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Joseph Pelka

Clay Art & Acrylic Paintings

I have always embraced my creativity and refuse to limit myself to one medium. While attending Orange Coast College, I studied Ceramics, Life Drawing, and Design. For the last 30 years, I have been working primarily in clay, with time also spent painting. The process for working with clay and painting are quite different, yet equally rewarding.

Working with clay has been a part of my life for 40 years. My relationship with clay is dynamic, providing endless rewards as well as many challenges. This medium, with its ability to adapt to a wide variety of forms, creates a work environment of inspiration and surprise. 

To create my pieces, I use hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques both separately and in combinations. Quality craftsmanship is of vital concern with each vessel. Each piece is hand-crafted individually. I've chosen to work with an earthenware clay body that I fire to cone 06, 1818 degrees. Once constructed, careful attention is paid to the decoration process. The majority of my vessels are meticulously decorated on the exterior with brushed-on, layered glazes.  My designs are original and some are one-of-a-kind. I am the designer, the builder and the decorator. 

The paintings I create are often much different in the beginning then when they are completed. The process is one of “what ifs” and “I wonder what will happen if I try this.” The completed piece is open to interpretation by the viewer, to “see what they see” in the piece. This creates a wonderful connection and dialogue between the piece, the viewer, and the artist.

My paintings are created with acrylic paint on panels made of Masonite and Pine. I build my own canvas panels because I enjoy the construction process and I can be confident that they are study and made to last.

I work on a body of work at one time, usually 5-12 pieces. I have a plan for each piece, but I allow myself to change course at any time. After the canvas panels are built and primed, the exciting work begins. I layer paint on the panels using brushes, scrapers and sticks. I systematically change colors and method of application, sometimes for days, planning for the excavation process.

My excavation process consists of scraping and sanding, with the intent to expose the many days of layering the paint. This step can take days, as the excavation process is carried out.

Pelka Ceramics
260-241-7968

Email: pelkaart@frontier.com
Facebook: jwpelka & Pelkaclayart



 

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