The two mugs (they're actually tea bowls. I don't like handles, personally.) that I go for the most were made by Simon Levin and Sunshine Cobb. The Simon Levin piece is a simple wood fired piece with vertical ribbing on the body of the mug. Most of the glaze patterning was caused by the flame during the firing rather than being intentionally applied by the artist. The Sunshine Cobb piece is a light green glaze applied to a dark clay body with some stamping in the clay giving an overall texture to the piece. This piece was fired to cone 4 and then sand blasted on the outside, giving the exterior glaze a matte finish and revealing more of the clay body while the interior glaze remains shiny. What I love about these pieces is that, while they are simple, there is still a lot of information contained in the piece. There is information in the texture of the clay, the contrasting feel of the glazed surfaces, and the uniqueness of each foot. Even after using these pieces so many times, I still find them interesting.
There is a strong trend in ceramics these days to employ a lot of color, imagery and multiple layers of detail by employing things like decals and china paints. I've been looking at the work of Julie Mehretu, Courtney Murphy, Lisa Pedolsky, Peter Pincus, and Grace Sheese. I really like the way that these artist include a lot of information in their work, often by employing several layers of information, but it is true that they are not working in a manner similar to that of Sunshine Cobb and Simon Levin. My next goal for my ceramics class is to make a series of tiles that will allow me to explore the possibility of layering information and imagery in my work. It will be a good experiment, but it is true that it is definitely a different direction for me. Guess we'll see how this experiment goes :)
My latest ceramics project is in the bisque kiln and should be glaze fired within the next week or so, except for the pieces that are headed to the wood kiln, which is in three weeks. I've also been exploring some of my oval forms via the medium of charcoal drawing. My instructor taught me to use layers of charcoal in my drawing, erasing each layer before adding a new one, creating a more luminescent looking black. I've completed one large (22" x 30") picture and am starting on the next one with a goal of completing four of this size.