Stories I Tell

It’s hard to believe that it’s already time for my “exit” show at Medalta… seems like it was just last month that I was setting up my studio. Time flies when you’re elbow deep in clay.

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to the last few months in the studio, my show Stories I Tell will be up in Medalta’s Yuill Family Gallery from June 19 – July 26, 2014.

RECEPTION WITH THE ARTIST
Thursday, June 19, 2014
6 – 9pm
Cash bar (that’s where you’ll find me)

EXHIBITION
June 19 – July 26, 2014
Open during regular museum hours (9:30am – 5:00pm)

@ MEDALTA
Yuill Family Gallery
713 Medalta Ave SE

Stories I Tell Stories I Tell is a body of work that I created during my tenure as a long-term artist in residence at Medalta’s International Artist in Residence Program in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

As a dedicated functional potter, I view functional work as a powerful lens through which to engage with others on an intimate level and explore ideas of home, personal space, and identity. In making my work I strive to create beautiful, useful objects that will bring joy to people’s daily lives, and go on to forge connections and stories of their own. Ultimately, my goal is that my pots will introduce a little beauty into the world, ideally creating a space where the user can pause to savour a moment of calm in the midst of a busy day.

As such, a key part of the show is a collection of 40 cups that will be given away, free of charge to members of the public throughout the exhibit, with the goal of demonstrating how the use of handmade objects can enrich ones daily life. In exchange for the cup, the recipient will be asked to send a postcard to the artist with a short story or reflection on using the cup and encouraged to tag tweets and photos to #storiesitell.

For more information, contact the artist: naomi@naomiclement.com

Thank you to the Ontario Arts Council for their generous support of this project.

Ontario Arts Council

Coming Up Next

If you’re going to be in the Edmonton area any time between May 10 – June 14, you can see some of my newest work in the Alberta Craft Council’s Discovery Gallery in the show Coming Up Next: An Exhibition of Contemporary Fine Craft by Emerging Artists. Or, if you have a copy of the Spring 2014 issue of Alberta Craft, you can see some of the pieces that will be in the show on page 9.

Coming Up Next at the Alberta Craft Council

Coming Up Next at the Alberta Craft Council

The Winner Is…

LSU TigersI’m thrilled to announce that I have officially accepted a spot in the ceramics department at Louisiana State University, where I’ll be one of four MFA candidates for the class of 2017 (feels strange to see it in writing like that!).

Applying to grad school was a long and time-consuming process (making the work, photographing it, writing letters etc), so it’s rewarding to have it pay off by getting into such a good school.

It’s hard to say what I’m most excited about—between fantastic teachers (Andy Shaw and Mikey Walsh), excellent fellow students, and living in the deep South, there is a lot to look forward to. But if I had to choose, I guess I’m most excited about how my work will evolve over the next three years. Oh, and the tailgating. I’m very excited about the tailgating during Tigers games—apparently it is legendary.

NCECA 2014

It’s hard to say what the highlights were for me at NCECA this year, as everything about it was great. From the shows, to the talks, to the demos, and all the great people I met, not to mention the great food and general good times that Milwaukee had to offer, it was a fantastic experience, and it’s going to take me a while to process it all.

Luckily I came home with some new tools to help bring my new ideas to fruition…

I'm a sucker for new tools, and the resource hall at NCECA always obliges!

I’m a sucker for new tools, and the resource hall at NCECA always obliges!

Ceramics Monthly Exposure

Guess who has a piece in the Exposure section of the April issue of Ceramics Monthly? Yes, ME!!! I’ve been reading Ceramics Monthly since I was 16, so it is such a huge thrill to have one of my pieces selected as one of 7 to represent the Beyond the Brickyard show at the Archie Bray Institute in the current issue:

Naomi Clement Flower Brick in Ceramics Montly

That’s my flower brick in the upper right hand corner (#1!).

Plus, it has a nice symmetry to it, as one of Joan Bruneau’s flower bricks graces the cover and her work has had a huge influence on mine (I apprenticed for her when I was still pretty fresh out of NSCAD).

You can view the full section here as a pdf.

Originally published in April 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, page 14. http://www.ceramicsmonthly.org . Copyright, The American Ceramic Society. Reprinted with permission.

NCECA Bound!

NCECA Milwaukee

Thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, I am heading down to NCECA tomorrow! This will be only my second time going, so I’m still a relative NCECA newbie. Last year when I went down to Houston, I barely knew anyone—this year (thanks to all the great people I’ve met through Medalta) it’s a different story. Plus, it’s in Milwaukee this year, which is apparently the beer capital of the US… I’ve never been a huge beer drinker, but I think that might be because I haven’t done enough research. I like research.

If you are going to be there, I am helping out at Medalta’s booth (booth T40 in the resource hall), so stop by and say hi.

Winning the Art Lottery

(or in other words: I got a grant!!!)

As I’ve talked about in previous posts, I’ve been forcing myself to apply to more things recently, such as shows and the like. So with that in mind, this past fall I took my first crack at applying for an Ontario Arts Council (OAC) grant—figuring that it would be a useful exercise, but not really expecting anything to come of it.  Okay that’s a lie—I enjoyed several glorious days daydreaming about how wonderful it would be to actually get it, and then, like the modest Canadian I am, I spent the next few months trying to remind myself of all the reasons I wouldn’t get it.

So when my Mom called the other day, saying that a letter had come from the OAC, wondering if she should open it or not, I was half hopeful, half trying not to get my hopes up. Needless to say, when she said that I’d been awarded one of the 25 grants they gave out (of 81 applications), I couldn’t believe it!

The grant I applied for was a Crafts Projects Creation & Development grant—part of my proposal was towards my first solo show which is scheduled for July at Medalta’s Yuill Family Gallery in Medicine Hat, and the other part was so I could attend NCECA this year in Milwaukee.

It’s such a great feeling of validation to be selected by a jury of fellow artists and arts professionals to receive funding for making my work, and I am truly grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for making this possible.

Time to get my hands dirty!

Ontario Arts Council

Beyond the Brickyard

So, a while back I wrote a post (Lesson Learned) about how I was going to make myself apply to more things, whether I thought I stood a chance or not. It’s been a really good exercise to put myself out there—the interesting thing has been that the shows I didn’t think I stood a chance at, I’ve gotten into, and some of the ones where I thought I had a pretty good chance at, I didn’t. Go figure.

One of the shows I almost talked myself out of applying for was the Beyond the Brickyard show at the Archie Bray Institute in Helena, Montana, but, keeping Gretzky’s mantra that you “miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” in my mind, I figured I had nothing to loose. So you can imagine my surprise and delight a few months ago when I found out I got in!

I just got emailed the postcard for the show, and almost pinched myself to see my name in print with these amazing artists (heck, Kristen Kieffer was one of the demonstrating artists at NCECA last year, and Trey Hill is a professor at one of the school’s I’m applying to!).

Here it is in all it’s glory:

Beyond the Brickyard, 2014 (that's my flower brick at the bottom in the middle!)

Beyond the Brickyard, 2014 (that’s my flower brick at the bottom in the middle!)

New Years Resolution

For the past several years, my only New Years Resolution has been to floss more. Not really earth shattering I know, but on the other hand, I tend to be able to actually keep it. However this year, I’ve decided to throw another one into the mix: use my own pots.

Maybe it’s that I’m always eager to sell my work and so don’t often keep any of it for myself, but I rarely ever use my own pots. Seeing as my artist statement is all about how I want to make pots that bring joy to people’s daily lives, I figured I had better start actually using some of them to see how they hold up. Plus, there are few things worse as a maker than making a beautiful pot, only to discover upon actually using it, that it just doesn’t work very well.

So, here’s to actually using my work, and hopefully learning a bit about it in the process.

Mug by Naomi Clement, 2013

Mug at work

Hello 2014

Happy New Year all!

I’ve never been one for horoscopes, but I’m hoping that my 2014 one from astrology.com is right:

“To say that 2014 promises to go down as a career year for you to remember is no exaggeration, Capricorn. You’ve been working your tail off the past few years with Pluto and Saturn pushing you past any remaining comfort zones — and the rewards are just beginning to peak. Plus, with Mars pushing you hard for the entire first half of 2014, there’ll be no rest for the weary. But not to worry because you’re at your best — and often happiest — whilst being an industrious little goat. Achievement is incredibly fulfilling, and this year the planets are bringing you ample opportunities to excel.”

I suppose that they make these things general enough so that you can read into it what you will, but it does seem pretty apt (not to mention welcome), so I’m going to go with it. 2013 was a year of a lot of change, hard work and new beginnings for me, so it would be nice if it all started coming together and solidified into something tangible in 2014…

Here’s hoping.