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Honolulu 12 Tile

Honolulu 12 Tile

My abstract ceramic pieces are experiments in design. Finding balance between geometric and organic is my goal, like the ideal relationship between humankind and the environment. Abstract design welcomes a little chaos, so long as it does not affect the craftsmanship or integrity of the piece.

Arts & Crafts Statement by Douglas Kenney

The difference between art and craft is that art usually does not have a real function in people's lives other than it aesthetic beauty. Craft, on the other hand, has some function in a household. Functional pottery, tile, a vase all have uses. A painting or sculpture works on its aesthetics. Paintings and figurative work have traditionally been thought of as fine art. Also, if it hangs on a wall it can be referred to as art similar to a painting or drawing.

In my work, coming from western art training, I decided to use the wall as a place to display a lot of my work. In western architecture there is a vast quanity of open wall space in homes. From a marketing perspective, as an artist, I decided to compete with painting for this open wall space. Ceramic vessel and object makers always need a shelf or pedestal to display their work. Since the walls are so large, I make large pieces to fill this empty space.

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Artist Statement

Kenney says, "My abstract ceramic pieces are experiments in design. Finding balance between geometric and organic is my goal, like the ideal relationship between humankind and the environment. Abstract design welcomes a little chaos, so long as it does not affect the craftsmanship or integrity of the piece." The forms, colors and glazing and firing techniques of Kenney's work have been developed over three decades of working with clay. Living in Hawaii for 11 years has put a little twist of Hawaii into the visual language of the surface decorations.

Kenney's original concept of old and new ceramics (developed in graduate school) is now an abstracted version of the same idea. He uses traditional forms plates and vases along with stack forms, sculpture and tile to display this surface treatment. Kenney say's, "The excitement in ceramics for me comes from the process of making objects and the finished product when displayed. I like bright colors that stand out while the layering of information creates an illusion of depth. The approach is similar to that of abstract paintings but with ceramics the shape of each object and the permanence of firing make a unique statement."

The latest challenge Kenney is faced with is the completion of the 50' X 30' new studio that is to be built next to his new house on a 1.81 acre property in the Mt. Helix area of San Diego County. It is here where Kenney will continue his ceramic art making endeavors. The new state of the art studio is to be nestled among 85 foot pine trees on a 125' X 65' building pad.

Kenney's ceramic art is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, the City of Honolulu, and the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park Museum, in Japan. His art has been exhibited in many important cities throughout the United States, Paris, Tokyo, and Seoul

Read More:Douglas Kenney Bio