IMAGE: A Ceramic Show of Decalcomania

Curated by Dan Anderson and Ted Vogel

April 4th – May 31th

Opening: Friday, April 4th 2014 beginning at 6pm
Reception: Friday, May 2nd 2014


Aaron Nelson, Andy Brayman, Ayumi Horie, Brian R. Jones, Chris Antemann, Dan Anderson, Jeff Irwin, Julie Guyot, Justin Rothshank, Lesley Baker, Mitchell Spain, Richard Shaw, Rimas VisGirda, Robert Harrison & Victoria Christen

Aaron-Nelson-himselfGraduating from Emily Carr University, Aaron Nelson moved to Chicago to establish a studio practice. After leaving Chicago he established studios in Vancouver, Victoria, and Montana and is now currently residing in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Currently Aaron is working with experimental, highly translucent soft paste porcelain that matures at an extremely low temperature. His interest in this new material, for which there are few historical precedents, grows out of a concern for the environment and reducing the carbon footprint of his practice. With his new porcelain body, he is able to marry the gesture, spontaneity and aesthetics of hand made ceramics with material a generally associated with industrial ceramics or glass.

He is intrigued by the capacity of ceramics to act as an aesthetic placeholders of style,while addressing concerns that are much more technological and global in scope.

Aaron Nelson has taught art in a variety of contexts and brought his enthusiasm and passion to many different learning situations. In addition, he has taught technical workshops on topics such as glaze chemistry, kiln building, mold making, and wheel throwing in both the US and Canada.

Presently Aaron is the Artistic Director at Medalta in Medicine Hat Alberta. This position has allowed him to develop relationships with a regional, national and  international community of makers, and thus contextualize the diversity of contemporary approaches to ceramic practice.

In addition to his work as an arts administrator, consultant and technical educator, Aaron also maintains an active studio practice. Currently his studio research focuses on the intersection of digital technology and traditional ceramic practice. He recently received a Canada Council grant in order to present these investigations in an exhibition entitled Conductivity.

More about Aaron Nelson

andy-brayman-himselfAndy Brayman holds a BA in sociology and a BFA from the University of Kansas (1996) and an MFA in ceramics from Alfred University (1998).  His work is a combination of traditional craft, industrial processes, and contemporary art strategies.  At their best, his pots demonstrate an object’s potential to be both beautiful and cerebral.  In 2005, Andy founded The Matter Factory in Kansas City.  It is part artist studio, part laboratory, and part factory.  In addition to producing objects of his design, the company contains a collaborative element.  Guest designers and artists are invited to develop objects for production that might otherwise have trouble finding an eager manufacturer.

More about  Andy Brayman


ayumi-horie-herselfAyumi Horie grew up in the 1970’s in Maine in an old mill town where huge brick factories lined the river. She learned to love working with her hands early on as her Japanese family fished, gardened, cooked, and often visited the beach. She learned about the materiality of the world through explorations in both the woods and in old attics where antiques were piled high. Her hand-eye coordination developed through many hours spent playing ball games, mini-golf, and Atari. The refrigerator was always crammed full of food and the table laid with dozens of Corningware dishes loaded with everything from sushi to apple pie. With a childhood like this, it’s only natural that Ayumi grew up to become a potter.

Ayumi received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, her B.F.A. in ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and her M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Washington.

Ayumi works as a studio potter in Portland, Maine. She has taught workshops and given lectures at many universities, art centers and residencies in the U.S. and abroad, including the Archie Bray Foundation, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Greenwich House Pottery, Penland School of Crafts, Peter’s Valley, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the Northern Clay Center, and the International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark . She served on the board of directors at the Archie Bray Foundation for nine years, where she was a resident for two years between 1996 and 1998, and is now on the board of the American Craft Council. Her work is in various collections throughout the US, including the Museum of Art and Design in New York City.

In the fall of 2008, Ayumi curated and organized Obamaware, a fundraiser involving the work of 27 nationally known ceramic artists who made Obama-themed work specifically for the event. Put together in five short weeks, the three day auction held at the end of October, just before the election, raised $10,843.54 for the Obama/Biden campaign. In 2011, just after the Great East Japan earthquake, she co-founded Handmade For Japan which to date has raised over $102,000 for diaster relief in Japan.

More about Ayumi Horie  

brian-jones-himselfMy current work lies in my interest in the investigation of the transformative character of memories. In particular, I am thinking of pots that belonged to my grandmother. A remembrance of a jar, cup, and plate serves as the point of departure for contemplation of form, color, and tone. The nature of how a pot reveals itself over time to an audience is the long echo of that initial reverie. The pot is both a reservoir and an initiator of memories.

The convention that a pot is “complete” after it has been fired is something that I am working to subvert by the addition of other materials following the glaze firing. Ways of questioning a pot’s function, both as an object and a narrative element, naturally arise as different materials are composed to create new layers. This juxtaposition complicates the reading of the work, slowing the comprehension and experience of what may appear to be a simple object. The pot’s domestic surroundings, the casual way in which it is constructed, and its surface against that of another material give the work a constructed and contemplative significance that will divulge its identity over time.

More about Brian R. Jones  

chris-antemann-herselfChris earned her M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Minnesota and her B.F.A. in ceramics & painting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has exhibited extensively in the United States and China. Her work can be found in many private and public collections, including the Museum of Arts and Design, The 21 C. Hotel Museum, The KAMM Teapot Foundation, The Archie Bray Foundation, and the Foshan Ceramic Museum in China. Her artist residencies include The Archie Bray Foundation and The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, where she was the NEA funded resident.  IN 2010 she was the First Place Winner of the Virginia A. Groot Grant, a prestigious grant awarded to artists working in 3D to allow them time to further their work. Chris is currently working on a full room installation titled, Forbidden Fruit: A Porcelain Paradise in collaboration with the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory in Germany.

Inspired by 18th C. porcelain figurines, Chris Antemann’s work employs a unity of design and concept to simultaneously examine and parody male and female relationship roles. Characters, themes and incidents build upon each other, effectively forming their own language that speaks about domestic rites, social etiquette, and taboos. Themes from the classics and the romantics are given a contemporary edge; elaborate dinner parties, picnic luncheons and ornamental gardens set the stage for her twisted tales to unfold.

The pieces Chris is making in the Meissen Art Campus use the literary technique of a frame narrative, a story within a story, to build relationships and create layers of information between the sculptural aspects and the painted surfaces. The main story is presented in the guise of the 18th century porcelain figurine as a context, which frames a parody or second narrative between the sculpted characters. Other stories and in many cases, the sources of inspiration for the piece are painted into the scene in elaborate detail.

More about Chris Antemann 

dan-anderson-himselfDan Anderson is currently a full-time studio artist following 32 years of teaching ceramics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (1970-2002). Anderson received his BS degree in art education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and his MFA degree in ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a NEA individual artist fellowship recipient plus he has been awarded six artist fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council. An avid wood firing enthusiast, he has his own anagama kiln at his Old Poag Road Clay and Glass studio/home, where he now spends 100% of his time.

More about Dan Anderson

Dan Anderson on the interweb 

jeff-irwin-himselfThis body of work is motivated by an appreciation for nature and all that it gives us.

I often use imagery and symbols that speak to the manipulation of nature by human forces and our need to idealize that manipulation through dominance and control.  My work explores the struggle in finding balance between our needs and those of the natural environment.

When working on ideas for pieces, I look for contradiction, irony, beauty, and humor in the world that surrounds me.  I take notice of how we impact the natural world and how we interpret that impact.

This body of work utilizes commercial ceramic tiles and commercial plates as surfaces to apply laser toner transfers and scraffito technique drawings with black glaze.  These two technigues are reminiscent of old sepia photographs and engravings. The plate stands are hand built or cast from earthenware clay, carved and then glazed.

More about Jeff Irwin 

julie-guyot-herselfJulie Guyot grew up among the cornfields in rural Illinois. She graduated with her BFA in ceramics from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1994 and her MFA in studio art from Florida State University in 2008.

She is a full-time studio artist and resides in Tallahassee Florida with her husband, Clayton and her dog, Lucy.

More about Julie Guyot 

Justin-rothshank-himselfJustin Rothshank has been working as a studio ceramic artist in Goshen, Indiana since 2009. In 2001 he co-founded the Union Project, a nonprofit organization located in Pittsburgh, PA.

Justin’s ceramic work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally, including articles in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Studio Potter, The Log Book, and Neue Keramik. He has been a presenter, panelist, visiting artist, and artist-in-residence at numerous universities, schools, conferences, and art centers throughout the United States and abroad. His functional and decorative ceramic ware is available for purchase in more than two dozen galleries and gift shops around the country.

Justin was presented with an Award of Excellence by the American Craft Council in February 2009. In 2007 he was recognized by Ceramics Monthly Magazine as an Emerging Artist. He has also been awarded an Alcoa Foundation Leadership Grant for Arts Managers, a 2007 Work of Art Award from Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, the 2005 Decade of Servant Leadership Award from Goshen College, and was named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2005.

More about Justin Rothshank 

Lesley Baker is an Associate Professor at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis and has also taught at UC Berkeley and the California College of the Arts. She earned her MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000. She has participated in numerous artist residencies, including the Archie Bray Foundation, the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Residency and the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark. Her work has also been published in numerous books including The Yixing Effect and The Best of 500 Ceramics and the newest edition of Ceramics and Print.

More about Lesley Baker 

My work is about capturing the essence of used, repaired, and worn-out tools and materials. Using clay and the trompe l’oiel technique, I hypothetically “freeze” the material in time and preserve the character that it has accumulated from years of use, abuse, and repair. I often derive my ideas and subject matter from old farms, where there is an abundance of character-infused tools, wood, metal, and other objects. These farm tools get used over and over, repaired countless times; each knick or break in the tool or material has a story to tell. The notion that everything is used until its last leg is fascinating, and shows how inventiveness can come out of necessity to solve or fix a problem. It’s the small details of ingenuity, the creativeness and resourcefulness used, that I try to capture in my work. The tools and materials found at farms are also meaningful in a sense that, being from the Midwest, I have memories of going to the family farm, finding these dilapidated tools whose original purpose is long forgotten, and thinking of ways to encapsulate their presence in a modern setting. Most recently I have begun to explore the history of ceramics and its relationship to my work, incorporating blue and white imagery.

More about Mitchell Spain 

richard-shaw-himselfIn the world of contemporary ceramics, Richard Shaw is the master of trompe-l’oeil sculpture. He has developed an astonishing array of techniques, including perfectly cast porcelain objects and overglaze transfer decals. By combining the commonplace with the whimsical, the humorous with the mundane, Shaw captures the poetic and the surreal with the sensibility of a comedian.

Shaw is one of the most respected and collected artists in contemporary ceramics. He came out of the San Francisco Bay Area art scene in the late 1960′s and he continues to add to his skills and appropriate from mass culture. He has developed a vocabulary of found objects that form intimate still life sculptures, complex figures, and personally referential assemblages. He brings life to the detritus of the studio, as a cartoonist animates the page.

More about Richard Shaw 

rimas-visgirda-himselfMy work is influenced by the culture I live in, the machine age, the urban environment, the media, and fad and fashion. One of my fundamental beliefs is that experience affects everything one does; sometimes immediately and sometimes not until years later. In 1981 visited the Soviet Union as a guest of the USSR Union of Artists and have been to a number of symposia in Eastern Europe during the ensuing years. I find that humanity and the human condition have also entered my work as a result of those experiences. In the past I acted as an observer; now I feel more like a participant.

More about Rimas VisGirda 

 robert-harrison-himselfRobert Harrison holds both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Ceramics. He has taught Ceramics at the University level, and held administrative positions in Ceramic Programs both in Canada (the Banff Centre for the Arts) and the USA. He has served on the Board of NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) as President and the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana as President. Well known for his large scale architectural sculpture he continues to evolve and exhibit smaller scale studio works. His interests in history and world cultures have provided numerous opportunities to work and travel abroad. His work is represented in many public and private collections, nationally and internationally. In 2001 he was elected to the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) based in  Geneva, Switzerland. In 2007 he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) and in 2008 was awarded the Meloy Stevenson Award of Excellence from the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts. In 2010 Robert was a founding member of the World Association of Brick Artists (WABA) and in 2011 Robert was honored as a Fellow of the NCECA Council. His book Sustainable Ceramics: A Practical Guide published by Bloomsbury (London) and the American Ceramic Society (Ohio) debuted in the fall of 2013.

More about Robert Harrison 

ted-vogel-himselfTed Vogel is Associate Professor of Art  and has taught ceramics at Lewis & Clark College since 1994. He received his MFA in Ceramic Sculpture from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a BFA in Ceramics from the University of South Dakota.

In addition to his teaching at Lewis & Clark College, Ted has taught workshops nationally, including Penland School for Arts and Crafts, Anderson Ranch Center for the Arts, the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, the Mendocino Art Center and has served as a visiting artist at numerous colleges, universities and art centers. Ted was the recipient of a residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana, the Watershed Ceramic Center in Maine and in 2006, was a resident artist at the Zentrum fur Keramics in Berlin and a visiting artist at the College of Art & Design in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to coming to the Archie Bray Foundation, Ted served as Gallery Director and Ceramics Program Coordinator at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities in Colorado.

In 1996, he was invited to participate in a yearlong glass residency at the internationally recognized Bullseye Glass in Portland, Oregon. Following that tenure Ted has often incorporated glass, clay, cast iron and digital imagery into his art-making vocabulary. His work is exhibited widely and is held in numerous public and private collections and is published in numerous books and ceramics publications.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts for several years and was a on-site co-coordinator of the 2006 NCECA Conference in Portland, Oregon. This international conference hosted over 4900 educators, scholars and artists in attendance.

Ted Vogel is one of the founding developers of a growing collection of images of contemporary ceramics by recognized artists.  Arts educators, students, artists, scholars, curators and the general public use this on-line project worldwide. Currently this site has grown to over 375 national and international artists. is organized by the Watzek Library and the Art Department of Lewis & Clark College. The website has received a “NITLE Instructional Innovation Fund Grant” in 2008, and most currently is the recipient of an “National Endowment for the Art 2009 Grant Award: Access to Artistic Excellence”

More about Ted Vogel 

 victoria-christen-herselfVictoria Christen lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is a full-time studio potter. She has been a resident artist at Guldagaard, the International Ceramics Research Center in Denmark and the Archie Bray Foundation, in Montana. She has given many workshops across the United States. Victoria has been the recipient of an NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship Award, two Minnesota Arts Board Grants, and a travel grant to Japan.

More about Victoria Christen 

Curator’s Statement

Using decals to decorate ceramics dates to about 1750, when Frenchman Simon François Ravenet perfected a means of transferring engraved images from copper etchings onto tissue paper and then onto greenware or bisqueware. This technique eventually gave way to lithographic decals, which in turn gave way to silk-screened transfers onto water-mount decal paper. Since the 1960s, when I started making and applying decals, technology has advanced rapidly, especially with the recent introduction of commercial laser printers whose four-color, enamel toners can be dedicated exclusively to printing glass and ceramic decals. During an undergraduate art history course in 1965, I remember seeing a 6th century BCE Greek amphora depicting scenes from everyday life (weddings, funerals, parades, etc.). These narratives, all hand painted by the potter, allowed archaeologists and historians to glean a great deal of knowledge about ancient Greek culture. Similarly, when I observed Anasazi Mimbres bowls at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the scenes of daily life on their interiors blew my mind. They are still my favorite historic narrative vessels for their combination of brilliant artistry and imaginative storytelling (hunting, farming, childbirth, etc.) in such a sophisticated manner (1100-1150 CE). Most of the decals I have applied to ceramic surfaces continue the process of documenting on clay. In my case, the decals tell stories of our American culture at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries. Each of the artists co-curator Ted Vogel and I have invited to exhibit in “Image: A Ceramic Show of Decalcomania” at the Eutectic Gallery in Portland, Oregon, approaches the use of decals on clay in his or her own distinctive way. Some use the decal as decoration, others employ the decal conceptually, and some use the decal as metaphor. Regardless of how the decals are utilized on their contemporary clay surfaces, they afford the viewer a glimpse into each artist’s creative thought process.Dan Anderson & Ted Vogel