Thursday, March 13, 2014

Benzle Porcelain

Curtis Benzle

A porcelain ceramicist who stains his porcelain so that his clay is only 20% of clay and the ending product looks like glass becasue  it's very translucent. All of the vessels are made of slabs.  When painting or printing, he begins with a slab of less than a millimeter in thickness(usually painted as slip onto a fabric and allowed to dry to a malleable state).  The appropriate marks are then generated on this surface. Benzle started doing this in the 1970's in various ways of

"nerikomi---specific images are created in layers within a tube or "log" and then segmented as cross-sections.  These image wafers are then used either individually(as with much of the fish imagery) or as repeat pattern.  When used as repeat pattern I vary the individual wafer size to provide movement within the overall assembled pattern.  I came to the nerikomi technique through my graduate studies in glass.  At that time, early 70's, the most common reference technique was "millefiori" glass.  I simply transferred the glass technique to porcelain.

slip painting----large color fields are usually painted in with colored slip made from the same recipe as the malleable body.  I also use slip to paint in specific details in some of the fish.

print----I use stencils and stamps to generate some of the imagery.   The decision to use nerikomi, painting or printing is based on the content of the overall piece.  In general, nerikomi provides a crisper image, painting yields a more fluid imagery and print falls somewhere in-between". (

I chose Curtis Benzle because I am fascinated by the way porcelain looks and it's translucency it gives when around a light source.

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