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 ceramics- booth at beverly hills art show Picture of booth from Pasadena Convention Center, June 5-7, 2015  

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.

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Inside a stack form during fabrication

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Wheel thrown plates and kids work

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Porcelain slip plates

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Wheel thrown work

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Ferrules and stainless cable

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Finished tile work 20” x 20” tiles

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Detail of porcelain inlay slip design

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Detail porcelain and slip cone 5


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.

Arts & Crafts Statement

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.

Tiles and plates on the wall can form modular units. By making large ceramic pieces I am defeating the idea of practical use. I am also isolating my work in the market because very few ceramists work on this scale because of their physical strength, limitations and technical knowledge – fabrication, firing, shipping, etc. So, as a ceramist my work is unlike other ceramists. The market is looking for alternatives to traditional painting for walls. I have found that long narrow pieces are easily fit into western homes. There are many long narrow wall spaces left in a home where traditional paintings are displayed on the big wall spaces. One of the most important remnants that document ancient Greek civilization is from ceramic pieces. Ceramics has the ability to withstand the elements over long periods of time and can be displayed outside unaffected by sun and weather.

Winning competitions and having museums and galleries show my art are big incentives to keep creating, but that is only a part of what keeps me going. The fact is I create better work when I am grappling with multiple pieces at the same time.

Ceramics Classes

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Shipping and handling to continental US has been included in the price of the work. International, Alaska and Hawaii shipping is at a different rate. Please contact the artist to get a quote.