Nolan Peter Baumgartner

My work has transitioned over the years, moving from my functional roots to sculptural, figurative, and mixed media, and then finally back to its functional origins. While exploring figurative work, I focused on anonymous, faceless (sometimes upper-body-less) characters, whose only clues to their meaning are their posture and stance and how they are interacting with the environment. My sculptural forms have given way to a more microcosmic expression of functionality.

I focus on making work that can be used comfortably and easily. I want my work to vaguely reference some sort of thing you’ve seen before, but you’re not quite sure where. The surface is defined with arches, ellipses, and “lotus” petals that I render in slips and glaze. The patterns are mapped out based on the golden ratio, and by repeating and flipping simple math equation graphs, certain Asian or Middle Eastern motifs emerge. After the precise formation and decoration, the elements and atmosphere of the soda kiln complete the work. Ultimately, the interaction of the glazes, slips, and fire obscure, yet enhance, the preconceived cogency of the patterns.