Ahmet Ustunel's Profile

About

All the pieces you see here are hand crafted and glazed by me. They are wheel thrown, hand built or both. I have been totally blind since the age of three and I have a limited memory of colors. To me texture is what color means to a sighted artist. When I pick up my pieces from the kiln the first thing I feel is their texture. Are there any unexpected results on the surface? Any cracks? Did the glaze run? I can differentiate most of the glazes by feel. So I first evaluate my piece through touch and then try to visualize it. At the end if everything combined creates an image of a good piece in my mind, I consider it a successful work.
I see and create my work with my hands and my hands are the best tool I’ve ever had. When making pottery my main focus is emphasizing the importance of sense of touch. In order to achieve that, I use different texturing techniques along with interesting forms. I try not to use…

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  • Male
  • Joined January 21, 2012

Favorite materials

stoneware clay, porcelain, found objects, anything with texture

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About

All the pieces you see here are hand crafted and glazed by me. They are wheel thrown, hand built or both. I have been totally blind since the age of three and I have a limited memory of colors. To me texture is what color means to a sighted artist. When I pick up my pieces from the kiln the first thing I feel is their texture. Are there any unexpected results on the surface? Any cracks? Did the glaze run? I can differentiate most of the glazes by feel. So I first evaluate my piece through touch and then try to visualize it. At the end if everything combined creates an image of a good piece in my mind, I consider it a successful work.
I see and create my work with my hands and my hands are the best tool I’ve ever had. When making pottery my main focus is emphasizing the importance of sense of touch. In order to achieve that, I use different texturing techniques along with interesting forms. I try not to use commercial ceramic tools. I like touching the clay as much as possible and don’t really like the interference of a wooden stick or a metal between my fingers and the clay. However, there are times my fingers cannot create the texture I want on the clay. Then nature comes to my help. I constantly collect objects to texture my pieces.
My work includes a variety of objects. Some are functional such as mugs, bowls, or teapots, and some are just decorative such as masks and small sculptures. I work with both stoneware and porcelain. I use high-fire cone 10 glazes and all my glazes are nontoxic, food safe. All my vessels can be microwaved and ok to put in dishwasher as well.
My interest in creating forms out of different materials started at a very early age. When I was 3 or 4 I began to pull the caulk from the windows of our house in Turkey, so that I could make animal figures. Over the years clay became my favorite medium.
I think clay has similar features to my personality. Easy to work with, flexible, soft but you have to be very patient with it. To have a good result you shouldn’t push it; you should let it take its time. The process of creating a ceramic piece requires four elements to come together in harmony. Earth provides the clay, water helps the clay to take its shape, air dries it and fire hardens it. The journey of a ball of clay turning into an art piece reminds me the long journey of human being and I feel so lucky to be a ceramic artist to witness this every day.
The first time my pieces were chosen for an exhibit was in 2002 in Istanbul. Since then, I have exhibited in Turkey, Poland and USA. Currently I sell my work in galleries around San Diego. To see more samples of my work and to read more about me
You can visit my website at www.blindartgallery.com.

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