The label says that this is stoneware with colored glazed chamotte. What is chamotte?
Chamotte is a fancy word for grog, which is a fancy word for fired ceramics that have been ground into a fine powder. Grog or chamotte is an essential part of most ceramics as it helps give clay inner strength and greater durability.
The texture is incredible!
It really recall brutalist architecture to me personally. Looking closely the many different colored have such detail and sensitivity. From further away it appears all gray. Up close, there are flecks of yellow and reds and blue.
Yeah, we wondering if it was painted or more mosaic style because the texture and different colored details were so fine.
The artist uses a technique of her own creation, which involved multiple rounds of firing and mixing chamotte with clay.
Was the material in this sculpture colored or like melded together? It's very interesting
It really is! Kishi Eiko created her own process for works like this! The texture is created through multiple firings of the clay.
She first makes batches of color clay and breaks them into small pieces after firing. Kishi then mixes these fragments with clay, sculpts the shape of the ceramic, and then scrapes the surface.
When she fires the clay for a final time, the colored fragments rise to the surface, since they have a different texture. A single work can take Kishi several months to create!
I'd like to know more about Kishi Eiko's "Recollected Vistas." It looks a lot like the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars!
That's a super interesting comparison! It does look very futuristic to me, but I hadn't thought of the Millennium Falcon!
Kishi's works are often abstract. In some series, she was looking towards the gestures seen in traditional Japanese theater. She works on numerous sculptures at once, and often changes direction during their creation. Before working with clay, Kishi was a textile artist.
Tell me more.
This work was made by a contemporary Japanese ceramic artist. She creates both functional ceramics, such as tea bowls, and sculptural works, like this one, which she is better-known for.
She creates her sculptural works through a technique of her own invention called "saiseki zōgan" or colored stone inlay. The work, though it resembles sculpted stone, is created by a process more similar to that used to produce ceramics.
Can you tell us how the artist made Recollected Vistas?
Sure. Recollected Vistas was made by Kishi Eiko through a technique of the artist's own invention, which she calls saiseki zōgan, or "colored stone inlay."
She first mixes batches of clay with one of ten different pigments that she uses.
How does the colored texture occur?
Kishi cuts these pigmented pieces into tile-like slabs and fires them, then breaks these fired slabs into little pieces and mixes the pieces together before stamping and crushing them into even finer pieces...
She mixes these fragments in a 1:1 ratio with the wet clay, and then makes slabs. From these slabs, she then builds the shapes that become her final sculptures.
After forming the shapes, Kishi waits until the clay is leather hard and then scrapes away the top layer to reveal the flecks of fired, colored clay.
She then uses a needle to create fine lines in the sculpture.
Awesome! Thank you!
Is there a reason these pieces are grouped together? Minus the two Qing vases, the other 4 Japanese ones seem super modern. Also, what influenced the other 4?
These pieces were placed together because they are all celadons, though as you have rightly pointed out, some are very modern and some are not. In the context of the exhibition "Infinite Blue," the celadon case is meant to highlight celadon works that are a light, clear blue, rather than the milky green generally associated with this type of ceramic.
The grouping helps us to trace a path from Chinese celadons exported to the rest of Asia, to blue celadons prized and perfected by Japanese ceramicists, to the contemporary works that still aim for the same effect.