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John Glick
John Glick Plum Street Pottery Reduction Fired Shino Glaze Cup Published in Book

1990

About the Item

“Untitled” ceramic, is an example of the kind of work by which John Glick became so famous. He was seduced by the effects of the reduction kiln, which decreased the levels of oxygen during firing, inducing the flame to pull oxygen out of the clay and glazes changing the colors of the glazes depending on their iron and copper content. In this way he achieved the rich gradients of ochre and umber and variations in stippling and opacity. This piece is signed on the bottom and can be found on page 92, plate #125 in “John Glick: A Legacy in Clay.” John was an American Abstract Expressionist ceramicist born in Detroit, MI. Though open to artistic experimentation, Glick was most influenced by the styles and aesthetics of Asian pottery—an inspiration that shows in his use of decorative patterns and glaze choices. He has said that he is attracted to simplicity, as well as complexity: my work continually reflects my re-examination that these two poles can coexist… or not, in a given series. Glick also took influences from master potters of Japan, notably Shoji Hamada and Kanjrio Kawai, blending their gestural embellishments of simple forms with attitudes of Abstract Expressionism. He was particularly drown to the work of Helen Frankenthaler whose soak-stain style resonated with Glick’s multi-layered glaze surfaces, which juxtaposed veils of atmospheric color with gestural marks and pattern. He spent countless hours developing and making his own tools in order to achieve previously unseen results in his work with clay and glaze. Glick’s “Plum Tree Pottery” (now a designated historic landmark in Farmington Hills, Michigan) studio opened around 1965 and closed in the summer of 2016. It was a private studio space for John and a number of his students and assistants. He believed his shapes evolved guided by forces apparently outside his control. This was instinctual, intellectual and due to his openness to change, fusing into what he thought was the most positive force behind a potter’s approach: evolution and growth. Some have called it inspiration. John was not only a major figure in the Detroit creative community, but in the ceramics world at large. According to Shelley Selim in her book on John, “John Glick: A Legacy in Clay” John remains: “one of the most recognizable names in the field of studio pottery – known for lecturing, publishing, and offering workshops widely – and his work has been featured in well over a hundred local, national and international exhibitions since he was a college student in the late 1950s.” Along with this John has mentored over thirty studio apprentices over five and a half decades, received numerous grants and awards for his work, and has been prolific, with an estimated 300,000 ceramic wares throughout the world. He received his Masters from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, working with Maija Grotell, a legendary and influential teacher. Grotell was noted for her deep interest in the human connection to nature’s rhythms and patters. These ideas often grounded her dialog with her students including Glick, affecting, a profund and lasting influence on his future work. This famous Art Academy was designed by architect and faculty member, Eliel Saarinen who collaborated with Charles and Ray Eames on chair and furniture design. Numerous creative artists who are alumni of Cranbrook include: Harry Bertoia, Florence Knoll, Jack Lenor Larsen, Donald Lipski, Duane Hanson, Nick Cave, Hani Rashid, George Nelson, Urban Jupena (Nationally recognized fiber artist), Artis Lane (the first African-American artist to have her sculpture, "Sojourner Truth," commissioned for the Emancipation Hall in the Capital Visitor Center in Washington DC), Cory Puhlman (televised Pastry Chef extraordinaire), Thom O’Connor (Lithographs), Paul Evans (Brutalist-inspired sculpted metal furnishings), Eugene Caples (small bronze images/abstract), Morris Brose (Bronze Sculptures), Herb Babcock (blown glass), Larry Butcher (mixed media) and Lauren Anais Hussey (Abstract). Glick’s work can be found in private and public collections in Michigan at The Cranbrook Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Flint Institute of Arts, Wayne State University and University of Michigan, in addition to major museums across the U.S. and Internationally.
  • Creator:
    John Glick
  • Creation Year:
    1990
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 3.5 in (8.89 cm)Width: 4.75 in (12.07 cm)Depth: 3 in (7.62 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    Detroit, MI
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU128617297212
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