Eric Hoefer - Ceramics
The timeless quality that can be found in ceramic vessels and objects drives my work; it is a strong reflection of humanity revealing our history, values and spirit. Clay is a uniquely intimate material that allows one to create through the act of touch. Its infinite possibility of abstraction and expression is inspiring. Historical ceramic iconography, modern painting, sculpture and contemporary design all merge together and inform my work.
Currently, My research has been in soda and wood-fired architectonic porcelain vessels. These vessels loosely resemble a variety of constructions such as huts, domes, cathedrals, temples, and urban landscapes. There are interesting parallels between pottery and architecture. Each is ergonomically designed to relate and interact with the human body. They are not only functional objects, but they also provide an outlet for artistic expression, creativity, and imagination. In my mind, architecture is sculpture that is inhabited and pottery is sculpture that functions. Many of my vessels are influenced by Deconstructivist-Style architecture with the use of freedom of form and a visible display of complexity in the structure, rather than strict adherence to functional concerns and formal design elements. Unpredictability, non-rectilinear shapes, which distort and displace elements of the composition, controlled chaos and fragmentation are all features employed in the formulation of my ceramic vessels. The surface of these objects becomes a canvas, which allows for further expression and detail within the composition. The application of stripes, Polk-a-dots and linear and nonlinear graphic imagery at once unifies and fragments the form. At times this combination of form and surface can echo historical artistic movements such as Op-Art, Cubism, Pop-Art and Modernism culminating in Post-Modern statement.
Many of my vessel forms are abstracted. Form, color and line, are independent from any directly recognizable, visual references that attempt to replicate the appearance of a visible reality. The primary focus is to construct ceramic pieces that are vehicles for conveying ideas, which employ both historical and contemporary artistic idioms. The conceptualized visual-language in these ceramic vessels are both playful and unpredictable. The viewer’s notion of form, design and functionality at times maybe challenged. The ultimate objective of my work is to create a sense of wonder and curiosity within my audience. Engaging them in a spirited conversation with each piece.