Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teapots: An Invitational - Lou Pierozzi Lindenhurst, IL

Lou Pierozzi Teapot $400
stoneware, wheel thrown, handbuilt and sandblasted (8.5" x 12" x 8")

I am primarily interested in functional ceramic art that is more than just a utilitarian object. My vessels, although functional, draw upon a unique time in history when machines first became mainstream.  The rise of the Industrial Revolution brought trains, boilers, steamships, iron clad warships and other heavy steel machinery.  I am particularly interested in the smoke stacks, rivets, gears, and steel plates that made up this early machinery.  My ceramic pieces look to emulate the visual weight, and mechanical parts that were present in these historical objects.  I want my viewers to be able to make a slight connection to this time period, but also be able to see the stylization that make my pieces unique.

The process I use to create these industrially inspired objects involves throwing all of the pieces on the potter's wheel.  I first throw the main body of the piece on the potter's wheel and alter the shape considerably.  Once I have created the main body, I then decide what shapes will work best for the extruding parts.  I then throw the extruding parts, cut them and reassemble them into various mechanical forms.  Once the vessel is fully assembled I carefully handcraft each rivet and meticulously place them onto the piece. Finally, I carve in the lines to make the piece look metal plated.  After each piece is completely assembled and bisqued, glaze is applied and fired to cone 10.  This long and evolved process combines to make an industrially inspired vessel that is not only functional, but also sculptural.

Lou Pierozzi is an adjunct art professor at Oakton Community College.  He has been working in ceramics for over 19 years and his artwork has been exhibited at numerous galleries and exhibitions throughout the country.  Lou Pierozzi received his MFA at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2001.

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