“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”
Robert Frank, Photographer
Some things aren’t just black or white. They are both. Artist Tim Christensen, creates his porcelain pieces in black and white and utilizes the technique of sgraffito. In his verve for altering the thrown form upon his kick wheel, Tim has found his way of expression. “My work is narrative, specifically illustrated, sometimes spiritual, often funny, and understandable.”
The drawing Christensen does on his pieces aren’t by addition, but subtraction. He does this by scratching one or more layers of the black slip, thus revealing the white clay underneath. (sgraffito)
Living near the coast in Eastern Maine, in his tiny off-the -grid cabin in Roque bluffs, Tim is inspired and challenged by the struggle of humans to find a way to fit back in the natural pattern of life on earth. “This is a defining struggle of our time, and I feel compelled to illustrate this on my pottery.” His choice to work with black and white is to invoke a world where humans are counterparts of the creatures he creates. “Above all, I draw to illustrate the wonder and mystery of living in the world we share.”
His sculpting takes various shapes as bowls, plates, boxes, vessels, sea creatures, avian, wildlife, and inclusive of themes of land and water. His intricate and delicate designs are seen outside and inside his sculptures and vessels. As Tim claims, “I make pots about the times in which we live, and the challenges of living in a time in which we are divorced from the natural world around us. I make my work to be appreciated by those who know a lot or a little about porcelain or art, and make it with the hope that some of these pots will survive longer than me or the culture in which we live, and still be pertinent and relevant then as now.”
“In the same ways that we know and learn from the cultures who have come before us, my pottery depicts the place and time in which I live, and why I think it is important. I draw on my pieces because it is the best way I know to express what I am thinking about.
It’s quite evident the passion this artist feels about what he does and why he does it.