CERAMICS

MEINECKE%2C+JOE

MEINECKE, JOE
MEINECKE, JOE
IOWA
I primarily make woodfired vessel-oriented forms, many of which have a utilitarian essence. Much of my life has been defined by how things are used. I can use my camera to take pictures of my pots; I can use a saw to cut wood. What use does that have? Usefulness of objects had always been something I was concerned with until I was introduced to raku firing and, more prominently, woodfiring. The aesthetics of these techniques superceded the need for utility. The forms I choose to make, that appeal to me are still derived from utility but are no longer constrained by it. Now I can look at a piece and enjoy the shape, color and depth of it, and not ask, what is it used for?

I have always been drawn to the "natural beauty" of things: the grain pattern of wood, the earth tones color palette, the way mud cracks in drying. To me, woodfired ceramics is the embodiment of natural beauty in man-made form. I am attracted to the subtle gradations in color I get from the interplay between the clay and the fire, ash, and heat from the wood kiln. I further enhance this relationship with the makeup of the clay body I use and the slips I apply.

I choose to work with vessel-oriented forms because they feel natural to me. I have tried my hand at sculpture work, in clay or another medium, everything I produced felt contrived. The relationship I have with clay is direct and tactile, and the work I produce is a true expression of what I find beautiful and intriguing.