Students Discuss Their Favorite Pieces in the Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection

 

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Daniel Teran, 2006, Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection, Kansas City Art Institute Ceramics Department

Katie Pilmaier, a junior, explains her love for this delicate bowl of Daniel Teran’s (BFA 2007). “Whenever I try to think about what subtlety is, I think about this piece. It’s something you often don’t see or appreciate right away—the quality of an edge or the precision of a foot.” To interact with a work like this is “intimate,” she says. Indeed, when looking at the bowl, we noticed something we hadn’t before: the apple being eaten by the painted figure has a stem made from a single stroke of gold.

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Rose Cabat-Felis, 1975, Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection, Kansas City Art Institute Ceramics Department

“They’re so simple, yet energetic,” says JAD Reyes, a junior, of Rose Cabat’s miniature bottles. “When something is small, we often overlook it, but these command your attention.” The somewhat traditional forms and the vibrant, semi-matte glazes come together to create an utterly mesmerizing group of works. JAD especially likes looking at the pots from an aerial perspective: “Where the different glazes meet, it’s like a galaxy.”

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Stan Welsh, c. 1974, Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection, Kansas City Art Institute Ceramics Department

When I entered the ceramics department in 2015 and began to familiarize myself with the Collection, I found myself drawn to a particular piece on top of the cabinets: a strange, slightly lopsided basket form by Stan Welsh (BFA 1974). A different animal figure is painted in slip on either side of the vessel—one which seems horse-like, and another that reads like a cross between a bird and, in senior Issac Logsdon’s words, Mr. Snuffleupagus—both of which are decorated with sgraffito hatch-marks. The quality of the imagery and form recalls naive art; it is at once playful and sincere, and looks as though it could have been unearthed from some ancient archeological site.

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