Vasefinder International 2011
Exhibitor 124

Christian Barr

Wildwood, Alberta, Canada

Title: Window Vase

Year of Creation: 2009

Glaze: Wood fired feldspatic glaze

Clay Body: Porcelain

Dimensions: Height 10 inches, Width 5 inches

Artist's Statement: I am a potter, clay artist, and designer/maker. I make pots, clay and mixed media sculptures.

My pots and sculptures are an expression of what is what was and what might be and often think that art is just a glimpse of a beauty that we are not meant to truly understand. Occasionally I get that glimpse.

I came about wood firing quite by chance at a kiln building/firing in 1998. What happened is that I went to the course to learn how to build a kiln, but left with a way to finish my work and in turn to make a life. Wood fired ceramics has a wonderful continuity to it. Ideas from the processing of clay, through the making, loading, firing then detailing and responding to the work seem to flow back and forth from beginning to end, defying time and there is an extraordinarily strong connection between thought, art and process. This working cycle continually challenges me in many ways; what I think I know, my ideas of beauty, ugliness and expectation.

I have also come to realize that one must first understand the firing process before a successful pot can be made. Firing with wood continuously challenges this understanding and how I make my work.

The works that emerge from the kiln are like portals allowing us an opportunity to see what might lie beyond the veil of this perceived reality. Often the work that comes out the kiln is not of the same nature when it went in and I have learned not to expect things from it but to accept it and in the case of my mixed media sculptures, to react to it.

My body of work is more about a way of thinking than it is about a process or an end product. I seem to work in a state between concept, process and material. Always acting and reacting, always questioning. Moving onward, sometimes to destinations I haven't even considered.

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