Misako Kambe’s ceramic artwork on display at Portola Art Gallery in May

by Frances Freyberg on April 30, 2013

Carving Magic — carved ceramic artworks by Misako Kambe of Menlo Park — is the exhibit on display in May at the Portola Art Gallery. A reception for the artist will take place on Saturday, May 4, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Misako creates ceramic artwork carved using three different methods: line carving, relief carving and erosion. Her line carving is inspired by celadon wares of the 11th century Chinese Song Dynasty. When line carving, Misako uses an X-ACTO knife to first cut the outlines at a right angle to the clay surface, then she cuts the same lines with a 45-degree angle slanted toward the surface. When the clay has then dried to a certain point, the cut clay peels off easily.

When relief carving, Misako waits for a piece to reach a bone-dry stage, then she carves out the background. This method allows her to create very dramatic effects but is very time consuming and can take up to 10 times as long as line carving designs.

Misako’s final method, erosion, creates shallow relief carving effects.

Once Misako has used one of these three methods to create a decorative surface, she then applies celadon glazes or uses natural wood firing or wood-soda firing techniques to add variation.

Portola Art Gallery exhibits representational art by 13 award-winning Bay Area artists. Painting, pastel, photography and ceramics can be viewed at the gallery, located at the historic Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, CA.

Photo caption: “Reborn” (2011, 6x6x13″, porcelain)

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