7.5 x 11 x 11 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation
This sublime mid-size Jar was created by two highly skilled craftsmen and artists. From the start, Tom Coleman had enviable throwing skills with porcelain. Frank Boyden’s work almost always illustrates the landscape and wildlife of his coastal world and enlivens his pots with these drawings, hoping to inspire his viewers to follow the animal’s movements around the vessel—which is exactly the case with Jar. Boyden’s dark brown line drawings swirl about the flat top of this contemporary ginger jar form. One can almost see the evolution or growth stages—the life and death of a fish swimming and spiraling in watery waves. Coleman’s exquisite glowing form shows off Boyden’s drawings, including the noteworthy peach blush around the mid-section.
Boyden was born, raised, and still lives and works in Oregon. Though Coleman was raised in Texas, he went to art school in Portland for his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1968. Coleman faultlessly ‘throws’ well-balanced porcelain and stoneware classic forms. Boyden, like many ceramic artists who were first painters, uses the surface of the vessel as a canvas for his drawings. He became fascinated that carvings combined with glazing and firing methods could enhance and accentuate the finished piece. From 1974-1993 Coleman threw vessels and Boyden drew, carved into and manipulated the surfaces, often depicting animals such as fish and birds. As part of their collaboration, Boyden, Nils Lou (see Nils Lou’s Pugmillion II vase, 1987) and Tom Coleman built a traditional 8th century Korean hill-climbing anagama wood-fired kiln in the mid-80s—the first built on the west coast. This Jar was certainly fired in this kiln. The East Creek Anagama kiln has been referred to as the grandfather of all wood-fired kilns in the Pacific Northwest; their collaborative works were mainly wood-fired thereafter. Though Coleman accepted a teaching job in 1987 in Las Vegas, he maintained his long-standing collaboration in Oregon with Frank Boyden for five more years.
Billie Sessions, PhD.
Click an image to view a larger version
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
Also found in
Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios: