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Contemporary Women Ceramicists: Slip Casting

An exploration of the building techniques of women ceramicists in the 21st century.

What is Slip Casting?

Slip casting is a process of creating pottery using a liquid form of clay and a plaster mold. This process allows ceramicists to replicate a shape with more precision than other techniques. The ceramic plates one might buy at a typical store is likely made from industrial clip casting. While this technique is used for cookery and plates, it can also be used for sculptures. Explore these two videos to learn how the process is done both in an industrial studio and in a small scale studio. 

Copyright Lisa Reeve - Cabin Ceramics 2018

Copyright Emma Bridgewater, LTD 2009

Resources for Slip Casting

Contemporary Artist

Meet Shalene Valenzuela

ceramic toasters painted with images of women suntanning and heating food          

"Toasters and Bread" front and back

ceramic white glue bottles painted with people 'glued' to TV

"Glued" front and back

Valenzuela creates sculptures using the slip casting method, replicating very ordinary objects. For example, there are glue bottles, Woolite bottles, ice skates, dressforms, blenders, and so many more objects used to create this pottery.

The pottery also uses very conceptual theme for its glaze and painted applications. Valenzuela uses images, primarily feminine, to depict mid-20th century ideals. These images in conjunction with the objects create a dialogue of what it was like for her growing up into a woman. Because these objects are commonly known and the imagery is easily recognizable as well, it makes me wonder if Valenzuela is asking us, "Did you also experience life this way?" 

 

This video is Valenzuela describing the humor in how people do not realize her art is actually ceramics. The video begins at minute 2:20 where she describes the slip casting process. 

Copyright Archie Reginald 2012

Visit Valenzuela's website:

Visit Shalene Valenzuela's website to learn more about the concepts infused in her slip casting pottery process and subject matter choices, or to view the scrolling images of the sculptures on the gallery page. All of the sculptures I have seen on of Valenzuela's are so intriguing with the commentary that is being made. 

olive green background, orange asterisk words below if it's hip, it's here        

My initial introduction of Valenzuela occurred through the If It's Hip, It's Here website. This website posted a variety of images from her sculptures with a short biography of the works and the artist. The images above were found on the If It's Hip, It's Here website.

This website introduced me to another slip cast artist, Nina Jun. Step into a world where ceramic slip cast sculptures float, but never fly away: 

Meet Nina Jun 

yellow star balloon with polka dots

When you read Nina Jun If It's Hip, It's Here article, you will view a variety of balloon designs. The ceramicist Jun, "wondered if there were a balloon that could stay afloat eternally" after an accidentally released mylar balloon. It is a sad moment to lose a balloon. Yet, what a wonderful realization for a series of ceramic slip-cast sculptures for Jun! 

Visit Jun's website:

This is Nina Jun's website. There she tells of her Korean background, the need for one to challenge ones talents in order to explore one's self, and naturally, she provides images of more ceramic balloons. In her artist statement, she writes, 

"Perpetuity is also one of the unsolved problems we face... I make these ceramic balloons to remind us our unobtainable desire to be in charge of time and space."