On a recent trip, Central Bucks West high school ceramic students saw the work of Steve Tobin in his exhibition, Out of This World: Works of Steve Tobin. Below are the artists statements that were written by the students to accompany their creations. Thank you to ceramic teacher Jennifer Boulanger for bringing your students to the Michener and inspiring them to create some amazing work!
Title of the Group “Spheres of Influence”
I was inspired by Steve Tobin’s idea to explode textured clay and fire with glass pieces at the bottom. My pots show earth tones and a unique marbled bottom.
My piece, entitled “The Earth We Walk On,” was inspired by the works of Steve Tobin. I used his techniques of incorporating different textures and the element of exploding earth throughout the sculpture. I loved how Steve Tobin’s pieces had the element of motion as well. With that, the base of my sculpture starts far apart and then comes together in the middle forming an arch, creating the image of legs. My decision to use a glaze in the blue family represents how the Earth while we think of it as this hard surface is predominantly water.
My piece is inspired by Steve Tobin’s use of nature and movement which adds a science aspect. Steve Tobin’s unique process of exploding pots is what motivated me to create this work. I did not use firecrackers or explosives to create my openings. This piece hand-built using the coil building technique. The name of my project is “The Beginning”.
My piece entitled “Sauntering Man” explores the relationship between figurative movement, colors and textures found in nature. My inspiration for this work of art came from Steve Tobin’s figurative sculptures and his Aerial Root series.
My piece is called “Hidden Message” and was inspired my Steve Tobin’s vision of movement and flow and his ability to take letters and turn them into sculptures.
This series titled RxN for reaction is based on Steve Tobin’s Exploded Earth collections where he planted explosives into pots or shapes of clay he designed and then exploded the clay. I chose to attempt to recreate this effect with firecrackers and small hand built pots. The glaze effects afterwards were based around a matter type of look with metals, water, and earth.
When I got assigned a project revolving around Steve Tobin’s work, I almost immediately felt inspired. I knew I wanted to work with a little bit of everything he creates. Both the Steel Roots and Exploded Earth processes interested me. I was so excited to explode clay and melt marbles for the same effect as Tobin.
The texture I chose for my red piece was achieved using wood, thus combining Tobin’s love for texture and the natural world.
The blue piece was created using a larger amount of clay. I had to use multiple firecrackers to create the effect, which is why there are 3 holes in the clay.
My green piece is my favorite. The amount of clay was smaller and we used only 1 firecracker for the explosion. I put light blue marbles on the bottom to recreate Tobin’s glass work. I feel this piece represents exploded ground relieving water underneath and how the earth provides so much for humankind.
Finally, I wanted to create a work inspired by the steel roots. The 3 main parts represent the three members of family. I see a community in this piece working together to create a stable body. The bright orange color shows the contrast of natural and unnatural and how the two can come together to make art.