How this NYC artist merges the worlds of graphic and ceramic design

Staying at home in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis have you feeling like your inventive spark is snuffed out? Now's the time to ignite your inspiration: here's an excerpt from our bestselling title, Tom Morris' New Wave Clayabout artist Cody Hoyt.

Cody Hoyt is as much a master of decorating surfaces as he is engineering shape. That the New York-based artist graduated with a qualification in printmaking is no surprise, nor is the fact that he worked as an illustrator and painter. Hoyt’s former lives are all evident in his meticulously executed sculptures.

Hoyt’s earlier work delved deep into marbling and more organic patterns. The whimsy of the crude ‘natural’ patterns – some that looked like lava flows, sliced with veins like granite – was always offset by highly structural hand-built shapes. The more he practiced working with clay, the more forced and engineered the surface designs became. ‘In chasing complexity I've progressed toward controlled, intentional elements as opposed to the aesthetic qualities of incidental patterns like marbling. Now I can incorporate graphic elements from other work into the ceramics,’ he says. The marbling morphed into interlocking tessellated forms and Bridget Riley-esque abstracted brushstrokes. The colours have evolved from muddy hues to artificial pinks, blues and yellows. They grew to 60 cm tall in some cases.

The marquetry of Hoyt’s vessels may visually overwhelm the construction of them, but to not notice the engineering behind them would be a disservice. As the sculptures and Hoyt’s confidence has grown, this dynamic between the architecture and decoration has become even more pronounced.

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