On April 25-May 23 ceramic artist Marc Hudson will present a solo exhibition at the Karen Wray Gallery in Los Alamos. The community is invited to a reception on Thursday, April 25 from 5-7 pm.
A Master of Glazes
One of the things that make Hudson’s art stand out is the beauty and variety of the glazes that he uses. His deep knowledge of glazes is the result of years of mixing and testing the glazes in a systematic way.
During his process he uses a software that helps him manipulate parts of the glaze, using different ingredients, and still get what they call, “a glaze in unity.”
He tests all of his glazes on tiles, which he catalogues and hangs in colorful loops from the ceiling of his garage studio in Espanola. He now has over 2,000 tiles, all slightly different. He can look up each tile and recreate the exact glaze.
He said, “Testing glazes, mixing them and applying them is a big part of what I enjoy doing.”
Shaping the Clay
Even thoughhe loves creating glazes, he doesn’t consider the clay to be just a canvas for the glaze. He applies just as much care, attention to detail and experimentation to the process of shaping the clay.
“I work with a potter’s wheel and also with an extruder,” said Hudson. “The potter’s wheel is very traditional. I center the piece of clay on the wheel and lift the clay to make it become a shape, like a vase or a bowl.”
The extruder is like the Play Doh toy you may remember from childhood where there’s a plunger and you push the Play Doh through and out comes a shape.
“My extruder is similar in principle but it is much larger and hangs from the wall and has a three foot lever arm,” said Hudson. “And for me the exciting part is making the nozzles, the dies through which the clay has to pass to get its shape.”
Over the years Hudson has perfected his methods and techniques for forming those patterns and shapes, often sketching them out using AutoCAD. As a designer in an engineering firm with a background in Civil Structural and Mechanical Design, he transfers the patterns to a piece of plastic, cuts it out and tests it.
Hudson makes purely decorative pieces as well as commissioned functional items
The exhibit will feature Hudson’s latest decorative pieces like vases and wall hangings.
But he also makes a lot functional items that have been commissioned by others that can be useful around the house.
For example, he has been making custom table settings for Izanami, a Japanese restaurant in 10,000 Waves. The table settings include sushi plates, little ramekins for sauces, hashioki for holding chopsticks, and he is working on cups and pitchers for sake. Each piece has a dramatic black glaze.
Pet Pangaea is another customer that orders functional products; dog and cat bowls that come in several different sizes.
He also makes several items for the home, including unique bathroom sets with soap dishes, toothbrush cups and knobs for doors and cabinets.
He just finished a set of onion soup bowls for some friends.
He also offers classes and workshops for small groups
Hudson enjoys teaching classes and is willing to open his studio to people who want to work with clay.
To see Marc Hudson’s most recent work, come to the reception on Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 5-7pm at the Karen Wray Gallery located at 1247 Central Ave Ste D-2, Mon-Fri 11-4, Sat 10-4, in Los Alamos. For more information call 505-660-6382 or visit www.karenwrayfineart.com.