Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000 (55:09)Produced in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibition of the same name, this lively program explores the evolution of late-20th-century ceramics. Using interviews and myriad examples of their works, leading figures in the field, including Ruth Duckworth, Wayne Higby, John Mason, Ron Nagle, Otto Natzler, Richard Shaw, and Peter Voulkos, discuss such major themes as Abstract Expressionism, Funk, vessels, form and function, and the debate over the decorative arts versus the fine arts.
Grace Medicine Flower and Joseph Lone Wolf, Santa Clara Potters (29:31)This program examines the pottery of Grace Medicine Flower and her brother Joseph Lone Wolf, members of the renowned Tafoya family of Santa Clara Pueblo. They revived and expanded the traditional forms and techniques of their pre-Columbian ancestors, the Mimbres, to create exquisite works featuring abstract designs and emphasizing sgraffito and polychrome techniques. Together with their father, Camilio Sunflower Tafoya, Medicine Flower and Lone Wolf are filmed digging and refining their clay and then molding it into pots, which they decorate and fire.
Greek Vases in the British Museum (30:05)The vases of ancient Greece—from the first handmade pottery to the characteristic black- and red-figure vases of Athens—provide important clues to Greek art and life. Drawing on the British Museum’s world-famous collection, this program documents the history of Greek vases from 6000 BC to the 4th century BC and the techniques employed to create them; investigates the design and function of various vase shapes; and examines how myths, legends, and the themes of life, war, work, play, birth, and death were illustrated.
The Space of Pottery: Ceramics of Paul Mathieu (26:50)This beautifully filmed program by Richard L. Harrison explores the work, creative process, and philosophical perspective of award-winning ceramist Paul Mathieu, whose multilayered works in porcelain defy conventional boundaries of craft, sculpture, and representation. Different stages of the ceramics-making process are spotlighted as Mathieu creates an intricate stacking dinner service called The Arrows of Time inspired by physicist Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time. Images of numerous other finished pieces—Le Souci de Soi, The Piece Is Not to Be Photographed, and The Mortal Secret of Immortality, to name only three—further emphasize the complexity of Mathieu’s work and the cerebral yet poetic nature of his aesthetics. The only thing missing from this classic program—and from the internationally acclaimed artist himself—is ego.
Toshiko Takaezu: Portrait of a Ceramic Artist (28:55)Renowned for her extraordinary pottery and highly respected as a teacher, Toshiko Takaezu is one of the most significant ceramic artists of the 20th century—and the 21st. This program, filmed both in New Jersey and the artist’s native Hawaii, presents the life story of the internationally acclaimed potter. Film clips of Ms. Takaezu at work—shaping clay in her studio, demonstrating pottery techniques at Princeton University, and overseeing raku firing—provide illuminating insights into her philosophical creative process, as do interviews with ceramic artists Claude Horan and Jennifer Owen; gallery owner Charles Cowles; Paul Smith, director emeritus of the American Craft Museum; poet Stephen Berg; and the artist herself.