Keith Rice-Jones

Keith Rice-Jones

The clay’s the thing

Master clay artist Keith Rice-Jones to speak at the Surrey Art Gallery Association's next artist talk.

The materials and size may change, but artist Keith Rice-Jones has been making things for more than 40 years.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, as part of the Surrey Art Gallery Association‘s Thursday Artist Talk series, master clay artist Keith Rice-Jones will give an illustrated talk on his journey from a cabinet maker to a ceramic sculptor, discussing his cultural and artistic influences along the way.

“From Cabinet Maker to Ceramic Sculptor” takes place from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Surrey Art Gallery, 13750 88 Ave.

The influences and sources for Rice-Jones’s ceramics are broad – from Neolithic Cycladic figurines and historical African masks to Easter Island statues and modernist sculptures.

He originally trained in England as a woodworker, but then discovered clay in the early 1970s. Clay “continues to be a compulsion and ongoing journey of discovery,” he says.

Stylized functional vessels comprise the majority of his earlier work, but his current focus is with monumental sculptural work such as those currently on display at the Surrey Arts Centre. Examples from his Organic and Geometric Series – large-scale assembled sculptures made from molded and sculpted forms – can be seen in the Surrey Arts Centre’s reflecting pool.