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

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.

New Work

Thanks to Diane & Cecil Finch, I now have lovely photos of my lovely new work (at least, I think it is lovely work!). This body of work was created in the final months of my residency at Medalta for my solo show titled Stories I Tell, which is at Medalta’s Yuill Family Gallery, from June 19 – July 26, 2014.

As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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

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

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!

Million Dollar Teapots?

I finally mustered up the courage to glaze the teapots I posted about a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d share the results with you. I took some risks on two, and played it safer with the other two, and all in all, I’m pretty happy with the results. Personally, I like the turquoise one best, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I really had some fun decorating the grey and the turquoise one—using a combination of brushed and inlaid under-glazes, and dipped and trailed glazes.  I’m looking forward to playing with these techniques even more in the next little bit, hopefully squeezing out a few more pieces for my MFA portfolio.  I anticipate some more late nights ahead…

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!