Fall 2008 Ceramic Work

Here is the work I made  in the fall of 2008 at the Kansas City Art Institute Ceramics department. The instructor for the semester, Misty Gamble,  focused on figure sculpture, and direct observation. The work was largly self-portrait based, and often became a self-referential narrative.

The first assignment was to sculpt my hand or foot with an object. I chose to depict my hand, resting on a favorite stuffed animal of mine. Stuffed animals reference my childhood, and remind me of being comforted. So, this piece is titled, “Comfort”.


white stoneware, mason stains, underglaze, electric fired

This next piece is a lifesize self portrait head.  I chose to position myself as if looking up from a pool of water, this angle proved to be very challenging to sculpt. I used nicrome wire for the eyelashes and eyebrows, to give the illusion of fine hair. I chose white orchids because of their connections to love, and permanance. This piece is titled, “Among the Orchids”.

white stoneware, mason stains, soda fired

white stoneware, mason stains, soda fired

This is a full body self-portrait. The narrative in this piece became the focus for me. I wanted to express the way that people interact with animals, and the different emotions we feel. The figure is 3/4 life size, while the animal she reaches out to, a Malayan Tapir calf, is depicted at life size. I chose a tapir because very few people have much knowledge or exposure to them due to their dwindling population and limited habitat in South America. It is the idea of the unknown animal that makes the figures reach all the more important, and gives this piece the name, “Intrigue”.

white stoneware, mason stains, underglaze, electric fired

white stoneware, mason stains, underglaze, electric fired

Tapir, detail

Tapir, detail

About Ariel Bowman

I grew up in Dallas, Texas where I learned to love nature, animals, and art. I graduated with a BFA in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2011. I am currently working towards my MFA in ceramics at the University of Florida. This blog serves as a way for my friends and family, as well as anyone interested in my work, to view not only the finished pieces, but some of the process as well. You can subscribe to this blog to keep up to date on what I am currently working on in the studio, research, new sources, and exhibitions.
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1 Response to Fall 2008 Ceramic Work

  1. sweeeetyb says:

    These sculptures are amazing ! Congratulations of your achievements. Nice site too, clear and well organized…maybe you could do a workshop on making large scale sculpture this summer in Texas….and there are some calls for exhibition in which these pieces could be included.

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