Frank James Fisher
Frank James Fisher
Frank James Fisher Biography
Frank James Fisher (born 1962 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American ceramic artist. Fisher lives and maintains a studio in Milford, Michigan.
Fisher studied ceramic art with Jay Schurtliff at Central Michigan University while earning a BFA for graphic design in 1985.
From 2000-2002, Fisher studied with ceramicist John Albert Murphy.
Fisher’s ceramic work is influenced by the graphic design principles developed during his extensive advertising career. He has worked in the Detroit advertising industry since entering the commercial art field as a graphic designer in 1985. From 1996 to 2006, his advertising agency, FCS, inc. brought a diverse blend of creative influences into his output and resulted in a unique blend of words and images on his artwork. Adept as a professional designer, writer and illustrator, Fisher is known and recognized for his graphic design narratives in the ceramic medium.
Fisher’s explorations of western raku exaggerate the graphic qualities of his work. Innovative clay construction methods push the limits of complex, ultra-thin porcelain sculptures fired in a raku environment. Fisher has evolved a variety of glaze application techniques, giving his ceramic surfaces a look of controlled chaos.
His ceramic art reveals a narrative of his life or current events found in the media.
Fisher teaches advanced ceramics courses in the metro-Detroit area. He demonstrates his art methods at workshops. He writes for several magazines including: Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated and Ceramics Art and Perception magazine.
Frank James Fisher Statement
My ceramic artwork is the result of a well-honed advertising aesthetic formed by 25 years in the Detroit advertising community. Headlines, promotional copy, logos, branding, and graphic design have all found a second voice in my personal art. The artwork borrows the language and advertising images of American culture and manipulates the content into a deeper narrative about life. This marriage of a two-dimensional message applied to a three-dimensional space is the foundation for my creativity.
To create these works, I have accumulated a library of discarded printing plates to mark the clay with impressions. The graphics of newspapers, promotional flyers, ads and logos cover the clay surface like wallpaper. Surreal and random associations between images like Coca-cola, handguns, and 40 year old newspaper headlines direct the viewer through a personal journey of picture associations.
Reminiscent of cuneiform clay tablets and stone hieroglyphics, my art brings a modern spin on those ancient clay objects. It is a commentary on the true content of our daily lives and what we feel is important. Just as archeologists sift the sands of forgotten civilizations to learn more about life in past cultures, my modern day clay objects depict the range of mass communication our society produces. The connection between Greek athletes portrayed on clay urns or Egyptian hieroglyphics may not be immediately obvious, yet my work is a modern-day American interpretation of this tradition.