Title: Hummingbirds in Flight Vase
21 x 15 x 15"
Weight: 11.0 lbs.
We have a hummingbird feeder over the fountain near our patio. Sometimes when we have lunch outside, I have trouble tracking the conversation with my friends because I am so absorbed by the hummingbirds flickering in to the feeder, neck glinting red when they turn just right.
I wanted to create a piece that honored their beauty in action.
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Derek Voien was finishing his Biology Degree at U.C.I. Irvine and applying to medical school, when he took his first ceramics class for a fun diversion. It was his first art class. He was accepted into medical school but deferred going for a year in order to wrap up his molecular biology research project. During that year, he took another ceramic class and then another. By the time he concluded his science research and was scheduled to leave to study medicine, he realized his true passion was in clay. In a leap of faith, he turned down medical school, bought a kiln and a potters wheel, and pursued what many thought was a crazy dream to become an artist.
Being an artist is a process of finding your voice, finding your joy, and allowing the act of creation to evolve and transform you and your work. Patience and a little humor helps too.
I am a ceramic artist. I take clay, water, fire, and minerals, transforming and alchemizing these elements into objects of use and, I hope, beauty.
I am drawn to opposites - modern/ancient, linear/organic, clay thrown on a wheel/clay handbuilt, warm energetic glazes/cool calming glazes. I try to combine these opposites into an harmonious and visually striking body of work.
Clay, frankly, is a crazy choice of medium to work in. It's dirty, it is fired at insane temperatures, it is heavy and unforgiving. And yet, it inspires me. It is earth. It is a force of nature. It is deeply primitive and incredibly contemporary. It is a living material with its own rules. It is also my happy playground where I can explore these personalities to create and share this joyful tribe of work for myself and others. Thank you.
Saddleback Community College, Mission Viejo CA (where I learned the basic skills of wheel throwing and handbuilding) 1988 - 1990
Self Taught 1988 - present
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