Virtual Gallery Hopping with Ben Marcum
Join us as we welcome back one of the Matthew Kennedy House’s own, Ben Marcum! His pieces are available here for purchase.
Ben Marcum is a Lexington native and grew up in the Matthew Kennedy House where Mulberry & Lime resides. He started with ceramics his sophomore year of high school, branching out into metalworking and aluminum molds as well. He mostly wheel throws using alternative firing techniques such as raku or ferric chloride. He likes the unpredictability of these techniques, but the rigidity of metalworking.
Ben is currently a student at Columbus College of Art and Design where he is pursuing glass blowing and woodworking.
When talking to Ben we asked him about the meaning behind his work, he said, “My work strives for improvement through repetition. I always aim towards improving my craft by creating multiples. The intent of a piece is to be an object that you can admire through looking and touching.”
Each piece goes through a unique process to create the beautiful ceramic work of art. Ben starts off with a ball of white clay and centers it on the throwing wheel. Once centered, he begins dropping a hole into the piece. After that he begins to widen the base and push the outer walls inward to make a cone shape. If the top of the piece starts to flair out then the piece becomes a bowl, if it doesn’t it becomes a pot. The piece is set out to dry for 1-2 days and then trimmed. Once the piece becomes bone dry, three coats of terra sigillata (this is a clay polish slip) are applied and buffed. The pieces are bisque fired and ready coated in ferric acid. Each piece has 3 coats applied and on the final coat sugar is sprinkled on before it dries (the sugar adds a speckled pattern after firing). When the pieces are done drying, they are wrapped in aluminium. They are placed into a gas kiln which is brought up to a temperature gauge of 1250-1500 Fahrenheit. The temperature the ceramic is fired at affects the richness of the color of the piece. The piece is done when the aluminium begins to melt.
For inquiries about pieces call 859.231.0800. We are open from 11 to 5 Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 on Sunday to view artwork in person.
Love for Limestone,
Mary & Ben