Fine Art Porcelain Sculpture, Mixed Media, Drawing and Photography


Still in my studio

I emptied the kiln two days later when everything was room temp. Now comes the hard part and the most engrossing. I now have five new flat white porcelain canvasses and four have a hole that erupts out of the porcelain surface.
First, I photo the work as it sits on each of the kiln shelves. Then I sit around my studio on chairs, tables, shelves, not the floor! During the next week or so that follows, we talk to each other. I get a sense of the energy of the raw porcelain. Is it up or out or on or dead, where is it? Sometimes the conversation is brief, a wink or a touch of the texture is enough. Then that piece is set aside with glazed tiles (the palette) and a 6×4 card to record the process. Other porcelain sculptures are less chatty and require more attention and intercourse.

“What was going on, when my hands were in the clay? What am I feeling about this white porcelain image? Can I paint and glaze a color that pulls my eye into the soul of the porcelain sculpture? And finally, what do I want this piece to say? “
But… I don’t ask any of those questions, I just stare at the pieces for awhile, set up my glaze table, pick my pallet, and then glaze. I do have a conversation with each piece; the language, however, is visual and the context is spiritual.
Giacometti, the famous Italian painter/sculptor said, “ He no longer works for anything except the feeling he gets while he is working.”
Some days, I can just hear him.

Glazing is next. Talk to you soon.

Thanks for the visit.

Elain O’Sullivan & Sheila Dunlap, copyright 2014 O’Sullivan Dunlap Studio


I’m in my Studio Tonight

My Chicago studio is located in a warehouse on Hubbard Street, which is affectionately known by many artists and musicians as the “Sacred Garage.” Six artist, including the owner, Victoria, currently create in here on a regular basis. Then there is Murphy, a 70 pound brown male Pit Bull. He is a “Blivit” of Love! We guard him. Tonight, Tracy Chapman laments with her beautiful voice across the 20 foot ceiling. My feet dance to Beat Box as I adjust my kiln full of porcelain sculpture being fired to almost yellow/white heat.  Tonight I am alone, which is uncommon. I do prefer the solitude with Murphy.

This sculpture is one in a Series of NO BOWLS: Porcelain sculpture in the shape of a bowl but with a hole,  or an aperture, if you will, is rendered useless as a bowl. There is no front or back, just one surface and possibly an edge.  The white porcelain surface allows me to use line, color and texture to create my vision of the stillness and chaos of the Spiritual.


Working with clay always is an intimate experience for me. Beyond the actual experience of touching/shaping the clay, each operation asks for your full attention. Even drying the wet clay has no fixed constant to gauge it’s moisture content, other than by feeling it with your hands. Clay requires artistic intent throughout the process, as well as with the finished piece of art. You are required to work with the clay’s clock more often then your own. I come to clay from drawing, painting, but mostly from mixed media sculpture. Porcelain is such an elegant, plastic material to manipulate. In galleries, this 2.5″deep x 12″ diam. Porcelain piece is offered for $150.

When this kiln load has cooled enough so that I can unload the fired porcelain pieces, I will resume my work.
I would like to share my progress with you on my next post.

Elain O’Sullivan