Ariana Heinzman Ceramics

Ariana Heinzman Ceramics

About The Artist

Ariana Heinzman • Vashon, WA

Ariana Heinzman is a ceramic based artist, creating sculpture, wall works, and functional objects that blend floral imagery, utilitarian vessels, and the body. Her work represents the dueling desires of succumbing to nature and controlling it. However distressing these conflicting desires can be, the work honors the beauty of life with joyful patterns and forms that celebrate nature and human ingenuity. Heinzman creates quickly and intuitively, keeping her hand in the work. This direct process captures the urgency and joy of making and acknowledges the agency of the materials. The raw clay retains memory and reacts to Heinzman's touch. Forms are coil built and smoothed by hand. Each layer in turn defines the path of the next. Pigmented slip is applied in layers with brushes in gestural strokes forming bold lines and patterns. Form and surface are used to build illusion. There is a contrast between the naked clay body - soft and imperfect - and the bold, graphic finishing adornments.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I primarily coil build my work out of stoneware. My most affordable/smallest work is slip cast from a hand built form I created. I apply patterns by hand using brushes. I apply the underglaze onto bisqueware. I use a shiny black glaze on the inside of my work. I then fire to cone 6.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Clay is a familiar material intrinsically tied with humanity. I love how I can create a language with the viewer by referencing particular movements, forms, and patterns. Specifically I am influenced by and reference Pennsylvanian German Fraktur, and William Morris. In my functional practice I enjoy seeing these influences in a contemporary setting. In my sculptural practice, I strive to incorporate the familiar into works that do not fit inside the confines of a functional object. I blends themes from traditional folk art, the arts and crafts movement, and the graphic arts and re-contextualizes theses themes into sculpture. Not to "elevate" but to see these forms and styles without the restrictions of purpose in a contemporary setting.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I only use brushes to apply underglaze to the surface of my work and I hand-build for the most part to try and keep my hand in my work. I really enjoy seeing other ceramicists "touch" with clay. It is so specific and unique like handwriting. I do not consider my techniques particularly unique although I do not see many people using underglaze and hand-building large work. However, to me what keeps my work unique is my touch.