“While growing up near the ocean, I spent many hours peering at tiny creatures and looking for clues to their secret lives. This began a lifelong passion for the the minute details, the battered fragments, and the myriad patterns of organic life. The smallest bits of bone or shell would ignite intense curiosity and imaginative leaps; What was this creature? What did it look like? How did it die? Did it have a family, a home, or friends? Did it feel or think? What would it have thought of me? I create sculptural objects in an empathetic attempt to gain insight into the inner life of creatures and I seek to spark curiosity and imaginative leaps in the viewer.
Clay is critical to exploring these ideas. Touching clay and responding to its organic properties are key aspects of my largely exploratory and intuitive creative process. Risk taking and pushing materials to their limits is also important. I experiment with the forces used to shape clay, glaze, and glass as a process for imagining and exploring the effects of natural forces. I combine clays with glass or other materials to see what they reveal about their individual properties when they are fused together.
Most of my pieces begin with a closed form that traps air, or with a simple pinched shape. Often the components are hand-sized, as I enjoy turning them over and over and contemplating them as I make them. Some are laboriously pierced, while others are rhythmically touched with repetitive gestures at the wettest stages. I encourage the clay to reveal its properties, then I choose what to keep and what to obscure.
The intuitive nature of my creative process often leaves me feeling curious about the resulting forms, similar to what I might feel if I had just come upon them in a natural setting. This feeling often leads to further exploration of the objects through the act of combining them to create a new form, installing them in groups, or mixing them with materials that remind me of the influence humans may have on their imagined lives.” Debra Fleury
Debra Fleury’s C.V. (resume) - View her works
RESIDENCIES & TEACHING
- Resident Studio Artist, Mudflat Studio. 2011-present
- Artist in Residence, Mudflat Studio. 2009-10
- Creative Process Workshop, Mudflat Studios 2009
- Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA 2006-7, Adjunct Professor & Design Curriculum Development
- Mudflat Studio, Somerville, MA 2005-present, ceramic artist and technical studio assistant
- Altitude Inc., Somerville, MA 2003-present, graphic designer
- Catapult Thinking llc., Boston, MA 1998-2002, graphic designer
JURIED SHOWS & AWARDS
- Bromfield Solo Competition 2012 Finalist — Juror Jen Mergel
- Beyond the Brickyard 2012 — Juror Richard Shaw. Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana
- NICHE 2012 award finalist
- Craft Forms 2011 — Juror Elisabeth Agro. Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
- Confinement: Workhouse Clay National Exhibition — Juror Ellen Shankin. Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton Arts Foundation, Lorton, VA 2011
- Inspirational Clay — Mudflat Studio Benefit Auction. Mudflat Studio 2011
- NICHE 2011 award winner, professional ceramics division
- Craft Forms 2009 — Juror Bruce W. Pepich, Wayne Art Center
- Nellie Allen Smith Show. Cape Fear Studios, Feyette ville, NC. 2009
- Somerville Arts Council Fellowship. 2009
- Bookbuilders Scholarship. Massachusetts College of Art. 2000
- Design Department Honors. Massachusetts College of Art. 1998
- Design Show. Massachusetts College of Art. 1998
- ‘Defining Excellence’, American Style Magazine, Fall 2011
- 2010 Potter’s Council Calendar, featured artist - cover/January
- Mudflat Studio, Somerville, MA 2003-present, Ceramic Studies
- Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA 1993-98, Bachelor of Fine Arts Studies, Design
- Bryant College, Smithfield, RI 1990, Bachelor of Science Degree, Business
- Linda Huey, Mudflat Studio 2009
- Elizabeth Cavener Stichter, ClayArt Studio, Port Chester, NY 2008
- Ryan Takaba, Mudflat Studio 2007
- Rebecca Hutchinson, Mudflat Studio 2006
- Adero Willard, Mudflat Studio 2007
Visit Debra Fleury’s website.
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