Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brian Benfer-Visiting Faculty

Ohio University Ceramics Department
is pleased to have with us this fall and winter quarters,
Brian Benfer.These pieces are from his Industrial Ceramics Series. From his website:

industrial ceramics have enabled me a continued participation in what i view as being the most significant traditional aspect of the discipline: the fire. through the medieval wood-fired process, the residual provides an object that has undergone an experiential transformation of both heat and fire. it provokes an interesting dialogue between the “old” and the “new” by presenting an honest focus on elements of the fire without creating a “pallet” (i.e. object)—thus challenging the intentions of the makers in utilizing a process serving to beautify a static object. i have found this transformation to be better understood, visually, by utilizing an everyday, recognizable object. the work entertains multiple conversations including contemporary wood-fired ceramics, asian aesthetics, duchamp/dada and the tea ceremony. for that reason i have focused primarily on porcelain bathroom furniture, revisiting historical associations involving vessels containing liquid.

a second aspect of the series deals the kiln’s/fire’s role change from being primarily surface-oriented to that of “maker.” while unearthing shards of thermal expansion, other considerations were revealed. among them were those of environmental consciousness—implications of recycling the excess material via reassembly versus discarding them—archeological associations—an homage to the work of the museum conservator—and last, considerations of historical eastern practices—the filling of exposed cracks with gold.

Brian's work on Access Ceramics and ArtAxis

Also check out his article
"Documenting Fire" by Dawn Pedula
in the latest copy of Ceramics Technical, No. 31, Vol.16, Issue 2

The crucibles shown in the first image were included in the Ohio Univeristy Ceramics Invitational 2010.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

left overs and random bits

Here are a few choice shots taken during the symposium that just didn't seem to fit in anywhere else...thanks again to all our amazing photographers.

Bobby hard at work

Peeps on the Green Monster
Ben and Bryce at Logan Clay
The Department at Night

Woodfiring Symposium-OU National Ceramics Invitational Exhibition Part 2

Many Thanks to Trisolini Gallery, and Petra Kralickova. As well as my co-curators, Natalie Tornatore, and Eleanor Harper, and co conspirator, James Tingey.
Also included in the show were Russ Wrankle, and Brian Harper.
Patrick Houston, who also attended the symposium.
Missy McCormick and Josh Copus.
Lindsay Oesteritter
Matt Hyleck
Birdie Boone
Brain Benfer

Woodfiring Symposium-OU National Ceramics Invitational Exhibition

In conjunction with the Woodfiring Symposium we hosted a National Invitational Ceramics Exhibition in Trisolini Gallery which ran from July through October.
Pictured above is Sam Hoffman.
Dennis Sipiorski of Louisiana, a great potter and elvis impersonator.

Kurt Anderson, Lidded Jar.
The Blog-Father himself, Micheal Kline of North Carolina sent us this amazing pot.
Dan Anderson
Cary Hulin of Holmes County Pottery in Ohio.
McKenzie Smith
Michael Hunt and Naomi Diaglish
Ryan Greenheck

Brenda Lichmann
I had to include two images of Mary Louise Carters teapot,
so you could see the locking lid system.

Brian Deietrle
Tara Wilson
Adam Posnak

Woodfiring Symposium-Logan Clay Field Trip

While the kilns were cooling, we all took a trip over to Logan Ohio, to get a tour of the Logan Clay Plant. Logan Clay is one of the last remaining ceramic sewer pipe factories in the country. We used some of their clay which is mined in nearby Perry County during the symposium. It is an orange-greenish clay with high iron content, it looked beautiful in the reduction cooled train kiln. The above picture is the grinding machine where they process the raw clay.
This is the largest tube kiln at Logan Clay, this kiln hasn't operated in several years, due to high energy prices. Most of the sewer pipes are fired in Beehive Kilns outside. Our tour guide told us that occasionally a pipe will tip off of the car bed (see below) and drag against the wall. Highly sensitive machinery can detect the drag, and a worker is suited up in a silver suit and sent into the firing kiln with a shot gun to shoot the fallen pipe... completely crazy.
these are the cars for the tube kiln...you can see several racks of drying pipes in the background.
A list of retired workers painted on a warehouse beam.
This the yard where they store finished pipes. The beehive kilns are the black roofs in the background. Most of the pipes made here go to big cities (New York, Chicago) which have old infrastructures. A PVC pipe will last about 75 years, while a ceramic pipe lasts about 200.
Here is Bryce in the Drying room, which was completely packed with green ware, it was like a forest of clay trees.
This is the extruder used to make the pipes, which were under such huge amounts of pressure that they come out steaming...again, completely crazy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010