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Remember those tin lunchboxes everyone had as a kid? They were sturdy little lunch pails that held everything from your sandwich and juice box to your pudding or fruit cup. Sometimes they even had a Fruit-by-the-foot inside, and everything fit together perfectly--a little bit like a well-played game of Tetris. 

The Tin Lunchbox (that's us!) does the same thing: We provide a variety of shared information from featured artists and literary endeavors to recipe sharing that all fits flawlessly into one place. Granted, we aren't working with physical  lunchboxes, but it is fun to imagine all the same.

Eye Candy Artist Interviews

 

 

P. Alex Caro, Featured Artist May 2016

Shawna Caro

For the month of May, 2016, our featured artist was P. Alex Caro. He is a ceramic and sculpture artist from the Kansas City area. Here's our interview with him about his work. 

Diptych wall hanging. 

Diptych wall hanging. 

Tin Lunchbox: When did you first start working with clay?

P. Alex Caro: At the tender age of eight I took a class called Mud Pups. It was a hand-building class at the Mesa Arts Center.

TL: How did you know you were hooked?

PAC: I don’t think there was a defining moment, I just really enjoyed it and so I kept taking classes. At one point I had to make a choice between ceramics and swim class, so I chose ceramics. 

Pipe and spigot vessel.

Pipe and spigot vessel.

Texture detail of pipe and spigot vessel.

Texture detail of pipe and spigot vessel.

TL: What is the best part about working in this medium?

PAC: I really enjoy the versatility. I can make clay look like anything I want to, and it is fun to figure out how to make that happen. 

One place setting from a dish collection.

One place setting from a dish collection.

TL: What's the worst thing about the medium? 

PAC: It can be very unpredictable. You can work for hours and try really hard with a particular piece and still end up with cracks. 

TL: What made you want to use such varied textures? 

PAC: I became proficient in throwing, but I wanted to make something that was unique to me. I had briefly used designs that were popular in the southwest but I felt that it wasn’t part of my heritage, even though I lived in the area and felt a connection to it. I really wanted to channel my surroundings and emulate where I came from, so I went with that. 

Textured ceramic sphere.

Textured ceramic sphere.

TL: How did you make some of these textures? 

PAC: Secret recipe! But it's really about stressing the surface while keeping the backside or interior stable. I focused on making this in a way that it would appear to have occurred naturally. 

Detail of texture from ceramic sphere.

Detail of texture from ceramic sphere.

TL: Do you work in other mediums besides ceramics? 

PAC: I’ve done bronze casting, glass blowing, wood sculpture and furniture crafting. 

TL: What artists inspire you? 

PAC: Andy Goldsworthy and Ah Leon are my two favorites. I enjoy Goldsworthy’s work because he works with natural materials and organic designs, even if his pieces do not last in the long term. Ah Leon’s ceramic works are expertly crafted to look like other objects and materials, like wood and metal. 

TL: Thanks for interviewing with us! It has been a pleasure having your artworks up for the month of May. We'd love to see some of your future work as well. 

PAC: Sure. And thank you, also. 

Blue-green textured pitcher.

Blue-green textured pitcher.

P. Alex Caro is a ceramics and sculpture artist from the Kansas City area. He has been working with ceramics for over 20 years. He earned his BFA from Emporia State University in Emporia, KS. He continues to work on projects in ceramics, sculpture, and jewelry making. If you would like to contact him regarding his work, he can be contacted at patches.arts@gmail.com.

The above works were photographed by Kellen Jenkins. His bio and contact information can be found here.