Morning Arrival, 2020
Handbuilding: Ideas and Techniques for Developing Forms and Surfaces / October 24 – 29, 2021
Vessel forms provide volumes for surface manipulation and marking. The influence of pattern is evidenced through an eclectic array of historical, environmental, and natural systems of organization. Significant in the construction and surface is the inherent quality of clay – the process that enables the medium to capture, record, and communicate the spontaneity of a direct tactile experience. The slab-constructed pieces incorporate impressions from found objects plus a printmaking technique of carving linoleum for intricate bird and branch images. These abstracted surfaces are further enhanced using slips and glazes which are drawn, brushed, stamped, and sprayed on the surface of the pieces during various intervals of a multi firing process. A sense of depth and visual complexity is the result of layering techniques, ideas and images.
Sandy Blain is Professor Emeritus – Ceramics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Director Emeritus – Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN. Her background includes a B.S. in Art Education from Northern Illinois University, and an M.F.A. in Ceramics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Having worked in teaching and administration since 1964, she has a diverse background related to educational programming – classes/conferences/seminars; gallery programming/installations; fund raising; public relations and personnel development. Her public service work includes involvement with national/regional/state/local craft organizations, often serving as a board member, consultant, conference coordinator, grant reviewer, exhibition juror, or presenter/workshop leader. As a practicing artist, her clay pieces have been seen in juried and invitational exhibitions throughout the country with reviews and photographs in media publications and catalogs.
After moving to Arizona, Sandy set-up a ceramic studio working with stoneware functional forms. Manipulated and assembled handbuilt forms are impressed with found objects serving as metaphors for the impact one has on their surroundings. The relief surfaces reveal a personal narrative. Underglazes and glazes are applied to the surface of the pieces during various intervals of a multiple firing process.
Sandy is an adjunct faculty member at the Mesa Arts Center having taught handbuilding since 2005. She is a board member of the Ceramic Research Center, Arizona State University and hosts an annual studio tour weekend. She also serves on the advisory council at the Shemer Art Center, Phoenix. She continues to serve as a workshop leader with emphasis primarily on handbuilding, and a consultant to various arts organizations.