LUCIEN KOONCE ceramics

Artist Statement

"I approach the composition of my work with spontaneity and immediacy, discovering the form during the process of making it. My alteration and manipulation of solid clay emphasizes the plasticity and gestural qualities of that material while achieving asymmetry. I seek to push the disorganization and the subsequent reorganization of the vessel from being a member of the “pot” realm to becoming an abstract object in the sculptural realm while retaining its function.

Beginning with a solid mass of clay, I use a wooden tool to shape the exterior surface. While I may have preconceived notions of the form, it is through spontaneous manipulation that the exterior of an object is derived. Once the clay stiffens, I hollow out the interior by hand with a metal carving tool, a process known as 'kurinuki'. This technique, in which a form is dug or carved out of solid clay instead of being shaped on a potter’s wheel or made from coils or slabs, is a process that allows me to intently focus on the inner shape. I strive to keep a balance between the outer and inner movements of an open form.

Wood-firing adds another dimension to the composition, ultimately helping to define ones interpretation of the whole. The inherent nature of continuous flame, intense heat, and ash upon the clay, whether glazed or unglazed, adds color and textural effects that are congruent to each piece. The unpredictability of the firing, juxtaposed to the implementation of as many controlled variables as one can, creates random visual beauty, or landscape, which harmonizes with the physical form. Subsequently, the form, whether functional or non-functional, has become like a diary, recording the thoughts and process of the maker and the kiln’s fire.” 

Lucien Koonce