I introduced you to the ceramic sculptures of Canadian artist, Serge von Engelhardt, in my last blog. I would like to show you more of his work (e.g., photo to the right). But first, I have something to say about another artist, Eugene von Bruenchenhein (American outsider artist, 1910-1983). I am a big fan of von Bruenchenhein’s work, and his wide-ranging experimentation with painting, sculptures and ceramics. He is generally known for his furniture models made of chicken bones (!) and the photographs of his wife, dressed up as a glamour girl. Like so many other outsider artists, von Bruenchenhein worked at odd jobs to support himself and his wife. He dug clay from nearby construction sites to make his ceramic work and fired his creations in his coal-burning kitchen oven. The grey sculpture to the right is one of his pieces.
Von Engelhardt’s intricate and delicate designs remind me of von Bruenchenhein’s, but better. I like to imagine them meeting and comparing notes on firing and glazing techniques. I am pretty sure they would have admired each other’s work, and I’m pretty sure that von Bruenchenhein would have learned a thing or two from von Engelhardt. By comparison, von Bruenchenhein’s clay sculptures look a bit heavy and clumsy. Here are some other examples of von Engelhardt’s beautiful sculptures below: