Bowie Croisant Ceramic Artist Weblog

Artist Statement

2010 Statement:

My work explores design and assembly of modular geometric units.  The work is split into two distinct bodies.  Forms range from duplications of detailed crystal glassware to unique geometric elements.  I employ Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software to design objects and fabricate prototypes by hand.

I base many designs around the idea of function, referencing my initial attraction to the ceramic medium.  Spouts, handles, lids, feet and bodies are composed with a focus on linear and planar interactions.   My composite constructions take the form of elaborately re-imagined everyday vessels in addition to purely sculptural biomorphic and architectural abstractions.

I manipulate highly variable slips that rely on their placement, kiln atmosphere, and the application of soda during firing to develop the surface finish.  My ability to control these variables adds to the individuality of each piece.  A raw porcelain surface allows sculptural forms to be read without distraction and may seem unfinished.  I title these pieces “sketches,” playing off this thought and implying the idea of a maquette, the context of future, and inviting the viewer to imagine the work on a larger scale.

Viewers are encouraged to engage the work through its dynamic display by participation in the act of composing.  This allows decisions made by the viewer to establish the objects orientation.  This choice affects the organization and interplay of ground, space, light and shadow; thereby directly determining the overall composition.  This concrete involvement enhances the aesthetic experience and allows the work to be seen from the artists’ perspective.



2009  Statement:

My cast and assembled geometric teapot sculptures reference my initial attraction to the medium of clay, function.  Teapots are representative of the pinnacle of functional ceramic design.  My teapots are fully capable of dispensing tea; however my focus is a sculptural exploration of varied configurations of the components of the pot that are necessary for the delivery of tea.

Inspirations for my designs come from a love of geometry, modern architecture and farm machinery commonly seen while growing up the rural Midwest.  I employ 3D-CAD software to accurately visualize objects prior to their construction.  I devote a significant amount of time to this design phase in order to insure versatility before the creation of a prototype.  Repeated production and reconfiguration of modular elements allows me to create and continually refine similar yet unique objects.  I construct my sculptures intuitively while adopting a meditative problem solving approach to the contemporary reinvention a historical form.

My vessels are soda fired, emphasizing their edges, planes and corners. The variability of this firing process enables me to maintain an element of risk and excitement in my practice.  This is due to my use of highly variable slips that depend on their placement, kiln atmosphere, and the application of soda during the firing to develop their surface finish.  My ability to manipulate these variables adds to the uniqueness of each individual work.

white drip vase

2008 Statement:

I have always been captivated by the directness of forming with the potter’s wheel. My work thus far has centered on the vessel. I am currently exploring the relationships between parts of pots and how they interact with one another. I am quite interested in the subtle figurative references and tensions that can be created by altering a thrown form. I enjoy making vessels used for pouring and containing; providing objects that fulfill some of the most primal uses pottery has had in its long history.

I gain the greatest satisfaction from work that “asks to be made.” I find that my best work resonates a sense of quality, a presence and rightness. In my search for this degree of success, I create and recreate, continually refining the work until it is consistent with my vision.

I use layered glazes to create surfaces with depth. Glaze depth increases movement with in my forms and enhances their formal beauty. This depth also increases the interaction between viewer and object, providing an area for visual exploration within the surface of the pot. The glazes I choose are generally quite variable depending on the firing atmosphere and I am continually expanding my palette. Through manipulation of the firing process and glaze application I am able to achieve varied surfaces that offer another world of exploration and expression in themselves.

I am inspired by traditional Chinese and Japanese vessels as well as many non-clay objects such as English silver coffee and tea sets. I envision my work to being used and enjoyed regularly for drinking, pouring or displaying flowers. This functional aspect of my work is the primary focus, but I am also interested in creating work that is more elaborate and which would be associated with special occasions or only display.

Bowie Croisant

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