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[Audio] Local Ceramicist Exhibits Improvisational Work Inspired by Nature, in Paducah

Ruth Baggett Gallery, Facebook

Ceramicist Craig Rhodes is exhibiting his improvisational work at the Ruth Baggett Gallery in Paducah, on display through December 24. On Sounds Good, Tracy Ross speaks with Rhodes about his work, his process in designing and creating them and some of his local influences.

His work is inspired by the irregular patterns in nature similar to those you'd see in the Sahara sand dunes or in musical rhythm. In creating gestural drawings on the carved surface of the unglazed sides of the bowls and then stretching out the patterns the effect is essentially a 2D work on a 3D surface, Rhodes says.

Ceramics is a laborious medium in terms of preparation, he says, and ended up losing more pots in the process than he initially got in working on this technique. Mix the clay, make the pot on the wheel - making a cylinder approximately 14 to 15 inches, let it sit for an hour, put a thick coating of slip on it, then a pattern instrument for cake decorating to make the pattern, throw the pot, balloon it out from the inside, let it dry, put it in bisque, glaze it in a high-fire glaze in a gas kiln under reduction, then the painting on top is done in a low-fire glaze.

Rhodes says some of his influences are former ceramic art teacher at Murray State Fred Shepard, Wayne Bates of Murray, Harris Deller at SIU Carbondale and John Hasegawa at Paducah School of Art and Design.

More photos at Ruth Baggett Gallery's Facebook page

Ruth Baggett Gallery website

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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