CRUCIBLE SERIES | NEW CERAMICS BY TOM MARINO
February 5 through April 30, 2016
Upon experiencing the stunning effects of light, color, and texture in Toledo ceramicist Tom Marino’s Crucible Series, viewers might not be surprised to learn that Marino is an accomplished chemist with decades of experience. The processes used to create works of such intensity require extreme precision and technical know-how. Thematically, however, these pieces may be less connected to the science of chemistry as to the antiquated discipline of alchemy.
The long-ago alchemist is frequently associated with the quest to transmute substances such as lead into gold or other “noble” metals. Less well-known, however, is that alchemists were also concerned with the transformation of the individual and the pursuit of a perfect state of enlightenment and self-knowledge.
These transformations, both chemical and personal, spring to mind when viewing the Crucible pieces. In science and industry, a crucible is a container in which metals and other substances are subjected to extremely high temperatures. Metaphorically speaking, a crucible can be a situation or place where a severe test or a dynamic renewal occurs. In both cases, the result is the same: potent change and regeneration.
Most fundamentally, the thirteen works in this exhibition resemble crucibles themselves. Their bowl-within-a-bowl design suggests that these are objects capable of withstanding the enlivening and transformative energy emanating from each center well. These transformations need not be limited to the artwork, however. The sculptures invite us to feel the same fiery rebirth within ourselves as we gaze into their mirror-like silvering.
Tom Marino has worked in clay for over thirty years. His works are included in Ceramics Monthly’s permanent collection, as well as that of the Crocker Art Museum, the Block Museum of Art, and the Canton Museum of Art.
Images clockwise from top: Tom Marino, Crucible Series: Alchemist's Crucible, porcelain and silver, 2015; Tom Marino, Crucible Series: Radioactive, porcelain and silver, 2015; Tom Marino, Crucible Series: Silver, porcelain and silver, 2015; Tom Marino, Crucible Series: Gold, porcelain and silver, 2015. All works courtesy of the artist.