Erin Furimsky – Red Lodge Clay Center

Erin FurimskyBloomington, Illinois

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Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2013, (AIA) 2017

Erin Furimsky is a practicing studio artist in Bloomington, Illinois whose work focuses on the relationship of sculptural form with highly ornamented surfaces. She received a BFA from the Pennsylvania State University (1997) and an MFA from The Ohio State University (2002). Furimsky has exhibited her work nationally with inclusions of her work in international exhibitions in China and Taiwan. Her work has been included in over one hundred group and solo exhibitions, with reproductions of her ceramic work being featured in numerous books and catalogs. Critical reviews of Furimskys’ work have appeared on several occasions in the journals Ceramics Monthly and Ceramics Art and Perception. Furimsky was nominated and chosen as an emerging artist by the National Council on Education of the Ceramic Arts. She has been the recipient of numerous artist residencies, including the Archie Bray Foundation, The Red Lodge Clay Center, The Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and the Oregon College of Art and Design. She is featured in a number streaming video on Ceramic Arts Network.

As an educator Furimsky has been a featured presenter at national workshops, as well as serving as a visiting professor at Illinois State University and Heartland Community College, both in Normal, IL.

I create ceramic sculptures that are swelled, carved, and glazed meticulously. Elements of familiar domestic objects are extracted and reconstructed, allowing me to investigate not only their aesthetic qualities, but also their multiple symbolic functions within our lives. These familiar objects expand with volume becoming bulbous sensual forms that puff out of their own skin, like a pregnant belly or an overstuffed arm chair. I am inspired by the language of ornament enveloping objects and the human form.

Snippets and sections of detailed and deliberate ornament are drawn, painted, and printed in an unabashedly blissful manner.  These carefully chosen fragments and layers accumulate organically across the surface of the piece. I consider myself an explorer, seeking new ways of layering color, pattern, and marks. Multiple repetitive marks represent the ticking of time, as I methodically create dots, dashes, and swirls. In areas, these abstract patterns overflow because of their abundance or disperse like seeds in the wind. One might recognize floral motifs, snowflakes, microbes or calligraphy within the ambiguous multi-layered surfaces. I establish a sense of order, coupling overlapping lines and areas of solid color.

The sculptures are full and weighty yet parts feel buoyant, as if they could float away carrying the rest along with them. I investigate where these two realms, grounded-ness and weightlessness overlap, reflecting the liminal state I often feel in daily life.

On her porcelain jewelry line, Relish Ceramic Design, Erin writes:
Erin Furimsky is a ceramic sculptor who creates art influenced by the history of ornamentation. Her research inspired the creation of a porcelain jewelry line that adorns the body in a contemporary mode. That was the beginning of a visually stunning line of wearable porcelain accessories, Relish Ceramic Design. All work is skillfully crafted with quality materials, beginning by cutting geometric shapes from a porcelain slab of clay. Erin then draws, carves, prints, and paints a pop of bold color, to create patterns and line work. This is a labor-intensive process, that entails brushing on glazes, hand-sanding each piece, multiple kiln firings, and applying 22k gold or platinum metallic lusters. The work straddles the line of being frisky and refined simulations.