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Marc Hudson Exhibition At Karen Wray Gallery In April

on March 14, 2019 - 10:13am
Artist Marc Hudson. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner
 
Cabinet handles by Marc Hudson. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner
 
By MANDY MARKSTEINER
Los Alamos

The community is invited to a reception, 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at the Karen Wray Gallery, for artist Marc Hudson whose solo exhibition runs April 25 through May 23.

Ashed Glazed Vase with Cholla by Marc Hudson. Photo by Marc Hudson

A master of glazes

One of the things that make Hudson’s art stand out is the beauty and variety of the glazes that he uses. His deep knowledge of glazes is the result of years of mixing and testing the glazes in a systematic way.

During his process he uses a software that helps him manipulate parts of the glaze, using different ingredients, and still get what they call, “a glaze in unity.”

He tests his glazes on tiles, which he catalogues and hangs in colorful loops from the ceiling of his garage studio in Espanola. He now has over 2,000 tiles, all slightly different. He can look up each tile and recreate the exact glaze.

He said, “Testing glazes, mixing them and applying them is a big part of what I enjoy doing.”

Shaping the clay

Even though he loves creating glazes, he doesn’t consider the clay to be just a canvas for the glaze. He applies just as much care, attention to detail and experimentation to the process of shaping the clay.

“I work with a potter’s wheel and also with an extruder,” Hudson said. “The potter’s wheel is very traditional. I center the piece of clay on the wheel and lift the clay to make it become a shape, like a vase or a bowl.”

The extruder is like the Play Doh toy you may remember from childhood where there’s a plunger and you push the Play Doh through and out comes a shape.

“My extruder is similar in principle, but it is much larger and hangs from the wall and has a three-foot lever arm,” Hudson said. “And for me the exciting part is making the nozzles, the dies through which the clay has to pass to get its shape.”

As a designer in an engineering firm with a background in Civil, Structural and Mechanical Design, he has experience using AutoCAD and over the years he has perfected his methods and techniques for forming those patterns and shapes of his extruder dies. He transfers the patterns to a piece of plastic, cuts it out and tests it.

Hudson makes purely decorative pieces and commissioned functional items

The exhibit will feature Hudson’s latest decorative pieces such as vases and wall hangings.  

“I enjoy using micaceous clay in non traditional ways. Wonderful and richly gold colored shapes come through the extruder to be mounted on a wall as a focal point. Oblique cuts and top down lighting reveal the intricate interior forms juctaposed with the curvilinear exterior,” he said.

But he also makes functional items that have been commissioned by others that can be useful around the house. For example, he has been making custom table settings for Izanami, a Japanese restaurant in 10,000 Waves. The table settings include sushi plates, little ramekins for sauces, hashioki for holding chopsticks, and he is working on cups and pitchers for sake. Each piece has a dramatic black glaze.

Pet Pangaea is another customer that orders functional products; dog and cat bowls that come in several different sizes. He makes items for the home, including unique bathroom sets with soap dishes, toothbrush cups and knobs for doors and cabinets. He just finished a set of onion soup bowls for some friends. 

“I am currently developing a lavender/purple glaze for service ware for a new restaurant in Espanola, lots of fun with new glazes,” Hudson said.

Hudson offers classes and workshops for small groups

Hudson said he enjoys teaching classes and is willing to open his studio to people who want to work with clay.

See Marc Hudson’s most recent work at the reception 5-7 p.m. April 25 at the Karen Wray Gallery, 1247 Central Ave. Ste. D, in Los Alamos. For more information, call 505.660.6382 or visit www.karenwrayfineart.com.

Extruder by Marc Hudson. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner

Artist Marc Hudson outside his studio. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner


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