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DAVID B. KELLY DESIGNS
L'ATELIER d'IMAGE TRANSFORMEE
DRAWINGS, PRINTS, COLLAGES, WORKS ON PAPER
CERAMIC TILES & GARDEN PANELS, DINNERWARE & SERVING ITEMS
PHONE 330 303-3889
How do such diverse items as prints, collages, ceramic tiles, tableware, and tile garden panels relate to one another?
After retiring from the practice of architecture, I continued to create drawings using the same technical pens and ink with which I had so many years of experience. Combining my love for botanical study with the precision made possible by the use of the technical pens led me to explorations of pure image making. Again, my architectural experience had conditioned me to consider the reproduction of those images. Because my ink drawings are line only, shadows, tones, and textures must be executed by alternative techniques (akin to the same challenges posed to engravers and drypoint artists). I soon realized that the benefit of facility in reproducing images executed in line only was offset by the limitation of the choice of only one printing color.
Because I live in a former pottery center, the transition to having decals made of my drawings that could be fired to ceramic bodies was a natural one. The adjunct pottery businesses enabled my learning of the techniques of producing and decorating of ceramic wares and tiles.
However, producing designs for ceramic wares meant the adoption of additional sets of constraints that I realized would not permit me adequate avenues of expression for some of the ideas that I had for projects. Scale, for example. was a major obstacle. The image sizes that can be printed for decorating tiles and tablewares are severely limited not only by the items themselves, but by the reproduction process itself. This hurdle caused me to experiment with unconventional repeats and other means to break free from the confining dimensions dictated by the tile grids. Some degree of success was achieved but this was tempered by the recognition of the additional limitations being imposed by the decal manufacturing process itself. Decals' efficiency once lay in the printing of large quantities. Before digital printing's development, it was necessary to print larger runs of images for efficiency. These were runs of a 10" by 16" "window" that often was at a minimum of 10 sheets with 50 being a preferred minimum.
Not willing to be bound by these somewhat arbitrary constraints, I began executing drawings whose scale was appropriate for the idea that I was attempting to explore. Reproduction of these drawings would be in the form of limited editions of prints. This determination occurred simultaneously with my growing familiarity with Japanese Washi papers and my desire to work with them. The exquisite, handmade papers themselves are each unique and it was my intention to somehow combine my imagery with them rather than impose drawings upon them. This idea led to my images, themselves manipulated by printings, colorings, excised backgrounds, and other means, being transformed by their addition to the art papers into another cohesive entity. This was the genesis for my collage editions.
WORKS ON PAPER
Original drawing: 20" by 30" technical pen and ink on illustration board. NFS
Print: Edition limited to 15 printed on Japanese paper
"TSUBA #1" for the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum
A limited edition of 4 1/1 print-collages created for the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida. These were inspired by the iron and mica fireplace hood created by Louis Comfort Tiffany for his townhouse in Manhattan in 18-- and later moved to his Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall. Among the decorative devices used were the "tsuba" , sword guards. Seeking inspiration, I reflected upon the impressed geometric forms above the main grill, the patterning of the rivets, and the textures of the iron itself. I then used these elements to draw a frame for a "tsuba" which I designed based on several prototypes. After being printed in blue, this image will be combined with layers of Japanese papers to create the collages.
Each of the 4 collages uses a different combination of Japanese and Nepalese papers. Shown is silver lokta paper, ivory Mingei and Tarasen tissue overlay.
Cartoon for 15" by 30" ceramic panel
Custom designed tile panel for garden pool wall of a Pittsburgh client. Design was inspired by 18th Century print rooms. Please see detailed description of this project on "Custom Tile Project" tab on the navigation line.
"RINCEAU" (vine-like) is the term given to the scrolling linear decorative work that distinguished Roman decorative pattern making, notably that of the murals and frescos found at Pompeii. This became part of the vocabulary of artists from the Renaissance onwards. I envisioned using this as a framing element for a center tile which would be devoted to a botanical image. These panels would consist of the hand painted borders and hand tinted center decal and be made available in various scales and types of tiles. These also could be utilized in the creation of other items, such as small chairside tabletops.
CERAMIC TILE GARDEN PANELS
25" by 35" ceramic tile panel of 5" by 5" Zellige ceramic tiles
Tree of Life tile panel
Shown on stoneware 16" serving platter, White Fiesta plates, and a Hall China brique-a-vin
MY COMMITMENT TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Create Jobs for USA: the local AMERICAN MUG & STEIN CO. , producer of wares for STARBUCKS COFFEE
While engaged in the design of tile and tabletop items, I began to be intrigued by the idea of creating images that would not need to be limited by the constraints of the transfer to ceramic production process. In these works, I would then be able to expand my vocabulary of expression, incorporating alternative media and techniques.
'MADE IN AMERICA" featuring the Homer Laughlin Company
After developing tile designs, it was a logical step to consider the locally produced products of the potteries. East Liverpool is still the home of The HALL CHINA CO., a subsidiary of the HOMER LAUGHLIN CO, the manufacturer of the world famous FIESTA WARE. In addition, the town's former Pioneer Pottery was purchased and became AMERICAN MUG & STEIN CO. It is with immense satisfaction that I am able to offer not only American made goods but ones that are COMMUNITY made. It is interesting to note that Starbucks recognized this value and contracts with American Mug and Stein for its products. Attached are two videos which highlight Homer Laughlin and American Mug and Stein.
I wish to emphasize that, while I use the wares produced by these local businesses, I am not affiliated with them, and my designs are my property. Each piece that I decorate is backstamped with my logo and a disclaimer stating this fact and an affirmation that decorations are lead free.
The Pontalba Ironwork Coffee Mug
The intricate iron work adorning the venerable (circa 1840's) Pontalba buildings, flanking Jackson Square in New Orleans, was among the first installations of that architectural detail which would contribute so much to the definition of the city's character. While enjoying a coffee and a beignet ("a" single beignet?! LOL), I had the idea to base a design on the filagree as a component to be used in a collage. Later, I realized that the elongated panel could be adapted as the decoration for a coffee mug that would remind me of that experience of enjoying a beautiful morning on the Square.
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