Growing up and living around rural Wisconsin, Casey Beck has pulled influenced found throughout the landscapes into his work. Beck creates utilitarian wares to be used on a day to day basis. These wares are high fired in soda and wood fire kilns. The atmosphere of the kilns produces patterns on the surfaces of the wares that relate to these patterns found throughout our natural world. Beck is currently a fourth-year student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in ceramics and a minor in drawing.
My work is based around function and utility. I have always found pleasure in using handmade objects, whether it be a ceramic cup, sketchbook, or tool. Through my work, I strive to share the love that I have with others. I believe that using handmade objects feeds your soul, and can take an ordinary experience and create something extraordinary out of it. I create objects that are to be used on a day to day basis, and make every day intriguing.
The work that I create it primarily wheel thrown and altered. After the pots have had time to set up, they are turned and clay is subtracted to form edges and plains. These pots are fired in atmospheric kilns. After strategically placing the work in each kiln pack, it is left to the path of the flame in collaboration with myself to decide what is painted onto the surfaces of the wares. During the process of the firing, the flame flows through the chamber, carrying either soda vapors, or wood ash, which interacts with the pots. Some pots are gently kissed by the atmosphere, and some bombarded. This method of firing creates works that are never alike and communicate the spontaneous marks of fire. This process creates new excitement with each firing, and keeps me coming back for more.
Working in the Midwest, my work is inspired by both the landscapes and patterns that out natural world produces. The Midwest holds many flat landscapes, which can create different patterns. Generally, rows of crops can be seen in the summer, and snowdrifts in the winter. In the St. Croix River Valley, great rivers and tributaries flow with confidence. These water ways can create patterns as well, both in the sand beneath the water, as well as the movement of the water itself. The way that snow drifts, and the ways that water moves so fluidly, relate back to the way fire moves. Through this flame pattern, and strategic placement of the wares in the kiln, patterns of nature are revealed. The work shows this movement of the flame on the different plains created in the making process, which reveal patterns of our natural world.
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Where to find my work
Upcoming and Current Shows:
- July 9th – August 15th: ArtReach St. Croix Members Show, Stillwater MN
- August 3rd – September 1st: Shapes of Influence Exhibition, Springfield Art Association, Springfield IL
- November 1st – December 2nd: FunctionFest, Clay Center of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
- Kelley Gallery, Woodbury MN & Hudson WI. http://kelleygalleries.com/