Andrew Avakian Ceramics

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Meet the Artist

Work by Andrew Avakian Ceramics
  • About This Artist

    Growing up in NC the importance, tradition and influence of craft was all around me. I make ceramic vessels inspired by architecture, historic vessels and paintings. I distill these artistic themes and ideas and allow users to connect with them in a tactile way through daily use of my pottery. Pattern, color, and geometric abstraction all work together to harmonize the many aspects in the pots. Slips, underglazes, glazes, and use of a sand blaster make possible the varied surfaces on my pottery.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I build my vessels using shapes I cut from stiff slabs of terra cotta clay. The shapes are then assembled to create the three dimensional forms. Once the forms are refined and the texture has been applied, they are allowed to dry completely. Then multiple layers of underglaze and slips are applied, and the pieces are bisqued. The vessels are sandblasted, the patterns are revealed and the multiple layers become one. The pots are then glazed and loaded back into the kiln for the final firing.

    A: I love ceramics for the unending variations and possibilities available. I enjoy the tactile nature of functional ceramics. When someone uses a mug I have made its like a handshake, we connect. I like being a part of people's daily rituals around food and nourishment, and the opportunities they provide for that connection.

    A: Probably the most unexpected thing about my process is my use of a sandblaster, that usually makes people pause. It came out of striving for a truly unique surface treatment that could be used with glazes to produce a strong and food safe surface. Many layers of color are combined and inlayed together create the final result.

    A: I receive inspiration from so many places. From painters such as Joseph Albers and Degas. From historic vessels like Chinese bronze, German folk pottery and Japanese mallet vases. The angular and playful forms of buildings by architects like Zaha Hadid and Freddy Mamani Silvestre. I bring all of these influences into my pots and into people's homes.

    A: Ceramics is all about kinship and community. The nature of ceramics has always required people to collaborate to fill and fire kilns and share the responsibilities of making clay and keeping the studio running. I currently share a studio space with two other ceramicist, we share a kiln and the upkeep of the space. We hold yearly sales and support each other. Community is what draws many people to ceramics in the first place and I am no exception.

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