Ceramics is one of the oldest forms of art in human history. The availabilty of material, its durability and versatility, functional objects, decorative pieces, and sculpture in nearly every culture around the world.
At present, one of the biggest challenges in creating new ceramic work is grappling with the common stigma that ceramics is only a utilitarian trade or artisan craft. Toshiko Takaezu speaks directly to this issue by making vessels that are closed and therefore not functional while other ceramicists employ the medium for sculptural and figural forms. At the other end of the spectrum, artistic movements of the 20th century have embraced the craft based origins of ceramic art and incorporated traditional techniques and aesthetics into the production of contemporary work. Either way, ceramics presents a rich and accommodating medium for any contemporary artist working today. It offers myriad possibilities for form and object type and a wide array of options for technical processes. Depending on their choice of materials, building method, surface decoration, and firing, artists have nearly endless options to aid them in creating varied and lasting pieces of ceramic art.