October 12, 2011
I received a wonderful and surprising invitation from a gallery in which my high school art teacher is having a show of her oil paintings. She invited me along with a couple other past students/artists that are still living and working in the area. I, of course, was overjoyed at the opportunity. It is a wonderful concept to show a past mentor/teacher's work alongside a student who has branched out onto their own. It has been over 10 years since I've been under her tutelage so I am very excited to see our work side by side. Sometimes, influences in form, concept or style are evident.
I took this opportunity as a kick-in-the-bum to get back into the studio. Throughout this post are photos that exemplifies my new body of work. I've said good-bye to the glassy-glaze and hello to iron oxide washes and bare clay. I adore the rusty-antiqued-aged quality that oxide washes give to the work. All the off-white areas you see are bare clay. The clay was high fired in a gas kiln and is completely waterproof. However, the usability of the work for food is secondary.
The bowl and vase above are the pieces in the show. The show is up now and is at the gallery of The Clay College in Millville, New Jersey. This work is exemplary of a new body of work that is heavily concept based. The concept is as new as the surface treatment. In the past my work was never concept based, rather its goal was to be comfortably utilitarian. My short answer to "what is this about" is: The work serves as a comment on our relationship with food and the industrialization of animal and vegetable-based food.
It is a bit hard to see in this photo, but this is an example of my new bird series. I made a couple birds before but I never knew where they were going. After making this one I have a better idea where the work wants to go. There will be more birds with this surface treatment, but unlike previous ones, these will be combined with metal elements. For now, my thoughts are that the metal elements will be used primarily as feet forms. Finding the best way to combine the materials is an ongoing challenge.
I will keep everyone posted on new developments with this work. I am very excited and optimistic.