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Part 1: Follow the process for creating this piece for Artist in Residence 2016

Romans 9:20-26

Artist in Residence 2016, Ebitenyefa Baralaye – Part 1


Ebitenyefa Baralaye


Curated by: 

Spark & Echo Arts, Artist in Residence 2016



Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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God takes the prerogative of having a sovereign hand over what we see as good and bad, over wrath and mercy. He also operates omnipotently outside of our relativistic justifications of which things, including ourselves, exist under those judgements. He alone ordains what is deemed for glory or destruction for the purpose of magnifying his greatness in the scope of existence and our personal lives. I am fascinated by how God can be glorified in destruction and objects of wrath, prime among these being the body of Christ on the cross. I’m humbled by the fact that God chooses those things deemed condemned as the recipients of his mercy, thinking specifically of myself and the body of his church. Being a ceramicist I am drawn to the metaphor of pottery used in this scripture passage. I am familiar with the experience of making from the same material of clay a piece that gets ushered into my art portfolio and another that lands in the reclaim bucket or trash purely on the whims of my judgement for the advancement of my creative practice. The qualities that makes something worthy or condemned exists within the eye of the beholder and the hand of the maker. God’s perspective molds the state of everything’s existence. Interestingly God turns on its head the patterns that we would expect in this perspective: the first becomes the last, the least becomes the greatest, outsiders and slaves become heirs. I am starting off my commission by exploring formal metaphors of God’s inversion of grace and material embodiments of grace.

I am planning to make large twin sets of ceramic vessel/bowl forms. These will be press-molded in clay capturing the imprints of my hands and the kinetics of gesture as their texture.

My fist step is creating the armature for a model. This model will then be used to produce a plaster mold from which I will cast the clay pieces.

– The model starts off as an upside down armature; the final form will be flipped. The base armature is made of plywood and chicken wire.

The wood and wire then gets covered with strips of burlap and plaster.

The plaster then gets an initial covering of clay as I model the form and surface.

All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Ebitenyefa Baralaye is a ceramicist, sculptor and designer. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, raised in Antigua and lives in the United States. Ebitenyefa received his BFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design. His studio bases have included Long Island City, Queens; the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York City; and Bloomfield Hills, MI where he is currently enrolled as a Ceramics MFA candidate at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has exhibited in various solo and group shows domestically and internationally including the 2011 Gyeonggi International Ceramix Biennale in Icheon, South Korea and the 2016 Toronto Design Festival. He has held residencies at the Peters Valley Crafts Center in Layton, NJ and most recently, Talking Dolls in Detroit, MI.

Ebitenyefa Baralaye

About the Artist

Artist in Residence 2016, Ebitenyefa Baralaye – Part 3

Artist in Residence 2016, Ebitenyefa Baralaye – Part 2