Joe Hicks Ceramics


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    I’m a potter and Associate Professor of Art at Marymount University, where I guide the Ceramics and 3D Design programs for the School of Design and Art. I also produce a wide variety of functional and decorative pottery vessels through investigating an American interpretation of the traditional Japanese glaze called, shino. Each piece is a unique artifact fused from the interactions of fire, clay, and feldspar, and they are intended to meld the qualities of aesthetic exploration and daily use.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: My process is organized around stages of production, where I establish rhythms that encourage spontaneous thought and interpretation. These rhythms are typically organized between the two stages of vessel production and the firing process. I’m always considering and reacting to the results from my most recent firings. This promotes a continuous range of aesthetics and experimentation related to surface and form, while balancing choices between maintaining tradition and developing innovation.

    A: Persistent experimentation and discovery drive my work. I’m interested in how the melding of earth materials create color and texture responses due to their engagement with fire, and how those vessels contribute to our daily lives. Every time I use or see a vessel, I’m also experiencing and admiring the story of its creation, which is observed from its surfaces and textures.

    A: All of the glaze surfaces are unique and mostly unexpected. I don’t have much control over the final surface characteristics of my vessels. They are mostly affected by material choice and their exposure to the kiln atmosphere. I can encourage a range of effects based on my knowledge of glaze composition and application, but their quality is dependent on the serendipitous relationship between the chemical behavior of materials and the firing process.

    A: Experiencing the firing process creates a condition of persistent wonder and constant deliberation. Every firing is different, and the process is truly an art form. I must rely on intuition and past experience to advise my choices at particular moments while guiding each firing. I’m constantly observing and wondering about how the choices I’ve made will affect color and surface quality of the ceramic vessels inside the kiln. This is why I continue to work with these particular methods and materials, because they constantly create an opportunity for the unexpected.

    A: I owe a lot to my ceramic instructors while attending college, but I’m most influenced by my peers. There are so many talented potters and artists to admire. The work of other professionals provide influence and motivation to keep up with their skill, technique, and discovery. I’m constantly amazed by the new designs and processes developed by contemporary potters, and how together we are contributing to innovation in our field for the next generation.

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