This week, I entered the Werby Gallery because of the large ceramic sculptures displayed. These sculptures seemed to represent an African-American culture and I was curious to know more. The artist who created these pieces is Piet Eppinga. He was very friendly and went in depth with each sculpture that was in the gallery. He began by explaining how his pieces do have African-American looks. Other pieces such as his round, hollow pot seemed to look similar to something in a Japanese culture. He was very proud of these looks that are portrayed through his art because he lives in the multi cultural society.
Each one of his pieces contains very specific detail, each with a different meaning behind it. For example, on the lid of the pot there were four circles which he showed me. Each of the four circles represented something different; Earth, air, fire, water. The largest piece in this gallery was named “The Queen ” and it was supposed to resemble the queen from a chess board. Eppinga carefully pointed out certain objects he included in this piece to represent stability and power. Another one of his pieces was a man, woman, and child. The sculpture was carefully created to show how a man and woman were bind together through a child and essentially become “one”. My favorite part of this gallery was when Eppinga told us when he was created this sculpture he asked himself “Who am I in this piece?”. I then tried to imagine myself as part of the sculpture and how it related to me. He offered a very different insight to his artwork.
In order to complete this gallery he worked on these sculptures for about 3 months. All his sculptures were made from clay and each was hand crafted differently and individually. In some of his sculptures, Eppinga included glass. However, the glass was originally powder. For example inside the hollow Japanese bowl, he filled it with glass powder. Once it is placed in the kiln, the temperature increases and causes the powder to melt into glass. He explained how using the kiln can be a dangerous process. The kiln reaches dangerous temperatures and if a clay sculpture is left inside for too long the clay will harden and eventually begin to melt. He was very cautious and kept a close eye on all his sculptures. They came out very intricate and appealing to the eye. Overall, I enjoyed Piet’s artwork and especially loved the new perspective he gave me when admiring the sculptures.