Textured Vessel Soda Fired by Luke Metz

Spring 2016

This pit fire piece by Luke Metz is named "Ancient Dancer"
Ancient Dancer – pit fire

It’s past time for my quarterly blog post. A little bit of everything has been the name of the game. In addition to cone 10 oxidation and reduction firing, I have done raku, pit fire, and soda fire.

The spring semester at Yavapai College with Tom Schumacher involved a lot of exploration and experimentation. I worked with doing some assemblages of thrown pieces, texturing, and briefly tried shellac resist. I have become very interested in tea pots and Japanese tea bowls – I think I will be playing with these for a quite a while.

"The Line Up" by Luke Metz is a raku piece
The Line Up – Raku

Using both stoneware and porcelain I created a diverse body of work. Trying some new glaze combinations yielded some unexpected results and some of them are exciting.

 

This porcelain chawan by Luke Metz is soda fired.
Porcelain Chawan – soda fire

I love the subtle patinas of pit fire pieces and it is always a surprise to see the final result.  “Ancient Dancer” (shown above) is multiple thrown pieces and slabs assembled into a work that is about 22 inches tall.

Stoneware kyusu by Luke Metz
Kyusu

My friend and teacher Don Fethkenher allowed me to share in a soda firing in his kiln. This is my second soda firing and I am starting to get a better feel for the technique – it is substantially different than the more traditional oxidation and reduction firings I have been doing. I feel like I am just scratching the surface and look forward to more opportunities to explore this exciting technique. Speaking of Don, I will be studying with him in June at Coconino Community College.

Also coming up shortly is a workshop with Patrick Shia Crabb.

Two new galleries (for me) are showing my work. Zen Mountain Gallery in the intriguing town of Jerome, Arizona (an old mining

Vase With Attitude - Cone 10 Reduction
Vase With Attitude – Cone 10 Reduction

town that hangs off the side of Mingus Mountain) has a very tasteful selection of wonderful art and I feel privileged to be part of this gallery. I have just set up at the Prescott Art Market along the outdoor walk/drive way. This is in an attractive mall in Prescott, Arizona and hopefully will have good traffic (this is a brand new location for the gallery). I am continuing to be part of the Village Gallery of Local Artists in the Village of Oak Creek (Sedona) – I also maintain their website.

Textured Covered Vessel by Luke Metz
Textured Covered Vessel

Much of what I have been doing lately is pushing me out of my box and comfort zone. This includes my ideas for marketing my work. My work this year is growing, shifting and I think getting better. I am excited with some of the results and have many ideas for new directions of play. Although I still appreciate classic forms, I am very interested in playing with more fluid shapes, with altering forms, and with assembling thrown pieces as well as playing with making some hand built functional pieces. I have doing much of my work in college studios so that I can do cone 10 firing and to have more interaction with other artists. I anticipate doing more work this summer in my studio.

Raku Copper Weave by Luke Metz and Wendy Bialek
Collaborative Piece

The collaborative piece I created with Wendy Bialek is complete.  I made the porcelain raku fired base and she did the copper wire weaving.

I am thrilled to report that the variety of things to explore in ceramics has kept me inspired and I still love this medium. On a personal note my wife, Sue, and I have been hiking regularly with friends.

My next update will probably be in August or September. If you are in the area please come visit one of my galleries or contact me to visit my studio. Hope to see you this summer.