While most of us begin our workdays by logging on to a backlit screen, Casey Zablocki, is beginning his amongst the picturesque landscape of Missoula, Montana. Beating, kneading, sculpting, and firing large scale clay objects in his studio is his daily routine. Absorbing his surroundings is his pastime and finding inspiration everywhere is his default.
Zablocki’s time ambiguous sculptures are informed by decades of immersive study. Growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Zablocki’s family was one of makers. He takes immense inspiration from the world around him and believes every place he’s lived influences his forms, “You see a lot of Montana in my work, the places I’ve lived”. Zablocki completed his post-baccalaureate studies at Montana State University, providing an opportunity for him to apprentice to world renowned, South Korean sculptor, Lee Hun Chung. After returning from Korea, Zablocki was energized to build his own large scale ceramic furniture pieces. Kickstarting his own career.
A self-professed nomad, Zablocki’s works exemplify a deep transfer of physical and mental energy, investigation within one’s medium, and teamwork. Consistent experimentation with clay recipes and wood ash combinations renders Zablocki’s magnificent surfaces. His unique textures and patinas depicted throughout his works are the result of extreme heat reactivity, proximity, exposure, and duration within the large anagama kilns in which the works are fired; often for up to twelve days at a time. Anagama kiln’s date back to the 5th century and are known for their cave like firing chamber. Fueled by firewood these kilns must be stoked around the clock to maintain their heat. Requiring a ten-man team, the process is labor intensive and a testament to the quality of ancient craft the artist keeps alive. The resulting pieces speak to time and deterioration, he says, “My work looks like it was found at the bottom of the ocean or hit by the lava of a volcano.”
Zablocki’s newest collection CORE is the result of time spent at home. Reflecting on his past, and the lineage of his work, Zablocki describes a rippling and oscillating process of moving away and towards means of making. He feels his CORE collection is more reflective of the objects he was creating prior to his heavy focus on furniture. He has brought back the octagon and vessels that can function as both art and means of preservation. CORE references Abstract Expressionism, architecture, nature, light, and human energy.
Casey Zablocki creates works that he wants to make. He uses every experience as an opportunity for personal growth and education. From the most mundane jobs to his current life, Zablocki is nothing short of grateful for the physical world that surrounds him. That energy, that “good vibe” can be felt in every one of his forms.
These tabletop monoliths, furniture objects, and sculptures, are exclusively offered through Roman and Williams Guild and add a meditative counterpoint to any space. Ruminate with objects that feel both new and nostalgic. Find your CORE with the inclusion of an art object made by Casey Zablocki.