PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
This blog is an introduction, review and glimpse into NCECA 2013: Earth/Energy. Exploring ideas of place, materiality, motivation and engagement through reflections and conversations with international ceramic artists including NCECA's 2013 emerging artists.
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The theme for the NCECA conference this year is Earth/Energy. The concept of this theme is derived from the essential elements of the ceramic process. This theme is also described as a "tribute to the places we live and create, the materials we use, and the ENERGY that drives our process as ceramic artists, educators and enthusiasts." (You can see the full theme description here.)
I am particularily interested in the concept of place. The way in which our sense of place as physical geography, within culture and community and our ability to create a sense of place or belonging affects our work as artists and designers. The value of handmade objects, in a large part, resides within this sense of place. Art, craft and design has the ability to impart users and observers with a sense of place, meaning and belonging.
I am a potter. I make objects meant for use, to function and adorn daily life. My physical place is a home based studio in a small 1950's house in the remote Canadian mountain town of Nelson, British Columbia. It is in this space, influenced by my relationship to food, my study of both historical ceramics and modern design, and a daily engagement with the natural world, that I produce functional ceramics with an emphasis on texture, pattern and use.
Of these influences, mainly connected to my sense of place, I am consistently influenced by food and use. I rarely make an object without a direct and obvious function. In this way, I am a traditional potter making objects based on contemporary habits and needs.
I frequently think about the food and drink which will be served, held,experienced by the objects I make. Form and design respond to these uses. I think of this food and drink as part of my materials, as my tools, just as essential to my practice as the clay, water, wheel and kiln I use to make the pots. Without them, my work would never be fully realized. In a large part, it is also food and drink that contribute to my sense of place in relation to community and belonging. I connect to the people in my life frequently over a cup of tea, a glass of wine, a nourishig meal. I maintain a sense of place, belonging, through the rhythm of the seasons and how the seasons inlfuence the food I prepare.
A sense of place, in the physical sense, a place that is known, rhythmical and a sense of place as belonging, community- both tangible and virtual- are what give my practice energy.
I am curious about what will emerge at NCECA through forums, discussions and exhibitions in relatation to the theme Earth/Energy. How do you create a sense of place and how does your sense of place affect your studio practice? What provides your work with energy?
NCECA 2013 Emerging Artist Linda Swanson makes us think about ceramic materials in a new and dynamic way. Her installation, site specific, fired and unfired work all has an emphasis on time,…Continue