Artist: Eugenio Michelini
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Title of piece: Memories
Artist Conversation with Eugenio Michelini
(Koi Pond, Angle 1)
This week, I had the privilege of speaking to Eugenio Michelini. Eugenio is a ceramics major, who is in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Program, here at Cal State Long Beach. Eugenio’s porcelain Koi pond consists of 24 pieces. There are 7 fish, 7 lotus flowers, 9 oranges, and 1 giant piece of porcelain which represents the water from the pond. The porcelain piece which represents the water acts as the platform for the fish, flower, and fruit. There was no significance to the choice of color for his ceramic pieces but the ending results differed to what Eugenio was expecting. Eugenio explained, “When working with porcelain, there is a lot that goes into it. It is almost has a memory of its own. If a piece is broken it can be fixed but once fired, it will fall apart. Also, the color of the porcelain changes once it is put into the fire, either coming out lighter or darker than its intended color.”
(Koi Pond, Angle 2)
The idea that porcelain has its own personality and memory was part of what influenced Eugenio to create this piece. The true inspiration came from Eugenio’s memories, of when his uncle would take him on Sundays to this Koi pond where they would spend their afternoons. There is a symbolic significance with the material that Eugenio uses since he can interpret and recreate memories from his past.
(Koi Pond, Angle 3)
That being said, it isn’t always easy using the medium of ceramics. It can be a very large, yet delicate material. Eugenio spent a total of five months on this piece of work. Each piece has to be made of a mold and that alone can be very time consuming. For Eugenio’s work, the lotus was made from a one part mold, the oranges a two part mold, and the Koi fish from a four part mold. With the molds, Eugenio had to make them very large because the porcelain has to be thick so the structures don’t collapse. Also, with each mold they have to be etched out with a great amount of detail, so the final product can show the true textures of the pedals from the lotus or the scales on the fish. This to me seemed like the most difficult part of Eugenio’s work. In the end it paid off because everything contained such great detail making it look so real.
(Fish Mold, Angle 1 &2)
I found Eugenio’s work to be very unique because of all of the steps that have to go into making one piece. It really takes much patience, especially if a mold brakes or cracks. Of course it can be fixed but it is never and easy process. I enjoyed Eugenio’s idea that memories can be expressed through art, which can help maintain ones past in a way they want to remember it. This is a very important concept about being able to use art. We can recreate certain feelings or experiences from the past or even imagine and create what the future may hold for us.
(Fish Mold, Angle 3)
If you would like to see more of who Eugenio Michelini is and more of his art, check out his Facebook page @ Eugenio Michelini.