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Phyllis Pacin Ceramic Sculpture
The work I've been doing for the past fifteen years evolved from my earlier three-dimensional wall sculptures. I arrange parallelogram-shaped tiles into architectural compositions that have a trompe l'oeil illusion of three-dimensional form. In the past several years I have continued to explore the transformation of what we see vs. what exists: the visual illusion of my pieces has been transformed further by my "folding" the forms visually so that they look like actual three-dimensional objects existing in real space.

Process: After I roll out large slabs of clay, I texture them with found objects, including pieces of hardware and even such items as a printed circuit board, a Ping Pong paddle, a chrome "Kammback" from an old Chevrolet - the possibilities are endless. Then, when I cut the slabs into tiles, no two have the same textural designs. After the tiles are bisque-fired, I lay them out on the glaze table in the composition that will be their final shape. I copy my glaze design with pencil onto th

Images
Smoke and Fire
16x27" Raku Tile Wall Work
864 x 575 px  (345 KB)
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Napa Kitchen
Napa Kitchen
576 x 384 px  (109 KB)
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Napa Kitchen detail
Napa Kitchen detail
680 x 680 px  (212 KB)
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Maryland Installation
Maryland Installation
821 x 603 px  (358 KB)
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Trees Talk, Alameda County Art Collection
16x27" Raku Tile Wall Work
864 x 585 px  (429 KB)
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China
14x19" Raku Tile Wall Work
864 x 651 px  (688 KB)
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Desert Sands, Square on Square tile series
Four 4.5" square individual tiles
631 x 627 px  (474 KB)
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Torso II
9x8" Raku Tile Wall Work
769 x 720 px  (407 KB)
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Shoestring Tree
16x21" Raku Tile Wall Work
720 x 514 px  (315 KB)
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Evan Roe
24x25" Raku Tile Wall Work
637 x 720 px  (282 KB)
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Angel Niche
18 x 36 "
1002 x 768 px  (166 KB)
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Out of Touch
26x27" Raku Tile Wall Work
621 x 720 px  (256 KB)
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Ozone II
16x21" Raku Tile Wall Work
864 x 576 px  (360 KB)
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Circus Dog Searching
26x23" Raku Tile Wall Piece
703 x 768 px  (166 KB)
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Giza
19x14" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 768 px  (155 KB)
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Toppers
16x21" Raku Tile Wall Work
864 x 642 px  (167 KB)
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Shawn
14x24" Raku Tile Wall Work
864 x 576 px  (179 KB)
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Sponge Plants
16x21" Raku Tile Wall Work
864 x 576 px  (149 KB)
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Bicyclette
9x9" Raku Tile Wall Work
632 x 570 px  (127 KB)
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Folded Fly
17x21" Raku Tile Wall Work
640 x 480 px  (59 KB)
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Interior with Chairs
16x12" Raku Tile Wall Piece
512 x 768 px  (103 KB)
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Airplants & Ocean
16x27" Raku Tile Wall Piece
864 x 576 px  (131 KB)
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Wheels
16x21" Raku Tile Wall Work
640 x 480 px  (76 KB)
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Iraq
16x23" Raku Tile Wall Piece
864 x 576 px  (151 KB)
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Ozone
16x21" Raku Tile Wall Piece
864 x 576 px  (122 KB)
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Coal Forks & Sea Creatures
16x27" Raku Tile Wall Piece
864 x 576 px  (124 KB)
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Flood Zone
16x12" Raku Tile Wall Piece
512 x 768 px  (101 KB)
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Les Fleurs
16x27" Raku Tile Wall Work
864 x 576 px  (375 KB)
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Shopping and Nude #1
each 21x12" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (44 KB)
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Dancers
14x19" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (57 KB)
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Earth Angel
10x24" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (52 KB)
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Flying Chips
17x20" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (43 KB)
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WPA Figures #1 and #2
16x27" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (52 KB)
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Roofs # 3 and 4
each 12x20" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (38 KB)
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Flying #2
17x20" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (38 KB)
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Knot Boxes
Each 14x17" Raku Tile Wall Work
346 x 512 px  (48 KB)
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Night Swimming
16x24" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (68 KB)
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Yacht Galley Installation
4 1/2" Raku Tiles
1024 x 692 px  (875 KB)
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Meredith Kitchen
each tile 6x5.5" Raku Tile Installation
1024 x 757 px  (163 KB)
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Palm Mural
4" RakuTiles
764 x 768 px  (152 KB)
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Ghost
16x24" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (66 KB)
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Folded #1
13x16" Raku Tile Wall Work
512 x 346 px  (42 KB)
0 Comments




Phyllis Pacin Ceramic Design
My current body of raku fired ceramic tile work is worlds away from my
background of traditional sculpture and pottery. My love of two-dimensional
design, coupled with my lifelong involvement with clay, has manifested
itself in my creating perfectly flat wall work with a twist. Playing with the
space within the picture plane, and the illusions this creates, has become as
important as the composition of my subject matter. The result is a unique
interplay of two and three dimensions.

I design my work, arrangements of hand-rolled and textured raku fired tiles
mounted on acrylic or wood, as free hanging pieces. While some are
composed of square tiles, more often I work with parallelogram-shaped tiles,
which I arrange into architectural compositions that have a trompe l’oeil
illusion of three-dimensional form. Some pieces go one step further in tricking
the eye by my “folding” the forms visually so that they look like actual three-dimensional objects existing in real space.

As I examine the creative process, it never ceases to amaze me how subject matter keeps presenting itself. After years of creating primarily non-objective designs, I have segued into abstract and fictitious landscapes as well as abstracted flora. My discovery of the work of the turn-of-the-twentieth century macro-photographer, Karl Blossfeldt, opened my eyes to an exciting new way of looking at plant forms. I have continued exploring them even as the human figure has entered my repertoire.

My recent figurative work came about when I saw a woman emerge from an abstract composition I was drawing. After turning the paper ninety degrees, she was standing in a dramatic pose. I was intrigued enough that I began another figurative piece without so much as a sketch, my usual starting point. Instead, I lightly guided the pencil over the bisque-fired tiles, allowing it to skip and careen across the textured clay with a minimum of supervision. The result was a composition of a few oddly shaped and out of proportion lyrical “dancers” whose freshness delighted me to no end. While the human form as subject still intrigues me, and I continue working with it, I also continue exploring in the non-objective realm.

A synopsis of my tile making and firing processes: After I roll out large slabs of clay, I texture them with found objects. Then, when I cut the slabs into tiles, no two have the same textural designs. After the tiles are bisque fired, I lay them out for glazing in the piece’s ultimate geometric shape, and I redraw my previously sketched design onto the tiles with pencil. The impressions in the tiles create a rich underlay for the glaze design.

After I apply the glazes, either by sponging or brushing, I fire the tiles in a small raku kiln, four tiles per batch, until the glazes melt. Then with tongs, I transfer the red-hot tiles into a lidded metal container. Before closing the lid, I strew the tiles with pine needles to start the smoking process. The smoldering pine needles create a reduction atmosphere that pulls oxygen out of the tiles, resulting in vibrant lustres, crackled glazes and velvety, smoke-blackened clay. For me, part of the magic of viewing my finished work is watching how the colors and lustre glazes catch the light, causing each piece to change as the light shifts.

My artwork hangs in museums and public, private and corporate collections worldwide.


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