Biography Ira Winarsky is a Professor Emeritus from the University of Florida. He received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. His ceramic art has appeared in numerous magazines including “Ceramics Monthly”, “Ceramics Art And Perception” and “New Ceramics”. His art has also been shown in numerous solo shows in galleries and museums. It’s the subject of three books written and published by him, “Ira’s New Art Book” A Portfolio 2008, and “Ira Winarsky: Art Portfolio 2010: Iridescent Ceramic Landscape Sculpture”, and “Iridescent Ceramic Landscape Vessels”. Ira sees his life as an art piece, a work in progress. It’s also been a continual quest for the right media to make his art, and to refine its artistic expression. With his Iridescent Ceramic Landscape Sculpture he has found the media and technology that encompasses the goals that he has set for his art. He’s been quoted as saying, “Art is its own reward” and it is the process of making art that gives him the most pleasure. The iridescent ceramic glazes, an integral part of his ceramic art, have historically been considered a type of alchemy, and the formulae for making them has been kept secret for centuries. The alchemists, and artists using these glazes never disclosed how they made them, and they died with their secrets. Ira’s passion for the last twenty years has been to discover the glaze secrets and to use them to create new glazes for his art. Because there was almost no literature on the subject, he had to start his research with the basic chemistry of glazes and metals and the physics of light. The iridescent glaze had to function as a thin prism, emulating Sir Isaac Newton’s glass prism that divided natural daylight into a rainbow of colors. Ira’s success came with a few colors. He now has hundreds, the result of over 3000 glaze tests and over 300 glaze firings. The glaze colors now encompass an entire rainbow of iridescent colors. Different colors and thicknesses of glaze layers and different numbers of layers create different iridescent effects. The glazes seem to be forever changing. They appear to be alive, emphasizing or de-emphasizing the landscape forms they cover. They also possess sensuality and intimacy because their colors are never the same, responding to changes to the color of natural during the day. Iridescent glazes also interact with the viewer. They reflect the environment that encompasses the art, and the person viewing it. Beyond the glazes there has been the research and creation of entirely new genres of ceramic landscape art, including Elements of the Landscape, Landscape Sculptures, Planetary Landscapes, Underground Landscapes, Segmented Landscapes, Terrestrial Landscapes, Repeating Landscapes, Sacred Landscapes, and Seismic Landscapes. Each genre requires research into its specific sculptural ceramic and glaze technologies, and a melding of both to produce an art piece of beauty.
Terrestrial Landscape #2 Size: 13 5/8” x 11 1/2” x 5”
Artistic Philosophy All of Ira’s art created throughout his lifetime has been guided by three principles. The first is that the art must relate to the viewer. It must relate dynamically, not passively, so that the viewer interacts with the art piece. Indeed, the viewer is intended to be part of the art. The second principal is that the art piece must relate to nature. All of his ceramic vessels and sculptures are natural landscapes or their components. The third principal is that I must create art that is beautiful. The beauty must have permanence, and must separately withstand the various ephemeral tides of fashion. In order to make my ceramic art relate to its viewer and its environment, Ira would have to make it reflect its viewer and its surroundings. It’s relatively easy to accomplish reflection, with a shiny glossy surface, however, he also wanted his ceramic art to change color in different environments, in different lighting conditions, and in different times of the day. This required him to develop a glaze that would behave like a very thin prism. It would reflect some of the light hitting its translucent exterior surface while refracting (bending) the light that enters its internal layers. The light that exits the glaze is broken up into different frequencies that produce iridescent colors, which are different than the glazes surface. You have probably seen Sir Isaac Newton’s experiment that had natural light entering a prism which producing a rainbow of colors when exiting the prism. The iridescent glazes do the same thing. They are a very flat prism. The word “iridescence” is aptly named after the Greek Goddess “Iris”, who was the goddess of the rainbow. She was also charged with being a messenger between the Gods and mortal men. The rainbow, I believe, is one of the most beautiful sights in nature, and I have sought to catch it in my art, for all us mortals. The underlying premise of the Landscape Sculptures is based on a personal belief that by expressing ones perception of the beauty of the environment, the closer one gets to expressing a personal perception of environmental beauty that is common to much of humanity. In that respect, the Landscapes Vessels are primal. I believe they awaken in us, a history encoded in our genes. They are earth inspired portraits from my imagined experiences and dreams wondrously transformed into real earthen clay forms and iridescent color. Each art piece is intended to encourage one to see what we may have missed before, to explore their own primal memory. Each one challenges us to make a mental bridge to the art and to the iridescent light, to make a deep connection to our primal senses, and to those qualities that express beauty, joy and exhilaration. Lastly, my art is the result of a great passion, a great love of making it and sharing it. I believe that “Art is its own reward”, and my reward has been the joy of seeing it come to fruition.
Interlocking Landscape Size: 17” x 8” x 4”
Ceramic Alchemy The search for iridescence during the last four centuries was closely related to the alchemists search for a way to transform base metals into gold! Indeed, the iridescent glazes go into the kiln, as a milky white color. They often leave the kiln after firing and cooling, in the brilliant metallic colors of gold, silver, and other base metals! Of course, other colors are possible, and these colors they are just as iridescent throughout the entire color spectrum. Ceramic glazes are a kind of glass that has been bonded to the ceramic clay. The glaze must expand and contract at the same time and rate as the clay, and it must mature at the same temperature as the clay. The iridescent color of the glaze is the result of a chemical process that creates thin layers of glaze that reflect and refract the light that strikes it surface. The glaze is a very thin prism, with the effect similar to the one used by Sir Isaac Newton used to separate natural light into a rainbow of colors. Some light bounces off the top layer of the glaze and stays the same color. Additional light goes through this layer and is refracted, that is, it is bent in the same way a prism bends light, breaking it into different frequencies of light, creating different colors of the rainbow. Different layers create different iridescent effects! Iridescence exists throughout nature, indeed, my search was inspired by a peacocks feather! Ira has a flock of twenty peafoul, that remind him each day of their iridescent beauty. Of course there are all kinds of birds, butterflies, insects, plants and fish that have this quality, and their iridescence is the result of the same process of the reflection and refraction of light that is inherent in the iridescent glazes! The iridescent art is a miracle, a spectacular blending of technology and art inspired by nature.
Wavy Landscape Size: 9â€? x 5â€? x 4 1/4â€?
Backgrounder Ira Winarsky’s iridescent ceramic glazed sculptures are inspired by the art of George Ohr, one of the greatest ceramists of the 19th Century, and Beatrice Wood of the 20th century. These masters never disclosed how they made their iridescent luster glazes, and they died with the secrets of the formulae. Ira has re-created their glazes and hundreds of others, the result of fifteen years of passionate original research using thousands of formulae and hundreds of firing techniques. His iridescent glazes include the entire spectrum of visible color. Each glaze reflects its own unique set of wavelengths of light, and many reflect entire rainbows of color. The range of his work is unique His works are unique in that every art piece is an impressive and magnificent display of a different kind of iridescence. The forms of each landscape sculpture are unique and distinctive because they meld with the iridescence. Their form and their color coalesce, and are inseparable. They are unique and distinctive. The landscapes are inspired by nature. It’s also supported by his scholarship as a Professor Architecture at the University of Florida, teaching and researching ecosystems and Architectural design. Ira’s art work is the result of many concepts which include literal interpretations of landscapes, Landscapes with inherent contradictions, like mobile landscapes, Landscapes inspired by landscape types, like Saddle formed landscapes, Sacred landscapes, landscapes that have been altered by humanity, and Seismic Landscapes altered by violent acts of nature. This package includes many photos of the iridescent art works. However, iridescence is extremely difficult to show in a still photo, since it is interactive; the light and color changes with the viewer’s movement, with the color and direction of the light, and with the environment which may be reflected in the piece. Sometimes it seems that the color is alive, appearing as a river of light that flows around and across the surface of the sculpture, and moves as you do. You can gain some sense of how beautiful the landscapes are by viewing them on the web site www. ArtFromIraLand.com. It includes a photographic Art Resume, photos of additional works, and animation of selected art pieces which display the awesome beauty of the iridescent colors changing with their movement.
Whirling Landscape Size: 19 5/8” x 17 11/16” x 5”
Iridescent Ceramic Landscapes The following Landscape Sculptures are individually unique within a series of similar pieces exploring variations on a theme. All are inspired by nature; some are abstract while others are realistic. The series included in this Press Kit contains: Terrestrial Landscapes, Sacred Landscapes, Seismic Landscapes, Planetary Landscapes, Interlocking Landscapes, Repeating Landscapes, and Mobile Landscapes.
Terrestrial Landscapes Terrestrial Landscape #15 Size 19 1/4” x 11 5/16” x 3 3/4”
Dynamic Landscape Size: 23” x 10 11/16” x 9”
Saddle Formed Landscape Size: 27” x 12 1/4” x 6 3/4”
Terrestrial Landscape #10 Size: 21” x 11 1/4” x 6 7/8”
Ridged Terrestrial Landscape 17” x 11 1/2” x 6 3/4”
Sacred Landscapes Sacred Landscape #3 Size: 16 3/4” x 16 1/4” x 3”
Sacred Landscape #1 Size: 13 3/16” x 12 5/8” x 4”
Mini Landscape Size: 9 3/4” x 6 5/8” x 2 1/4”
Rock From The Future Size: 10 1/8” x 9” x 5 1/2”
Sacred Landscape #6 Size: 15 1/1” x 12 7/8” x 3 3/8”
Sacred Landscape #2 Size: 12 13/16” x 11 7/8” x 3 1/4”
Sacred Landscape #5 Size: 9 13/16” x 11 7/8” x 4 1/8”
Sacred Landscape #7 Size: 14 9/16” x 12 5/8” x 4 5/8”
Seismic Landscape #1 Size: 16 1/8” x 14 7/8” x 6 1/2”
Seismic Landscape #2 Diameter: 15 1/2” x 8 1/4”
Seismic Landscape #3 Diameter: 17” x 8 1/2”
NASA Landscape #1 Size: Diameter 9 5/8” x 7”
NASA Landscape #2 Size: 9 5/8” x 6 1/2”
Pythagorean Earth Size: Diameter 23” x 8”
Interlocking Landscapes Liberated Landscape (All parts come from the same block) Size: 32” x 24” x 6”
Black/Blue Interlocking Landscape #2 Size: 9 1/2” x 15” x 4 1/2”
Repeating Landscape #1 Size: 17” x 5 3/4” x 5”
Repeating Landscapes Wavy Landscape #1 Size: 8 13/16” x 9 1/16” x 3 3/4”
Wavy Landscape Grid Detail
Skateboard Landscape #8 Size: 17” x 5” x 10”