Tim Ayers

Tim Ayers

Tim Ayers

Tim Ayers

TIM AYERS

My current body of work is a union of slip cast, historically an industrial technique, and the age-old tradition of wood-fire. Although slip casting is associated with mass production, I perform every step of the process in a studio environment, handling each piece and preserving a sense of craftsmanship. I model with numerous materials, allowing the inherent qualities of each material to inform my designs as I generate forms and make molds. During the production of a piece, I vary clay bodies in consideration of form and firing technique. These variables in combination with the individual handling of the objects allow me to create series of sculptures and vessels that stand in relation to one another while retaining a sense of autonomy.

Atmospheric firing is my primary vehicle for challenging the generic and uniform preconceptions associated with molded ceramics, reinterpreting the process to celebrate individuality and diversity. Each piece in a series is unique, carrying the distinctly diverse marks of wood-firing. These marks are unlike any glaze or brush stroke, being much more atmospheric and nuanced. Wood embers and fly ash melt and drip, depositing minerals left by the bark and resins. Salt fluxes the silica present in the clay, creating glossy textured surfaces. Subtleties of flame pattern cause the clay body to flash in a beautifully irregular fashion. These elements, however primitive and ubiquitous they may seem individually, combine to form surfaces that are both sumptuous and sublime.

Through molds, I am able to create ceramics that reflect the control and the sophistication of modern industry, yet through atmospheric firing, my art still resonates with the chance and irregularity of nature. Aside from the purely aesthetic reasons, the amalgamation of these seemingly disparate techniques conceptually advocates for a balance between industry and its relationship to the natural world. Although historically incongruous, I feel we have entered an age where the symbiosis of industry and nature is both urgent and possible.

 

ABOUT TIM
Originally from Winston-Salem, Tim moved to Raleigh in 1998 to attend North Carolina State University. He graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Applications and minors in English and Religious Studies. Tim continued to photograph and document the ceramic collection at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design, where he interned as a student, until moving to Seagrove, NC, to photograph The Remarkable Potters of Seagrove: The Folk Pottery of a Legendary North Carolina Community. While in Seagrove, Tim helped build and fire several wood kilns. After two years of immersive study in the regional ceramic culture, Tim returned to Raleigh and took a position as an art handler for the North Carolina Museum of History. He has since pursued a full-time studio practice. He continues to wood fire regularly and has furthered his education through workshops at Penland School of Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. In 2010, Tim began working with molds to explore ceramics and furnace glass. In 2011 Tim became a resident artist at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA. Currently Tim is an artist-in-residence at the Mendocino Art Center.

 

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