Friday, December 24, 2010

Another potter from USU - Wil Shynkaruk

Wil Shynkaruk, ca.1997©, woodfired, reduction cooled, cone 10


Wil was the technician during my first two (or three) years at USU. He was actively involved in the wood and salt firing community both locally and nationally. His work was all about how the atmospheric firing conditions could affect the finished surface of his utilitarian forms. Very fun surfaces for sure!


Wil Shynkaruk, ca.1996©, salt-fired, cone 10

http://www.mnstate.edu/art/Faculty/Wil_Shynkaruk.shtml
From Wil's flickr page:

Wil Shynkaruk

Artist Statement

In today's commercialized, mechanized, specialized, computerized homogenized, society, the act of producing handmade pottery is one of social commentary. Mass produced commercial dinnerware and kitchenware are economical and readily available to fulfill our daily functional needs. In this light, creating individual ceramic vessels by hand is inefficient and even archaic. Indeed, any business person will tell you that there are easier ways to make a living.

The creation of handmade pottery resists the ceaseless homogenization of our society. There are very few objects in contemporary society that are produced by a single person beginning with their own design and taking raw materials through an entire process resulting in a final product. This kind of act of creation resonates powerfully in our collective history and psyche, but is becoming less and less common in today's world.

As such, the creation of unique handmade pottery questions the direction our society is moving. It asks questions about what our society is leaving behind as we hastily press relentlessly towards "progress". What are we losing when we consume industrial goods? What are we losing when fewer and fewer of us have the capacity to create a finished product from raw, materials? What are we losing when regional styles and differences vanish? And are we even aware of such loses?

Issues of individualism, sense of place, the creative spirit, and the role of dishes in social and family rituals are all brought into question. Indeed, the act of producing unique handmade pottery is a far more political act than it initially appears to most.

Professor Shynkaruk Began his artistic journey in his native country of Canada, where he was born and raised. After coming to the United States to pursue graduate degrees at the University of Iowa, he remained in the USA, where he has made his home for the past 20 years. Professor Shynkaruk has shown his work across the USA and internationally in over 80 professional exhibitions. He continues to actively explore the importance of the concept of beauty and the value of handwork to society and the human psyche. Professor Shynkaruk has taught at MSUM since 1998 as a Professor of Ceramics and is currently serving as Department Chair.

www.mnstate.edu/art/faculty/Wil_Shynkaruk/wil_shynkaruk.html



Looking for bio info on Wil, here's what I came across in his current position at Minnesota State:
Professor Wil Shynkaruk began his artistic journey in his native country of Canada, where he was born and raised. After coming to the United States to pursue graduate degrees at the University of Iowa, he remained in the USA, where he has made his home for the past 20 years.

Professor Shynkaruk has shown his work across the USA and internationally in over 80 professional exhibitions. He continues to actively explore the importance of the concept of beauty and the value of handwork to society and the human psyche.

He has taught at MSUM since 1998 as a Professor of Ceramics and is currently serving as Department Chair.

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