In another time and space, I used to live and breathe clay.
Now I don’t have easy access to clay, glazes and kilns and my clay buddies all live in another country.
The New Jersey Centre for Visual Arts, is a wonderful place where you can indulge in creative visions and share space with like-minded people. I avoid mass production and repetition wherever possible, so I was not about to tackle an entire dinner service on the wheel, but opted to sit at the feet of hand-building guru, and quirky individual – Marguerite Brennan.
I was already au fait with the basics of clay having studied ceramics as a minor subject at art college, but Marguerite has a lot of wisdom and enthusiasm to share with students of all levels who signed up for the class. People in the class tackled all things from vast tile murals to delicate individual bowls. And Marguerite was always on hand to teach or guide, or give us insight into any problems we might encounter with our process.
Some, like Tricia Zimic, have gone on to bigger things. If you go to her mural gallery here, the first three items as well as the last two, are projects she completed in the class.
Looking back – I can see that there is a certain whimsy to my work. The pieces pictured above are functional, but I had a lot of fun creating the over-full dragon cookie jar. I feel as if the creature is begging to have a few cookies removed from its bulging belly or perhaps is demonstrating the results of a cookie eating frenzy. I was not happy with the glaze, but it was one of those things. One of my children fell sick and the call from school occurred just as I was elbow deep in the glaze bucket. A hurried job resulted in a patchy result.
The merman jug was inspired in part by my Carrol Boyes merpeople serving spoons. These photos taken before firing or glazing.
I would like to get back to clay in the future, who knows, maybe there are more fat dragons and merpeople just waiting to be created.