Head Full of Dreams

My work represents the next generation of ceramic artists, who fuse today's technology with one of the oldest traditions in art. To some, the computer is completely foreign, while others have grown up in front of one.

During the day, I work as an art director at a Chicago advertising agency. I use the computer to create a myriad of advertising elements. While at work, I am exposed to programs and media that have direct applications for our clients. But in the back of my mind, I am wondering how can I apply this to my artwork, and when I get home, it is not long before I am situated in front of the computer again.

I like to make work that makes people think. Because much of my work deals with personal things in my life, I often use a complex layering of semiotics to convey the meaning. The basic idea sits on the surface, with successive levels buried in symbolism. I give clues to viewers and let them unravel the mystery.

I think the role of art is to convey or evoke emotion, and I hope all of my work succeeds on this level.

Technical Overview
I use the computer in my artwork to illustrate, manipulate, and compose the elements for each piece. It allows me to create several versions of a concept while refining it along the way until there is a version that successfully conveys my vision.

Once the concept is complete, I send my computer files out for film positives. I use the film separations to create silkscreens used in transferring the images onto large sheets of wet clay. The process can take several hours and is rather delicate, as the clay is quite soft and records every push and pull. One accidental slip can ruin a piece. My printing medium is glaze and not ink, which presents all sorts of challenges and contributes to the lengthy process.

I like to work wet on wet as it gives me freedom. I can emboss a cardboard trompe l'oeil affect on the surface of the clay and fool people into thinking it's cardboard and not clay. Once the printing is complete, I often give additional volume to the work, so it pops off a wall when it is hung in place. Once the imagery and clay are free of moisture, the work is placed in a kiln and fired. The once-delicate imagery is now permantly fixed to the clay body to stand the test of time.

Scott Rench
Printedclay (at) yahoo.com