A collaboration with ceramicist Eric Moss

Right now I wished to share one thing that you just won’t find out about me. I’ve been a steel sculptor for over twenty years, however unusually sufficient, a really giant proportion of the artists I observe occur to be individuals who primarily work in ceramics and clay (one among them, is Eric Moss). I can’t say why precisely, however whereas I dwell my artistic 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 an alternative of clay. Both method, regardless of my vocation of selection, I’ve developed an excellent appreciation for the muddy arts. On condition that information, one would possibly assume {that a} mud and steel collaboration with one other artist was inevitable, and you’d be proper…form of 

So whereas I wish to announce a collaboration between myself and fellow ceramic artist Eric Moss, the humorous twist is that my contribution to this undertaking won’t truly be made from steel, will probably be wooden? Who would have thought? 

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

From Eric:

“I first encountered Chris’ extraordinary artwork in 2018 within the Instagram posts of one among his collectors, who additionally occurred to be following my channel. He remarked on our similarity of appreciation in varieties (and even then dreamed of a collaboration). The core of my follow then was raku firing ceramics, a low-tech, quick and brutal course of with the tip outcome left very a lot to the whim of the kiln gods relatively 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, may 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 one among my two-part, wheel-thrown raku-fired ‘squid’. By 2020 I had already branched out into slipcasting my ‘waveform’ sculptures in porcelain tile kind, pushed by the necessity economically to make an identical items for tessellating wall arrays. So, when Chris posted a picture of a small assortment of ‘overrun’ machined unique wooden ‘jewels’ from his undertaking, and I mused how they may look offered 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 would possibly echo a beetle’s higher aspect ‘elytra’ (or wing instances). 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 had 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 attainable collaborative version, though he was nonetheless eager to see a prototype #4 of the ‘elytra’ that I’d first urged. 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 (creating a ‘slip injection course of’ utilizing plaster casts and kitchenalia) however current as an alternative a divergence into pewter casting of the carved cuttlefish variant ‘elytra’ which I believe works fantastically. I rediscovered cuttlefish casting in 2019 and was eager to include it into my follow each in steel and ceramic. Lead-free Pewter is a pleasantly heavy (and simply forged) steel and it properly defines the expressed laminae of carved cuttlefish in a sensuous, tactile kind.“


As you possibly can learn, Eric went in fairly a couple of instructions with this undertaking, and actually used it as a chance to discover and develop into a spread of processes. I’ve loved exchanging messages with him during the last couple months as developments unfolded.

The extra I’ve discovered 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 approach to mirror by myself course of and distinction the 2.

My craft is inherently exact, and Erics is rather more squishy, however they’ve extra in widespread than one would possibly assume. Ceramic work truly suits completely into one of many themes I speak about very often right here on this weblog.

Ceramics is among the oldest industrial processes, And whereas it has taken many varieties all through historical past in lots of cultures, its transition to a definite modern advantageous artwork studio medium reveals similarities with others crafts that share a utilitarian and ornamental custom.

Like wooden turning, glass making, and varied sorts of steel work, it’s a course of whose main operate has (very slowly on this case) shifted from the utilitarian to creative as expertise has modified. Whereas I’m wholly unclear on the timeline, one would possibly level to the transition away from handbook ceramics manufacturing to industrial slip casting as the purpose the place the trendy studio ceramics motion was actually capable of take form. 

Time and again, after we see business flip away from expert labor and towards expertise, these forged off expertise typically discover a new area of interest throughout the advantageous arts. As a sculptor working with expertise, 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 undertaking embodies all of that completely. 

So the following query may be “Can I personal one?”

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

If you’re a collector of my work, or Erics, and are concerned with including one among these fantastic artifacts to your assortment, merely click on the hyperlink beneath and the whole lot you’ll want to know needs to be there.  


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