I have a little bit of a background story to tell you about how I found April's AotM, ceramicist; Nathan Neufeld. I took my daughter to Kansas City to look at the Art Institute there. She's an incredibly talented artist and is going to be graduating high school soon. Her mother and I are helping her find a good school that she likes. So, we get up early on a snowy morning and drive from the hotel to the school to be part of a presentation and tour of the campus and facilities. During the presentation about how great the Kansas City Art Institute is, the spokeswoman was showing a power point slide show of works completed by graduates of KCAI. Whose work should pop up on the screen? No! Not Walt Disney, although he took a few classes there a million years ago. It was the fantastic work of Nathan Neufeld! They showed a couple of photos of functional pieces that he did in collaboration with a local chef. I'll explain more about that below. I'm not blowing smoke when I say that it was the most innovative ceramic work that I have seen in years. He's very adept at integrating color, texture, form, function, and sometimes frivolity. In some of my favorite pieces, Nathan combined two of my favorite things, art and food. What little I know about this guy is he's originally from North Carolina and he moved to Kansas City to attend KCAI. He graduated fairly recently and continues to make truly outstanding work. If you would like to see more of his works, go to www.nathanneufeld.com.
This piece is The Duo-Action Spoons + Tray. It's here to whet your appetite for a taste of what is to come. Ha! Get it? Appetite? Taste? Okay. I'll stop with the puns and let you enjoy the art.
The following six photos are of a piece called Omnigenous - Larger Than Life Abstract Self Portrait. This is a glimpse at the process of what pottery and ceramic sculptures go through to end up in your art collection. Of course, it starts out a giant lump of clay. It takes a shitload of painstaking work to get to that first picture as you might imagine. Here's the process in a nutshell. 1) Sculpting the clay 2) Labeling it to show which glaze goes where 3) Into the kiln! 4) Out of the kiln 5) Back of the piece 6) Omnigenous
Again, we're lucky to get to see the process of creation. This one is entitled Life-Sized Self Portrait. 1) Golem-looking cranium 2) More definition 3) Scooping out the brains and making eye holes 4) I'm not just the president of Hair Club for Men... 5) Glazed and ready for the kiln 6) Self Portrait with badass glowing eyes (My addition to the title)
These three pieces were part of the collaborative effort with Preservation Market chef Devin Campbell. The menu was set, the pieces were made, and a dinner was given to showcase the talents of both men. It is one of those occasions that I wish I would have been in attendance. Bloody Brilliant!
These next pieces were done in a collaboration with chef Mike Dale. The pieces are exquisite and the food looks magnificent. Food and art together. How could you possibly go wrong?
These are the mock up drawings of how he planned two of the above works of art. Science! Art! Food!