Tuesday, January 3, 2012

18 Weeks and Counting

In this weeks post, two Best in Show award winners will be featured.  We are running short of weeks until we open the doors to Ceramic Showcase 2012.  Look for another addition of "Weeks and Counting" on Thursday.

Maria Simon
Best in Show 1987
The year is 1987 and the Best in Show award winner was Maria Simon.  There was an article written on Maria by Dennis Meiners, OPA Member and Best in Show award winner in 1993 and 2007, for Ceramics Technical entitled "Bas Relief Tableaux".  I've included a bit about how Maria described her process and what drives her to create.

"The first time a person uses clay to make an object and shepherds that object through the drying and firing process, one receives a new take on the meaning of transformation.  If the clayworker is truly aware, he or she notices it is not just the clay that changes, there is a change in oneself also.  Magic happens.  For some of us who persist in the endeavor of clay work, that magic happens again and again; that is why we put ourselves through such a torturous process, and the objects we make leave our hands to transform the experience of others, also again and again, on through the years.

Artists that work in clay are like poets in that neither usually makes large noisy things like symphonies or epic films.  They provide us with discreet things that work quietly and steadily like a beating heart.  Clayworkers and poets typically are not out to knock down walls, or to extend a hand to invite their audience to rise and participate in the dance.  If walls are removed, they are taken down grain by grain.

Maria doesn't use complicated tricks or artifices designed to impress the viewer with what an accomplished craftsperson she is.  Her excellent craftsmanship is unobtrusive.  She is not waving her arms to point to her virtuosity.  Simon is depicting, with elegance and simplicity of form, a psychic and emotional landscape that opens vistas for the viewer.  In her quiet work there is much disquiet and, in the sureness of her pieces, much doubt.

To read the article in its entirety, please visit Maria's website, Maria Simon Studio.

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