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Kristen Swanson's Profile

About

I discovered clay as a sophomore in college twenty years ago. It captured my heart, my intellect and my creative expression in a powerful way. I knew immediately that my life would revolve around this beautiful material. I finished my degree in elementary education, all the while sneaking into the ceramic studio on campus during the wee hours of the night, spending every available moment developing my skill. I taught elementary school for two years and proceeded to Virginia Commonwealth University to study Ceramics. I have devoted my life first to my family and second to my own expression through clay.

Each one-of-a-kind piece is wheel thrown on the potter’s wheel or hand constructed out of clay slabs. I paint my designs with black underglaze on the unfired clay body. I then use a technique called sgraffito to scratch into the surface to achieve greater detail. The work is…

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  • Female
  • Born on June 3
  • Joined January 5, 2008

Favorite materials

Porcelain

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About

I discovered clay as a sophomore in college twenty years ago. It captured my heart, my intellect and my creative expression in a powerful way. I knew immediately that my life would revolve around this beautiful material. I finished my degree in elementary education, all the while sneaking into the ceramic studio on campus during the wee hours of the night, spending every available moment developing my skill. I taught elementary school for two years and proceeded to Virginia Commonwealth University to study Ceramics. I have devoted my life first to my family and second to my own expression through clay.

Each one-of-a-kind piece is wheel thrown on the potter’s wheel or hand constructed out of clay slabs. I paint my designs with black underglaze on the unfired clay body. I then use a technique called sgraffito to scratch into the surface to achieve greater detail. The work is bisque fired, clear glazed, and fired a second time to 2300 degrees. Asian art has long been an influence in my work - my childhood home was filled with Asian furniture, tapestries, scroll paintings, and sculpture. I am further influenced by both traditional and contemporary textile patterns as well as traditional botanical motifs. I choose to limit my surface work to black and white with an occasional splash of color as I enjoy the graphic and stimulating effect. The use of a clear glaze highlights the subtle texture of the porcelain body.

My experience as an educator has served me tremendously well as I now teach handbuilding and wheel throwing to adults and children in the community out of my home studio and communtity art center. I find the process of interacting with students - encouraging their growth, creativity, and perceptiveness - has improved my own work and enriched my life as an artist.

Articles and Blogs:
http://www.designspongeonline.com/2008/12/2008-gift-guide-bloggers-wish-list.html
http://www.indieparade.com/
http://ebonypaws.blogspot.com/
http://www.etsy-love.com/ Feb. 26, 2008
http://paperchick.blogspot.com/
http://bigdaddyseashell.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/dreaming-in-black-white/
http://www.arcticoak.net/posts/porcelain-from-kristen-k-swanson/

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