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Carlos Dye Works Biography

Carlos Dye delights in his diverse artistic personas.  The Santa Cruz ceramicist has worked as a production potter and studio assistant for a variety of artists, all while cultivating his own personal aesthetic.  He fist discovered ceramics at his Los Angeles high school and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art at San Jose State University.  He studied there with ceramic artist Stan Welsh, whom he sites as a major influence.  Welsh introduced him to the art historical context of his medium, and helped expand his sense of its possibilities.

Dye’s most familiar work is his outsized mugs and tankards, and large paintings, frames and all made entirely from clay.  These are illustrated with iconic cartoon and comic book characters, pop icons inspired by his television-saturated childhood, and sprinkles of text, polka dots and splashes of color.  He loves working with the colorful underglazes used to create them, and his facility with them is obvious.  As he says “they make everything look candy coated,” a perfect match-up for their cultural theme.

The Shot glasses Dye produced for Winfield Gallery express a different facet of ceramic history.  As a child Dye travelled each year to visit his grandmother in Germany.  She served him cocoa from porcelain cups, which were set apart from regular daily life and so made special.  Dye has chosen to use porcelain to capture a similar sense of meaning here.  He hand-paints the interiors of his glasses with brilliant color and eighteen karat gold luster, to contrast their pristine outer surface and so highlight porcelain’s unmistakable glow.