The primary focus of my work is to show sea life forms that are
    known to exist. Through my own perspective I am making art, that was
    influenced by my experiences through vacations of my youth. I am
    trying to use the forms to express my wonderment.  A world  that co-
    exists within our world that is somewhat foreign to us creatures that
    exist on land. The first encounter  with sea creatures for me was at
    age six with my family. We visited the ocean and the beach.  This made
    for a life long curiosity for things that live in the ocean.
      The secondary focus are objects that have a great visual form. I
    want people to see the forms and surface that causes the viewer to
    blur the line between reality. The forms that are somewhat dream like.
    I would like the viewer to be transported to the line between dream
    and reality.
      I am using techniques that exploit the properties of clay. The
    shaping techniques allow me to make forms that are a gesture of the
    real sea life. They are similar to the real forms so the viewer is able to
    identify what forms I am presenting. I am trying to show enough
    information to make the forms able to be recognized. I want the forms
    to be different enough to show parts of the forming and shaping
    process to make the ceramics process textures a critical part of the
    process. The surface, I want to feel organic but have hints of the
    actual sea life forms to help reinforce the shapes.
      Clay is the right material for these forms. I still have room in the
    ceramic process of firing at different temperatures to best suite each
    form. Using cone 10 reduction enables me to make the reef forms to
    have the feeling of being wet and dry at the same time and to have
    the mystery of the high fire process. The use of the Terra Sig. and
    colored slip enables me to make the other sea forms to have a correct
    skin , to give the pieces enough life to convey the feeling I intended. I
    tend to use different oxides ( cobalt, nickel, and rutile) color layers to
    add depth to the surface of the forms.
     I also tend on separating the reef forms to make possible that a
    viewer visually will be able to move through my pieces, to make
    things feel more dimensional. I feel that I am using the right material
    for my forms. Using the metal as a structural and decorative
    component has enabled me to work on forms that would not be
    possible any other way.
      The pieces that I am making have had other influences;  people that
    I have worked with directly , some have been artists that I have
    attended work shops.  These artists have art work or ideas that has
    become a source of inspiration. I have taken small parts of their style
    to help forge the work that I am currently making. The artists that have
    become my sources of inspiration ; Wes Blizzard (high school
    educator and creator of the Ohio Youth Art Exhibition , his zest for
    sharing ceramics with youth and promoting education), Meeting Tom
    Radca while in high school and interviewing him about his work and
    looking at his bright glazes (Ceramics Artist,Port Washington, Ohio),
    Ed Corle (University of Findlay ceramics professor , showed me that a
    potter can still be considered an artist), Steven Hill(artist red star
    studios, altered forms can be amazing with the right skin), Tom
    Coleman (ceramic artist Los Vegas N.V., that glazes can become the
    signature of an artist), Jim Leedy (ceramic artist Kansas City Missouri ,
    that something crude and rough can be made with technical precision
    and ugly can be beautiful ). They each have qualities of their ceramics
    background that make me want to do more in my work to become a
    better ceramist and educator.
      Ceramics is more to me than something of a distraction from life, it is
    my life. All I have and have become is directly from ceramics. It is the
    one constant that has been in life, at each stage , to enrich my life. I
    learned at a fairly early age that ceramics was going to be a major part
    of my life. At age 12 I touched clay for the first time. I had an usual
    talent with clay on the potters wheel. I was able to throw after only
    watching after one short demonstration on how to use the potters
    wheel. Clay had awakened something that was ingrained within me
    that made me only to want to work more with clay.
        The work that I am doing currently , I am unsure how it fits into
    current contemporary contexts. I am not trying to follow a set trend or
    make a trend. I am doing my work to satisfy my self that fulfills me as a
    ceramic artist. I have done a “commercial line of work” that I was able
    to sell with modest success , but it left me somewhat unfulfilled as an
    artist. I guess historical perspective will show if the work that I am
    making is worthy of being a footnote in ceramic history.

        I feel most in tune with feeling alive while working and expressing
    my self using clay.

                          Kevin Russell
Copyright: Kevin Russell Ceramics 201
                            All Rights Reserved.