Tactile and Textile
I love fabric almost as much as I love clay. Fabric, yarn, thread, anything and everything related to spun and woven textile goodness. My mom taught to sew when I was little, one Aunt taught me the art of cross-stitching, another how to piece a free form quilt. I feel the art of fabric has always surrounded me, maybe that's why I find it such an inspiring thing. To me, clay and fabric or textiles are similar in many ways. They are both so tactile, their textures can range from silky smooth to rough and abrasive, they can be glossy or matte, but the real beauty of both is the amount of manipulation and creative avenues you can push both mediums towards.
Fabrics and textiles excite and inspire me. Some of my early pieces were an experiment in recreating the visual look of draped fabric. Much of my work is still influenced by this early idea. My current pieces are much more uniform visually, as I cut the slabs of clay into near perfect circles before laying them on their molds. When I shape my pieces, I gently manipulate the clay, trying to create a fluid look without creases.
Inspiration and ideas can come from so many places, some are brand new, others have patiently waited to manifest themselves into a piece or idea. I am constantly inspired by fabrics , currently by antique lace and doilies (an art in themselves). This love links my past and my present, the ideas planted several decades ago, finding an outlet in my current work. Making a tactile object out of a textile one.
Makers Gonna Make, Make, Make...
This is my first true season as a Maker, selling at holiday shows and galleries, taking orders and fulfilling my wonderful (and super supportive) family and friends wish/gift lists, and let me tell you it's crazy! Crazy in an awesome, amazing and humbling sort of way. I love being out at the holiday shows and seeing people stack my bowls and pick out the perfect piece for gifts or for themselves. I love hearing all the many uses I haven't yet thought of, but they have, for my bowls and dishes. It is gratifying and humbling to get my first repeat orders and to have people think of me first for their loved ones holiday presents. And so I am making, making and making some more. My weekends and most of my week are filled with rolling, cutting, shaping, finishing, firing, glazing and firing again. My home is overflowing with bowls, dishes and ornaments. My husband, is patiently waiting for the boxes to go in the mail and orders to be completed so stacks of ornaments will no longer invade the t.v. console and all the book shelves (that hold ceramics but no books) will be empty again, or maybe used to hold books. It is crazy and a bit overwhelming as Thanksgiving is next week and deadlines are fast approaching, but I love it. Being in my studio rolling clay, smoothing edges, picking laces, it all brings a calming joy. I truly love what I do, I love making.
How does one define the Beginning, the beginning of something, something new, something exciting, but where exactly did this begin? I suppose today could be the beginning for me, my new website launched, or maybe over a year ago when I decided to fully pursue my dream and create ceramic pieces as my career. I think for me, the beginning goes back so much further, to the first art class that mom signed me up for or maybe that coloring contest she entered my picture in, when I was 4. Early on I had a love, passion and joy for art. Coloring, building, making, museums and exhibits, teachers who believed, family that constantly encouraged and supported, art school, life, all of these things from the very beginning to right now, this day, this first blog post on my first website influenced and guided me on my path. So no, no, I don't think today is The Beginning, but it is A Beginning of something new, a new direction in my life that I am so excited to explore and to build into the reality that the dream from the beginning has led to.
Thanks for joining me at this new beginning!
Author: Holly Gray
I love to work with clay, pushing its limits, creating new designs and patterns. I am inspired by it. Check Back here for updates and going-ons.