I’m looking forward to a very brief visit to the Boston area tomorrow as I swing through town to participate in a panel discussion at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. Kathleen Dustin will be moderating and it looks like I will have the honor of sharing the stage with Jeffery Lloyd Dever, Elise Winters, Torrey Hughes, and Bonnie Bishoff. I’m excited about what by what will no doubt be a memorable exhibition and thought provoking discussion. The panel begins at 1pm and will be followed by a 2pm reception. Here’s a peek at the exhibition followed by the museum’s press release:
and then there’s my rayguns:
FULLER CRAFT MUSEUM PRESENTS
SCULPTING COLOR: WORKS IN POLYMER CLAY
AUGUST 8, 2009 – NOVEMBER 8, 2009
Exhibition features new forms and techniques in polymer clay by innovators and
pioneers of the medium.
(Brockton, MA – July 14, 2009) Fuller Craft Museum presents Sculpting Color: Works in Polymer Clay from August 8 – November 8, 2009. The exhibition, curated by artist Kathleen Dustin, explores surprising applications of this medium, showcasing artists and innovators continually pushing the limits of this highly adaptable, dazzlingly colored material.
Artists represented in this exhibition include Laura Balombini (Maine), Bonnie Bishoff and JM Syron (Rockport, Mass.), Jeffrey Lloyd Dever (Maryland), Grant Diffendaffer (California), Kathleen Dustin (New Hampshire), Steven Ford and David Forlano (Pennsylvania), Alev Gozonar (Turkey), Victoria Hughes (New Mexico), Jessica McCambly (California) Cynthia Toops (Washington), Elise Winters (New Jersey), and Rebecca Zimmerman.
Polymer clay is a synthetic material based on polymer polyvinyl chloride and one or more of several kinds of liquid plasticizer to keep it workable until cured. It usually contains no refractory clay materials but is called “clay” because it can be manipulated in the same manner. By the addition of pigments, it is available in a wide variety of colors and other individualized colors may be created by kneading the available colors together in much the same manner as paint is mixed. It hardens irreversibly to become stiff (while continuing to maintain some flexibility) by curing at a temperature created in a typical home oven.
Importantly, polymer clay does not shrink or change texture during this process. It may be recured an unlimited number of times with no adverse effect. After curing, it may be sanded, carved, drilled, or polished.
Because of its relative expense, it was previously used almost exclusively in the form of jewelry; in this exhibit, large-scale forms predominate: sculpture, furniture, wall pieces, and installations.
In the craft tradition of using simple tools to create extraordinary works of fine art, polymer clay can be manipulated by hand or with simple household implements. “A handful of American professional artists began to develop the artistic potential of polymer clay in the mid 1980s,” said Dustin. “Today, there is a high level of technical innovation in polymer clay artistry inspired by the color properties, intricacy, malleability and unlimited design possibilities of the medium.”
Though these contemporary techniques are derived from methods for shaping other mediums like hot glass, metal and natural clay, they are perfectly suited to polymer clay’s remarkable retention of vibrant color. Two innovations showcased in this exhibition are millefiore, a hot glass technique of fusing colored materials in staggeringly intricate patterns, and the Skinner blend, an evolving method unique to polymer clay named for its inventor, Judith Skinner.
Fuller Craft Museum will celebrate the opening of Sculpting Color: Works in Polymer Clay with a public reception on Aug. 16 at 2 p.m. at Fuller Craft Museum.
Currently at Fuller Craft Museum
The Perfect Fit – Shoes Tell Stories
Through January 3, 2010
Beyond the Embargo – Cuban and American Ceramics
June 11, 2009 through October 18, 2009
Chunghie Lee – My Cup Overflows
June 11, 2009 through October 18, 2009
Days of Spring – Memories of Intimate Connections Wood Sculpture by Christian Burchard
Through November 29, 2009
Coming Soon to Fuller Craft Museum
Warren MacKenzie: Legacy of an American Potter
October 31, 2009—January 18, 2010
Fuller Craft Museum, Inc., New England’s only museum of contemporary craft, is dedicated to the objects,
ideas, and insight that inspire both patrons and artists to explore life through the art of contemporary craft.
Fuller Craft Museum is located at 455 Oak Street in Brockton, Mass. The Museum is open Tuesday through
Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., with free admission for all Wednesdays from 5—9 p.m. Admission is $8 adults, $5
seniors and students, free for members and children 12 and under. For more information on Fuller Craft
exhibitions and events please visit www.fullercraft.org or call 508.588.6000.
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Fuller Craft Museum, New England’s home for contemporary craft.