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Lucien Koonce

I approach the composition of my work with spontaneity and immediacy, discovering the form during the process of making it. My alteration and manipulation of solid clay emphasizes the plasticity and gestural qualities of that material while achieving asymmetry. I seek to push the disorganization and the subsequent reorganization of the vessel from being a member of the “pot” realm to becoming an abstract object in the sculptural realm while retaining its function.Beginning with a solid mass of clay, I use a metal and/or wooden blade to shape the exterior surface. While I may have preconceived notions of the form, it is through spontaneous manipulation that the exterior of an object is derived. Once the clay stiffens, I hollow out the interior by hand with a carving tool, a process known as 'kurinuki'.This technique, in which a form is dug or carved out of solid clay instead of being shaped on a potter’s wheel or made from coils or slabs, is a process that allows me to intently focus on the inner shape. I strive to keep a balance between the outer and inner movements of an open form.

Wood-firing adds another dimension to the composition, ultimately helping to define an interpretation ofthe whole. The inherent nature of continuous flame, intense heat, and ash upon the clay, whether glazed or unglazed, adds color and textural effects that are congruent to each piece.The unpredictability of the firing, juxtaposed to the implementation of as many controlled variables as one can, creates random visual beauty, or landscape, which harmonizes with the physical form. Subsequently, the form, whether functional or non-functional, has become like a diary, recording the thoughts and process of the maker and the kiln’s fire.
Lucien Koonce - Teabowl Lucien Koonce - Guinomi Lucien Koonce - Guinomi
Lucien Koonce - Guinomi

University of Iowa; Iowa City, IA.
Master of Fine Arts (Ceramics)      

University of Iowa; Iowa City, IA.
Master of Arts (Ceramics)          

East Carolina University; Greenville, NC.
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Ceramics)  

Selected Group Exhibitions

Out of the Ashes; Morean Center for Clay, St. Petersburg, FL.
International Chawan Expo Exhibition; National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, Maioli, Taiwan.
UnWedged; Pottery Northwest Gallery, Seattle, WA.
The Clay Cup: Vessel, Icon, Canvas; George Calab Bingham Gallery, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.
International Wood Fired Ceramics; Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI.
Cup: The Intimate Object XI; Charlie Cummings Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC.
Strictly Functional Pottery National; Market House Crafts Center, East Petersburg, PA.
UNF International Ceramics Exhibition, UNF Gallery of Art, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL.
Visions in Clay; L. H. Horton, Jr. Gallery, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA.
Carbondale Clay National XI: Intimacy of Scale; Carbondale Clay Center,Carbondale, CO.
The Art of Drinking: Beakers, Cups, and Mugs; Blue Dome Gallery, Silver City, NM.
Shapes of Influence; M. G. Nelson Gallery, Springfield Art Association, Springfield, IL.
Clay VI; Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland, WA.
Working Pots; James May Gallery, Algoma, WI.
Yunomi Invitational; AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA.
21st Contemporary Clay 2016; Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO.
San Angelo National Ceramic Competition; San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, TX.
SAKE WARE: Contemporary Sake Vessels by Japanese and Western Artists; Lacoste Gallery, Concord, MA.
delecTABLE: The Fine Art of Dining; ASLD Gallery, Denver, CO.
Small Favors XI; The Clay Studio; Philadelphia, PA.
Last Call; Companion Gallery, Humbolt, TN.
International Cup 2016; Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula, MT.