by Woodfiring.net

50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires, includes 50 porcelain bowls made by artist Elaine Olafson Henry. Each thrown bowl was made using the same amount of clay from the same clay block, the same building and shaping process, and the same glaze. Curious about the effects of firing circumstances in different environments, Henry sent a bowl to a ceramist in each of the 50 states to be woodfired. The resulting bowls are products of the types of wood and variety of kilns used (Anagama, Arch, Bourry Box, Noborigama, Tube, and Train), the length of firing, and temperature reached. Henry explains: “ . . . like the human story [where] we all start out as a blank slate . . . it’s what happens to the bowl in its lifetime that changes it. Each bowl tells a story of what it went through.”

The bowls will be presented with technical details, including names of wood firing team members, providing insights into each collaboration and the various nuances acquired during the firing process.

Elaine Olafson Henry is a ceramic artist, curator, writer, and proofreader. She is the former Editor and Publisher of the international ceramics journals Ceramics: Art & Perception and Ceramics TECHNICAL. She earned a BFA from the University of Wyoming, an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and an MA in English at the University of Wyoming. Henry taught at Emporia State University in Kansas from 1996 to 2007, where she served as the Chair of the Department of Art from 2000 to 2007. She served as the President of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) 2002–2004 and the International Ceramics Magazine Editors Association (ICMEA) 2014–2016. She is currently an Honorary Member and Fellow of NCECA, and a lifetime member of ICMEA. Her work is internationally published, exhibited and collected. She is an elected member of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC).

The exhibition was organized by the American Museum of Ceramic Art and will remain on view through January 7, 2023. For high-resolution images of the artist’s work and a pdf of this press release, click here.

About Belger Arts: Since 2000, the Belger Arts Center has encouraged viewers to explore, question, and deepen their understanding of art and the world around them. Drawing upon the extensive John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation collection, as well as a rich variety of local, national, and international artists, the Belger Arts Center has staged over 70 large-scale exhibitions that represent some of the best in contemporary art.

In 2013, Belger Arts expanded the Foundation’s commitment to the creative process by opening Belger Crane Yard Studios, an arts complex dedicated to providing studio and exhibition space for artists. A range of programming in ceramics education, in addition to the Red Star Residency program and Crane Yard Clay ceramics supply store, has made Belger a center for contemporary art.

Woodfiring.net thanks to Belger Crane Yard Studio for their collaboration in the preparation of this article.

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