Artist of the Day: Shana Salaff

Originally from Toronto, I currently reside in Fort Collins, Colorado, where I teach ceramics and other classes at both Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Aims Community College in Greeley, CO. I received a diploma from the School of Craft and Design at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, in 1995, and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1998.

I have also worked as a studio potter for 7 years, running Wareshana Pottery in Halifax. Nova Scotia. My MFA in Ceramics came from California State University, Fullerton in 2009. After graduation, I was artist-in-resident at Art 342 in Fort Collins, where I fell in love with the area. After a second residence at the PauKune Wanner Art Haus in Severance, I moved into Fort Collins.

Artist of the Day: Carol Gouthro

Portals pieces that were included in the recent Contemporary Northwest Juried Exhibition at the Bellevue Art Museum Northwest Ceramic show in Seattle, Wa.
These pieces are approximately 28″ h x 16″ x 7″
They are terrecotta clay , handbuilt with slipcast additions, slips, underglazes, glazes and gold leaf.

The foundation of my work is the ceramic vessel in all its many incarnations as container. I have a strong interest in natural forms, cultural artifacts and personal mementos. I am drawn to ornament, embellishment, pattern, and texture. For the last ten years the vessel forms in my ceramic work have slowly been evolving into botanically inspired hybrid sculptural forms. In working on these pieces I have become more involved with the details, the close ups, the abstract, the peering into. My interest in detail, layers and encrustations has been heightened by repeated travels to India and China .I am fascinated by the complexity, diversity, beauty and danger of the natural world and this leads to thoughts about growth, nourishment, attraction, and sexuality .The works in this exhibition are the beginning of a series entitled “Portals”. This work is based on cut-away section drawings and photographs of natural forms. Built into these hybrids are some of the artifacts and mementos that form my DNA.

These pieces are all handbuilt terracotta with press-molded , thrown and slipcast additions. Surface treatments include slips, underglazes , glazes, and lusters.

Artist of the Day: Bridget Fairbank

Artist Statement
I am in love with every aspect and process involved in creating functional and beautiful clay items. It is very important to me that people use pottery. I believe in all sincerity that beautiful hand crafted objects heighten our quality of life and the experiences we have involving them. Doesn’t that cup of coffee feel that much better coming out of your unique mug?

There are many steps in the process of creating pottery which capture my imagination and many materials drive my never ending curiosity. The wares I create are wheel thrown. Throwing on the wheel allows for the fluidity and control I desire in my work. Creating form is a very direct process yet not simplistic, a form must be created that is structurally sound, functional and attractive. Even more so, it is important to me that the surface of a pot is appropriate to form and visa vera. I strive to make complete pieces where form and surface are thought of as a whole and not two separate entities. I am fascinated with glaze chemistry and how firing complementary clay and glaze materials can yield results that appeal to the senses through texture, color and pattern whilst supplementing form.

The processes that are used to produce functional pottery directly influence the type of work that results in the end, but there are many other factors that effect the end creation. Nature, Culture and Industry are three major factors in my work. My life and what surrounds me is channeled into my creations. I am interested in the narrative that is created when portraiture is imposed on a three dimensional mundane surface and how these images in series my influence our concept of time. We are conditioned in our society to recognize and relate to 2D images, as that is how much of our communication occurs (internet, advertising, TV, newspapers, magazines, children books, cook books…etc). Images are familiar and therefore we are comfortable interpreting them. On the other hand, we are not normally trained to interpret from in any formal way. Yet most people are able to recognize good form on a subversive level. I am constantly to striving to marry imagery and pottery in hopes of broadening the conscious public interest in the ceramic sphere. Most North Americans own ceramic wares and use them daily. By visual interaction with complimentary imagery I hope to foster an understanding of form and the hand crafted. I to do this largely by photocopy transfer techniques and free hand mark making. I ultimately create items that are entertaining, interesting, esthetically pleasing and useful that I hope many people delight in.

There is not one single occurrence that stands out in my memory where I became an artist. Looking back through my childhood in Nelson B.C.. I can only surmise that I was raised to think creatively, to observe and problem solve in a beautiful and intellectually engaging environment. One could say that I have always been interested in art. As I have always been creating art, even it is was simply though a certain thought process or procedure. In recent years my sense of practicality has strengthened somewhat. Craft slowly began to make sense in world filled with so many trivial, mass manufactured, cloned things. Ceramics provides challenging obstacles in all aspects of process and the product is always unique.