Roses and Thorns
Since 2013 University of Cincinnati Ceramics faculty Guy Michael Davis and Katie Parker have taken over 50 students to create a body of work in Jingdezhen China, a city known world wide for it’s manufacturing of the finest Chinese porcelain. The students work with some of the finest porcelain artists there to create contemporary works of art in this ancient (Shang Dynasty, 17th – 11th century BC) medium.
This course responds to thoughts on both regionalism and globalism, what we make at home within the perimeters of local materials and facilities, and how we handle these ideas placed within the new environment of factories in Jingdezhen, China. One step in the making process can be exchanged for another, allowing each artist to experiment while gaining a stronger hold on porcelain, a material with one of the sharpest learning curves. This back and forth of knowledge and give and take of tradition is why we value our time working in Jingdezhen. We are asking ourselves “ what is local”, is it only based on geographic and political boundary, or as individuals do we continuously re-define the place we call here as we build on new experiences?
Roses and Thorns is a group exhibition of work made by University of Cincinnati DAAP students and faculty while in residence in Jingdezhen China. Working at Taoxichuan Ceramic Art Avenue for 3 weeks, the students developed art that takes advantage of the the processes and porcelain available in this historic ceramic city. The title Roses and Thorns comes a game we played at dinner each night, naming the best (the rose) and the worst (the thorn) thing that happened to us each day. This could range from breaking a piece of work fresh from the kiln to finding a new steamed bun stand, and was way to share ideas as we discovered all the resources available.