Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Cup: Ben Bates - Libertyville, IL

Ben Bates Tea Cup reduction fired stoneware
(4.75 x 3.75 inches) CUP 008 $60

I am interested in the functional format as a realm of exploration, but I strive for my pieces to transcend their utilitarian boundaries and function as sculptural elements.  I use the ideals of the vessel to clarify design and explore form as it relates to space.

Ben Bates Tea Cup reduction fired stoneware
(4.75 x 5 inches) CUP 009 $60

I am interested in the dualities of this medium.  I want to manipulate the plasticity of the material and accentuate its softness to heighten the viewer's awareness of the forms interior volume.

Ben Bates Tea Cup soda fired stoneware
(4.75 x 3.75 inches) CUP 010 $60 SOLD

My hope is to make pieces that are able to communicate feelings and ideas without recalling specific objects.  I intend for these compositions to be mysterious and open-ended enough to evoke multiple interpretations.

Ben Bates Tea Cup wood-fired porcelain
(4.5 x 4.5 inches) CUP 011 $60 SOLD

Ben Bates, a resident of Libertyville, IL, was born and raised in Southern California, earned his BFA at Kansas City Art Institute (1995) and his MFA at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2000).  After graduate school Ben established himself as the head Resident Ceramic Artist at Crabtree Farm, a living museum in Lake Bluff, Illinois (1998 - 2003).  He was also the Lead Consultant for the construction of the Sterling Hall Ceramics Center (1999 - 2001) and Art Department Chair at Woodlands Academy (2003 - 2005) both in Lake Forest, IL.

Ben Bates Tea Cup reduction fired stoneware
(4.25 x 4 inches) CUP 012 $60

His work has been featured in Feats of Clay, NCECA Clay National, Strictly Functional, 30 x 5 at AKAR Gallery, History in the Making, Lillstreet International, American Studio Ceramics, George Ohr Challenge, Platters and Pourers, Burnt, Yunomi Invitational, Linearity and as a solo Featured Artist at AKAR Gallery.  Ben was Personal Studio Assistant to Ken Ferguson (1993 - 1995) and to Ruth Duckworth (2004).  He is currently a Ceramics Studio Artist, Ceramics Instructor and Ceramics Studio Technician at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL.


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