Charles Hazelaar

Artist Statement:

These are objects who's appeal is timeless and while I use familiar references I also use the poetry of abstraction to hold the work out – like a story almost finished.  The viewer is between what is strongly presented and what their own imagination fills in.

My process that starts with a slab roller.  This is a flat bed press used to create sheets of clay. Blocks of moist clay are cut into slabs.  The slabs are pounded into thick clay sheets using oak blocks and a rubber mallet.  These are then passed under the press's roller gradually increasing the pressure to create a continuous sheet of clay.  This sheet is up to thirty inches wide and five feet long and may be up to one inch thick. 

The clay is set aside and the press reloaded with a mosaic created from objects ranging from wood and stone to selected natural and repurposed materials.  This represents the ideas and forms I have in mind for the upcoming work.  The objects are blocked in place and shimmed to create a flat surface before using sand or gravel as a filler.  A sheet of clay is placed over the mosaic and run through the press at a planned pressures.  The resulting textured sheet is laid aside and along with the remaining flat sheet clay. 

The sheets will be cut apart and become my building material.  In building I often work from the inside out allowing me more control of my forms.  For color I want to reference the outside world as I see it. Colorants may range from oxides and dyes to paints and sprays.  These are often cured in my kiln followed by a finishing treatment which may include images, selected materials and additional color.  Surface abrasion and wax are often used to finish.

About the Artist:

Charles Hazelaar studied at The San Francisco Art Institute and Colorado State University   He received his degree in art from The University of Wyoming.  He has shown work at art fairs around Florida and the West achieving consistent awards.

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