Figuratively Speaking

Figurative ceramics has an extensive history. In the US, especially in Northern California, this practice flourishes. Vessel-based work dominated much of studio ceramics prior to the 1960s. This direction was redressed by many artists especially Robert Arneson at the University of California, Davis.1 His efforts, as well as those of Viola Frey and select others, broadened the field of clay and its figural interpretations; with the evocative abstract personas of Stephen De Staebler as an example. Many artists creating figures with clay have emerged in the region, some achieving notoriety due to invention, artistry and technical accomplishment.