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Phyllis Pacin

4097 39th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94619     510-530-7059


Museum               American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA 2006

Collections          Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA 2005

                              Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA, 2004


Public                   California Department of Health Services, Richmond, CA, 2004

Collections          Critical Care Center, Highland Hospital, Alameda County, Oakland, CA, 2003

                              Alameda County Recorder’s Building, Oakland, CA, 2000                          


Selected               World Ground Gallery, Oakland, CA  , January-April 2009

Solo                      Cactus Jungle, Berkeley, CA, July-August 2008

Exhibitions          Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Walnut Creek, CA, May-August 2003

                              World Ground Gallery, Oakland, CA, June, July 2002

                              Brewberry Gallery, Oakland, CA, January 2001

                              American Institute of Architects, East Bay Chapter, Oakland, CA, February 1989

                              Torsiello Gallery, Oakland, CA, June 1988


Recent                  ACGA@PARC, Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, 2009

Invitational           Four-person Exhibition, Davis Art Center Gallery, Davis, CA, April/May 2008

Exhibitions          Three-person Exhibition, Montclair Gallery, Oakland, CA, May/June 2007                

                              Feats of Clay Alumni Exhibit, Lincoln Arts Gallery, Lincoln, CA, May 2007

                              Civic Center Art Exhibition, Berkeley, CA, June 2006-June 2007


Recent                  California Clay from ACGA, Fresno City College, Fresno, CA, 2008

Juried                   Exploring the Surface, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA, April-June 2008             

Exhibitions          Ink & Clay 34, Kellogg Art Gallery, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA, February 2008                                    Follow the Line: Traditions, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA, May, June 2007

                              Ceramics Biennial, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, NH, October, November 2006

                              Feats of Clay XIX, Gladding McBean Terra Cotta Factory, Lincoln Arts, Lincoln, CA, April-May 2006  


Selected               500 Tiles: An Inspiring Collection of International Work, Lark Books, Asheville, NC, January 2008

Publications        Mills Quarterly, Oakland, CA, interview, Summer 2007

& Reviews            Ceramics TECHNICAL, New South Wales, Australia, “Raku the Universal Language of Clay,” November 2003

                              The Art of Handmade Tile, Kristin Peck, Krause Publications, July 2002

                              Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA, “Canvas Can’t Contain this Exhibit,” May 2002

                              Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne, WY, interview, March 2002

                              Ceramic Art Tile for the Home, DeBorah Goletz, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., April 2001

                              Diablo Arts, Walnut Creek, CA, interview, September 1992

                              Artweek, April 1977                           


Recent                  David & Susan Hostetler Unique Visual Concept Award, Starbrick Clay National, Nelsonville, OH, 2006 

Awards                 Honorable Mention, Skin Deep, Francis Marion University, Florence, SC, 2006

                              Special Mention, Feats of Clay, Gladding McBean Terra Cotta Factory, Lincoln Arts, Lincoln, CA, 2002


Selected               Raku tile workshop & lecture, Merritt College, Oakland, CA 2006

Professional        Tile making workshop & lecture, Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, 2003          

Activities              Raku tile making workshop & lecture, Leslie Ceramic Supply, Berkeley, CA, 2003                                

                              “The Far Side of Tile Making,” Workshop, Oakland Museum, Oakland CA, 2001

                              Lecture, Regional Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA, 1992

                              Panelist, CA Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art, University of CA, Davis, CA, 1992


Selected               Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Los Angeles, CA, 2008

Corporate            Kaiser Permanente Administrative Office Building, Ft. Worth, TX, 2005                    

Collections &       NYSE Group, Inc., Chicago, IL, 2004

Commissions      VISA International, Foster City, CA & Denver, CO, 1996, 2003

                              Deloitte & Touche, San Francisco, CA, 1998

                              Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA, 1997

                              AT&T, Walnut Creek, CA, 1991

                              The Westin Mission Hills Resort Hotel, Rancho Mirage, CA 1991


Education            Master of Fine Arts, Mills College, Oakland, CA, 1973

 Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 1970

 Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 1968       


Represented       Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

by                          A Gallery Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA  

                              The Art Collector, San Diego, CA


My current body of raku fired ceramic tile work is worlds away from my
background of traditional sculpture and pottery. My love of two-dimensional
design, coupled with my lifelong involvement with clay, has manifested
itself in my creating perfectly flat wall work with a twist. Playing with the
space within the picture plane, and the illusions this creates, has become as
important as the composition of my subject matter. The result is a unique
interplay of two and three dimensions.

I design my work, arrangements of hand-rolled and textured raku fired tiles
mounted on acrylic or wood, as free hanging pieces. While some are
composed of square tiles, more often I work with parallelogram-shaped tiles,
which I arrange into architectural compositions that have a trompe l’oeil
illusion of three-dimensional form. Some pieces go one step further in tricking
the eye by my "folding" the forms visually so that they look like actual three-dimensional objects existing in real space.

As I examine the creative process, it never ceases to amaze me how subject matter keeps presenting itself. After years of creating primarily non-objective designs, I have segued into abstract and fictitious landscapes as well as abstracted flora. My discovery of the work of the turn-of-the-twentieth century macro-photographer, Karl Blossfeldt, opened my eyes to an exciting new way of looking at plant forms. I have continued exploring them even as the human figure has entered my repertoire.

My recent figurative work came about when I saw a woman emerge from an abstract composition I was drawing. After turning the paper ninety degrees, she was standing in a dramatic pose. I was intrigued enough that I began another figurative piece without so much as a sketch, my usual starting point. Instead, I lightly guided the pencil over the bisque-fired tiles, allowing it to skip and careen across the textured clay with a minimum of supervision. The result was a composition of a few oddly shaped and out of proportion lyrical "dancers" whose freshness delighted me to no end. While the human form as subject still intrigues me, and I continue working with it, I also continue exploring in the non-objective realm.

A synopsis of my tile making and firing processes: After I roll out large slabs of clay, I texture them with found objects. Then, when I cut the slabs into tiles, no two have the same textural designs. After the tiles are bisque fired, I lay them out for glazing in the piece’s ultimate geometric shape, and I redraw my previously sketched design onto the tiles with pencil. The impressions in the tiles create a rich underlay for the glaze design.

After I apply the glazes, either by sponging or brushing, I fire the tiles in a small raku kiln, four tiles per batch, until the glazes melt. Then with tongs, I transfer the red-hot tiles into a lidded metal container. Before closing the lid, I strew the tiles with pine needles to start the smoking process. The smoldering pine needles create a reduction atmosphere that pulls oxygen out of the tiles, resulting in vibrant lustres, crackled glazes and velvety, smoke-blackened clay. For me, part of the magic of viewing my finished work is watching how the colors and lustre glazes catch the light, causing each piece to change as the light shifts.

My artwork hangs in museums and public, private and corporate collections worldwide.

Raku fired clay
Raku fired clay
Raku fired clay
Raku fired clay
Raku fired clay

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