..inspiration, art and life-giving..

Lute Laleman

"IN RECENT YEARS, BELGIAN CERAMIST LUT LALEMAN’S work has repeatedly attracted attention. In 2004 and 2006, she became a laureate in Belgian ceramic contests. In 2005, Laleman was selected for the international ceramics contest in Kecskemet, Hungary, and in 2007, for Aragon, Spain. Also in 2007 she received an honourable mention at the World Ceramic Biennale in Korea and took part in the ‘First European Triennial for Glass and Ceramics in Mons, Belgium. In 2008 the City Museum of Dendermonde, Belgium, devotes an important exhibition to her work.

Laleman’s objects seem simple, yet upon closer inspection, they reveal an unbelievably complex structure. One realises this kind of work must be extremely time-consuming. Her work reminds us of delicate lace and basket work because it is made up of thin threads of clay. Her ceramic shapes are simple, strong and modern, devoid of decorative elements.”


John Tilton

"I’m fortunate to have developed a deep love for historical and traditional pottery. The old pots have a mystery and beauty to them that could provide a lifetime of inspiration. I’m not making traditional pots, but I acknowledge the debt I owe them. They are the source of my ideas."


Ronit Baranga

"The sculptures of Israeli ceramicist Ronit Baranga flirt with the boundary between desire and repulsion. Baranga sculpts delicate lips and sensual fingertips, planting these tools of seduction in places where we least expect to find them. Plates and bowls grow mouths ready to lick and kiss. Caressing hands multiply until they turn into mutant, plant-like growths. These sensual features begin to seem invasive and frightening when stripped of their humanity and presented as inanimate objects. Take a look at some of Ronit Baranga’s sculptures below, images courtesy of the artist."


Kate MacDowell

"We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. – C.S. Lewis.

In my work this romantic ideal of union with the natural world conflicts with our contemporary impact on the environment. These pieces are in part responses to environmental stressors including climate change, toxic pollution, and gm crops. They also borrow from myth, art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones. In some pieces aspects of the human figure stand-in for ourselves and act out sometimes harrowing, sometimes humorous transformations which illustrate our current relationship with the natural world. In others, animals take on anthropomorphic qualities when they are given safety equipment to attempt to protect them from man-made environmental threats. In each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.

I hand sculpt each piece out of porcelain, often building a solid form and then hollowing it out. Smaller forms are built petal by petal, branch by branch and allow me the chance to get immersed in close study of the structure of a blossom or a bee. I chose porcelain for its luminous and ghostly qualities as well as its strength and ability to show fine texture. It highlights both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically, being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value. I see each piece as a captured and preserved specimen, a painstaking record of endangered natural forms and a commentary on our own culpability.”


Anya Stasenko and Slava Leontyev

"Ukranian artists Anya Stasenko and Slava Leontyev collaborate to create delightfully quirky and unbelievably detailed miniature porcelain sculptures. Their website offers different views of many of the pieces so that you can see the elaborate paintings on these tiny pieces. I couldn’t stop smiling, always a good sign."

Patricia Sannit

"The impulse to decorate is strong. The push to create a border or impose a structured order on the already beautiful order of the (chaotic) natural world is compelling. Humans have always done so.

My work draws from and responds to visual idioms found throughout human history. Visual languages flow from culture to culture and through time; I explore how the changes of motifs and technologies show development and transformation in societies. I draw from our species’ long and intimate relationship with our surroundings, both natural and man-made. To that end, I use a variety of mostly found and repurposed clays to refer to both the contributions of previous makers in our collective art history and the stratigraphy of the Earth. My work is influenced by archaeology, geology, industry and the commonality of human experience through time and across culture.” Patricia Sannit

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Patricia Sannit received her BA in ceramics, Art History and Norwegian from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from the California College of Arts. She now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Sannit’s work is influenced by her experiences excavating in the Near East and Ethiopia. Sannit’s most recent project is a large-scale ceramic installation, Citadel, based on an archeological site in Iraq. “I am interested in the story of the earth, our species, and pots. History is manifest in the scarred and worn surface of our planet and in a pot well made and well used.”


Naotsugu Yoshida

“Born 1976. After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University,
he has studied under ceramic artist,Taizo Kuroda.
In 2003 he built his own kiln at the foothills of Mt.Fuji.”


Brett Freund

"Brett Freund is an artist living and working in Maryland. He recently was awarded the Lormina Salter Fellowship at Balitmore Clayworks and last year he was featured as one of Ceramic Monthly’s Emerging Artists for 2012. While Brett was bunkered-in awaiting the arrival of superstorm Sandy, we met up at the intergalactic cafe known as ‘online chat’ to discuss his work a bit more in depth. His use of traditional technique, non-traditional material, and contemporary imagery have created an exciting body of work that grows in many directions, quite like the crystals he references. I look forward to seeing where his work takes him in the future."


David Shaner

"David Shaner’s illustrious career as a sculptor and a potter spanned more than four decades. Trained in the late 1950’s at Alfred University School of Ceramics, Shaner became the director of the influential Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana. After leaving Helena, Shaner became a nationally acclaimed studio potter and sculptor, working out of his home and studio in Bigfork, Montana. Through an unwavering devotion to his work, he attained that often elusive goal of bridging the gap between art and life to which so many artists aspire. His ceramic vessels and sculpture reflect the beauty of the western landscape and the natural environment. His innovations and success with refined organic forms and the wood firing process made him a leader in ceramics and sought after by museums and private collectors alike."