A collaboration with ceramicist Eric Moss

As we speak I wished to share one thing that you just won’t find out about me. I’ve been a steel sculptor for over 20 years, however unusually sufficient, a really giant proportion of the artists I comply with occur to be individuals who primarily work in ceramics and clay (certainly one of them, is Eric Moss). I can’t say why precisely, however whereas I dwell my inventive life amongst steel, I’m disproportionately drawn to pottery and ceramic sculpture. 

Perhaps it is as a result of I discovered I’m allergic to dusty environments that my path took me into steel as a substitute of clay. Both means, regardless of my vocation of alternative, I’ve developed an excellent appreciation for the muddy arts. Provided that data, one may assume {that a} mud and steel collaboration with one other artist was inevitable, and you’ll be proper…kind of 

So whereas I want to announce a collaboration between myself and fellow ceramic artist Eric Moss, the humorous twist is that my contribution to this venture is not going to really be fabricated from steel, it will likely be wooden? Who would have thought? 

I ought to actually let Eric communicate for himself as he’s the one doing the heavy lifting for this venture. Under are his ideas on the venture. 

From Eric:

“I first encountered Chris’ extraordinary artwork in 2018 within the Instagram posts of certainly one of his collectors, who additionally occurred to be following my channel. He remarked on our similarity of appreciation in types (and even then dreamed of a collaboration). The core of my apply then was raku firing ceramics, a low-tech, quick and brutal course of with the tip end result left very a lot to the whim of the kiln gods reasonably than the artist – in my early years a lot of my output was misplaced to thermal shock breakages within the last moments after firing. Raku, I believed, could be too far faraway from Chris’ exact, managed and tight-tolerance work to contemplate a mixed art work?

Early in 2020, as Chris was making ready for launch of his ‘fear stone’ meld of steel and wooden, and in mutual appreciation of one another’s work, we agreed an artswap. Chris despatched me a prototype fear stone in trade for certainly one of my two-part, wheel-thrown raku-fired ‘squid’. By 2020 I had already branched out into slipcasting my ‘waveform’ sculptures in porcelain tile type, pushed by the necessity economically to make similar items for tessellating wall arrays. So, when Chris posted a picture of a small assortment of ‘overrun’ machined unique wooden ‘jewels’ from his venture, and I mused how they may look introduced in a ceramic mount, Chris despatched a dozen over to me within the UK to “have a play”!

The preliminary impression of Chris’ fear stone was chrysalis-like with the grooved wooden jewel showing just like the segmented underside of a beetle. So, I made a decision my ceramic mount may echo a beetle’s higher aspect ‘elytra’ (or wing circumstances). However, nonetheless occupied in ‘oloid’ and ‘waveform’ manufacturing, I first tried the jewels in each modified oloids and waveforms, every given a brand new recess to accommodate the jewel. These Prototypes #1, #2 and #3 had the texture of seeds with the jewel forming the germ half and Instagram posts of them have been sparking curiosity and requests to amass. Prototype #3 ‘waveforms’ in Parian have the added enchantment of translucency in addition to tactility.

My early experiments prompted Chris to supply to advertise a doable collaborative version, though he was nonetheless eager to see a prototype #4 of the ‘elytra’ that I’d first recommended. I got down to attempt to make these and to make the means to batch produce all 4 prototype themes ought to every/any garner sufficient curiosity for manufacturing? The modified oloids (Prototypes #1 & #2), with my primitive making strategies, entailed so many hours of finessing that I elected to make them just for particular fee. I’m nonetheless investigating the technicalities of creating the elytra in ceramic (growing a ‘slip injection course of’ utilizing plaster casts and kitchenalia) however current as a substitute a divergence into pewter casting of the carved cuttlefish variant ‘elytra’ which I believe works superbly. I rediscovered cuttlefish casting in 2019 and was eager to include it into my apply each in steel and ceramic. Lead-free Pewter is a pleasantly heavy (and simply forged) steel and it effectively defines the expressed laminae of carved cuttlefish in a sensuous, tactile type.“


As you’ll be able to learn, Eric went in fairly a couple of instructions with this venture, and actually used it as a chance to discover and develop into a spread of processes. I’ve loved exchanging messages with him over the past couple months as developments unfolded.

The extra I’ve realized about Eric’s work, the extra I see myself in it. His aesthetic instincts are fairly complementary to my very own, so it’s fascinating to see my small picket gems function a robust catalyst for his work. To have one thing I designed and machined juxtaposed with such a diametrically completely different medium is a useful solution to replicate alone course of and distinction the 2.

My craft is inherently exact, and Erics is rather more squishy, however they’ve extra in frequent than one may suppose. Ceramic work really suits completely into one of many themes I discuss very often right here on this weblog.

Ceramics is without doubt one of the oldest industrial processes, And whereas it has taken many types all through historical past in lots of cultures, its transition to a definite up to date fantastic artwork studio medium displays similarities with others crafts that share a utilitarian and ornamental custom.

Like wooden turning, glass making, and numerous sorts of steel work, it’s a course of whose major operate has (very slowly on this case) shifted from the utilitarian to creative as know-how has modified. Whereas I’m wholly unclear on the timeline, one may level to the transition away from guide ceramics manufacturing to industrial slip casting as the purpose the place the trendy studio ceramics motion was actually in a position to take form. 

Repeatedly, once we see business flip away from expert labor and towards know-how, these forged off abilities usually discover a new area of interest throughout the fantastic arts. As a sculptor working with know-how, that story has at all times captivated me and it’s a nice level of intersection between what I do, and what Eric does. 

I believe this venture embodies all of that completely. 

So the subsequent query could be “Can I personal one?”

In fact. As you may need guessed, we’re going to provide up this venture as an version. I will likely be making a spread of hardwood inserts for Eric, and he will likely be lovingly crafting a house for every of them.

In case you are a collector of my work, or Erics, and are serious about including certainly one of these great artifacts to your assortment, merely click on the hyperlink beneath and all the things you’ll want to know must be there.  


I hope you get pleasure from this venture as a lot as I do, and as at all times, feedback and questions are at all times welcome.