The Gravettian figurines, the world’s earliest known ceramic objects, date back to 29,000 BCE. Night vision goggles, refined armaments and space shuttle components are the latest developments in ceramic engineering to pitch toward military application. True cone ten fires at temperatures up to thirteen hundred degrees celcius, with glazes taking form around eight hundred degrees. Kneading achieves level moisture content in the clay body, wedging removes unwanted air.
In her latest body of work, Carmen D’Apollonio presents a series of hand sculpted lamps and vessels in certified vacation plot California clays. Her vessels are the frame that overpowers the framed. Like a famous mother, like a prominent architecture, they contain, providing a service, but their gravity outperforms their contents and issues no apology. Her lamps, too, outrun their use-value as objects for casting light, illuminating their surroundings, offering attention an alternative, while drawing it expediently back to themselves by the force of their material presence.
Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska said she could not speak for more than an hour exclusively about poetry. Thereafter, she said, life itself takes over. Just so, D’Apollonio knows well the terms of communication must be written into the work itself. Her lamps are elegant, functional sculptures equipped with lighting systems for their own exposition. In this way they are both self effacing and self aggrandizing, in fitting with the humor and craftsmanship that characterizes much of D’Apollonio’s practice as a maker.