Outside Inspiration: Obsessive Ceramics
Ricky Maldonado has to be at least a little bit obsessive. I saw his ceramic work as an image on Pinterest first and thought for certain I was looking at a polymer cane covered form. But no, the designs he applies are completely hand done, every dot, every dash drawn out on the piece before he carefully fills in the pattern with glazes.
He creates teapots, plates, gift boxes and other vessels as well as balance focused sculptures like this one he titled Alien Mardi Gras.
Ricky’s work is just another reminder that with polymer, we really do have it easy. We can develop patterns of intense intricacy with a handful of skillful steps and end up with yards of it from that one process. We can cover any kind of form with an infinite array of color, marks and texture and rather rapidly.
But sometimes, an extensive, hand applied process just can’t be beat. We have a couple artists in the next issue that apply detail carefully and fastidiously to achieve a complexity that draws you in not just in wonder at the visual impact but also in wonder at the patience and vision that created them. When the Spring issue of The Polymer Arts comes out (due to be mailed in digital and print out by the 18th) look for the work of artists such as Aniko Kolesnikova, Gera Scott Chandler, Marisol Ross, Sandra McCaw and Susan Dyer … all artist who obviously spend a great deal of time working out and developing the details in their pieces.
Quick and simple can be great for producing a large number of items that can be sold at a reasonable cost but as an artist, there is nothing to compare to a piece you spend hours and days, maybe even weeks or months with, a piece that gets every last consideration and fully expresses your intent and vision. These kinds of pieces take time, are harder to sell for a price worthy of your efforts (we also have an article on pricing your art work in this next issue) and can be much harder to part, especially if you don’t do this kind of thing often. But then, if you find you love it and do have a hard time parting with such pieces, doesn’t that just tell you that you probably need to take this approach more often?
Something to ponder this weekend. Me, I will be pondering the last of the seemingly never-ending details that accompany a periodical being readied for the printer. At least this is the kind of project is something I not only have no problem parting with, I am thrilled to send it out to all of you so you can get as excited about the inspiring ideas, words and art of the artists who so generously share their stories and work with us this issue. I very much look forward to hearing what you think.