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 Frederick Carlton Ball  (1911 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: California/Washington      Known for: Studio ceramics, teaching, illustration, enameling, mural

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Wax Resist Stoneware Bowl
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Fred Ball was born in Oakland, California in 1945. His father F. Carlton Ball (1911 – 1992) was a prominent and well-regarded ceramist, author, and educator and his mother Kathryn Uhl Ball (1910 – 2000) was an accomplished illustrator and enamelist. From a very early age, he studied enameling with his mother and by the time he was twelve years old, he was demonstrating enameling technique at the California State Fair in Sacramento. After spending several years abroad between 1966 and 1969, participating in the "World Campus Afloat" program at Chapman College, he returned to his beloved city of Sacramento and received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the California State University, Sacramento.

Ball is perhaps best known for the monumental mural he created between 1977 and 1979 on the side of a parking garage in downtown Sacramento. Comprised of more than 1,488 twelve-inch square enamel on copper tiles, all individually fired, this monumental 6 by 62 foot composition entitled The Way Home is a tribute to the city of Sacramento and to the delta region the artist so loved.

Fred Ball's remarkable compositions using unorthodox enameling techniques were enormously well-regarded in the enameling community. An inspiring teacher and supportive colleague, he helped fellow artists push the boundaries of their medium through his workshops as well as through his widely influential 1972 publication Experimental Techniques in Enameling.

Throughout his life, Ball produced a series of envelopes and letters made from thin sheets of copper which he enameled in a variety of colors and textures. These envelopes, variously configured – open, closed, torn, or sealed – were often presented as gifts to friends, acquaintances, and loved ones. Art critic, Victoria Dalkey, a close friend of the artist, aptly described these pieces as "fire-tongued tales of passion…discrete whispers full of delicate nuance. Like Emily Dickinson’s poems, they are his letters to the world."

Sadly, Fred Ball died in Sacramento in 1985 from injuries resulting from a mugging in the street behind his studio. While his life was cut short, his influence continues in the work of a generation of artists who were inspired by his experimental approach to enameling and his commitment to the expressive potential of the medium.

Source:
The Enamel Arts Foundation
http://www.enamelarts.org/index.php?collection&action=view_artist&artist_id=3


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born April 2nd, 1911 in Sutter Creek, California, Frederick was a ceramicist, ceramics professor, and author of Making Pottery Without a Wheel.  He taught  ceramics for over 50 years at several different colleges including the University of Puget Sound, Mills College, California School of Fine Arts, University of Wisconsin, and Southern Illinois University.  His work is included in over 500 galleries across the globe and in the Smithsonian.

He passed away on June 7th, 1992.

Information provided by Michael Mroczek, Michael Lawrence Modern & MBA Mroczek Auctioneers

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