I've been making some big tiles lately with underglazes applied on greenware and bisque, with a clear glaze on top, fired to 2185 F (1196 C). I use Laguna buff sculpture cone 5 clay because it hardly, ever cracks and is super strong after firing - and it does not craze with Laguna clear bright glaze. I make large slabs with this clay by hand. The tile in the photo above has an embedded porcelain pieces in the surface. Because the color of the clay itself is tan, I usually cover the tile/slab with white slip. This white background makes underglazes appear brighter and more vibrant. My goal is to make art out of each piece so I do different things to each one to make it one-of-a-kind. I like to use underglazes because one can get almost any color possible. Also, layering of colors on top one another other is easy, they don't move or bleed like glazes, and when applying them to the surface of the clay they look like a matte version of the piece after firing. Underglazes are a pleasure to use when creating ceramic artwork.

Here are some in-process press-molded ceramic sculptures, ceramic tiles and ceramic plates made here at the clay studio in La Mesa, CA. These will soon be available for purchase.

Douglas Kenney had a very strong showing at the both the Beverly Hills Art Show as well as at the Pasadena Contemporary Crafts Market. Here's photos of the booths.

Douglas Kenney, San Diego ceramic artist is currently finishing up some very nice pieces. Made in La Mesa, CA, these ceramic tiles, plates and wheel-thrown work are certain to attract a lot of attention.

How to Hang Ceramic Wall Art

Contemporary Ceramic Plates

Many ceramists make plates. Some are functional in the traditional sense and others are non-functional. If the plate is not designed for food or serving then display of the work deserves some thought. Quite a few ceramic artists use the plate form as a canvas for a two or three dimensional concept. A horizontal display of a plate with a two dimensional or three dimensional design does not show the surface design very well. As a result, the creator of this artwork is not connecting with the viewer. So, in order to have the public see and appreciate a non functional or 3/D plate the maker should think about ceramic wall display. There are many different ways to hang a plate on the wall. Douglas Kenney has been making plates for the wall since 1987.

Here are a couple ways to hang a plate that don't do the art justice:

  1. Using a wire plate hanger
  2. Using a wall mounted acrylic stand

These techniques show the hanging mechanism which detracts from the ceramic art. My recommendation is to integrate the hanging mechanism with the piece. There are a couple of ways to do this. One can make two holes in the plate foot of the plate, in the green state, to be able to thread some wire through there after firing. This is a simple fix but it does reduce the options in the hanging orientation. Some artists like this because if the plate surface design is a portrait / landscape they only want it to hang one way.

Ceramic Wall Art Hanging System by Douglas Kenney

An abstract plate surface design is more universal and may require a more options in a wall hanging solution. Douglas Kenney contemporary, abstract ceramic plates are designed with the patron in mind, too. By extending the flange around the foot out during the making process a ledge forms. After the final firing a cable with a loop is fitted around this flange and secured with ferrules. This technique allows the plate to be display in any orientation 360 degrees.

This tutorial will be continued in my next post, with a discussion about cable, rigging and cable cutting tools.

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.

Ceramics Classes

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