Arrowmont is a special community full of creative people – a family who know that coming together and making art is important. We talk a lot about the Arrowmont Experience – connecting through craft and community. That connection exists beyond physical proximity. It is in shared memories and new ideas. It lives in the friendships we make with each other. It grows when we learn and support one another.
Whether on campus or off, we are connected as members of the Arrowmont family. Over the next few weeks, we are going to share stories from our community of instructors, residents, and students in a new series, Arrowmont Connections.
Taylor Mezo is an Arrowmont student, Work-Study, and Showcase Gallery artist. She is a ceramic artist from Illinois who works primarily in sculptural and functional ware. Using red earthenware, she creates vessels by using a mixture of wheel throwing and handbuilding techniques. In December 2019, she graduated with her BFA from Governors State University. Recently Taylor has participated in short term residencies at Penland School of Craft and Peters Valley School of Craft.
Taylor describes what drives her studio practice:
“My pots start out as simple wheel thrown forms that evolve until they have their own individual personalities. Each pot is punctuated with geometric slabs to complicate how the silhouette is viewed. By combining simple geometric shapes to the outside of vessels, I’m able to create multiple different silhouettes.
When making a pot, I think a lot about space; the space that each piece will occupy, and how these shapes will affect the space around it. There is no one single way to view the pot, each turn surprises you. Much of my process revolves around the use of a potter’s wheel. I am drawn to the wheel because of its ability to make a perfect circle.
My pots are grounded in function, with a dramatic flair towards sculpture. Balance is a key aspect of my work; balance between positive and negative space, glazed and unglazed surfaces, void and mass, emptiness and solidity, and flat slabs with voluminous forms. My vessels are derived from the underlying structures of natural and man-made forms. Every object has an underlying geometric structure. Classic cars, flowers, antique bicycles, and mid century modern furniture are just a few things that I draw inspiration from. Often times I am borrowing forms from these things and reworking them, creating fresh interpretations of historical designs. My interest in clay is less about the tactility or utility of a finished piece, but more about the primacy and perception of form.”
Although workshops have been cancelled this year due to the pandemic, fortunately Taylor still has a presence at Arrowmont through the Showcase Gallery, and this week (May 27 – June 3, 2020), she is ‘taking over’ the Arrowmont Supply Store instagram (@arrowmont_supplystore).
Follow along as Taylor shares an insider’s look into her studio practice.
Taylor Mezo’s website: https://www.tayloramezo.com/
Instagram (Arrowmont Supply Store): @arrowmontsupplystore
Arrowmont Showcase Gallery: https://www.arrowmont.org/product/taylor-mezo-geometric-dangle-studs/