A collaboration with ceramicist Eric Moss

Immediately I needed to share one thing that you just may not find out about me. I’ve been a metallic sculptor for over 20 years, however unusually sufficient, a really giant proportion of the artists I comply with occur to be individuals who primarily work in ceramics and clay (certainly one of them, is Eric Moss). I can’t say why precisely, however whereas I dwell my artistic life amongst metallic, I’m disproportionately drawn to pottery and ceramic sculpture. 

Possibly it is as a result of I discovered I’m allergic to dusty environments that my path took me into metallic as an alternative of clay. Both method, regardless of my vocation of alternative, I’ve developed an excellent appreciation for the muddy arts. On condition that data, one may assume {that a} mud and metallic collaboration with one other artist was inevitable, and you’d be proper…kind of 

So whereas I want to announce a collaboration between myself and fellow ceramic artist Eric Moss, the humorous twist is that my contribution to this challenge won’t truly be fabricated from metallic, it is going to be wooden? Who would have thought? 

I ought to actually let Eric converse for himself as he’s the one doing the heavy lifting for this challenge. Beneath are his ideas on the challenge. 

From Eric:

“I first encountered Chris’ extraordinary artwork in 2018 within the Instagram posts of certainly one of his collectors, who additionally occurred to be following my channel. He remarked on our similarity of appreciation in varieties (and even then dreamed of a collaboration). The core of my observe then was raku firing ceramics, a low-tech, quick and brutal course of with the tip end result left very a lot to the whim of the kiln gods quite than the artist – in my early years a lot of my output was misplaced to thermal shock breakages within the ultimate moments after firing. Raku, I believed, is likely to be too far faraway from Chris’ exact, managed and tight-tolerance work to think about a mixed paintings?

Early in 2020, as Chris was getting ready for launch of his ‘fear stone’ meld of metallic and wooden, and in mutual appreciation of one another’s work, we agreed an artswap. Chris despatched me a prototype fear stone in trade for certainly one of my two-part, wheel-thrown raku-fired ‘squid’. By 2020 I had already branched out into slipcasting my ‘waveform’ sculptures in porcelain tile kind, pushed by the necessity economically to make similar items for tessellating wall arrays. So, when Chris posted a picture of a small assortment of ‘overrun’ machined unique wooden ‘jewels’ from his challenge, and I mused how they may look offered in a ceramic mount, Chris despatched a dozen over to me within the UK to “have a play”!

The preliminary impression of Chris’ fear stone was chrysalis-like with the grooved wooden jewel showing just like the segmented underside of a beetle. So, I made a decision my ceramic mount may echo a beetle’s higher facet ‘elytra’ (or wing instances). However, nonetheless occupied in ‘oloid’ and ‘waveform’ manufacturing, I first tried the jewels in each modified oloids and waveforms, every given a brand new recess to accommodate the jewel. These Prototypes #1, #2 and #3 had the texture of seeds with the jewel forming the germ half and Instagram posts of them had been sparking curiosity and requests to accumulate. Prototype #3 ‘waveforms’ in Parian have the added enchantment of translucency in addition to tactility.

My early experiments prompted Chris to supply to advertise a doable collaborative version, though he was nonetheless eager to see a prototype #4 of the ‘elytra’ that I’d first instructed. I got down to attempt to make these and to make the means to batch produce all 4 prototype themes ought to every/any garner sufficient curiosity for manufacturing? The modified oloids (Prototypes #1 & #2), with my primitive making strategies, entailed so many hours of finessing that I elected to make them just for particular fee. I’m nonetheless investigating the technicalities of constructing the elytra in ceramic (growing a ‘slip injection course of’ utilizing plaster casts and kitchenalia) however current as an alternative a divergence into pewter casting of the carved cuttlefish variant ‘elytra’ which I believe works fantastically. I rediscovered cuttlefish casting in 2019 and was eager to include it into my observe each in metallic and ceramic. Lead-free Pewter is a pleasantly heavy (and simply forged) metallic and it nicely defines the expressed laminae of carved cuttlefish in a sensuous, tactile kind.“


As you’ll be able to learn, Eric went in fairly just a few instructions with this challenge, and actually used it as a chance to discover and develop into a variety of processes. I’ve loved exchanging messages with him during the last couple months as developments unfolded.

The extra I’ve realized about Eric’s work, the extra I see myself in it. His aesthetic instincts are fairly complementary to my very own, so it’s fascinating to see my small picket gems function a robust catalyst for his work. To have one thing I designed and machined juxtaposed with such a diametrically totally different medium is a useful strategy to mirror alone course of and distinction the 2.

My craft is inherently exact, and Erics is far more squishy, however they’ve extra in frequent than one may assume. Ceramic work truly suits completely into one of many themes I discuss very often right here on this weblog.

Ceramics is among the oldest industrial processes, And whereas it has taken many varieties all through historical past in lots of cultures, its transition to a definite modern positive artwork studio medium reveals similarities with others crafts that share a utilitarian and ornamental custom.

Like wooden turning, glass making, and varied sorts of metallic work, it’s a course of whose major operate has (very slowly on this case) shifted from the utilitarian to inventive as expertise has modified. Whereas I’m wholly unclear on the timeline, one may level to the transition away from guide ceramics manufacturing to industrial slip casting as the purpose the place the trendy studio ceramics motion was actually in a position to take form. 

Many times, after we see business flip away from expert labor and towards expertise, these forged off expertise typically discover a new area of interest throughout the positive arts. As a sculptor working with expertise, that story has all the time captivated me and it’s a nice level of intersection between what I do, and what Eric does. 

I believe this challenge embodies all of that completely. 

So the subsequent query is likely to be “Can I personal one?”

In fact. As you may need guessed, we’re going to provide up this challenge as an version. I will likely be making a variety of hardwood inserts for Eric, and he will likely be lovingly crafting a house for every of them.

In case you are a collector of my work, or Erics, and are serious about including certainly one of these fantastic artifacts to your assortment, merely click on the hyperlink under and the whole lot it’s good to know must be there.  


I hope you get pleasure from this challenge as a lot as I do, and as all the time, feedback and questions are all the time welcome.