We sat down with ceramist Ian McDonald after his curated show at Totokaelo to better understand the daily life and work of contemporary artists.
TK — Why ceramics? When did that love affair begin?
IM — I started working in ceramics when I was pretty young, around 18 or so, and I worked as an apprentice to potters where I grew up. I was drawn to ceramics then from a general urge to make things and mostly from the point of view of a functional potter. I was gifted a potters wheel around that same time, and put it in my moms garage where I basically made cylinders and simple forms that I cut up and assembled in the patio. I was less apt to finish work then as I really just liked the work of it all and the searching for form. I sometimes think not much has changed.
TK — What glaze are you loving now?
IM — I don’t know if I’m loving any one glaze now, but I have been working with multiple light layers of glaze recently in order to get more depth in the surface without relying on too much glaze or refiring in order to get a rich surface. I have also been thinking a lot about how the clay behind the glaze affects the surface and glaze, so I have been working with different clays for different pieces.
TK — What’s your favorite piece in the show?
IM — That’s also difficult to answer in particular because I see most of my work in combination with others. In order to be efficient, ceramics to me is a kind of numbers game, where you make many pieces at the same time and in turn get results in bunches. I have been working more with the discrete object recently, but even those are made from multiple parts and a basic vocabulary of shared units around the studio. I’m happy with the extruded pieces as this is something I have been working through for years now, but was never satisfied enough to show them.
TK — Can you tell me something new you learned during the process of preparing for this show?
IM — I learned some technical things this time mostly in terms of joining clay with a slip recipe I had never used. The extruded and stacked pieces have created some pretty serious cracking problems due to too much tension between glaze and clay. Although this sounds like serious shop talk, these technical strategies can in some way take you to places conceptually.
TK — What’s it like being Ian McDonald?
IM — That’s a crazy question! I’m busy with the basics. Whispering in my one year old daughters ear about clouds and her Mom. Cleaning leaves and pine needles around the house.
View the collection, now online exclusively at Totokaelo
Our Senior Director of Merchandising refreshes his home for Fall with new arrivals from Art—Object.
1. Phillip Low Sculpture No.24
2. Hawkins New York Handmade Recycled Glassware set of 6
3. Kati Von Lehman 4 Piece Plate Setting
4. Iacoli and McAllister Panca Bench in Black Metal/Neutral
5. A.P.C. Scented Candle in Cologne
6. Fort Makers Geometry Set III in Wood
7. Hawkins New York Large Handmade Recycled Glassware
8. Black Sheep (white light) Icelandic Sheepskin in Black
9. Dries Van Noten Tie in Bottle
10. Acne Studios Calis Baseball Cap in Black
11. Chikuno Life Cube in Black
Check out all of Philip’s selects on our Pinterest page
Ceramist Ian McDonald is presenting forty five new works this Saturday at Totokaelo. Ian will be available from noon to 7pm to answer questions and tell you his story.
Rachel’s Ginger Beer and Totokaelo have collaborated on another flavor. This one is boozy and and called the TK Mule. We’re launching in connection with Ian’s opening. Please join us from 5 to 8 pm and give it a whirl. It’s on us.
Shop Art—Object here
LAUNCHING SATURDAY JULY 11TH
Totokaelo x Rachel’s Ginger Beer = an exclusive flavor only available in store at Totokaelo.
Thanks Camp Doug for the bottle design!
Totokaelo celebrates independence by recognizing a few of our favorite independent thinkers. We’ve paired them with fashion that mirrors their influence.
YAYOI KUSAMA — the artistic polymath
The multimedia artist widely known as the “Queen of Polka Dots” never left home without them.
DAVID BOWIE — the chameleon rocker
Whether we’re talking about Hunky Dory, Ziggy, or dapper Bowie, these pieces all fall in line with the artist’s many fashion phases.
PINA BAUSCH — the theatrical dancer
As a pioneer of modern experimental dance, Bausch’s style was consistent —drapey blacks, whites and Yohji Yamamoto.
Images taken from a press release of Kusama’s 1964 “Driving Image” exhibition, a still from an appearance by Bowie on The Cher Show in 1975, and a photograph capturing a moment from Bausch’s performance of “Café Muller”.
A tour of the new Totokaelo office space is now up on Remodelista. In the article, founder Jill Wenger shares the story behind the space as well as her creative vision for the office interiors.
“The [Totokaelo] storefront and newly established office space…were conceptualized and executed by Jill herself. During the first ten years of business, everyone worked out of the stockrooms in the back of the original Totokaelo store. ‘Anywhere there was space, someone claimed it and tossed their laptop down,’ Jill recalls. As work conversation—and concentration—proved increasingly difficult, Jill began to look into acquiring a dedicated office space, a decision, she says that was ‘less about brand evolution and more about gaining much-needed thinking space.’” — Alexa Holtz via Remodelista
A special thanks to Michael A Muller for the beautiful photos.
French artist Camille Henrot’s first comprehensive exhibition in the US entitled “The Restless Earth” debuts this week at the New Museum in New York City. The exhibition is a collection of Henrot’s recent works, including visual translations of books from the artist’s personal library in the form of ikebana arrangements, a collection of recent video art, ‘hybrid object’ sculptures, and more.
“We hurry through aeons. Things evolve, the world gets complicated. Art and culture, science and starvation, extinction and global warming are all here. First we had drawings, then we had books, and then we had the internet. First came the artists then the scholars, the anthropologists and then the geeks. Henrot seems to submit to no boundaries between art and scholarship, or between one specialisation and another.” — Adrian Searle via The Guardian
“The Restless Earth” runs through June 29th.