Coil-built ceramic landscape

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Karen Allen Reed (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Andrew Martin

Abstract: The thesis work evolved from a series of snail fantasy-landscapes in clay, in which the hollow, hillocky form was built of coils which twisted, curled, and meandered but at the same time interlocked to form a solid structure. In some of these landscapes small nude figures are embedded, as if in the surface of their dream. In these earlier pieces I experimented with various ways of relating the structure to the ground plane. The latest of these is included in the thesis group as a transitional piece. It is elongated rather than compact and arches up at the base to allow a flow of space through the center of the form. The later pieces all develop from a solid, unbroken relationship with the ground plane. The two domical constructions rest on a circular coil of clay, then swell outward slightly before rising and turning inward. Progressively the coils of clay are activated, squeezed into ripples which interlock on the surface. Where they terminate at the mouth of the form the coils are tiny and springy, almost to the point of breaking off into the space of the void. In the next six works a box, whose proportions approach those of the cube, ultimate symbol of repose and stability, is used as the supporting mechanism for an elaborate network of twisting, snaky coils of clay, which represent branching plant forms. The box exists as a sort of internal base for the sculpture; without it these extensions of the material would be impossible.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1975

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