials, and lattice patterns to reference architecture found within living structures. Repetitive patterns common in nature act as an allegory for a collective identity, and reference the inter-connectedness of living things. Parallel symmetries found beneath the surface of organisms suggest kinships beyond comprehension. Simultaneously, my employment of unfired clay and slip remind us that our own subjectivity and relationships are in flux.

Garth Johnson    Made in China 1

2010 – Porcelain
6 x 7 x 2 inches

The lure of porcelain has always been powerful, sparking dreams in consumers and makers alike. Seventeenth century Europeans also developed "Chinoiserie," a sort of ersatz "Chinese-esque" set of motifs based more on what Europeans thought Chinese decoration should look like, rather than what it actually looked like. The Chinese responded in kind, creating their own "authentic" Chinoiserie geared for export rather than domestic consumption.
Porcelain has always called to me. The stuff is finicky and hard to work with. It never does what you want it to: cracking, slumping, shirking off its glaze... yet as a material, is so incredibly beautiful that I keep swearing it off, yet crawling back to it like some ceramic Tammy Wynette. Porcelain has such a hold on me that I had to visit China. I wanted to find the source. This was made during a residency in Jingdezhen, China, as a response to the images and materials that surrounded me.

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