The pliable nature of clay allows it to be used in an infinite number of ways, and this exhibit illuminates the many forms and ideas that can be conveyed. Sculptural house forms by Joe Molinaro echo pre-Columbian dwellings, and Keiko Akiyama has created floating shrines in the form of boats with towers that translate as dwellings. Wanda Frankum Green has built a brilliantly glazed temple jar fired in the Raku method, and Ann Legris has created a group of small houses fired in straw that has adorned the tiny dwellings with flashes of carbon.
This exhibition includes figurative sculpture both realistic and abstract by Carol Hale, Teresa Cole, and a 34 inch sculptural representation of the "Artist Holding a Vase" by David Waltz. Humor is evident in Page Candler's translation of the living environment of a "Writer." Carolyn Zolman creates feminine figures from clay that are doll-like in detail and size, while Fred Wiesener builds elegant tall "Ladies" from slabs of clay, and Wayne Ferguson sculpts clay animals that resonate like spirit totems.
Functional pottery forms are also in evidence with slab-built bowls by Marianne Brown, colorful slab plates by Wayne Bates, wood-fired and stoppered ewers by Matthew Gaddie, a tall umbrella stand by Greg Seigel, melted marshmallow-looking canisters by Dan Selter, and even a functional sink created by Patrick Dougherty.
The natural world and the environment are also beautifully rendered by Steve Driver with his "Heron Teapot" and "Fish Caviar Platter." Mihoko Sato has created a platter from handbuilt slab leaf forms, and Judith Pointer Jia has built "Bins" that are grouped and mounted onto slate and appear as abstract tree trunks. A marriage of animal forms and function occurs in the work of Marie-Elena Ottman's "Bird Vessel" and Black Bear (Stephen LaBoueff) has etched a mountain landscape and hummingbirds onto his burnished coil-built vessels.
Special Exhibitions like "Handbuilt: Kentucky Clay Artisans" are regularly featured at the Kentucky Artisan Center, located just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The center's exhibits, shopping, and travel information areas are all open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the caf from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from all across the Commonwealth.
For more information, call 859-985-5448 or visit the center's Web site at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan center at Berea is an agency in the Commerce Cabinet.