Tom and James Franco Turn Giant Sewer Pipes Into Art Pillars (UPDATED with new pics)

For the past year, Bay Area artist Tom Franco, founder of the Bay Area’s of Firehouse Art Collective, has been collaborating with his brother, actor James Franco, on a series of enormous ceramic sculptures at Mission Clay Products. The Phoenix-based factory, who produces large vitrified clay pipes used mainly for sewage, has an Arts and Industry program where they provide materials and working space in their factory to artists.

Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco

Through this program, Tom and James Franco – with help from Firehouse Art Collective members: Rey-Oliver Del Mundo, Colin Hurley and Heather Fairweather have produced these ceramic pieces by working fourteen hour days in the blistering heat at Mission Clay Art and Industry.

Tom Franco among his decorated sewer pillars
Tom Franco with Bryan Vansell, owner of Mission Clay
Franco at work on Frog and Bunny Jumping Rope

The nine giant carved and glazed pipes are part of a new show at ASU’s Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, “Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco”

NEW UPDATED PHOTOS of final pieces thanks to Tom Franco’s Instagram :

Bunny and Frog Jumping Rope
Cow Girl in The Evening
Harry (the Cat)
Jimmy (James Dean)
Ernie and the Count
Dragon Slayer
Dinosaur Fossils

Here are some photos of the Tom’s process; working on one of the pieces:

Tom begins to etch his design into the clay
The design etched into the pipe
Tom with the final glazed and fired pillar
various views of the final piece

Pipe Brothers” showcases the Franco brothers’ wide-ranging creative output while celebrating Mission Clay’s role as a catalyst within the arts community. Participating sponsor Elysium-Bandini Studios is devoted to ensuring the arts be available to local and diverse communities. Also included in the exhibition are pieces by well-known ceramicists Don Reitz, John Toki, David Kuraoka and Patrick Siler.

Seven pipes in the show are Tom’s, while two are attributed to his brother, actor and artist, James. The pillars are 7 ½ feet tall, 18 inches in diameter and 5-6″ thick. They weigh from 750 to 3,000 pounds each. Because actor James is so busy, he sent his brother detailed sketches and asked Tom and his team to bring them to life (reports Artsy).

Time lapse video of the installation, courtesy of the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center:

The exhibition runs from June 17, 2017 to September 23, 2017.
Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco
ASU’s Art Museum Ceramics Research Center
699 S. Mill Ave., Suite 108
Tempe, Arizona 85281

Most Photos by Alex Diana, Courtesy of Metric Cosmetics and others from the following sources:
The State Press
ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center on Facebook
Mission Clay Arts
Tom Franco on facebook
Tom’s Blog
Firehouse Art Collective

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