The graduate ceramic seminar had a field trip to Cleveland for a lecture by Marek Cecula. He did not focus on his own work in the lecture, but on the role/use of ceramics in design. There were lots of example of rapid prototyping (which I like to imagine as a box that you put an image in, close the door, and when you open it the drawing has been transformed into an object), handmade v digital models, altered historical ceramics, and medical ceramics - which made me want an eye patch.
I especially loved the altered ceramic pieces... using dental drills and other high powered, high precision tools artists remove parts of ceramic forms and/or surface decorations to create new works of art or products. I am intrigued by this idea... that there are enough objects in the world, but it is possible to use them to express new ideas.
I think, like a lot of other ceramic artists, I have some guilt over making more product and working in a such a wasteful field. I am not sure what the answer is, because I think my work will always want a functional outlet - that is one thing that initially drew me to ceramics. I guess it's up to debate whether my sculptures have to be ceramic - but I do feel strongly about being part of the historical discussion that is the figure in ceramics.
There was so much in this lecture, with well over 100 images. I left totally impressed with the new processes and products available - and with the vague feeling that my work is totally irrelevant...
Here is an image from one of Cecula's installations: