Storage Jar

Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Missouri since 1992, Clarke received his M.F.A. degree from the University of Iowa in 1990. He has received the Kennedy Center Fellowship for Teachers for the Arts, the John Eckert Memorial Award for Ceramics, the Artist Resource Grant, the Summer Research Award Fellowship Award and the Research Grant from The University of Iowa Fine Arts Council. His works appear in public and private collections in Japan, Australia and the United States. Themes involving a recording of touch, gesture and energy are repeated in Clarke?s pieces. He believes the viewer can draw a personal interpretation if the artist?s primary concern remains rooted in the recording of the touch. Clarke states that his ?technique amounts to wishing the work well as it moves through the process of forming, articulation of the surface and firing. I find it?s like raising my son; I just put my hands on the work silently encouraging it to be good, be good.? Storage Jar is part of a series of large sculptural vessels that Clarke has worked on over the past several years. The process he uses to create his unusual vessels involves throwing on the wheel, altering and hand-building. Various slips and stains are used to achieve the surface colors. A salt-fired process at earthenware temperatures causes flashing on the surface of the work, but it does not give it the appearance of being glazed.