Raku Vase by Andy Smith Modern Carved Geometrics Signed, Dated '95
Andy Smith is a nationally recognized potter, who lives in a rural area of Marshville, NC and has been a full-time potter since 1983. His distinctive style of raku pottery has won awards and is in major collections at Bank of America and The Smithsonian Institution, among many others. One of the influences on his work is Art Deco, which is evident in the angular geometrics and classic high-shouldered, inverted beehive shape of this vase.
Raku pottery was originally created in Korea for the tea ceremony. We have seen the word “raku” translated to mean “happiness in the accident.” To make raku, the piece is fired, then glazed, then refired at a very high temperature. It is removed while red hot from the kiln and plunged into a barrel of combustible material like newspaper or leaves. The resulting fire smokes the pottery, turning the unglazed areas black and making black crackle lines on the glazed parts. As you can see, making pottery this way can result in "happy accidents." Skilled potters like Andy Smith have devised methods of controlling the process and the results are beautiful works of art such as this vase.
The carved designs on this vase are very intricate, with curves, angles, circles and diamonds. Even the mouth is sharply carved into arcs and points. The colors are glossy and include a deep blue-green, creamy off-white, pale pink, grey and tiny dots of pale blue. The vase measures 7 1/2 inches tall, about 5 inches wide across the shoulder and weighs 1 3/4 pounds. The base has a 2 1/4 inch diameter and the artist signed it '95 and Andy Smith in script. This is very difficult to read and was impossible to photograph. In correspondence with Andy Smith, he verified that this is his work. It's in excellent condition and since this vase will not hold liquids, it's meant to be a decorative piece to add beauty to your life.