Allan Chasanoff Ceramic Collection includes work by 233 artists. Every
month, the Featured Artists section will display biographical information
and thumbnails of artworks by approximately ten artists. Each grouping
shares something in common. Visitors are invited to utilize the search
features within this section to view objects made by these selected artists
from the Chasanoff Ceramic Collection.
These artists represent the modern-day equivalent of "master"
- a designation of excellence and respect in the crafts. Through a lifetime
of work in the studio, these men and women have served their profession
as leaders, teachers, and role models in the ceramics field.
Ralph (1938- )
Wayne (1943- )
Stephen (1933- )
Ruth (1919- )
Mary (1929- )
Viola (1933- )
Geoffrey (1945- )
Ralph (1938 - )
Ralph Bacerra was born in Orange County, California. He received
his B.F.A. from the Chouinard
Art Institute in Los Angeles where he studied under Vivika Heino.
In 1963, Bacerra returned to Chouinard as the chairman of the ceramics
department. As a teacher, he had a marked influence on his students;
many, including Adrian Saxe, Mineo Mizuno, Elsa Rady, have also
become well known. Bacerra was the chairman of the ceramics department
College of Art and Design; he currently works from his studio
in Los Angeles. He has exhibited his work extensively in both Asia
and the United States. Bacerra's early works were functional and
traditional pieces. However, his later and present work revolves
around complex, elaborate surface treatment on vessels, platters,
and sculptures. Nature, the work of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher,
and Japanese pottery and fabric design inspire Bacerra's forms.
Stephen (1933 - )
Stephen DeStaebler was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He studied for
a year at Black
Mountain College in 1951 with Ben Shahn and Robert Motherwell
before travelling to Europe to construct stain glass windows. Back
in the United States, he received a B.A. in religion from Princeton
University in 1954, and, in 1958, a M. A. in art history from
of California at Berkeley. He also studied ceramics with Peter
Voulkos and Ka Kwong Hui. DeStaebler worked at Union
Settlement House (East Harlem, New York), Chadwick
School (Rolling Hills, California), and was a professor of sculpture
at San Francisco
State University from 1967-92. He is a prolific sculptor, and
has exhibited his work in numerous group shows and a major one-man
show at the Oakland
Museum. DeStaebler's work consists of large-scale sculptural
pieces in clay and, at times, bronzes; his work, inspired by western
landscapes and geological formations, strives to convey man's relationship
with the earth.
Ruth (1919- )
Ruth Duckworth was born in Hamburg, Germany. In 1936, she moved
to England and studied drawing, painting, and sculpture at the Liverpool
School of Art until 1940. Following the war, she attended Kennington
School of Art for a year where she studied stone carving. Duckworth
worked carving tombstones before returning to school in 1955 at
School of Art. She, however, found Hammersmith too rigid and
transferred to the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London where
she studied from 1956-1958 and subsequently taught from 1959-1964.
Duckworth's teaching and her work influenced many post-war British
ceramic artists including Gordon Baldwin, Gillian Lowndes, and Hans
Coper. Duckworth moved to the United States in 1964 to teach at
of Chicago; though she intended to stay for only a year, she
continued teaching at the University of Chicago until 1977. She
presently works from her studio in Geneva, Illinois. Duckworth has
had many solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and the United
States. Her early work can be divided into three groups: tableware
(both porcelain and stoneware); small, delicate porcelain vessels;
and large, coiled stoneware pots. Beginning 1964, she stopped making
utilitarian pieces and shifted her focus to large stoneware murals,
freestanding sculptures, and small porcelain pieces that were inspired
by nature (especially after her move to America). Today, Duckworth's
work is primarily dedicated to small porcelain pieces though she
still at times makes stoneware murals.
Viola (1933 - )
Viola Frey was born in Lodi, California. She received her B.F.A.
in 1956 from the California
College of Arts and Crafts at Oakland where she studied painting
under Richard Diebenkorn and ceramics under Vernon Coykendall and
Charles Fiske. Frey, in 1958, received her M.F.A. from Tulane
University in New Orleans. She then briefly joined the Clay
Art Center, Katherine Choy's cooperative, in Port Chester, New York
before returning to California in 1960. In 1965, she accepted a
part-time faculty position at the California College of Arts and
Crafts, and is presently still a professor in the ceramics department.
Frey has actively exhibited throughout her career except for a brief
period in the mid-1970s when she withdrew to concentrate on her
work. Her early work, like many other Bay Area artists, was preoccupied
with Japanese and Chinese ceramics. Frey's attention then shifted
in the 1960s to manipulating everyday objects, dime store figurines,
and prefabricated ceramics into her own forms. In the 1970s and
early 1980s, Frey's preoccupation with figurines evolved first into
the creation of life-size figures and then progressed to massive,
large-scale figures. Presently, Frey's work is again focused on
small figurines as well as plates; these forms, particularly the
plates or bricolages as she calls them, are covered with an elaborate
mixture of glazes, relief work, and pieces of cast and molded objects.
Wayne (1943 - )
Wayne Higby was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He received
a B.F.A. in painting and art education in 1966 from the University
of Colorado at Boulder, and took his M.F.A. in 1968 at the University
of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Higby immediately began teaching at
the university level accepting a position first at University
of Nebraska at Omaha (1968-70) and then the Rhode
Island School of Design (1970-73). In 1973, he joined the faculty
at New York
State College of Ceramics at Alfred University where he is currently
a professor of ceramics. The Hubei Academy of Arts Wuhan, People's
Republic of China, also named Higby honorary professor in 1992.
Higby has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in
Europe, Asia, and the United States over the last thirty years.
His work since the early 1970s has been dedicated to two forms:
oval bowls and groups of covered boxes. The surfaces of his pieces
are covered with landscape imagery of the west drawn from his childhood
experiences in Colorado.
Howard (1930 - 1989)
Howard Kottler was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Ohio
State University in Columbus for both undergraduate and graduate
school, and received his B.A. in 1952, M.A. in 1956, and his Ph.D.
in 1964. Kottler also received an M.F.A. from Cranbrook
Academy of Art in Michigan in 1957. While completing his doctoral
degree, Kottler taught at Ohio State. In 1964, he accepted a position
at the University
of Washington in Seattle; he was a professor with the School
of Art until his death in 1989. Kottler, along with Patti Warashina,
turned the ceramic-sculpture program at University of Washington
into one of the most successful. Kottler has had significant influence
upon the work of many ceramic-sculpture artists including Michael
Lucero, Mark Burns, and Ann Currier. His work has been exhibited
extensively (both in group and solo shows) during his career except
for a six year period in the early 1980s when he temporarily withdrew
from public shows. Kottler's early work consists of traditional
stoneware pieces. Beginning in the late 1960s until his death, Kottler
was concerned with the impact and concept behind than with the functionality
of his pieces. His vessel forms and sculptures often have elaborate
surface treatment and are often assemblages of molds, decals, ceramic
"junk" pieces, and anything else that inspired Kottler.
Mary (1929 - )
Mary Rogers was born in Belper, England. She studied graphic design
at Watford School of Design and apprenticed with John Dickenson
from 1945-47. Rogers also studied calligraphy for two years at St.
Martin's School of Art in London from 1947-49 and studied ceramics
at the Loughborough
School of Art from 1960-64. She worked for several years as
a calligrapher and graphic designer before established her own workshop
in Loughborough; she worked from this studio for the bulk of her
career. Rogers currently works out of her studio near Falmouth,
Cornwall. Large, coiled stoneware pots inspired by nature comprise
the bulk of Rogers' early work. In the early 1970s, Rogers' began
making small porcelain bowls fashioned after leaves, flowers, twigs,
pods, and other natural forms. Presently, she concentrates on small,
delicate porcelain forms as well as some larger stoneware pieces
that reflect natural history objects and forms found in nature.
Geoffrey (1945 - )
Geoffrey Swindell was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England. He studied
painting and ceramics at Stoke-on-Trent
College of Art from 1960-67 and ceramics at the Royal
College of Art in London from 1967-70. Swindell accepted a teaching
position at York School of Art, and taught there from 1970-75. Presently,
he is a lecturer of ceramics at South Glamorgan Institute of Higher
Education and has a studio in Cardiff. His early work was dedicated
to porcelain pots and, to a lesser extent, stoneware pots; shells,
helmets, and tin toys inspired these pieces. Since 1975, Swindell
has made small "flower-bud" porcelain forms decorated by a combination
of glazes, enamels, and lusters.
Toshiko (1929 - )
Toshiko Takaezu was born in Pepeekeo, Hawaii. She studied ceramics
and weaving at the Honolulu School of Art and ceramics at Cranbrook
Academy of Art in Michigan. While at Cranbrook, Takaezu studied
under Maija Grotell who had a strong influence on the development
of her work. Takaezu taught at several schools- Penland
School of Crafts in North Carolina, Cleveland
Institute of Art, and Princeton
University- before devoting all of her energies to her own studio
work. The inspirations for Takaezu's work draw from nature, Zen
Buddhism, Abstract Expressionist painting and landscapes, and the
unique blending of eastern and western traditions in Hawaii. Her
works range from small, closed pieces to tall sculptural pieces,
and she often explores elements of sound and light with her pieces.
Patti (1939 - )
Born in Spokane, Washington, Patti Warashina received her B.F.A.
(1962) and her M.F.A. (1964) from the University
of Washington in Seattle. She taught at Wisconsin
State University for a year and Eastern
Michigan University for two years before accepting her current
faculty position at University of Washington in Seattle in 1970.
Warashina, together with Howard Kottler, turned the ceramic-sculpture
program at University of Washington into one of the most successful.
In her early career, she directed her energies towards functional
pottery with painted surfaces. In the 1970s, Warashina began making
ceramic-sculpture. Her sculptures have a surreal and dreamlike feel
and often suggest feminist themes (particularly pieces with her
white Barbie figurine).
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