Date of Award:

1976

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department:

Art

Advisor/Chair:

Larry E. Elsner

Abstract

This project was concerned with study of Neriage, Zougan, and Raku techniques in search of a creative, individual expression of the Southern Utah landscape. To find ceramic forms which would reflect its history, and show appreciation for its aesthetic characteristics of color, vastness and endless variety of form.

In the development of this artist's philosophy, a potter artist has to acquire certain qualities of form and concepts which are of basic importance in the execution of his work.

These concepts which are a part of his philosophy are first; truth to material. Since clay is a very versatile material it can tempt the artist to go beyond its normal character. It can be made to look like almost any other material. In spite of these other possibilities, however valid, there are to this artist only certain qualities that are truly characteristic of the earthy, geological character of clay. Second; the search of form-knowledge. An understanding of the internal as well as external structure or form and application of that knowledge to his own work. Third; the development of a personal direction. The concepts involved in the artist's work provide the necessary order in his experiments with form. The primary concerns to this artist were a feeling of monumentality in each piece of work and the development of a personal form by forced searching into a specific direction.

A variety of stoneware forms were created utilizing wheel throwing, hand building, plaster press mold methods and a combination of methods. The Neriage ware was made from specially formulated clay bodies. The colored clays were mixed intentionally with red sand, grey sand, and metalic oxides into the special formulated clay body.

The choice of Neriage and Raku ware were a satisfactory solution in the attempt to symbolize the quality of Southern Utah landscape.

Although indicating influences from traditional Neriage ceramic works of Japan and marble ware from England, the Neriage ceramics of this potter are his own spiritual expressions inspired by the natural rock formations of Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Monument and Lake Powell.

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