Alex Thullen, Senior Glaze Technician, writes about our curating our current exhibition “State of Flux.”
I cannot have been an ideal student.
It would be charitable to say that I was willful, and I often annoyed my professors by spending so much time testing and experimenting with glazes, I rarely bothered to make pots to put them on. I caught the glaze bug very early on in my ceramic career, and it has been an endless source of fascination, and frustration to me ever since.
When I began working at Pewabic as an Instructor, I knew very little about the Pottery or it’s history. I very quickly absorbed the story of Mary Stratton and her keen interest in glaze experimentation and development, something I had just begun to scratch the surface of myself. Over the last 6 1/2 years, my position as Pewabic Glaze Technician has contributed a great deal to my ability and desire to continue my exploration into this facet of the Ceramic process.
When I first approached Pewabic about hosting this exhibition two years ago, my goal was simple – to collect and present a body of works by ceramic artists who like myself, suffer from the same affliction: a never-ending need to experiment, to explore and to discover new and innovative approaches to the ceramic surface. I was extremely gratified to see the enthusiasm with which this concept was received, but also extremely honored to be asked to participate myself. In selecting artists to take part in this exhibit, it was essential to have as much aesthetic variation represented as possible, while remaining true to the theme of this show. In addition, each of the artists brings a unique approach and catalogue of experience to their work that has contributed to a collection of objects with a tremendous range and diversity.
Even in just the last few days, I have repeatedly found myself being drawn back to view these objects again and again, each time finding something new to see and to experience. If there is larger theme here to be hit upon, it is to hope that we can begin to demonstrate the potential of the glazed surface; that functional or decorative, conceptual or communicative concerns aside, the ceramic surface can be something extraordinary to interact with and experience.
Alex Thullen, Senior Glaze Technician
Photo by Lex Dodson.
Curator Talk with Alex Thullen | Thursday, February 27 – 7:00 pm
State of Flux highlights the work of five artists exploring and refining the nuances of Tenmoku, Crystalline, and Iridescent glazes. Join exhibiting artist and Pewabic senior glaze technician Alex Thullen for a presentation on the history of these glaze techniques and how they influence each of the exhibiting artists.