10 Famous Modern Ceramic Artists

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Knowledge | Comments Off on 10 Famous Modern Ceramic Artists

10 Famous Modern Ceramic Artists

Ceramics and pottery in general have a long history. Truly, back before words and other verbal means of expression, people would plaster pictures onto surfaces and relay ideas, thoughts and concepts with tools like ceramics. Eventually people figured out they were creating art and that ceramics could be used to make other masterpieces too. If you have an interest in ceramics and popular artists of our times, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of 10 famous modern ceramic artists, including names and what each artist is known for doing.

While not strictly modern, Victor Spinski has been creating works of art with ceramics since the 1950s. Or had been, to be more accurate – he passed away sometime in 2013. He was famous in the 60s and 70s for creating replicas, in ceramic, of objects in the world made from other materials. A famous article is the garbage can full of trash, which isn’t garbage at all but ceramic pieces of art, from top to bottom, in its entirety. Just look up the name and you’ll see it for yourself.

If you’ve never heard of him before, Steve Irvine is pretty much guaranteed to give you a good feeling about your interest in ceramics. Not only does this modern artist excel at creating art with various ceramic types, but he also has a knack for making fully functional cameras which are first fired in a kiln at several hundred degrees. Of course, the electronic components are installed after this, but still – taking pictures with a rock is something you probably never thought you’d do in this life, eh?

Carol Long of Kansas is famous for taking inspiration from her agrarian surroundings when growing up and making some spiffy pieces of art based upon them. While many ceramic artists can produce quality work, few of them do it with much attention to colors – and that’s where Carol Long really excels. Her skill with working colors blends with a technique learned through decades of work to craft imagery which is downright delightful to see.

Michelle Erickson is another name you may not recognize, but after seeing pieces like her famous twin Green Squirrels, one holding a nut which belongs in a machine rather than a tree and the other armed with what appears to be a 9mm submachine gun, you’ll probably want to find more of her work. This ceramic artist blends great attention to detail with social commentary, creating pieces which are not only a joy to look upon, but are also good for stirring up conversation and getting people talking.

Making ceramics is a good exercise for body and mind, as artist Peter Voulkos might tell you if he were still around. Another ceramic artist whose mortal coil came unwound, Voulkos was a sort of polar opposite of Erickson, mentioned above. While she stresses over minor details and duplicating things exactly, he was obsessed with size and scale, creating massive works which took months or even years to craft. Their size and scale means he was probably getting a good workout while putting them together.

John Glick is someone you might know if you happen to be from Michigan, in the United States. He’s been working from his own private studio there since the early 1960s and is still producing work for shows and conventions today. Despite the earthy tones and complexions in most ceramics, Glick also managed to work many different colors into his art, even using ranges of the same muddy, dark shades to create the illusion of color where there was none. Some of his work has been called macabre or grotesque by critics, but this only serves to make him stand out from contemporaries even more.

Beate Kuhn is another ceramic artist you may have heard of before, but not for any proximity to where you live. If you have a real interest in ceramics, as in enough to go to shows and see pieces from around the world, you’ve probably heard of this artist before. Beate Kuhn focuses on shapes and repeating them to create art which seems to toy with the mind of the viewer. If you’ve done much work with math, you probably know about tessellations and repeating patterns and shapes already. Kuhn is a kind of ceramic mathematician and her work is surely worth seeing.

In an art form where practically anything goes, artists like Annie Woodford can truly excel and get the recognition they deserve. This master of ceramics has a long list of works, including pieces you probably never thought you’d see reproduced by hand. Coral reefs from before recorded history, ancient ships and creatures too small to see with the naked eye are all in her portfolio. While other artists fixate on form and function, Woodford just creates – or recreates – whatever comes to mind, it seems.

Ellen Schon is one of those rare ceramic artists who is not only capable of producing great work, but is also able to instruct others on how to do the same. She currently speaks at Boston’s Art Institute, where she espouses her views on using ceramics as an art form to create metaphors for many different aspects in our world and our experiences with it. That’s long-winded all right, but her art is definitely worth checking out. Just look her up and you’ll see, it’s interesting to say the least.

Last but certainly not least among these 10 ceramic artists is Eszter Imre. This Hungarian native was born in 1985 and while she is still young and lacking the experience of the other artists listed here, she is already living the artist’s life. Imre travels across Europe and elsewhere while picking up educational degrees here and there during her travels. At present, Imre can be found in Sweden, where she makes a point of showing her works in local expositions and exhibitions, while broadcasting her skills to the rest of the world. This is one artist to keep an eye on as we move toward the future.