Member Highlight : Remy Ciuba
Each month we’ll be highlighting one of the makers at Hand / Thrown! Our membership program is the backbone of our studio and without our members there is no Hand / Thrown. This month we’re highlighting Remy Ciuba who makes beautifully detailed and intricate functional wares.
HAND / THROWN: Tell us a little about you!
REMY CIUBA: I find myself in Richmond by way of Belfast, Northern Ireland. After graduating from the sculpture department at Virginia Commonwealth University I started throwing to get back into making things. Now I live in an apartment with my parrot and many, many pots. Other things I am into? Rock climbing, flower arranging and shooting film!
HT: Tell us a little bit about the style of work you enjoy making most!
RC: Ever since I learned to throw off the hump, I have (mostly) not gone back. I love to create very thin and light pieces. It also allows me to work small and quickly. At the moment, jars and small neck vases are a favorite to make.
HT: What originally drew you to working with clay?
RC: I think it was the tactile quality of the clay. I like getting messy and clay is a good outlet for that. Material choices have always been important to me when making anything and it is freeing to have the parameters of the clay, although the range within the medium is quite infinite.
HT: What techniques do you use to create your work? (Hand building, wheel throwing, slip casting, firing, etc.)
RC: I do purely wheel throwing however I have a background in sculpture and hand building will be one of my near future endeavors.
HT: What type of clay do you work with and why?
RC: The clays I gravitate to lately are porcelain and a dark brown clay (266 from Standard). I like having the contrast to work with plus they both look good unglazed. Porcelain also has a high shrinkage rate which emphasizes the thinness and smallness of some of my work.
See more of Remy’s finished wares here.
HT: What is your favorite tool, why?
RC: Probably a small metal rib. It finishes things so smoothly! On the flipside, it can totally destroy your work if used without caution.
HT: Who are some artists you admire, why?
RC: Isamu Noguchi has always been somewhere at the top of the list. The range of things he made is truly inspiring and informative to someone who would like to become a full time artist. Although I make functional pieces I am drawn to more sculptural work. I love Mary Rogers, a British ceramic artist who works with very biomorphic forms and naturalistic colors. By contrast, upon seeing the bold and psychedelic work of west coast artist Ken Price, I became totally obsessed.
HT: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
RC: Instagram constantly bombards me with inspiration so I’m sure I absorb plenty from there but the best inspiration comes from using successful, past pieces as a springboard for the next form or iteration. I still draw inspiration from my time at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts with professional potter Hanako Nakazato.