New Work: Hanging funnels

These have actually been hanging in my studio for a few months now as I get a feel for them. They don’t have names yet, but I like them. I have more funnels and more wood, although I wasn’t nearly as satisfied with the compositions of the remaining pieces so haven’t assembled any more than these two.

I’m quite fond of the one above. The funnels are finished with a cobalt glaze and a smoked terra sig. They were formed from a block of clay and hollowed out, leaving a bridge to hang them from. The piece of wood is from a salvaged antique chair, quartersawn oak finished with beeswax. The rest of the chair parts aren’t nearly as dynamic (i.e., they’re straight). This piece has an aesthetic that reminds me, for some reason, of Japan.

The second one is nice as well, but not quite as interesting. The wood is myrtle, which my brother picked up on his honeymoon in Oregon, again finished with beeswax. There is a nice crevice of sorts in the block which adds visual intrigue. The funnel is glazed with some of the leftovers from my line blends. The dark brown is a manganese gloss; the other is probably titanium, but I don’t remember for certain off-hand. The latter finish crazed like crazy which was nice.

My friend Joel suggested I hide the knots. I do this on my strung out works whenever possible, but it didn’t work like I hoped on this one. I will, at some point, tuck the knots on this piece away by seating them into holes in the block.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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