Ceramicist makes statement with tiles at Carbondale show | PostIndependent.com

Ceramicist makes statement with tiles at Carbondale show

Stina SiegPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
"The Shootout," by Rick Dunn is one of several pieces now on display at the Carbondale Clay Center. "Tablets: Text & Image in Clay" opens tonight during Carbondale's First Fridays events.

CARBONDALE Rick Dunn, 34, has had his hands in clay for nearly 15 years. So, why havent you heard of him? It turns out that he, like all but one of the artists in the Carbondale Clay Centers current juried show, makes his home far from the area. From his St. Louis abode, Dunn recently discussed his experience with the medium, which he melds into both functional and decorative pieces. Q: Why ceramics? An artist since high school, he described how he came across ceramics in his freshman year of college, when he became fascinated by a visiting ceramists work. Something about the abstract sculptures and oversized teapots spoke to him, he said.I said, I got to get in there and try that out. I really liked the forms. They had these really nice kind of textured surfaces.Q: Describe your work. My work is, well, I do a fair amount of utilitarian work, practical pots right now. Its mostly low fire, earthenware stuff.I also do decorative tiles, and thats a little more of an outlet for me to draw and talk about some more specific issues, I guess.Q: Are you trying to say something with your pieces? When Im doing the tiles, at least this last batch of them, I did. They kind of touched on some specific themes.Theyre my reaction to consumer culture.With names like More and Habits to Avoid, the pieces focus, he says, are our cultural tendencies toward quick fixes and materialism.I feel like, on these tiles, Im trying to approach it with a little bit of humor. Its just a little bit of food for thought, I guess.Q: What keeps you making art? I just really enjoy it doing it. I enjoy working with my hands and putting things together.In our culture, he continued, he likes to believe that sort of craftsmanship is important. By making tiles or bowls for someone, he feels connected to them a connection someone cant find by shopping at a big box store.I think making connections with other people is important, even if its a pretty quiet connection.Q: Do you have any hopes or goals for your pieces? I hope that somebody has a connection with them and that they get used or that somebody has a connection with it and wants to have it around.Its nice to have things in shows. Its nice to be seen by people. But in the end, I would hope that somebody would take it home.Q: Whats the most important thing in your life? Well, I would say that my family is the most important thing in my life right now.I really like what I do. There are a lot of things that I care about now Im watching politics intently.All the time, Im becoming more aware of my impact on the environment. Thats become more and more important with me, in terms of my footprint, how much is going in the trash can.Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111ssieg@postindependent.com

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