Artists at our Residency
Time is going very quickly or to pick another cliche, “Where has the time gone? “We are beginning our fourth week!
I picked up the second edition of Contemporary Studio Porcelain by Peter Lane from the ICS library and noticed that Imre Schrammel and Maria Geszler are both featured in it. In talking with Jona Gudvardottir, ceramic artist who co-runs the studio, it seems many prominent European and North American ceramacists have worked in the ICS studio space. I feel that as a Canadian, I know little about the Europeans and their histories but the converse is also true. In Canada we have been following more the British and Japanese traditions but it is wonderful to have another area open up to me with other artistic paths and explorations.
Ms. Geszler arrived last Friday evening and unpacked many stunningly decorated, primarily silk-screened and drawn on to cello like slip-cast bodies that she glazed and fired over the weekend in the gas kiln. It is a huge amount of work for her to do this on her own and as she says, you have to have the passion to continue with such arduous work. In the studio just next to where she is working, Mr. Schrammel is working with a former student, now fellow artist, Rosita, collaborating on a number of pieces. They are rather large chunky vigorous tile relief works they will let dry and return mid-May to fire and finish. It is amazing to be working alongside them and just to soak up the energy although I don’t believe they pay any notice to the rest of us in the midst of their work.
And, when we think we have more than enough stimuation, a sculptor by the name of Sandor Kecskemeti returns to ICS to do an oil raku firing – something I have never heard of before and a technique that was introduced to ICS by an American raku artist (who, is momentarly not archived)… at any rate, the pictures testify to the firing – after about 3 hours of warming up in the fibre raku kiln, the fibre form is lifted off and a metal; box is put over the grate that holds the red hot work. After the box has been settled, oil is pumped into the red hot atmosphere and smoke is introduced… this occurred at about 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon and the pieces will be pulled out only at about 9:00 a.m. the next day. They are supposed to have a very distinctive look and as the artist says, a very beautiful finish.
Maria spontaneously organized a slide evening focusing on a residency she recently completed in Japan at the Seto institute. It is a very young ceramics institute (10 years) and she has completed other residencies in Japan and seems to have an affection for the country, their kiimonos, food and their venerated ceramic artists. She is a person with a “generous heart” and she seems to want to share her love of ceramics and her enthusiasm for all kinds of work with anyone who is interested. Mr. Schrammel listened to her talk and Sandor K also presented a small film about his work that was in Hungarian and Maria kindly translated.
Maria will be unloading her kiln in the next few days and I asked her if it was possible to be there during the unloading and she said she wanted to do this on her own as it was a a private time for her – I understand completely but somehow was hoping otherwise. We will be introduced to the pieces later in her own time…