Arts & Culture / Mosaic / April 30, 2008

Curved ceramics

Senior Ben Fitzpatrick, a studio art and education double major, is showing his work in CFA this week. Working from the style of ceramic Greek pieces, Fitzpatrick first tried making his vessels quirky: “Doctor Seuss-like,” said Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick worked at embellishing the pieces, but found he was “adding so much it was taking away from [his] pieces,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Through a series of accidents I’ve stumbled upon minimalism in a sense that I like…I learned that taking away is just as important…The simple and the elegant hold the same curiosity,” he said, describing the evolution of his work.

Each piece takes about 12 to 14 hours to mold, not including the time it takes to fix it if it breaks, to glaze it, and to fire it. Before Fitzpatrick starts a piece he draws out and calculates what it will looking like, though he allows for flexibility in working with the piece if it does not follow the sketch exactly. Fitzpatrick’s recent pieces are modeled after the human body. In the studio he will “draw from a figure, so they’re more bodily in form. The human body is the big kick, the driving force,” behind his work, said Fitzpatrick. “It’s very relatable to everyone.”

In looking for the simple curve for his work Fitzpatrick found “the human body is the most essential place to look for that.”

“I’d love to believe art is anything,” said Fitzpatrick, “but there is a hierarchy that comes with education.”

Fitzpatrick wants to teach kindergarten through 12th grade.

“I’m still learning modern art. Everything after the 1900’s is still new to me. Hopefully the more I learn about that the more I can bring to my work and my students,” he said.

Fitzpatrick enjoyed working with seniors Greg Leibach and Mandy Smith to put together the gallery showing. He enjoyed showing his work alongside Leibach because Leibach’s “hard lines clash with [his] more bodily figure…the dichotomy between the two is what’s interesting.”

Fitzpatrick also draws and designs logos.

Klayr Valentine-Fossum

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