A Fire Sculpture is a monumental piece of ceramic sculpture, built and fired on location. The work begins with a performance, in which the sculptor and the fire are collaborative participants. The project climaxes with the opening of the tulip-like kiln while at peak temperature, with participation from the audience. The resulting sculpture remains in place, as a permanent relic of the performance. Sergei works together with Andres Allik, a master kiln builder from Estonia in creating Fire Sculptures in various international locations. Below are images from previous Fire Sculpture events.
EARTH & FIRE at TurnPark Art Space
West Stockbridge, Massachusetts 2022
On June 11, TurnPark Art Space hosted Sergei Isupov and master kiln builder Andres Allik for a truly unique spectacle: the first petal kiln firing in New England. To build Earth & Fire Isupov used 800 lbs of clay to build a nine foot sculpture that was revealed at peak temperature. WATCH the 2 minute time lapse video for a glimpse at this incredible project.
Click here for more images of Sergei’s sculpture at TurnPark (after clicking the link, scroll down the page to the Earth and Fire section.)
Fire Sculputre at Guldagergaard International
Ceramic Research Center
Guldagergaard, Denmark 2017
In June, 2017, Sergei Isupov joined the long list of artists asked to create a permanent Fire Sculpture for the expanding sculpture grounds at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center. Guldgergaard’s fire sculpure tradition was passed down from artist Nina Hole, who in speaking of her work in “Structure, Process, and Fire” in the Studio Potter Journal, said,
“My inspiration for the Fire Sculptures came out of my frustration over the limitations of kiln size and building and drying time. Moreover, it has always bothered me that many outside sculptures do not fit the landscape in which they are placed.
Process has always been the most important aspect, from sketch to finished work. Having worked in many countries with new sets of assistants, each place in a new environment has taught me to be flexible and to be grateful for the support and insight given to me. The peak moment for me is when we let the curtain fall and the sculpture is revealed in its glowing stage. A short moment, never to be repeated. Sawdust thrown onto the piece keeps the temperature from falling too fast. This also flares up and brings the sculpture back to life. The color changes little by little and the true colors appear when the work has cooled off.
I do not seek perfection or beauty. I am intrigued by imperfection, the absurd, and the interdisciplinary way of thinking. By working this way with my Fire Sculpture I invite the public to participate in my risk-taking. This forces me to “get my act together” and be 100 percent focused.”
Fire Sculpture produced for Firefest at STARWorks
Star, North Carolina, US 2016
Click for more about the FireFest program at STARworks