My work as an artist exists in the balance between sculpture and function. Coming from a family of stonemasons, experiencing the materials they worked with ultimately led to my creative development. With a focus on creating fluid forms, intuitive mark-making has led motion and rhythm to visually command my work. As an ceramic artist, it is my obligation to allow the ebb and flow of my personal experiences to physically manifest through creativity.
This current investigation picks up on the interior of utilitarian vessels, and how the liquids and solids within interact with these objects. Each piece conceals a great number of photographs, sifted from experiences with ceramic and glass wares in our food and drink culture. Through this process I became interested in examining the use and post-use/ pre-wash stages in the lives of utilitarian objects.
Interpreting this particular component of utilitarian ware is intended to open a conversation into the ceramics field as a whole. Examining our food and drink culture as it relates to the creation of artworks, and the development of ceramic sculpture as an entity largely separated from function is of particular interest. As an artist who was trained in functional ceramics materials and processes with an ever-evolving interest in ceramic art history, my artistic practice is motivated by the field itself. Understanding the historical implications of the ceramics field, where that leaves us in our conversation as makers today, and where we are headed moving forward continues to inform my work.
-- Jeff Kuratnick
Jeff Kuratnick (b. 1987) is an Atlanta based artist, and currently an MFA candidate in ceramics at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University. Kuratnick earned the premium Welch Fellowship upon acceptance to the program. In addition to his pursuit of the terminal degree in the ceramics field, Kuratnick is studying non-profit management and social enterprise at GSU’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Jeff is currently a research consultant for The Marks Project: The Marks Dictionary of American Ceramics, 1946 – Present.
Kuratnick’s work in the ceramics field includes making, curatorial and research endeavors. Having spent 8 years working in the vessel tradition, Kuratnick has become proficient in myriad glazing and firing practices; carrying that into his foray into ceramic sculpture.
From 2010 – 2017, Jeff was employed as a museum professional. Most recently, he served as Education Director at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls, Montana from 2012 – 2017. Prior to his appointment in Montana, Kuratnick worked at the Everhart Museum of Natural History Science and Art in Scranton, Pennsylvania as the institution’s Programs Coordinator from 2010 – 2011. Born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, he studied at Keystone College and Shippensburg University, earning a BA in Art Education, K-12 Certification in 2009.
Jeff is a member of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Recent exhibitions include the 22nd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition, San Angelo, Texas. Recent publications on his collaborative work with the ceramic arts community in Montana include the article ‘Hope & Possibility in Montana Clay’ by Brandon Reintjes – featured in the January 2016 issue of Ceramics Monthly.