Ceramics News

Posted on Monday, October 27, 2014 by Laura Braun

Previously a student at Oakland’s California College of the Arts (see her whimsical sculptures at the tasting bar), Shauna believes “wine is ephemeral art,” so the transition from art to winemaking was easy for her. For Rock Wall’s 2008 vintage, she and her dad created wines with 60 tons of grapes. This year, they’ll do close to 400. But Shauna doesn’t always follow precisely in her dad’s footsteps.

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Posted on Friday, October 10, 2014 by Kari Marboe

True collaborations come easily, especially when they combine history and clay.

Ceramics faculty member Kari Marboe, Director of Alumni Relations Jessica Russell, Director of Libraries Annemarie Haar, and CCA alumnae Eve Steccati-Tanovitz (Graphic Design 1969) and Arlene Streich (Arts Education 1961; Painting 1966) worked together to reveal the history of the college’s archived woodblocks and incorporate these historical tools at the Ceramic Program’s Open House, which took place as part of CCA’s Alumni Weekend earlier this month.

See more images of the Ceramics Open House »

Story of the Woodblocks

In the late 1960s, Professor Emeritus Vincent Perez was teaching woodblock printing and drawing at what was then CCAC. An Alumni Office staff member in Treadwell Hall (now Macky Hall) asked Perez if he would like to take possession of the woodblocks.

The woodblocks had been previously used to print the college’s publications (course catalogs, newsletters, and diplomas) going back to its founding in 1907 and decades thereafter.

If Perez hadn’t wanted them, they would have been thrown away.

Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 by Laura Braun

After graduating from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Weisberg has worked as a full-time artist for the past 10 years and honed his skills under the late legendary sculptor Stephen De Staebler. Weisberg primarily creates figures, busts, masks, jars, hands, and wall reliefs—sometimes even reaching eight feet tall—all by hand. Themes such as death, vulnerability, human dysfunction, longing, and loss come through in his pieces.

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 by Molly Mitchell

CCA Ceramics chair Nathan Lynch and faculty member Kari Marboe had their new works exhibited in the group show Magical Thinking at Root Division, which ran from August 6 to 23.

Magical Thinking was co-curated by Kari Marboe and Erin Colleen Johnson, who met in UC Berkeley's MFA program. The artist-curators have been investigating modes of magical thinking within their collaborative and individual practices and had asked eight fellow artists to join them in considering this theme using a variety of strategies and materials.

The works ranged from sculptural installations to video projections to participation in past customs redesigned for today’s needs.

Posted on Monday, August 4, 2014 by Laura Braun

Visionary arts patrons Gordon and Jane Herr bought the 160-acre Walker Ranch above Guerneville in 1939 with the idea of establishing a Bauhaus-inspired art colony that would, as they said, be a “sustainable sanctuary for artists away from a world gone amok.” Two years earlier they had met Wildenhain and her husband, Frans, on a recruiting trip. As things heated up in 1940, Wildenhain immigrated, leaving behind Frans, who was forced into the German Army. She taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, then made her way to what would be called Pond Farm.

Posted on Monday, July 21, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Ghetto Goldilocks is part of the 25th Street Collective in downtown Oakland

It used to be when an article of clothing became outworn you either gave it away or you threw it away. Those were the options.

Yet today's artists are using their arts education to revisit, rethink, and ultimately repurpose how to use discarded materials in ways that are socially rewarding, environmentally sustainable, and downright eye-catching!

Ghetto Goldilocks

Briget Campbell (BFA Ceramics 2005) is the proprietor of Ghetto Goldilocks, which is part of the 25th Street Collective located at 477 25th Street in downtown Oakland. Artist-merchants within the collective are producing works that not only attract art consumers but also those consumers who are looking for sustainable products.

In Campbell's case, she has ingeniously repurposed recycled and discarded clothing pieces to re-create new fashion pieces that are unique, stylish, comfortable . . . and literally built to last. She takes yesterday's forgotten mediocrity and makes today's stunningly memorable fashion statements.

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014 by Laura Braun

Pondering the Bay Area now, ceramic sculptor Nathan Lynch had rising sea levels and rents in mind when he began making the three large and striking glazed-clay and redwood buoys - one of them 15 feet tall - viewers will encounter at Yerba Buena. Each sits on a giant doughnut made of redwood chunks that Lynch picked up near his West Marin home. One is stacked with hazard-yellow doughnut, vessel and Y shapes. Another is made of loopy satellite-like forms glazed a gleaming silver-metal. The third is made with blobby off-white forms that suggest breasts or a pile of frosting, as he put it.

Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2014 by Laura Braun

But the pair graduated from California College of the Arts in 2010, when full-time employment was hard to come by. They needed that kiln to create jobs for themselves.

"We were working out of our apartment's tiny, 150-square-foot garage, with the goal of doing pottery full time," says Jay. "It was our best idea." And a lucky one.

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Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 by Matthew Kelly

Dario Robleto and the spring 2014 Materialist Poetry Advanced Sculpture Workshop

The Sculpture Program invited Dario Robleto to join the CCA faculty as the 2013-14 Viola Frey Distinguished Visiting Professor. His time was divided between the undergraduate and graduate programs where he worked with students on self-defined "materialist poetry."

Robleto creates most of his work by using embedded histories in his materials to build narratives of love and time. He often uses audiotape or vinyl to hint at a forgotten history.

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

500 Figures in Clay
Lark Crafts, 2014
Paperback, 420 pages, $27.95

The second volume of 500 Figures in Clay features seven CCA alumni. Congratulations to Shalene Valenzuela (MFA 1997), Nuala Creed (Ceramics 1999), Derek Weisberg (Ceramics 2005), Crystal Morey (Ceramics 2006), Joe Kowalczyk (Individualized Major 2006), Yeon Joo Lee (Ceramics 2012), and Victoria Jang (MFA 2014). The book features works by new and emerging ceramicists who chronicle the ongoing exploration of the human form. Amazon says: “From rustic creations to postmodern designs, from realistic to abstract, these pieces embody the diversity, imagination, and excellence of today's finest ceramic art.”