Essay on Ceramists

Richard Fairbanks, although many times overlooked, was an important American ceramist.He was known as a “loner” and because of this he was never really appreciated for his talent.Fairbanks was greatly influence by his professors.Professor Paul Bonifas, who taught at the University of Washington, was one who left a huge impact on Fairbanks work.Fairbanks created a system of sketching pottery profiles, which stemmed from Bonifas' teachings, as a mean of “thinking on paper.”This approach to pottery through sketching was a crucial element that separated Fairbanks from many other Asian-inspired American peers.Although, Fairbanks was a wheel thrown expert, he continued to “think on paper” throughout his creative life.
Much of what absorbs Fairbanks interests can be seen in his making of candlesticks, casseroles, and vases.During the later part of his life he created three of his final pieces.One being the Stoneware Heart Plate, 1985, secondly the Stoneware server, 1985, and thirdly the Stoneware Vase, 1985.These were three of Fairbanks last works, which suggest the direction in which he was headed, in terms of what defined his style, before he became deathly ill.
The plate, which is an exploration of decoration, is liquid clay or “slip pattern” of concentric circles around a valentine heart.This plate was wheel thrown, and glazed with iron oxide and copper red washes.I find it very interesting because it seems to portray more emotion than most of his other pieces.This can probably be indirectly associated with Fairbanks illness and how he was feeling at the time.
The next piece he made during his period of illness was called the “Stoneware Server.”The server can be explained by “unadorned simplicity.”It also takes on some style of the art deco period.Fairbanks decided that for the server, he would decorate a new style of handles.The thrown thread-spool shape.Many peo…

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