David Smith

Artist Statement

My work in ceramics focuses on the creation of wood-fired vessels and sculpture. For over thirty years I have developed my expertise in the art of wood-firing. My current kiln, the Kegonsa Anagama, offers a diverse range of surface qualities when fired for a period of 7-8 days. My primary goal with this kiln is to develop complex firebox surfaces that compliment my sculptural works. I apply layers of slip and glaze to my pieces and subject these surfaces to the effects of charcoal over an extended period of time at high temperature. Using slip and glaze in this manner serves to broaden the palette of the natural ash glaze. My vessels and sculpture serve as canvases for the rich textural qualities offered by this process.

Since 1978, my passion for wood-fired ceramics has allowed me to travel and work with a broad range of artists. I have worked extensively in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Montana, Arizona, Florida and Wisconsin. My personal experiences with American Masters Peter Voulkos, Peter Callas, Rudy Autio, and Don Reitz have been influential in countless ways. In 2005, I had the opportunity to meet and work with a number of important Korean and Japanese artists at the 3rd World Bienalle in Yeoju, Korea. This was a transformative experience and since that time I have also had the opportunity to exhibit my work in Japan and China. For decades I have created ceramic art that reflects East Asian methods and aesthetics while maintaining a sensibility that is undeniably Western. I have always been intrigued by this cross-fertilization.

-- David Smith

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