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Artist: Chris Burd

Artist: Chris Burd
Chris Burd, IOWA
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I am fascinated by process, the way it works on me and the ways in which it allows me to work. I am intrigued by it’s paradoxes-how clay takes time to mature, but is fixed and fragile once fired, while metal, which pours and cools rapidly, is so strong and durable when cool. I enjoy taking a piece I have created in one medium and transforming into another piece in a different medium-photograph to silkscreen, coiled clay sculpture to cast metal figure. This gives me a chance to understand the distinctive character of each process better, and to be engaged by the challenges and insights that come with the transformation. That’s why I enjoy working in so many different media, both tactile and visual. I work in ceramics, iron, bronze, photography, printmaking and watercolors. Each one has it’s own niche in my life, it’s own particular themes, subjects and forms of reflection.

Much of my clay sculpture is derivative of African forms and ways, particularly their integration of art, religion and society. A piece usually begins with coiled clay and often evolves into bronze or cast iron. My pottery is about crafting objects for daily use such as cups, bowls and teapots, as things of beauty to nourish the soul while serving their function. These pieces are either gas or wood-fired. Wood-firing begins with cutting, splitting, stacking and drying wood and ends months later with four or five days of continuous stoking and the slow, controlled cooling of an outdoor kiln. Watercolor serves me  on my inward journey to the realms of fantasy and the subconscious, where colors are luminous and vivid. Photography is where I explore people, relationships and love. Usually the subjects are family or friends. Sometimes they are studies of persons who share culture or life circumstances. I try to capture emotion in ways that we can embrace, both to celebrate joy and heal pain.

It gives me particular pleasure when art allows me to maintain connections with people across space and time or to discover interconnects I did not know were there. Each time I use a ceramic bowl or cup made by a friend, it reminds me of that person and the special bond that we share. Images created in another time allows one to mark the distance or honor the continuity of what has passed. It’s great when things come full circle and I discover serendipitous connections that I am meeting for the first time with artist colleagues or subjects I have worked with in the past.

Over the years I have had the great opportunity to work with several true masters of their craft, to lead me on the journey. Among them are Chuck Hindes and Bunny McBride, ceramics; Julius Schmidt, Steve Maxson and Doris Park, iron and bronze; John Schultz, photography; Robert Glasgow and Jim Snitzer, printmaking. My thanks to these and other mentors, artist comrades and friend who will always be a part of my life.

University of Northern Iowa
University of Iowa
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
Major Area of Study - Ceramics
Minor Areas of Study - Photography and Metalsmithing

“Coiled Clay” University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa. Medium: Ceramics, Iron, Bronze. September - December
“Prints” Lou Henri’s, Iowa City, Iowa. Medium: Lithography, Etchings. September - November
“Go Figure" Central Wyoming College, Robert A Peck Arts Center. Riverton, Wyoming. Medium: Ceramics. August - October
“Escaped Burd” Studiolo, Iowa City, Iowa. Medium: Ceramics. October 26 - November 15
“Playground of the Subconscious”, C.D. Exchange, Iowa City, Iowa. Medium: Watercolors. Mary 1 - May 31
“Friends and Neighbors”, Loverbaby’s Hair Salon, Iowa City, Iowa. Medium: Ceramics. July 15 - August 31
“Feature Artist”, Festival of the Arts, Brucemore Mansion, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Medium: Ceramics. June 20

“30 x 5" AKAR Design, Iowa City, Iowa. Medium: Ceramics. October - December
“Julius Schmidt and The Radillac Group” Chait Galleries Downtown, Iowa City, Iowa. Medium: Iron. October - December
"Exposed Clay” The Galleries Downtown, Iowa City, Iowa. Medium: Ceramics. April - May
"Ceramics Invitational, CSPS" Cedar Rapid, Iowa. Media: Ceramics, Watercolors. September - October
“Selected Members of Arts Iowa City Show” Adagio Restaurant, Iowa City, Iowa. Media: Ceramics, Prints, Watercolors. January - March
“Arts Iowa City Members Show” Arts Iowa City, Iowa City, Iowa. Media: Photographs, Aquatints. July - September
“Manifesto” Lou Henri’s, Iowa City, Iowa. Media: Etchings, Monoprint. September - December
“Mixed Mediums” Lorenz Boot Shop, Iowa City, Iowa. Media: Ceramics, Photography,Watercolors, Print, Iron Sculpture. June 5 - September 25
“Arts Iowa City Members Show” Arts Iowa City, Iowa City, Iowa
Medium: Ceramics. October 2 - November 22
“Students of the University of Iowa” Concordia College of St. Paul, St. Paul, Minnesota. Medium: Ceramics. March 19 - April 8

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