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reiko uchytil

Medium: Ceramics

Booth #: GN39

My journey with clay has been a life long one, I grew up in a potters studio. I am a second-generation artist. I find myself blessed and fortunate to study under master ceramicist, Miky and the late Steve Cunningham. (Aka Mom and Dad) I began doing shows in 2013 as an emerging artist at the Des Moines Arts Festival. I studied at the University of Iowa, receiving a BA in Health and Human Physiology, BA in Psychology, and a minor in Dance. But through it all I maintained my passion and love for art, particularly ceramics. I continue to explore the endless possibilities and versatility of clay. I am not a potter but an artist. Clay is my vehicle of choice to transport my imagination into the
physical world.

My current predominant processes are achieved through Sgraffito and Mishima. Sgraffito. “A form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, typically done in plaster or stucco on walls, or in slip on ceramics before firing.” I love the bold graphicness of the black and white finish and to top it off by adding a pop of color (usually red). Through Mishima, I can create a similar boldness through an opposite way of thinking and working. Mishima is " a technique of inlaying slip, underglaze, or even clay into a contrasting clay body, the main clay body of the pottery piece." This technique allows for extremely fine, intricate design work with hard, sharp edges that can be difficult to reliably replicate in any other way.

I use two clay bodies, porcelain for my sgraffito and b-clay for sculpting. I finish my work in one of my two kilns, sometimes both. (Some pieces are triple fired!) The first being a cone 10 oxidation firing. The other being mid to high fire soda. In the end I assemble the pieces into whismical, happy, and conversation starters. I know I achieved something when someone has an emotional reaction to my work.

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