Saturday, June 11, 2016

Artist Spotlight: Joe Pinkelman on Clay Pinched Pots

Joe Pinkelman, Pinching China #4, Porcelain, 12 x 10 x 10"
I worked on these pinch pots while waiting for a Chinese translator to help me out. The past several years I have worked at a ceramic residency in Jingdezhen, China. At any given time there are about 10 artists from around the world working on their individual ceramic projects. Consequently with only two translators, it might take a couple hours until they would be able to help address your individual needs.
After the first couple of days, I found myself getting overly anxious waiting so I decided to sit and start making pinch pots. It worked to my advantage in several ways. The first was to ‘warm’ myself up to ceramics and get my mind into the experience of working in clay. Secondly, it challenged a hand building skill I use many times with my students but not with my own work. Lastly, the process became like a Buddhist meditation for me and I focused on my body, my hand movements, and my environment.
The first pinch pot I made was a Greek amphora but I quickly realized that since I am working in China, I should start making forms that have a historical reference to Chinese ceramics. Thus all of the forms in the exhibition are based on traditional, Chinese ceramic vessels.

Joe Pinkelman, Pinching China #6, Porcelain, 12 x 10 x 10"
Joe Pinkelman, Pinching China #2, Porcelain, 12 x 10 x 10"
Today is the last day to see Pinching China, Joe's exhibition at TAG.
You can view more of his work here, on TAG's website.

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