Nathan Grubich and Amanda St. Hilaire-Grubich create soda-fired ceramics that bridge the gap between sculpture and function.
Having background studies in biology, oceanography and anthropology their work references found objects and artifacts found amidst nature. The intrigue and interest in nature and the contemporary world creates a correlation between art and artifact.
The symbiotic relationship between Grubich and St.Hilaire-Grubich in the studio provides the balance between form and surface texture. Both artist interchangeably use forms and textures created by one another to create a unified body of work.
All the work is produced using a variety of hand building techniques from slab work to large scale coiling. No molds or slip cast are used to produce the work. Forms are then carved, textures using hand-made stamps, or slipped and carved (sgraffito), to produce unique surfaces that are accentuated by the soda firing process. Glaze is used sparingly, primarily to produce high contrast between interiors and exteriors. The work is high fired in a specially built kiln where at 2100 degrees F. soda is introduced into the atmosphere of the kiln. The soda vaporizes and reacts with the surface of the clay to produce a wonderful glaze like sheen. The unpredictable flame patterns of the soda firing process produces a wide range of earth tone hues derivative of our clay bodies and our personally formulated slips giving each individual pieces it’s own unique fingerprint.’
St.Hilaire best known for her soda fired ceramic wall installations. Her architectural influence allows her to design site specific work and also push ceramics to a more contemporary fixture within space. Her work can be seen in many public, private, and corporate collections throughout the US and Canada.
Grubich has always been at the fore front of contemporary ceramics inspiring the audience to take a long look at his biology inspired forms. His attention to detail and texture further invites the audience to interact with the work. Grubich has won many national awards for his ceramics including Ceramics Award from Muskegon Art Institute and the Morse Museum Award of Winter Park Florida. Publication feature in Ceramics Monthly, Chicago Tribune, and Detroit Free Press.