Steve Hansen is a professor at Andrews University where he teaches a variety of courses including ceramics and sculpture. His work has been included in over 75 exhibitions and has appeared in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art & Perception, American Craft, The Teapot Book, American Style and Extruded Ceramics. His work is in the permanent collection of the Fuller Craft Museum, the Midwest Museum of American Art, the American Museum of Ceramic Art, The Kamm Teapot Collection, and the University of Iowa. Since 1999 Steve has concentrated his efforts primarily on creating work in a tradition of trompe l'oeil ceramics, with an emphasis on social commentary and Americana.
I grew up in the rural Midwest among decaying cars, barns and fields. My ancestors were farmers, blacksmiths and mechanics. In my work, I try and maintain a connection to my roots, while also including a nuanced social commentary. This work is meant to look like "outsider art" but to include "insider" references to post-modern readings, double meanings, and social criticism.
I like to call my work, "Vessels for the Kool-Aid Ceremony". The Meta stories in our visual culture are now primarily from commercials, advertising, and product tie-ins from movies and television. Lately, I have focused my attention heavily on advertising from the 1930's to 1960's. The advertising from this era was strongly flavored with patriarchy, racism and gender shaming. I re-use these messages in a very self-conscious way, offering new context that tickles the soft white underbelly of "traditional" American values.
I use a variety of methods in the creation of my work. I use wheel-throwing, hand-building and extruding. I also decorate work in a variety of way. I use glaze, underglaze, oxides, washes and fired-on decals.