Clay Akar Yunomi Show

I am so pleased to have work in this year’s Yunomi Show at Clay Akar. I’ve always admired the work in this annual invitational show, so it was an honour to be invited to participate this year alongside so many talented artists. There is lots of great work available, so I encourage you to check it out at clayakar.com

Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist

I am excited and honoured to announce that I am one of Ceramic Monthly’s 2017 Emerging Artists! I have subscribed to the magazine since I was 16 years old, so it is a thrill to be featured in the magazine. I am amongst such great company too! 19 other artists received the award, including my classmate at LSU, Mike Stumbras.

It is an exciting time for me—my thesis exhibition opens in a little over a week, and I will be wrapping up my time in Baton Rouge shortly after. It is now over four years ago that I took a big leap of faith, quit my day job, and flung myself back into a life in clay. It hasn’t always been easy, and there have been many times along the way that I have questioned wether it has been worth it. Now isn’t one of those times! I went to grad school because I wanted to make better work, and because I wanted to find my voice as an artist. Three years later, and I feel proud of the work I make, and excited to share it with the world.

Thank you to all who have supported me in this journey (specifically my parents). I couldn’t have done it without their love and support.

Originally published in May 2017 issue of Ceramics Monthly, page 60. http://www.ceramicsmonthly.org . Copyright, The American Ceramic Society. Reprinted with permission.

MFA Thesis Exhibition – Trace

My thesis exhibition, titled Trace, will be opening in just two weeks. Full details can be found below. I would love to see you there!

What: Trace, MFA thesis exhibition by Naomi Clement
Where: Glassell Gallery, 100 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge, LA
When: April 25 – 29
Reception: April 29, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Here We Go…

#1 on my list of things I never want to do again!

#1 on my list of things I never want to do again!

Sorry for the radio silence over the past month folks, but it has truly been one for the record books. Here is a brief recap of the last month via the stats:

  • 5226 kilometers (3247 miles) of driving
  • 4 provinces
  • 8 states
  • 1 border
  • 1 broken transmission
  • 1 new car
  • 1 UHaul truck
  • 1 ferry ride
  • 1 new apartment
  • 6 bottles of bourbon (not all consumed yet!)
  • 39 cups of coffee
  • 1 new studio
  • Many new friends.

Oh, and approximately one million bugs on the windshield.

After a bit of a rough start (my old car drew its last breath just 2 hours into the first leg of my trip), I have finally arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – my home for the next three years as I attend graduate school at LSU.  I’ve spent the past 10+ days settling into both my new home and my new studio, getting to know the town (which I’ve largely been doing via the many wonderful places to eat here!), and adjusting to the heat. Any personal qualms I had about wearing shorts went out the window within the first day of arrival, as the average high here has been around 36C with a humidity level of about 84%!

The past few days have been full of various orientations at school, and seeing that I’ve been out of school for over a decade and went to a pretty small art college (less than 1000 students) I’ve been making a concerted effort to join in everything I can here at LSU, and really soak in all the things that a big school like LSU has to offer (more on that later…).

Classes start Monday – and I am equal parts excited and terrified. When in doubt, I plan on falling back on the school saying/motto:

GEAUX TIGERS!

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

New Work

I’ve been showing you all bits and pieces of my new work while it’s been in progress, but here it is for the first time all in one place. A lot of this work marks quite a new direction for me on the decorating front, and I’m excited to keep investigating it in the new year.

Huge thanks to Cecil and Diane Finch for taking the photos—if not for them, many of these pieces would likely have been smashed in frustration as I made my own futile attempt to take good shots.

Many of these pieces will be in my final MFA portfolio, so I’d love to hear your thoughts!

New Glazes

The opening of a glaze kiln is sometimes likened to Christmas morning, which is a pretty apt description, as you are all anticipation and nerves, and are just as likely to be disappointed as you are thrilled.

Regardless of how many tests you do, the glazing process is still one of taking calculated risks… you have some idea of how it might turn out, but you’re rarely ever sure. That’s both part of the joy and the madness of the process. I’ve been doing a lot of tests recently as I was getting bored with some of my old glazes (I guess I must be a masochist, because as soon as the results start to get too predictable, I get bored with them… go figure). I’ve also started introducing some underglazes into the mix, which I’ve been enjoying, as it has been nice to start decorating at the bone dry stage.

So, here are some of my favourite results from my most recent glaze kiln—5 portfolio-worthy pieces out of 30, which in the ceramics world is pretty awesome. I’d love to hear what you think!

Teapots in Progress

I had a stretch of three uninterrupted days in the studio last week, so I finally  embarked on some teapots. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them—as I think many potters do—I love their complexity and the challenge of making them, but by the time I’ve attached the last handle, I’m honestly a little out of my mind.

For the uninitiated, teapots are so time consuming (and therefore expensive!) because of all the parts you have to make and then assemble. There are at least five parts in total—body, lid, spout, knob and handle—and I generally make several more lids, spouts and handles than I actually need, to ensure that I have lots of options when I’m assembling.

After I finished making this last batch, I posted to Facebook the following: “Dear friends: next time I agonize over what I should price my tea pots at, please remind me that they should be ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Thank you.”

I was only partly kidding.

Here are a few pics of my “Million Dollar Teapots”… I’m pretty happy with the results so far, but I’d love to hear what you think!