First Independent Gallery
Bergamot Station D2
2525 Michigan Avenue Santa Monica, CA  90404
tel: 310.829.0345   email:
Wed-Sat, 11-5 & by appointment



December 6 December 30, 2017

Stacked Vessels

The ceramic work of Louise Mordaunt is often suggestive of organic forms such as exotic plants, flowers, gourds, seashells and sea anemone. Mordaunt’s pieces are charming and whimsical with maybe a hint of a dark side. Her vessels are confident and elegant explorations of ceramic traditions, especially the influence of Art Nouveau, while her free-form pieces and most recent totems push the boundaries of imagination with a touch of Alice in Wonderland-like fantasy. Her use of marks and glazes echo her earlier days as a painter, but while painting definitely informs her work, the physicality of ceramics has taken her artistic output to a new level. 


“Stacked Vessels is a collection of altered vessels, sculptural creations and totem-like sculptures. It is the result of my journey from a life of painting to one focusing on the challenges of ceramics. Changing my artistic focus from painting to clay naturally evolved over time as I became accomplished in ceramic technique and vision. My paintings were interior expressions reflected through organic forms with a focus on light and color. Creating sculptural works with clay as the medium has provided both freedom and constraints beyond painting. The foundation for all the pieces are altered wheel thrown forms combined with slab and extrusion elements. The three dimensional interaction of these balanced forms creates organic movement highlighted by the glaze color and light reflection. Developing textures and carved marks bring interest and tension to the works. The structural issue with clay lies in its very nature - its fragility versus its strength.

“The totem-like structures are created from stacked vessels and forms. These stoneware shapes are threaded onto five to six foot one inch iron pipe attached to a circular steel base. Stacking these individual shapes produces a larger interactive structure while creating balance and movement between the connecting forms. The structural challenges involved with the larger stacked vessels alter the individual forms as they become one unit.

“High fire cone 10 glazing the final forms presents a unique challenge and opportunity. Unlike painting the firing process adds an uncontrolled element as the glaze moves and combines beyond the artist control. This relationship between the physical materials, firing process and glaze is a critical element of the process and the final result."


Blue/Amber with Plant Form Vessel, 2017, stoneware, 12 x 7 x 5"
Amber with Plant Form Vessel,Blue/ 2017, stoneware, 12 x 7 x 5"

Enclosed Red/Shino Vessel,  2017, stoneware, 18 x 9 x 6"
Enclosed Red/Shino Vessel, 2017, stoneware, 18 x 9 x 6"

Organic Trio, 2017,  stoneware, 11 x 15 x10"
Organic Trio, 2017,  stoneware, 11 x 15 x10"





Organic Stacked Vessels, 2017, stoneware, detail from 6 foot totem
Organic Stacked Forms
, 2017, stoneware, detail from 6 foot totem

Blue/Green with Plant Vines, 2017, stoneware, 13 x 8 x 8"
Blue/Green with Plant Vines, 2017, stoneware, 13 x 8 x 8"



First Independent Gallery • Bergamot Station D2  • 2525 Michigan Avenue • Santa Monica, CA  90404
2017© FIG