Douglas Kenney Welcomes Commission Work 

Although commissioned pieces often take more time than making pieces on speculation, they provide the artist with another perspective or vision. 

Kenney says he has to do 2 of everything to make sure that there are no problems with the end product.  For instance: a piece could crack during drying and firing, glaze could fall off, a piece may get knocked over and kilns can over fire. There are so many variables to overcome to finish with a specific designed ceramic piece.  If the ceramist makes two of everything there always is a backup. 

In ceramics there is about a 3 month lead time to finish a piece. 
Most people who want commissioned work want the artist to use as much of their own creativity as possible.  Customers want a commissioned work to fit in with what they already have or have the finished work fit in a specific spot that they have a hard time finding something to fit.  Kenney works with clients to figure out what they want.  In most cases the first round of drawings/design consultation is complimentary.  

Billing starts on the second round or revision to the initial artist concept.  To start fabrication of an approved design Kenney requests half of the total cost upfront and this portion is non-refundable.  The remaining balance is due upon delivery of the commissioned art. 

The current limits on size of Kenney’s kilns are 32” wide and 32” tall.  Photos of a few of the more notable commissions Kenney has completed are portrayed here.  

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.

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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