“No Holds Barred” refers to the elimination of rules or regulations. The word ‘holds’ comes from wrestling holds. In some pro wrestling matches all rules are “thrown out the window,” like in a battle royale or a cage match. As popular pro wrestler Hulk Hogan said,
“No ring, no ref, no rules!”
Similarly, with some of my recent ceramic creations in this exhibition, I have “thrown caution to the wind” and broken rules by among other things, combining vintage tin toys with my cups and tumblers.
My dad was a huge pro wrestling fanatic. Not only did he watch it on TV, he would also drive my brother and I the hour it would take us to get to the Twin Cities to see live “rastling” matches. There are two pieces in this show with pro wrestler decals on them: Dick the Bruiser and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. I recognized that wrestling was fake early on, even as an adolescent. My dad, however, never believed it was an act. To this day, I still enjoy the entertainment that pro wrestling provides.
My favorite quote, when it comes to gaining inspiration for creating with clay is,
“It’s all out there, you donâ€™t have to make anything up, just observe well.” Carl Hiaasen, the Miami newspaper columnist and author wrote that.
The idea for the tea set in this exhibit was gleaned from a photograph of an aged European barn, almost cathedral like in appearance. I took some artistic liberty with the Coca-Cola decals that I applied and fired on the architectural teapot. The pair of industrial-looking covered jars was inspired from large ventilation hoods I discovered behind a restoration hardware store in Portland, Oregon. The original vent hoods were large, magnificent, functional sculptures hovering over the rooftops of an urban cityscape.
Reddy Kilowatt appears in decal form on many of the pieces in this show. Reddy was a logo that power companies throughout the United States employed to promote the use of electricity in the 1950s. I was fascinated by Reddy when I was ten years old, and I am still intrigued with him today. While researching Reddy on the Internet, I ran into Willy Wirehand, Reddy’s friend. It took me 68 years to discover Willy.
Most all of the decals I utilize on the surface of my pottery have a strong, personal connection or meaning for me. Whether it is Stan Musial, Don Reitz, the Mobil Pegasus logo, or some other oil company sign, they all resonate with me.
Not many people who follow my ceramics realize I was a printmaker making silk-screened edition prints before I enrolled in my first ceramic class. It has been a fulfilling marriage combining my two loves – silkscreened or laser printed decals and ceramics.