Call for entry – Cup Show

The North America Ceramic Cup Show
Studio Angelico (US)
February 1, 2008 entry deadline

Juried from digital and slides. Fee: $5/entry. Juror: Andy Brayman. For prospectus, visit their website; or send SASE to Paul McMullan. Ceramics Department, Siena Heights University, 1247 E. Siena Heights Dr., Adrian MI 49221;

Seeking a resident studio potter.

Berea College Ceramic Apprenticeship Program
Application deadline: February 22

Responsibilities include: working with apprentices, active studio production of utilitarian ceramics for wholesale/retail market, assisting program director in maintaining large well-equipped facility and teaching one course per year. Requirements: MFA, BFA or equivalent; experience with studio approach to functional tableware. Studio space and materials are provided. Kilns currently available: gas reduction, electric, salt, wood, raku. Starts August 2008.

Send letter of application, resume, 20 slides/digital images (jpg on CD), and three recommendation letters to Tina Gebhart, Ceramic Apprenticeship Program, CPO 2162, Berea College, Berea, KY 40404. Inquiries: (859) 985-3849. Berea College is a four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution located on the western foothills of the Appalachian Mountains (Lexington, 45 minutes; Cincinnati/Louisville, 2 hrs). The College’s mission includes special commitments to the Appalachian region, interracial education, and serving students of limited financial resources. Full tuition scholarships and labor program involvement have long been distinctive features of a Berea education. For more information about Berea College, see their website.

Making Matters: Sustainability and Craft Practices

If you happen to find yourself near Owen Sound this January 19th you can take in a one day symposium at the Tom Thompson Gallery called Making Matters: Sustainability and Craft Practice. Speakers will address topics related to craft’s sustainability, its impact on the environment and local economies. This symposium is a regional outreach project of the Ontario Crafts Council. Check out the gallery website for more info and to register.

The dreaded artist statement…

I for one hate writing an artist statement. I’ll ponder each word endlessly, restructuring sentences till nothing is clear or making sense anymore. So I have alot of respect when I read a great statement that accentuates work appropriately, and is able to draw me into the layers of the work. Recently I’ve been looking at the work of Brendan Tang, a ceramic artist from Kamloops.

His work is exhibited in en feu and he set up a group for Canadian ceramic artists on facebook, which will hopefully take off as a great venue for critical feedback and exposure for great Canadian talent. His work is visually fantastic, mixing traditional imagery with contemporary technology, presenting lots of interesting questions for me regarding industry and development in ceramics, global influences and economy, and, well the list goes on and on, as good work should do – it poses more questions than it offers awnsers, challenging the viewer.

So with Brendan’s permission I thought I’d actually post his artist statement to offer some more insight into the work for you all. I hope you enjoy!

Manga Ormolu – Artist’s Statement

Peoples throughout history have bought, adopted or pillaged technologies from one another, often through the mechanisms of war, trade and espionage. ‘Nations’ and ‘cultures’ are not discrete entities, but are rather continually evolving expressions of social history, economic imperialism and geo-politics.

Viewed in this way, globalization is a historic trend, but one that is accelerating. The rate and extent of globalization has increased exponentially through increasingly complex technological revolutions – agricultural, industrial, and now digital. Yet, at same time as this technological convergence, the cleavages between populations defined by race, religion and nation are being redrawn, redefined and reinforced. Clearly, “we” (patriots, developed, democratic) are not like “them” (insurgents, underdeveloped, oppressed). Globalization, translated through capitalism and nationalism, has not yielded cultural uniformity.

Manga Ormolu enters the dialogue on contemporary culture, technology, and globalization through the relationship between ceramic tradition (using the form of Chinese Ming dynasty vessels) and techno-Pop Art. The futuristic update of the Ming vessels recalls the 18th century French gilded ormolu, where historic Chinese vessels were transformed into curiosity pieces for aristocrats. But here, robotic prosthetics inspired by anime (Japanese animation) and manga (the beloved comics and picture novels of Japan) subvert elitism with the accessibility of popular culture.

Working with Asian cultural elements highlights the evolving Western experience of the “Orient.” This narrative is personal: the hybridization of cultures mirrors my identity as an ethnically-mixed Asian Canadian. My family history is one of successive generations shedding the markers of ethnic identity in order to succeed in an adopted country – within a few generations this cultural filtration has spanned China, India, Trinidad, Ireland and Canada. Cultural appropriation and assimilation seem like a natural part of my identity, a survival technique not uncommon among ethnic minorities.

While Manga Ormolu offers multiple points of entry into sociocultural dialogue, manga, by nature, doesn’t take itself too seriously. The futuristic ornamentation can be excessive, self-aggrandizing, even ridiculous. This is a fitting reflection of our human need to envision and translate fantastic ideas to reality; in fact, striving for transcendence is a unifying feature of human cultural history. This characteristic is in the unassuming, yet utterly transformable material of clay. Manga Ormolu, through content, form and material, vividly demonstrates the conflicting and complementary forces that shape our perceptions of Ourselves and the Other.

~ Check out Brendan’s website for more great images and statements about his work.
Thanks for sharing Brendan!