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|Martin Tagseth||Lake Lenore, Saskatchewan|
The studio research I am presently engaged in could be viewed as an examination of the indicators of utility, and their formal significance to our contemporary understanding of ceramic form. It is not my intent to consciously direct the viewer toward a specific aesthetic, but to simply present them with what I consider to be poetic objects that may alter the way in which they view ceramics as a whole.
The main body of my current work is concerned with the manipulation of those elements seen as those that primarily dictate function. The forms used throughout are both historically & culturally significant, and are intended to be recognizable as such. By altering the scale, proportion, surface considerations and the spaces the works inhabit, the resulting ceramic pieces are seen in constructed or fabricated context, and provide the viewer with a new reading on the object's tradition.
Numerous ideas actively influence the manner in which I address these ceramic works. Of primary relevance are those that arise from my personal western Canadian heritage, and the ceramic traditions of 17th Century Korea and China. The relationship between storage/architecture, and the notion of decoration/surface are also points of departure that contribute to ideas associated with an objects' purpose.
My continued research in the chemistry of ceramic materials in combination with wood firing has introduced the element of chance into this evolving tradition. The use of fire as an expressive tool provides the work with something unattainable with intellect alone. Fire is the elusive element that gives rise to a conscious awareness of the crucial role of chance within the work, and that it may in the end be the only governor of the work's ultimate success or failure.
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