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By Eric Campos | March 31, 2005

Paul Soldner isn’t your cranky old ceramics teacher from high school. Paul Soldner is a mastermind of modern ceramic sculpture. During the 1950s, Soldner led a revolutionary movement in ceramic art that took these pieces of work from kitchens and dining room tables to art museums. Soldner is still at it today and is highly regarded by his peers, students and admirers of his work, sometimes referring to him as “The Miles Davis of Ceramics.”

As related by Soldner himself, we’re given a brief rundown of the artist’s life story leading up to his decision to move to Los Angeles to become a ceramist in the 50s. We learn of his trouble with being an artist as a child, to his days of being a photographer during WWII. But the bulk of the film focuses and celebrates the ceramic work that has made the man legendary. It’s a trance inducing journey through one artist’s incredible career as we’re shown archival photos and footage, as well as recent footage of Soldner at work. “Playing With Fire” is an inspiring watch.

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