Elephant Bottle

Elephant Bottle
Dennis Meiners
August 24, 1950
Artist Biography
Acquisition Number: 2021.1
Medium: Slab built oxidation fired stoneware
Size: 16 x 9 x 4 in.
Date: 2020
Credit: Gift of Mr. & Mrs. M.J. Albacete, Lynnda Arrasmith, and Kenneth Bennett in memory of Scott Trenton

Dennis Meiners is a ceramic artist whose work creates a visual depiction of the effects of human influence on nature. "Eight years ago I changed the way I fire my work from fuel to electricity in order to shrink the carbon footprint of my studio practice, and drawings began to appear on the pieces. I realized I was talking about something, telling a story. When I begin a drawing I have a vague plan for what I intend, but mostly I let the images take the lead and reveal their meanings in the hope that each piece will become its own little world. I’m always ready for a surprise. All of us, when we take time from our busy lives to notice, know of that bird we no longer hear or that butterfly we no longer see. My work contains portraits of these creatures that we are driving off of the earth. Many are in precipitous decline, and if they disappear, these portraits on ceramic will stand for them as a reminder and remain here for a very long time. That's important to me." - Dennis Meiners Meiners' work is made of stoneware and he uses the drawing technique of Mishima, where he incises drawings into the clay while it's wet and then lays a dark slip into those lines. Mishima ceramics comes from the Japanese Island of Mishima, and originated from Korea around the 16th century. Meiners uses thin washes of slip to achieve grays for the fur, feathers, and scales of the animals on his work. Mishima allows for extremely fine, intricate design work with hard, sharp edges.