"Lonesome Pine" by Kenneth Dierck
25-1/4" x 25-1/4" x 3/8"   circa 1990.
Kenneth Dierck Collection. Gift of John Eiselein

Seven large ceramic plaques by ceramic artist Kenneth J. Dierck have been recently donated to the Tile Heritage Foundation.

A native of Washington and a graduate of the University of Washington, Dierck did postgraduate work in ceramics at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and has lived in El Cerrito, north of Oakland, for 45 years teaching at the Berkeley Adult School. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally, including at the prestigious Mingei International Museum, San Diego, in a 1997 exhibition entitled, "Contemporary American Craft."

Quoting Garth Clark from American Ceramics: The Collection of Everson Museum of Art edited by Barbara Perry, "Dierck often treats his clay forms like canvases, working with plaques which are sometimes single slabs, and sometimes intricately assembled from many pieces. They are decorated by stamping, modeling, or incising, and the glazes are often applied like paint, creating tensions and special qualities. His subject matter is figural and often whimsical."

Dierck's work is in the permanent collection at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts in San Angelo, Texas, as well as in numerous private collections. His "Spring Trees," a glazed stoneware triptych measuring 15" by 45", won the Best Tile Award at the Seventh Annual San Angelo National Ceramic Competition in 1992 and is featured in "Flash Point," vol. 6, no. 4, October-December 1993. In a note to Tile Heritage at that time he wrote, "In my work I try to expand on the normal and expected tile scale and on occasion make a single tile 32" by 32". This decision increases the risk of failure but in a good firing doubles the thrill."

Dierck's "Starry Night" was chosen by Frank Giorgini to adorn the opening page of Chapter Nine of his book Handmade Tiles, the best selling book ever published on contemporary ceramic tile art.

The seven plaques are a gift of John Eiselein.

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Kenneth Dierck
El Cerrito, California

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