Marlene Astman has been a local and international ceramist for the past four decades. Her new work, in stoneware and porcelain, features protrusive slip designs on classical forms. At the same time, she is continuing her investigation of carbon image transfer to hand-crafted green ware. Astman also utilizes a variety of British and American formulas to create lustrous, layered glazes.
While her studio is in Sherman Oaks, California, Astman returns to England each winter, as part of an Oxford ceramics collective. Inspired by Oxford’s remarkable combination of the medieval and modern, Astman explores the boundaries between reinvention and replication, density and proportion.
In March, 2018, Astman was invited to participate in the collaborative Anagama Kiln project, joining international ceramists from Bizen University, Japan and the University of Oxford. Her wood fired ceramic works were exhibited at the Wytham Wood Studio Gallery during May 2018 Oxfordshire Art Weeks. Astman’s previous exhibitions include Artists Open Studio, Thames River Gallery, and the Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles.
Astman has spent many years as an experienced Ceramic Arts educator. She has taught seminars, courses and workshops in Los Angeles and Oxford to student artists of all ages. As a teacher and artist, she is widely admired for her technical proficiency with clay and glazes and her innovative design work. At kiln openings from the Thames Valley to the San Fernando Valley, Astman’s students have learned how ceramics can subvert their own and others’ expectations.
A recognized expert in ceramic restoration, Astman was commissioned to restore six final pieces of renowned ceramist Otto Natzler. Incorporating slip made from Natzler’s signature bronze clay into her own projects, Astman has created a sui generis collection of tactile, luminous, thin-walled vessels.