Tuesday, May 26, 2015

{Inspiration} Fisher Price Toys & Chris Theiss

{Chris in his studio - 2012 }

There has been so much inspiration that I've wanted to share in the last few months but deadlines, mom responsibilities, and studio time have been my top priority. However, the art making of my studio neighbor is a constant, creative wonder that I'm lucky enough to witness daily. There is so much work that needs to be seen and today seemed like a good day to post. Chris Theiss is one of those artists that is dedicated, talented, hard working, disciplined, knowledgable, and completely underexposed. He teaches ceramics at Western Washington University and at Skagit Valley College while holding a design job (designing toys no less) as well. Juggling three jobs and a family hasn't stopped him from finding time to make his work, although it isn't easy. He hunkers down and works even on those days when I'm sure he'd rather be sleeping. He's the real deal...

{Oh No Pinky & Perky Loves to Spoon - whiteware, vitreous slip, sgraffito}

{Devil Dog - whiteware, vitreous slip, sgraffito}

{Puffy Takes a Bad Turn- whiteware, vitreous slip, sgraffito}

As you may know from past posts, I love Vintage Fisher price toys. They hit a nostalgic chord with me and before I knew it, I had a little collection of toys lining up on my studio shelves. It wasn't long before I noticed toys missing from their spot in my studio - only to find them in Chris' studio. Chris started working with vintage toy imagery in his work - which not only am I excited about on an aesthetic level, but in my mind, it justifies my crazy need to collect and search out these vintage toy gems.

{Doctor Doodle - whiteware, vitreous slip, sgraffito}

{Work Play - whiteware, vitreous slip, sgraffito}

Along with his love of vintage toys, Chris' ceramic pieces incorporate his interest in interior
spaces, drawing, and story telling as well by utilizing a technique called sgraffito. Sayer's room is a favorite space in the house and you can see glimpses of it pop up often in Chris' work. 

Last year, Chris was a part of a show at Red Star Studios called He Said, She Said with ceramic artist Kathy King. The show is reviewed in June's issue of Ceramics Art and Perception Magazine and as if that wasn't cool enough, Chris' work is on the front page!  Nice work Chris - I'm so glad to let the creative energy that you exude wash over me.

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