Light Gatherers

Easter Day 2017 

Rudolf Staffel, artist and artisan in both glass and ceramics, a watercolorist and a designer, gave the name Light Gatherers to twelve translucent porcelain pieces which he made between 1965 and 1981 in a long experiment about the transmission of light. 

The artist made his own porcelain composition to achieve the maximum translucency and was experimenting with this composition until late in life.

Potting very thinly, the artist squeezed and distorted the clay on the wheel.  Where the wall of the pot collapsed, he would add patches and straps and decorative elements. Some pots are hand built.  He stretched and folded the clay.  He also scored it with striations of many shapes. 

 

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Sometimes he introduced mineral washes to make pale blues and greens and sometimes he introduced pigment into the clay. The artist did not glaze his porcelain.

He said he wanted his work to contain and transmit light. 

 

And his legacy is the wonderful quality of the light pooling inside his vases

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to seep through their walls in halos of modulated light.

These carry the imprint of the artist’s sensuality and his disciplined experiments of forty years.

 

 

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Porcelain.  Rudolf Staffel, 1911-2002, American.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

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