The audio file for this article was produced by the Ceramic Arts Network staff and not read by the author.

Ceramics Monthly: What topics are central to your work and/or research as an artist and why?

Larry Buller: My ceramic research concerns the intersection of gay identity, fetish, kink, and symbolism—themes not typically discussed in “polite” society. Ceramics, with its rich historical language and domestic connotations, is the ideal medium for my admittedly subversive intentions. Many of the pieces I employ are influenced by historical forms prevalent in the 19th-century Rococo. I relish subverting these forms by surfacing them with images of gay kink and bondage. I aim to challenge narratives that seek to marginalize consensual sexual activity outside heteronormative expression as deviant or immoral. Indeed, I intend to celebrate Queer sexuality in all its forms.

1 Obey Your Sir, 35 in. (88.9 cm) in height, white earthenware, fired to cone 04, 2023.

CM: What do you see as the current trends in ceramics and how do you respond to them? 

LB: Many ceramic artists today are creating work in response to the politically charged moment in which we find ourselves. Specifically, some artists find agency in creating work around issues of Queer identity. Often, the content of their work challenges viewers to reconsider previously held beliefs and interact with subject matter outside of their lived experience. It is worth noting that artists working in other media are also embracing this line of inquiry. After decades of ignoring traditionally marginalized voices, the art world is recognizing the richness of work from artists outside the mainstream.

2 Woof, 10 in. (25.4 cm) in height, white earthenware, fired to cone 04, 2023.

CM: What strategies have you developed to handle challenges you face, including setbacks in the studio or difficulties along the path to becoming an artist?

LB: While it is critical to be disciplined and focused when working in the studio, it is equally important to maintain a sense of playfulness that allows for the serendipitous. I feel that the inevitable and disappointing setbacks inherent in ceramics present one with novel problem-solving opportunities. Embracing this mindset can lead to discoveries and new directions previously unconsidered.

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