Marianne McGrath: What I See, What I Saw II, 2011, unfired earthenware, plywood, steel rod, wax, 4’h x 10’l x 20’x
“One of my interests is in making multi-component, interactive sculptures. Most of these works have innumerable permutations for viewing. Perhaps partially influenced from my background as a professional musician, these flexible sculptures allow for creating variations in the artwork such as might be experienced in the live performance of a musical composition from concert to concert. Some of the works may appear to be “games,” but generally there are no rules for arranging the components.
I work primarily in porcelain because this claybody receives and juxtaposes textures so articulately. Glazes are employed minimally; some works make use only of slips, underglazes, and oxide washes. My building combines altered wheelthrown as well pure handbuilding techniques.” Suzanne Stumpf
Suzanne Stumpf: Diatoms, detail
Suzanne Stumpf: Interactive Sculpture No. 9, detail
Suzanne Stumpf: Interactive Sculpture No. 9, 2008, 16”h x 8”w x 8”d, wheelthrown porcelain with handbuilt components; black slip and shellac resist; oxidation fired to cone 10
Although Interactive Sculpture No. 9 appears at first glance to be some sort of game, there are no rules here. It is intended for the playful pleasure of the viewer to arrange the sticks with their different colored tips entirely to their own whim. (When all the sticks are removed the work is a trompe l’oeil with the raised black dots hiding its holes.)
Suzanne Stumpf: Egg Shell Nest, 2011, 16”w x 9.5”h x 10”d, handbuilt with porcelain paperclay; oxidation fired to cone 10
Both nests and eggs hold important concepts for reflection and meditation for me. Eggs represent new beginnings, promise, mystery, and fragility. Nests signify “home,” with the intention of comfort and protection, and in the case of wildlife, camouflage. As an avid birdwatcher, amateur naturalist, and sculptor, I am intrigued by the variety of nests found in nature for both their architectural inspiration and symbolism. These three works are from a series of nest sculptures I am making.
Suzanne Stumpf: Changeable Views, reverse
Suzanne Stumpf: Changeable Views, 2007, 15.5”w x 6”h x 4.5” d (window structure), handbuilt porcelain; reduction fired to cone 10
The interactive sculpture Changeable Views is a very modular work—the windows may be left open or up to four of the twelve tiles may be inserted to create many varied views. The tiles have colors on one side and patterns of black and white on the reverse. Although the tiles were lined up flat and adjacent to each other when a number of colored glazes were applied (so technically there is an “order” to the tiles), the tiles “dialogue” and create interest in any number of combinations.
Metaphorically, windows offer the opportunities to look outward, inward, more deeply, and in new directions. The interactive play possible in this piece is intended as a meditation for its audience.
Suzanne Stumpf: Urchin, 2010, 3”h x 11” w x 11” d, handbuilt porcelain with wheelthrown components; oxidation fired to cone 10
Urchin is an interactive sculpture as well as a puzzle. There are 13 barnacle-like components that have been attached (through firing) to the perimeter of Urchin, and there are 10 others that are removable. The movable “barnacles” can be used to make multiple arrangements (on and off Urchin). However, Urchin is also a puzzle: there is only one way that the free “barnacles” can all be fit securely and comfortably into the center space.
Suzanne Stumpf: Whale Sounds (detail)
Suzanne Stumpf: Spike, 2008, 5.5”h x 8”w x 3” d, wheelthrown and altered porcelain with handbuilt components; black slip and shellac resist; oxidation fired to cone 10
I am yet to meet a woman who does not smile knowingly or even laugh out loud when viewing “Spike.” “Für die Schönheit muß man leiden” — “For beauty, one must suffer.”
The fashion industry only seduced me into wearing too-high heels for a short time in my life. It was a long time ago, yet I do have a strong physical memory of how my feet felt after walking an unplanned distance or standing longer than anticipated in them.
“Spike” has innumerable permutations for viewing. When all of the black, orange, yellow, and white “pins” are removed, Spike is somewhat of a trompe l’oeil with the raised black dots disguising its holes. The pins at first glance seem to be playful pain indicators. Yet, because the pins are pointed on both ends, when we place them into Spike, can we feel also a wee bit of revenge?
Suzanne Stumpf: All the Little Cups of my Thoughts, 2010, 17”w x 10”d (tray dimensions), handbuilt with wheelthrown components; porcelain and porcelain paperclay; oxidation fired to cone 10
The beautiful and charming Buddhist mediation: “I will drink thy consciousness as joy and bliss from all the little cups of my thoughts” inspired this work. Each cup possesses a slightly different form and exterior texture, while I limited the interiors to a palate of blues and greens.
The “gridded” tray evokes a chess board which is appropriate to the tenor of the work as chess is a quiet, concentrated activity.
Deborah Britt: Blue Pitcher Set, 8” x 13”, Wheel-Thrown and Altered, Salt-Fired Porcelain with Slip and Glaze Decoration, Cone Ten, 2011
Deborah Britt: Blue Butter Dish, 4” x 6”, Wheel-Thrown and Altered, Salt-Fired Porcelain with Slip and Glaze Decoration, Cone Ten, 2011