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IN THE ELLEN NELSON GALLERY

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR THE FIRE:

Makers of Wood-Fired Ceramics

and Selections from their Collections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 17-October 30

Opening Reception

Friday, September 17, 6:30-8:30 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood-fired Ceramics by

John Balistreri  --  Mark Goertzen

Cary Hulin  --  Eva Kwong

Dick Lehman  --  Kirk Mangus

Mark Nafziger  --  Luke Sheets

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cary Hulin

Teapot

 

 

 

 

Eva Kwong

Buckeye Immortal Peach - A

 

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Balistreri

Pot

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Nafziger

Square Pine Bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirk Mangus

Jack Pot

 

 

 

 

Dick Lehman

#1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curator's Statement

 

 

 

 

Making and collecting go hand-in-hand because artists need input to help stimulate their output. What is it about these pieces that inspire these wood-fire artists enough to bring this work into their homes to interact with on a daily basis?

 

“For the Fire” shows the work of several prominent ceramic artists along with a piece from each of their personal collections. All of the artists in the exhibition work with wood-fired kilns and live or work between I-80/90 and US Route 30. In the west, Dick Lehman and Mark Goertzen operate the Lehman-Goertzen studio in Goshen, Indiana and fire in Mark’s kiln in Michigan. Mark Nafziger of Brush Creek Pottery is resident potter at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio. John Balistreri is Professor of Art in Ceramics and head of the 3D studios at Bowling Green State University. Cary Hulin runs the Holmes County Pottery in Big Prairie, Ohio, firing one of the largest wood-kilns in Ohio. And, finally, ending in the east, Kirk Mangus, Professor of Art, and Eva Kwong, adjunct faculty, are both internationally-renowned artists who teach at Kent State University.

 

One of the goals of this exhibit is to showcase the tremendous variety within the wood-fire aesthetic as not all wood-fired pots are the same. In fact, though most fired ceramics today is fired with either gas or electric, the vast majority of historic ceramic work was fired with wood. Only after petroleum-based fuels and electric kilns became cheaply available did wood stop being the fuel of choice.

 

Then, in the 1960’s, Japanese potters began relearning the use of more primitive wood-fueled kilns to recapture the look of the older historic pottery they admired. These kilns did not protect the pieces from the flying ash given off by the burning wood, as the more modern designed wood-fueled kilns did, but allowed it to change the surface of the pieces. This interaction between ash and piece is the basis of the current “wood-fired” aesthetic and what distinguishes wood-fired work from work fired in kilns using other fuels. This exhibition helps to show the variety of surfaces and finishes possible in the various wood-fired kilns commonly used today.

 

Beyond exhibiting the work of these artists, this exhibition also invites you into their homes, as it were, to experience a sampling of the art that inspires them and has contributed to the work they create. Whether it’s the first piece the artist collected or the work of a dear friend, these pieces these pieces all serve to inspire.

 

Luke Sheets