Eutectic Gallery Combines Classic Japanese Wood Fired Ceramics with Contemporary Wood-fired Work from the Pacific Northwest for “Stoked”
Featuring the Work of More Than 50 Ceramic Artists, Including Three Visiting Artists from Japan
Eutectic Gallery, Portland’s only all ceramic art gallery, honors the ancient Japanese traditions of wood-fired ceramics and the influence they have had on wood-fire artists from Pacific Northwest, with its’ February/March show, “Stoked.” The show opens with a public reception on Friday February 6th, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM, and will feature the work of over 50 artists from the Pacific Northwest, and three special guest artists from the Tamba Pottery in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Masafumi Onishi, and Yuki Ogami, will travel from Japan to be present during the opening.
Curators Brett Binford and Stephen Mickey used “Stoked” as a vehicle to investigate the similarities and differences between the wood-fired kilns in two regions of the Pacific: the Pacific Northwestern United States and the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. The techniques for firing these kilns date back to the 5th century, when the process made it’s way from China to Japan, and centuries later to the Pacific Northwest. The natural landscape, abundance of wood for fuel, and plentiful deposits of clay throughout the region, have made it easy for contemporary wood fired kilns to take root in the local clay communities.
The pottery of Tamba, known as “Tambayaki,” has an elegant simplicity and understated beauty resonating from its calm simple lines. The hues of Tambayaki are drawn from the iron bearing clay by the flames of traditional Anagama and the Noborigama (kilns). The colors range from stunning reds, to earthen oranges and browns, and even dark sooty black. The melted ash that settles on the pottery in the process adds a glassy green highlight to the work.
Each kiln has its’ own distinct qualities and attributes, as does the work from the community of artists that fills and provides the labor needed to fire the kiln. They work together over two to eight days, cutting and chopping wood, loading the giant kilns, continuously stoking the flames to bring them to temperatures exceeding 2400℉, and finally unloading them to reveal how each piece interacted within the kiln atmosphere.
Emerging Clay: Kansas City
March 6 – 21 in Eutectic’s Back Room
Jordan Pieper, current BFA student at Oregon College of Art and Craft curates an exhibition of work by three artists that he met during his semester at Kansas City Art Institute in Spring 2014, through the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) Mobility exchange program. Jordan met fellow ceramic artists Melanie Sherman, Joey Watson and Chase Travaille and found inspiration in the unique visual language each of them has developed. Curated exclusively for Eutectic’s Back Room, drop in March 6 – 21 to see the work of these talented emerging artists.
Melanie Sherman was born in Germany and currently resides and works in Kansas City, Missouri. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute. Her background is in graphic design, where she developed an eye for pattern and decoration. In her ceramics she combines her love for ornamentation and her fascination with the history of ceramics, referencing 18th century European porcelain.
Melanie has travelled to Asia and Europe to explore ancient and contemporary porcelain production of the East and the instilled taste for prestigious white and translucent table wares of the West. She has been a resident at the International Ceramics Studio in Kesckemét, Hungary where she studied with the renowned Latvian artist Ilona Romule and deepened her love for designing with plaster and detailed china-painting. She was also a resident at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, where she developed her own designs with skilled local craftsman into a new body of work, exploring the relationship between the cultures, and how they continue to connect and influence each other through the ceramic arts.
Melanie has exhibited her work internationally, including Hungary, Canada and America. She was awarded the 2014 Regina Brown Undergraduate Fellowship from the National Council for Education of the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and the 2014 Windgate Fellowship Award by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design.
Chase Travaille was born in Leesville, Louisiana and was raised in Sherwood, Arkansas. His background in the South inspires the majority of his work, ranging from collage, painting, and ceramics. Chase moved to Kansas City to attend the Kansas City Art Institute for his bachelors of Fine Arts in 2011. He’s held lectures at the liberal arts college, Hendrix, in Conway Arkansas, based on his work and his decision to further a career in fine art. He received the Red Socks grant for his mixed media work titled Beasts of Burden in 2014 and was awarded the Ken Ferguson Scholarship in 2013 and 2014.
Joey Watson was born and raised in the arid Sonoran Desert and became engaged in the visual splendor of the region early on in his life. Mountains carved through time by erosion and the unique plant and animal life all influenced his young mind. He is a recent graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute, with a BFA in ceramics and is currently a Charlotte Street Foundation studio resident for the 2014-15 term. Joey was awarded a 2014 Regina Brown Undergraduate Fellowship last year, that allowed him to travel to NYC to research ancient and contemporary ritual implements.