replicate any surface
Kowalczyk’s work often features damaged cardboard items, crushed cans, and even Polaroid photographs that someone might throw away.
Then he embraces the various folds, wrinkles, and damage with his work to create something new.
The reason why Kowalczyk loves to work in ceramic is that it offers an ability to replicate any surface, texture, or form. It allows him to replicate something real from the forgotten, which he calls his version of writing a poem.
Cardboard Mugs Are His Specialty
Although you will find numerous variations of his work thanks to his position as a ceramics instructor at Illinois Central College, his masterpieces are the one-of-a-kind ceramic mugs that he creates which look exactly like discarded cardboard.
Kowalczyk works in the details of what might be on the surface of each item as if it really were made from this recyclable material.
From imprinted numbers to stamps that indicate the fragility of what was once packed inside, you can even find traces of what appears to be packing tape on some examples.