Eric Stearns | Episode 238
Eric Stearns earned his BA from Doane College and MFA from Fort Hays State University in Kansas, returning to Doane to teach after graduation. When not teaching, Eric creates sculptural pierced raku-fired art with a eye toward precision while emphasizing his mathematical patterns.
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What motivates you to be an artist?
It’s because I can take my knowledge and my skills and and influence other students, kids, family, and other people like that to go after their goals and dreams. I did that and I learned the hard way. But through all of my failing and success, I can teach that. That is why I am a teacher. That is why I am an artist.
Who influenced you?
I have to go to Paul Soldner. That’s because of his love and passion for raku. Meeting Paul, seeing his work develop, I’ve studied with some of his former students… So seeing that whole evolution of raku to what I am doing is completely different. With their’s you never know what it is going to come out like, but I know exactly what it’s going to come out like. So I take the fun out of the raku because I don’t do the copper. So for me it is all about process.
Do you have a message you are trying to communicate with your work?
The easy way to talk about my work is that it is all mathematical. My mathematical background, and my artist statement says it’s about math… It has nothing to do with math. It does in that I know how many vertical lines and horizontal lines are on every piece; I know what patters will work and what patterns wont work on a piece. So I have that figured out already. But that is about the only math that really goes into it. I literally cut these forms so you can see the interior.
What camera do you use to photograph your work?
An old, old school camera. I think it is a Nikon D80. So I use that. I don’t believe in shooting my work with an iPhone. I like to shoot them raw. So that is my next investment is a new camera.