Clayton Bailey Press 23425465633
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idea of critters was born in 1960 when a
freshly thrown pot accidently dropped on the
floor. Bailey gave it eyes, nose and teeth and
used it as an ashtray.
After he had deliberately made a few of these "flopped pots", he came upon the idea of nose ware; a ceramic vessel or pot with a prominent nose, beady eyes and puckered lips.
The first true Critter was simply a nose tea pot with legs; thus creating a place to attach breasts and genitalia.
Bailey says the Critters were inspired by prehistoric Japanese Haniwa figures and by Mad Magazine cartoons. Critters have either two legs or four legs . With their stiff, straight legs, they are static and ritualistic in appearance.
The Critter series evolved into "Dead Critters" which represent an animal flipped on its back, with legs and toes straight up in the air, like a stylized cartoon representation of a dead animal.
The bottoms of the feet become the most prominent feature of the Dead Critters, but a nose and lips are clearly seen peering from beneath the body.
DEAD CRITTER- 1963
Salt glazed stoneware
18" X 12" X 12'
CRITTER RIDER- 1960
18" X 12' X 10"
Clayton Bailey made a number of large salt-glazed Critters and Dead Critters during the summer of 1963 when he taught ceramics at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
The Critter Stool is one of these large pieces which promises to embarrass anyone who dares to sit in its comfortable sunken seat.
CRITTER STOOL- 1963
Salt Glazed Stoneware
20" X 20" x 20"