2021 Emerging Artist: Antonio Martinez

Antonio Martinez, Cochran, Georgia

Ceramics Monthly: What is the most challenging aspect of working in clay?

Antonio Martinez: The most challenging aspect of working in clay in terms of building a career has been feeling confident with my work and being consistent. Once I knew I really wanted to pursue this career, I realized I had to be active in getting my work out of my studio and outside of my community. To achieve this, I set goals and made lists of opportunities each year. A lot of those opportunities I had missed because I never felt that my work was ready to be shown. Especially in graduate school, I hardly exhibited my work because of a lack of confidence in what I was making. My ideas were all over the place, since I wanted to avoid getting stuck in making objects that were comfortable. Stepping away from functional ceramics for a while allowed me to approach it with a new perspective on form. Once I started to gain that confidence and exhibit more frequently, additional opportunities started to open up. 

1 Pouring vessel, 12 in. (30 cm) in height, wheel-thrown ceramic, fired to cone 10 in reduction, 2020.

2 Large flask, 14 in. (36 cm) in height, wheel-thrown and slab-built ceramic, fired to cone 10 in reduction, 2020.

CM: What excites you about the field of ceramics?

AM: What excites me the most about the field is its diversity in new up-and-coming artists. I really enjoy seeing the narratives that people from different backgrounds bring to the medium. Diversity is an integral part in pushing our field and allowing it to evolve. I think we as a field have really been proactive in creating equity and inclusion, but we can always continue to improve.

To learn more, visit www.antoniomartinezceramics.com.

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