Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ceramic sculptor Anthony Foo wins award at 23rd Annual “Made in California” exhibit.

May 31st, 2008.

The City of Brea Art Gallery's 23rd Annual "Made in California" Juried Exhibition awarded ceramic sculptor Anthony Foo a cash prize for this "Earthship 1" and "Within Us" sculptures.

I'm thrilled to have my pieces recognized with their different stories: "Earthship 1" explores how life came to be on Earth, while "Within Us" portrays a rough exterior protecting the soft interior within us. It is fulfilling for me to see the patrons connecting with the sculptures."

Many of the artists and patrons did not know what "paperclay" was, so for me it was part educating and promoting my medium of choice. Many of them were totally fascinated by the heavily textured pod with white crystals popping out randomly in the "Within Us" sculpture. One viewer thought I had painstakingly put each and every one in! Each pod was hand formed (pinch form). Since the form stands on essentially a point, I had to make a scaffolding (out of paperclay) to keep the pods in place during bisque and high fire. My intent was to see partially through the two outer pods into the center white pod. The tear is deliberate. 

I decided to use a metal base (a solid block of aluminum, textured with a pein hammer) to give contrast to the naturalness of the clay. As an added benefit, the whole assembly will rotate around the axis of the support rod so I can change the perspective of the piece (when I feel like it).

The "shell" of "Earthship 1" was originally made out of the heavy grogged clay, aptly called "Grogzilla", but I found out it did not have the green strength to keep its shape. I wanted a heavy texture for the outside of the pod. Paperclay saved the day; I made the shape, allowed it to dry and then added wet paperclay onto the dry paperclay shell  - wet to dry joins - to create the roughness. The brown pods were of Black Mountain sculpture clay, each one made and set aside till past leather hard and then joined to the inside of the shell with more wet paperclay. The white tentacles of Southern Ice porcelain paperclay (natural color of the clay) were formed uniquely for each pod. It is a high fire - Cone 10 - piece. The tentacles were later attached following a numbering system I set up for each pod.

I enjoy using the different clay bodies the way they are, exploiting their natural colors and textures to create the feel and mood of the piece.

To read more about "Earthship 1" please click,
To read more about "Within Us", please click,

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

I really enjoyed seeing these in person at the Brea gallery. It took my breath away as soon as I saw them. I love your work Anthony!