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Cultural Demonstration: Ceramics

Ceramic work by Larry Nelson, photo by Loren Nelson

Join the Garden for a ceramic demonstration by artist Larry Nelson. Larry’s work is assembled from elements often produced via slipcasting, throwing, press molding, and rolling soft slabs.

Larry will demonstrate his assembly process, show carving techniques to add imperfections to the surface and he will demonstrate his unique way of throwing on a potters wheel.

Ceramic work by Larry Nelson, photo by Loren Nelson

Artist Statement

Sometimes the clay is cooperative, a partner in the vision.  Sometimes it’s contrary.  Working with it is always collaboration.
While the clay prefers to relax in elegant, organic shapes I challenge it to take the shape of something it doesn’t want to be.  Rigidly straight.  Machined.  As though the piece was cobbled from spare parts found on a boilermaker’s workbench.  Held together with nuts and bolts.  Handles made of pipe.

When I’ve shaped the clay and we’re both content with the result, I find myself negotiating with the glaze.

In the end, I’ve shaped the clay and applied the glaze but the final decisions are made in the kiln.  The outcome is, without a doubt, the result of a three-way partnership between the clay, the glaze, and me.

If all goes well, the collaboration has produced some interesting pieces and I’ve had a chance to exercise my creativity.

If all goes well, my work will conjure a smile, incite a chuckle, or perhaps pour a cup of tea or hold your morning coffee.