There is a force within me that compels me to work in Clay.  I don’t know where it comes from or what direction it will point me in.  All I know is that I must be creating something to be at ease with “me”.  I am restless when I am not working in clay. There is a feeling of need, a desire to do something and I can usually assuage that feeling, that desire with total immersion in my art.  I want to create things that lie dormant inside of me.   I want to show people what I am about; that I have something to say.  My figures are starting to tell that story;  The story of ME.

I start out with the rolling of a slab or the squishing of a coil.  My inner voice tells me how large or small I will be working.  I work quickly as if I will run out of time and will not be able to complete my creation.  I need to see it take form and I forsake everything else until it is done.  I have a preformed idea of what the finished piece will look like; the marks, the joins, the seams, the glazing.  I talk to the piece and it talks to me.

I have been obsessive of late on the textures that complete the piece; how it will stand on its own and what will be its supporting structure.  It is important that whatever it stands on completes the story of the piece.  Every aspect is vital to the piece; each mark, each layered glaze and underglaze has a different meaning to me.   I want the pieces to look as if they have emerged from the earth, leaping to their birth from the soil.  Thus, the crusty look to the bottoms of their being.  As I get higher into the piece I mute the glazes so they look more natural and recently I have been using mostly underglazes to emphasize this.

My current work is about people as interpreted through my figures.  It began when my grandchildren started spouting words of wisdom, too clever to be forgotten.  So the pieces are a narrative of sorts, humorous, deep, inane and cherished.  I love to introduce found pieces of junk and nature into the finished piece.  They take on a new perspective when joined with the clay, speaking about what they could have been. Birds are an important imagery to me.  They represent the freedom I have within me, my creative soul. They are usually on my shoulders speaking to me in soft voices, urging me on.  When people see my work I would like for them to feel the lightness of my spirit, the peace that comes from within me and the joy I have in living.

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©Copyright 2009. Joan Carew. All Rights Reserved. DO NOT REPRODUCE ANY IMAGES WITHOUT ARTIST'S CONSENT.
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