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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Ceramic, prints decorate walls in Lakeview Gallery

By Bethany Peterson/nw news editor

An artist’s style is not limited to his or her first medium.

Thomas Seawell, Plans III Corban La Fon/The Collegian
Thomas Seawell, Plans III
Corban La Fon/The Collegian

Thomas Seawell had been making print art for years when he was inspired to try something different while walking though his wife’s ceramic studio.

“I said, ‘Hey, I think I want to make a ceramics piece,’” Seawell said. “She said, ‘All right, here’s a lump of clay. You can use that table in the back, and that’s all the help you’re going to get.’”

Enjoying the contrast to his normal work, Seawell said he decided to keep

Thomas Seawell, Sonarsonata Corban La Fon/The Collegian
Thomas Seawell, Sonarsonata
Corban La Fon/The Collegian

after ceramics while focusing on printmaking.

Some of his ceramics and prints are on display in the NW Campus Lakeview Gallery through March 27.

His printmaking techniques include screen-printing and collagraphy. To make collagraphy, he uses the intaglio technique — engraving images into a flat surface. The engraved pieces are fixed to a hard surface such as a board or piece of cardboard, inked with whatever color or combination of colors the artist desires, then covered with paper and run through a press. Multiples of these intaglios will be secured to the same surface to make one collage-style print.

His ceramic pieces are like his prints, individual objects layered over one

Thomas Seawell, Air/Earth/Fire/Water
Thomas Seawell, Air/Earth/Fire/Water

another to create the whole.

Several pieces are related to his prints.

“Shakespearean,” a ceramic piece, was made after Seawell visited William Shakespeare’s home while making his Art Doors series, small prints on different artists all over the world in different times.

“It’s a stage on one side, and a stage on the other side,” he said.

Several more pieces have music as a starting point.

“Four Short Songs” were inspired after Seawell listened to Richard Strauss’s “Last Four Songs.”

“I had been listening to those four songs for two weeks,” Seawell said. “I decided ‘Geez, I want to do songs, but I can’t write music, so I’ll make them out of clay.’”

All four ceramic pieces have elements of musical instruments in them: the strings and bridge of a violin, the valves from a trumpet, etc.

His ceramic piece “The Dead” is a grouping of hanging objects that represent things that have “died” out of public eye or fashion, he said.

“Things that were one time popular, at one time disastrous,” Seawell said.

Many of his prints use everyday objects as part of the collage. Cars are a regular feature as well as signs and buildings.

“I like using things that are around a lot,” he said.

He also uses items in his ceramics he picked up off the ground. Small chains, wire mesh and even the screws used to hold the layers together make up his work.

Seawell also uses paper left over from past projects. Leftover trimmings are gathered up and heated until they form a pulp. A frame of string is dipped into the pulp.

The result is a thick piece of paper perfect for his printing, he said.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

An artist reception will be 11 a.m.-2 p.m. March 27 in the gallery.

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