Emerging Artists 2015

Margaret Haden's Untitled, 14 in. (36 cm) in height, wheel-thrown porcelain, underglaze, layered glazes, fired to cone 6, hand-cut decals, gold luster, 2014.

 

All of us on the editorial staff look forward to seeing the emerging artists submissions each year. We’re consistently amazed by the variety and quality of the work that we have the opportunity to consider. This year’s winners, selected from over 300 submissions, demonstrate innovative work in a wide range of subgroups in our field from functional electric- and atmospheric-fired work to figurative and abstract sculpture and installation. Their techniques range from wheel throwing, pinch forming, slab building and slip casting, to sculpting with molten glaze and broken shards. Each one of these artists is exploring ideas and subjects that inspire and intrigue them. The resulting work shows their high level of engagement and investment, as well as the dedication and technical prowess needed to bring it all together. We congratulate each and every one of them on a job well done!


Theo Uliano, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

Uliano’s plates are well-explored sketches stretching from simple gestural mark making to narrative cityscapes to painterly abstractions. Each piece teeters on the line between function and sculpture, often inviting the user/viewer to group multiples together to recreate the moment Uliano was experiencing when he made them.

1 Plate #3, 14 in. (36 cm) in diameter, handbuilt earthenware, slip, glaze, gold luster, 2014.

2 Plate #8, 14 in. (36 cm) in diameter, handbuilt earthenware, slip, underglaze, underglaze pencil, glaze, platinum luster, 2014.

 


Matt Ziemke, Kearney, Nebraska

Ziemke deftly combines ceramic material and design. Fixating on construction landscapes, he stresses the use of industrial resources through two- and three-dimensional imagery. Ziemke makes no attempt to disguise the materiality of clay and glaze, allowing glaze drips and torn slab edges to work to his advantage.

1 Conglomerate No. 2, 23 in. (58 cm) in length, handbuilt low-fire earthenware, glazed ceramic, mixed media, 2012.

2 Proposed Depth Series: Overflow, 22 in. (56 cm) in height, handbuilt low-fire earthenware, glazed ceramic, aluminum leaf, vinyl, 2015.

 


Alex Thullen, Ferndale, Michigan

Thullen’s quiet, somewhat austere forms are extremely well crafted, with each element—from foot to rim or lid—considered and balanced. The surfaces he’s able to achieve show a mastery of glaze chemistry and firing techniques. Together, his skill and sense of restraint lead to contemplative functional objects that reward close observation and study.

1 Teabowl, 4 in. (10 cm) in diameter, porcelain, iron-crystalline glaze, oxidation fired, 2013.

2 Lidded jar, 7½ in. (19 cm) in diameter, porcelain, gold crystalline glaze, oxidation fired, 2014.

 


Kiho Kang, Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany

Relationships are integral to Kang: the relationship of form to surface, the relationship of one object to another, and the relationship of the viewer to the installation. How the viewer interprets the forms as both sculptural installations and individual functional units is determined by their arrangement and the amount of space created or excluded between them. Color takes a back seat to delicate pinch marks from the forming, random speckling from iron spotting, and the overall gray quality achieved in a reduction gas firing.

Using the techniques of mid-century still-life painting, Kang allows himself the freedom to arrange the elements within a composition to put his aesthetic rather than functional concerns first.

1 Untitled, various dimensions, coil-built porcelain, reduction fired to 2336°F (1280°C), 2014. Photo: Karina Hagemann.

2 Untitled, various dimensions, coil-built porcelain, reduction fired to 2336°F (1280°C), 2014. Photo: Karina Hagemann.

 


Zemer Peled, Helena, Montana

The repetitive quality of the natural world is persistently explored in Peled’s sculptures and installations. Each sharp-edged, blue-glazed shard is meticulously placed to expose its white porcelain interior. When massed together, the shards form a painterly wall allowing the viewer to see not only a sea of texture but also a sketch of beautifully undulating lines.

While the nod to historical blue-and-white wares is apparent, Peled does not rely on the weight of its history. The chromatic color choice simply allows the beauty of the naturalistic form to be the star of the show.

1 Blue and White Porcelain Shards Flower, 10 in. (25 cm) in width, fired clay, porcelain shards, 2014.

2 Large Peony and Peeping Tom, 6 ft. (1.8 m) in height, porcelain shards, clay, metal, 2014. Photo: Steven Michael.

 


Margaret Haden, Manhattan, Kansas

The balance of form with decoration along with the push and pull of opaque color and shiny luster contribute to the strength of Haden’s sculptural vessels. Each piece exudes ornamentation but exhibits just enough restraint to allow the viewer to stop and take a longer look. Referencing her grandmother’s knick-knack collections and the family garden, she thrusts her notion of preciousness onto each object with repetitive handbuilt elements and flourishes of patterned glaze. Despite these references, none of the pieces feel overwrought.

1 Untitled, 14 in. (36 cm) in height, wheel-thrown porcelain, underglaze, layered glazes, fired to cone 6, hand-cut decals, gold luster, 2014.

2 Untitled, 14 in. (36 cm) in height, wheel-thrown porcelain, underglaze, layered glazes, fired to cone 6, hand-cut decals, gold luster, 2014.

 


Kyungmin Park, Helena, Montana

Park’s handbuilt figure groupings simultaneously attract and repel viewers, as the childlike colors, characters, and surface decoration that first catch the eye resolve into emotionally complex, uneasy groupings.

The exaggerated, intense expressions, expressive gestures, and confinement of the figures in dense, cloudlike forms convey darker emotions than what was expected, and it is this mismatch that the viewer must confront.

1 My Preciousness, 23 in. (58 cm) in height, handbuilt porcelain, underglaze, resin, 2012.

2 Immortal Entaglement, 25 in. (64 cm) in height, handbuilt porcelain, underglaze, resin, 2014.


Leilani Trinka, Singapore

Influenced by antique tins and farm implements, Trinka’s forms and surfaces are infused with the stories of former use. She alters their scale, allowing for pieces to be smaller than one would expect, which lets them be more approachable and easy to handle.

Exterior surfaces remain unglazed. Subtle patterns on the white, translucent porcelain held together by small black nails add to a preciousness within each piece.

1 Slotted spoons, to 9 in. (23 cm) in length, slab-built and modeled porcelain, steel pins, electric fired to cone 5, 2015.

2 Breakfast sets, to 4½ in. (12 cm) in height, slab-built porcelain, steel pins, clear glaze, electric fired to cone 5, 2015.

 


Ron Geibel, White Plains, New York

Geibel’s sculptural groupings of multiples reveal meaning in layers, in much the same way that we experience getting to know people. There is the surface or public presentation, here the manicured house silhouette and topiary. The personal comes in as the topiary begin to stand in for the inhabitants of the house, and as the forms take on individual, gendered identities. Part of the success of the work is the way that playful humor is used, disarming the viewers to draw them in.

1 Everything is Perfect (3), 36 in. (91 cm) in length, wheel-thrown and altered porcelain, wood, acrylic finish, 2014.

2 Golden, 14 in. (36 cm) in height, wheel-thrown and altered porcelain, wood, acrylic finish, 2014.


Adam Yungbluth, St. Petersburg, Florida

Yungbluth’s unorthodox use of low- and mid-range glazes while firing to cone 11 in a salt kiln has created surfaces with extreme depth, movement, and surprising color combinations. The forms he’s working with are minimal, yet fluid and utilitarian, and balance the extremely active surfaces well. The combination shows his mastery of materials and kilns, along with his interest in highly functional form and the ways we perceive and interpret color.

1 Blue/black/white shooter, 3 in. (8 cm) in height, porcelain, low- and mid-range glazes, salt fired to cone 11, 2015.

2 Blue/black bowl, 5 in. (13 cm) in height, porcelain, low- and mid-range glazes, salt fired to cone 11, 2015.

 


Zimra Beiner, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Beiner carefully considers the visual and physical mass of objects, composition, and the relationship between those objects and the surrounding space. In his still life installations, he flawlessly combines fired ceramic, wet clay, and mixed media to create abstracted interpretations of the everyday objects around him. The resulting still lives are a reflection of his personal knowledge as well as his imagination. The sometimes precarious and gravity defying arrangements create intriguing humor, tension, and conflict.

1 Mortar and Pestle, 4 ft. 2 in. (1.27 m) in height, glazed earthenware, unglazed earthenware, foam, 2014.

2 Bookends, 36 in. (91 cm) in height, stoneware, wet clay, plywood, books, acrylic paint, 2013.

 


Emily Gardiner, Brighton, United Kingdom

Gardiner’s work investigates the tension between clay and glaze in an innovative way, by giving the glaze a solid, physical form. Fluid, brightly colored glazes emerge out of and move away from spare, dense, and rigid looking white or black geometric forms. The movement is engaging, as is the way the two interact and become associated, as if the glaze is the interior of the form, either escaping or being drawn out.

1 Deliverance 002 (Material Catharsis Series), 13 in. (34 cm) in height, press-molded black stoneware, solid glaze, 2013. Photo: Sylvain Deleu.

2 Better Out Than In (Material Catharsis Series), 10 ft. 8 in. (3.2 m) in length, slip-cast porcelain, solid glaze, 2013. Photo: Ester Segarra.

 


Mallory Wetherell, Kearney, Nebraska

Wetherell’s interest in anatomy and 18th-century medical illustrations, commemorative blue-and-white ware, and in visual depictions of personal relationships have led her to create a singular and captivating body of work. Through three-dimensional forms representing different organs, cellular tissues, and body systems, and underglaze drawings on the surfaces that illustrate the cutaway interior of the forms combined with botanical elements, she constructs open-ended narratives for the viewer to explore.

1 Cross-­Section: Brain, 5 in. (13 cm) in height, handbuilt porcelain, underglaze painting, fired to cone 6, 2014.

2 Cross-­Section: Femur, 13 in. (33 cm) in length, handbuilt porcelain, underglaze painting, fired to cone 6, 2014.

 


Joyce St. Clair, Shawano, Wisconsin

St. Clair avoids the saccharine sweet territory of mixed-and-matched, brightly colored glazes by intentionally pairing them with slightly chunky forms. Her platters and vessels are celebrations of ornament in which the volume is turned up a notch by the loose but deliberate drippings of intense color. An overt feminine connection between porcelain and carved and stamped surface decoration is subdued through the addition of thick, rough sprigs and the looseness of the gouged carvings.

1 Sprigged jar, 14 in. (36 cm) in height, porcelain, underglaze, oxidation fired to cone 6, 2014.

2 Serving dish, 16 in. (41 cm) in length, porcelain, underglaze, oxidation fired to cone 6, 2014.

 


Todd Pletcher, Goshen, Indiana

Pletcher combines a sense of fluidity and balance in his functional ceramics. Wood firing enhances the organic curves of the vessels’ bodies, rims, and feet. While working within the tradition, he has found a way to balance the surfaces imparted by the firing process with both his forms and his requirements that the pots he makes are comfortable and easy to use.

1 Tulip cup, 4 in. (10 cm) in height, wood-fired stoneware, 2014.

2 Bottle, 16 in. (40 cm) in height, wood-fired stoneware, 2014.

 


Yoshi Fujii, Baltimore, Maryland

Ornamentation and celebration of the container are key to Fujii, connecting him to his pots and connecting his time with the process to the user. Traditional woodcut, paper, and textile patterns from Fujii’s heritage fill the surfaces of his pieces without dominating the forms. As is common to Japanese dinnerware, these intricately carved patterns reflect the seasons. Being able to alternate dinnerware  was a sign of luxury. He softens and simultaneously highlights the carvings in the seasonal motifs with the simple addition of clean translucent celadon.

1 Teabowl, 5 in. (13 cm) in height, wheel-thrown, hand-carved, and slip-trailed porcelain, celadon glazes, gas reduction fired to cone 10, 2014.

2 Cup and saucer set, 5 in. (13 cm) in height, wheel-thrown, hand-carved, and slip-trailed porcelain, celadon glazes, gas reduction fired to cone 10, 2014.

 


Subscriber Extras: Images and Video

Theo Uliano, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

 

Matt Ziemke, Kearney, Nebraska

 

Alex Thullen, Ferndale, Michigan

 

Kiho Kang, Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany

 

Zemer Peled, Helena, Montana

 

 

 

Margaret Haden, Manhattan, Kansas

 

Kyungmin Park, Helena, Montana

 

Leilani Trinka, Singapore

 

Ron Geibel, White Plains, New York

 

Adam Yungbluth, St. Petersburg, Florida

 

 

Zimra Beiner, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

 

Emily Gardiner, Brighton, United Kingdom

 

Mallory Wetherell, Kearney, Nebraska

 

Joyce St. Clair, Shawano, Wisconsin

 

Todd Pletcher, Goshen, Indiana

 

Yoshi Fujii, Baltimore, Maryland

 

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