I have pursued several major paths of discovery over the past 35+ years in ceramics. The “shard vessels” (pots) reflects one path in creating forms and surfaces relating to archeological artifacts of ancient times. The broken surfaces and missing parts of each shard allude to the fragility of surfaces and passage of time from ancient vases and pots. The distinct, bright colors/patterns bridge the past with the present…contemporizing the image.
From the technical standpoint these vessels are both wheel- thrown and hand built. They are then altered during the wet state. After the initial bisque firing, the vessel is intentionally broken into fragments (“deconstruction”) and ready to receive the glaze patterns. Many of the shards are fired in raku, oxidation c/06 (c/10 reduction also), sawdust-horsehair, low-temperature salt, and pit fired. Sandblasting, glass fragments, and actual shards of antiquity (1200-2000 years old!) are occasionally applied to enhance the visual variety. The parts are finally epoxied together.
My adoption of this unique technique was directly influenced by former artist, Rick Dillingham (deceased), who conveyed the concept of broken ceramic surfaces can be an artistic attribute, not a detriment. This approach makes a 180 degree turn in our cultural perception of what can be made beautiful and creative.
The second, but related path of discovery, comes from my temple series. They reference and reflect the countries that I have visited over the past 18 years of international travel. Those iconic temples of the Mayas/Aztecs, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, Asia’s religious temples/stupas, Egypt’s pyramids, burial mounds of the Incas, abandoned rock dwellings of the Anasazi culture, and more have impacted my creative efforts. These structures in many ways are not dissimilar to vessels…”a holding space”. These architectural forms are infused with multi-cultural icons, reflecting a sense of magical powers and mystery. They are not site-specific, but rather a collection of integrated images.
From the technical standpoint, these forms all hand build from specially designed wood molds (press mold). All are low temperature fired within the range of c/06-c/02. Many employ the raku and oxidation firings.
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Originally from San Diego, her parents purchased here in Laguna Woods over 23 years ago. As her family got older, their care fell upon Carolyn. One day she became so frustrated that she went to the Studio and purchased a 25lb bag of clay. She proceeded to sit down and beat the bejesus out of it. A most healthy activity when the world around you is chaotic. Eventually, she learned to make something!
Aside from working with clay, she piled up 2000 hours volunteering for the library and found a home for herself here in Laguna Woods. With five children, nine grandchildren and five GREAT grandkids, she is blessed with family.
When not in ceramics, she plays with wood and makes mosaics. While decorating her manor, she realized she needed something for her wall. Viola…that was when she discovered the Wood Shop ‘scrap bins’, and another avenue of creativity.
Carolyn gets her best ideas while “on the throne” and feels that you have to get to a certain place in your life to fully appreciate it. Her favorite motto’s are, “there is always Plan B” and “you break it – you buy it”! As a visitor to her home, I found myself smiling as we went from room to room, surrounded by sculptures and items that would bring a smile to the grimmest face. A most appreciated member of Potters and Sculptors.