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Tag Archives: ceramic

angela cunningham’s sculpture: seductive or grotesque? both.

I’m here in Washington DC, about to meet with the artists to set my schedule for the next several weeks.


While I’m getting acclimated, ponder how Angela Cunningham’s ceramic sculpture makes you feel. Is it seductive? Grotesque? Does it draw you in? Push you away? She hopes it does both. Cunningham, an up and coming, internationally exhibited artist, is one to watch.


Bloom, detail


Spiky Nesting Set


“I make objects that beg to be touched. Through exquisite detailing, seductive surfaces, and provocative imagery, my pieces draw viewers near, desiring to caress and explore. As much as I want to seduce, though, I equally want to push away. The beauty of the object is often tempered by bits of the grotesque.” From Angela Cunningham’s artist statement on the Clay Art Center’s website.

To find out why school detention can sometimes be a good thing, read the Massachusetts artist’s story here.

jane burton’s figurative sculpture

Female figures seem to be calling me lately. I don’t know if it is my current state of mind, a shift of consciousness, maybe a heightened awareness of my femininity as I forge a new path, allowing my creativity to give birth to the ideas I have been nurturing for months?

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Old Soul, 111” x 19” x 10”, ceramic, inscribed writing, cast iron, steel

Whatever the reason, I have been exploring wonderful female figures- so alive, with many stories to tell, responsible for so much beauty in this world. Jane Burton’s larger-than-life, hand-built ceramic figurative sculptures “explore the vessel as a container shaped by the life within.” Oh, yes…I want one of these spectacular women to guide me on this part of my journey.  Such strength and grace. Read what Burton says about her work in the quotes below.  Powerful.

She’s Fabulous, 93”H x 12”W x 10”D
ceramic, inscribed writing and drawings, gold leaf, concrete, steel

The Journey, 86″ H x 13″ x 10″, ceramic, concrete

“On much of my work I write stories, poetry or journal writings. Many of the writings reflect on the perceptions we develop about who we are, about the importance we put on “surface things”, our clothes, our looks, our money, and how they can define, and at times trap us.” Jane Burton

Abundance, 78” x 62” x 10”
ceramic, inscribed writing, steel, concrete, Tibetan singing bowls

“In my large-scale pieces, I work in stages usually on more than one at a time. The initial stages are like the beginning of relationship, dealing with surface issues and structural problems, technical and conceptual issues. As they grow and become closer to my height, my relationship with them changes, becoming highly personal, even intimate. And as they tower above me, I feel the respect and power of a spiritual being in my presence.” Jane Burton

Day Dreamer, 92″ x 15″ x 15″, ceramic stoneware, concrete, steel

Do Wah Ditty, 64”H x 15”W x10”, ceramic, steel dress-form

New Beginnings, 78″ x 16″ x 12″, ceramic, concrete, steel

“I’m intrigued with objects that hold life… the shell of the hermit crab, the cocoon of the butterfly, the human body. Over the layers of time, they hold the story of the life that resides within. The vessels remain as life moves on.” Jane Burton [/private_archives]

shalene valenzuela lets humor and irony lead the way

Humor is often a good way to draw people in as you share a more difficult message in your art.  Shalene Valenzuela’s quirky ceramic sculptures achieve this with flair and spunk.


Blending In – Very Consumed (front)

Exploring topics that range from consumer culture, societal expectations and etiquette, the artist uses imagery from advertising and vintage print material that dates back to an idealized time in our society explaining, “Beneath the shiny veneer of these relics hides a complex and sometimes contradicting truth of what things seem to appear upon first glance.”

Glued Television I

On Thin Ice II

“I am inspired by the potential of everyday common objects. I reproduce these objects primarily through slipcasting, and illustrate the surfaces with a variety of handpainted and screenprinted imagery. My narratives explore topics ranging from fairytales, urban mythologies, consumer culture, societal expectations, etiquette, and coming-of-age issues.” Shelene Valenzuela

Fact or Fiction

Paint Yourself a Perfect Picture

“Sometimes my inspirations are just pure whimsy, and I find nothing wrong with that. Rules are sometimes meant to be broken. How else are we supposed to learn?” Shelene Valenzuela

Learn more about Valenzuela (and see more images) in this interview.


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