In many instances, ceramics serve as a canvas for exploration, experimentation, and storytelling. Artists push the boundaries of form, texture, and glaze to convey narratives, evoke emotions, or provoke thoughts.  Steve Kelly's unique combination of color, form, and glaze is exemplary of the above tenants. Steve pushes creativity first, emphasizing shifts from practicality to creativity and allowing for the birth of pieces that challenge traditional notions of function. His large-scale vases push the envelope of maximalism, become vessels not just for holding substances, but for holding meaning, capturing moments in time, or reflecting societal values and beliefs.



Moreover, the lack of strict adherence to function liberates artists, fostering innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is deemed possible within the medium. It encourages artists to explore unconventional shapes, sizes, and designs, resulting in pieces that captivate and inspire. 

Ellen Kong's bowls--which are filled with ceramic miniature dioramas--both contain the notion of functionality with their traditional shape, and blow tradition out the water. In particular, her sculptures found inside of each bowl encapsulate a dream-like quality that places creativity above functionality in all of the right ways. 

Ultimately, while function undoubtedly has its place in ceramics and art as a whole, its absence does not diminish the significance or impact of the artwork. Instead, it opens up a world of possibilities where creativity knows no bounds, and expression reigns supreme.


Heather Divoky