The Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University
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April 19 - September 14, 2012
Museum Reception: Thursday, September 6, 2012
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Kala Stein, Guest Curator

The exhibition surveys three prominent colors in ceramic history – brown, white, and green. Over sixty pieces from the collection are on display with the addition of contemporary pieces on loan from artists Linda Cordell, William DePauw, Gerit Grimm, Bryan Hopkins, Nicholas Kripal, Forrest Lesch-Middelton, and John Williams.  The works are presented in three dense compositional arrangements to create a sense of color ancestry in ceramics.

Related Event:

Lecture by Dr. William Carty
Monday, September 10, 2012
4:30 p.m. Binns-Merrill Hall, room 106

Color: The Happy Accident that Begs to be Studied

After form, the color of the ceramic glaze is arguably the critical esthetic. Color can be elusive, however, particularly in ancient ceramics where the results were sometimes described (in translation?) as “Happy Accidents.” Of the three principle (modern) routes to obtaining color in glazes, the color that is dependent on the complex interaction between chemistry and kiln atmosphere is the most intriguing.

Our work, which evolved out of a chance discussion on the firing temperatures of ancient Korean Celadons, have forced us to re-think the firing processes of ancient ceramics. In particular, ancient firing cycles were very long (potentially up to four days) and at lower temperatures than are currently used in ceramic production. Also, the color of the glazes appears to be the direct result of the reaction between the body and the glaze, rather than an “intentional” chemistry addition to the base glaze. These observations provide insight into ancient processes and have several modern implications for studio work.

William Carty is the John F. McMahon Professor and Chair of Ceramic Engineering at the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.







Linda Cordell, Rocket Deer, 2010
porcelain, rubber, plastic,
h: 26” w: 20” d: 9”





Mayan jar, Mexico, 900-1200
buff ware, h: 5” diam: 4-1/2”,
Krevolin Collection,
S-JIMCA 1987.73




John Williams, The
Commodities Series:
Wind Turbine, 2009,
ceramic and gold
plated silver,
h: 4-1/2” w: 14
d: 11-1/2”





Korean Yi Dynasty bowl,
15th century,
porcellaneous stoneware,
h: 3-1/2” diam: 7”,
S-JIMCA 1960.14

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