A collaboration with ceramicist Eric Moss

Right this moment I needed to share one thing that you just may not learn about me. I’ve been a steel sculptor for over 20 years, however surprisingly sufficient, a really giant proportion of the artists I observe occur to be individuals who primarily work in ceramics and clay (one in every of them, is Eric Moss). I can’t say why precisely, however whereas I dwell my inventive life amongst steel, I’m disproportionately drawn to pottery and ceramic sculpture. 

Possibly it is as a result of I discovered I’m allergic to dusty environments that my path took me into steel as a substitute of clay. Both approach, regardless of my vocation of alternative, I’ve developed a terrific appreciation for the muddy arts. Provided that data, one may assume {that a} mud and steel collaboration with one other artist was inevitable, and you’ll be proper…form of 

So whereas I want to announce a collaboration between myself and fellow ceramic artist Eric Moss, the humorous twist is that my contribution to this venture is not going to really be product of steel, it will likely be wooden? Who would have thought? 

I ought to actually let Eric converse for himself as he’s the one doing the heavy lifting for this venture. Beneath are his ideas on the venture. 

From Eric:

“I first encountered Chris’ extraordinary artwork in 2018 within the Instagram posts of one in every of his collectors, who additionally occurred to be following my channel. He remarked on our similarity of appreciation in varieties (and even then dreamed of a collaboration). The core of my apply then was raku firing ceramics, a low-tech, quick and brutal course of with the tip end result left very a lot to the whim of the kiln gods moderately than the artist – in my early years a lot of my output was misplaced to thermal shock breakages within the remaining moments after firing. Raku, I believed, could be too far faraway from Chris’ exact, managed and tight-tolerance work to contemplate a mixed paintings?

Early in 2020, as Chris was making ready for launch of his ‘fear stone’ meld of steel and wooden, and in mutual appreciation of one another’s work, we agreed an artswap. Chris despatched me a prototype fear stone in trade for one in every of my two-part, wheel-thrown raku-fired ‘squid’. By 2020 I had already branched out into slipcasting my ‘waveform’ sculptures in porcelain tile type, pushed by the necessity economically to make an identical items for tessellating wall arrays. So, when Chris posted a picture of a small assortment of ‘overrun’ machined unique wooden ‘jewels’ from his venture, and I mused how they may look offered in a ceramic mount, Chris despatched a dozen over to me within the UK to “have a play”!

The preliminary impression of Chris’ fear stone was chrysalis-like with the grooved wooden jewel showing just like the segmented underside of a beetle. So, I made a decision my ceramic mount may echo a beetle’s higher facet ‘elytra’ (or wing instances). However, nonetheless occupied in ‘oloid’ and ‘waveform’ manufacturing, I first tried the jewels in each modified oloids and waveforms, every given a brand new recess to accommodate the jewel. These Prototypes #1, #2 and #3 had the texture of seeds with the jewel forming the germ half and Instagram posts of them have been sparking curiosity and requests to accumulate. Prototype #3 ‘waveforms’ in Parian have the added attraction of translucency in addition to tactility.

My early experiments prompted Chris to supply to advertise a doable collaborative version, though he was nonetheless eager to see a prototype #4 of the ‘elytra’ that I’d first urged. I got down to attempt to make these and to make the means to batch produce all 4 prototype themes ought to every/any garner sufficient curiosity for manufacturing? The modified oloids (Prototypes #1 & #2), with my primitive making strategies, entailed so many hours of finessing that I elected to make them just for particular fee. I’m nonetheless investigating the technicalities of constructing the elytra in ceramic (growing a ‘slip injection course of’ utilizing plaster casts and kitchenalia) however current as a substitute a divergence into pewter casting of the carved cuttlefish variant ‘elytra’ which I feel works superbly. I rediscovered cuttlefish casting in 2019 and was eager to include it into my apply each in steel and ceramic. Lead-free Pewter is a pleasantly heavy (and simply solid) steel and it effectively defines the expressed laminae of carved cuttlefish in a sensuous, tactile type.“


As you may learn, Eric went in fairly just a few instructions with this venture, and actually used it as a chance to discover and develop into a variety of processes. I’ve loved exchanging messages with him during the last couple months as developments unfolded.

The extra I’ve discovered about Eric’s work, the extra I see myself in it. His aesthetic instincts are fairly complementary to my very own, so it’s fascinating to see my small wood gems function a strong catalyst for his work. To have one thing I designed and machined juxtaposed with such a diametrically totally different medium is a useful solution to replicate alone course of and distinction the 2.

My craft is inherently exact, and Erics is rather more squishy, however they’ve extra in widespread than one may suppose. Ceramic work really suits completely into one of many themes I speak about very often right here on this weblog.

Ceramics is among the oldest industrial processes, And whereas it has taken many varieties all through historical past in lots of cultures, its transition to a definite up to date high quality artwork studio medium reveals similarities with others crafts that share a utilitarian and ornamental custom.

Like wooden turning, glass making, and varied sorts of steel work, it’s a course of whose main operate has (very slowly on this case) shifted from the utilitarian to creative as expertise has modified. Whereas I’m wholly unclear on the timeline, one may level to the transition away from guide ceramics manufacturing to industrial slip casting as the purpose the place the fashionable studio ceramics motion was actually capable of take form. 

Many times, once we see trade flip away from expert labor and towards expertise, these solid off expertise typically discover a new area of interest inside the high quality arts. As a sculptor working with expertise, that story has all the time captivated me and it’s a nice level of intersection between what I do, and what Eric does. 

I feel this venture embodies all of that completely. 

So the following query could be “Can I personal one?”

After all. As you might need guessed, we’re going to supply up this venture as an version. I might be making a variety of hardwood inserts for Eric, and he might be lovingly crafting a house for every of them.

If you’re a collector of my work, or Erics, and are considering including one in every of these fantastic artifacts to your assortment, merely click on the hyperlink beneath and the whole lot you must know ought to be there.  


I hope you get pleasure from this venture as a lot as I do, and as all the time, feedback and questions are all the time welcome.