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marlene boyle's Profile

About

I was born, raised and still reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Heck, I still remember when we really were the smoky city. I even remember when the Penguins were the Hornets. Until recently if you had asked me what I do, I would have told you that I am a calligrapher. Seems I have been that for nearly forever.

I also knew that I would love working with clay and in the 90's I took a couple classes in wheel throwing. BUT in 1999 I had an incredible opportunity to participate in a week-long workshop in pinching clay, presented by two remarkable clay artists, Paulus Berensohn and Jimmy Clark. I had really limited experience in clay and was totally out of my league, but had an intense passion ignited in me for the medium of clay and particularly for the process of pinching, which means that a potter's wheel is not used in the creation of the work. The pots are formed completely by hand with the aid…

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  • Female
  • Born on November 8
  • Joined July 2, 2007

Favorite materials

clay, paper, and pens

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About

I was born, raised and still reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Heck, I still remember when we really were the smoky city. I even remember when the Penguins were the Hornets. Until recently if you had asked me what I do, I would have told you that I am a calligrapher. Seems I have been that for nearly forever.

I also knew that I would love working with clay and in the 90's I took a couple classes in wheel throwing. BUT in 1999 I had an incredible opportunity to participate in a week-long workshop in pinching clay, presented by two remarkable clay artists, Paulus Berensohn and Jimmy Clark. I had really limited experience in clay and was totally out of my league, but had an intense passion ignited in me for the medium of clay and particularly for the process of pinching, which means that a potter's wheel is not used in the creation of the work. The pots are formed completely by hand with the aid of a few simple tools: rubber ribs, wooden paddle and a polished stone for burnishing. The pinch by pinch process was natural as it reminded me of the stroke by stroke creation of letterforms, slow but rewarding. There is an intimacy formed with each pot as with each letter.

Although primarily decorative in nature, my pots are created for more than simple viewing. They are brought to a careful balance without losing the natural cradle of the human hand; mine as the maker and, by extension, yours as you lift and hold, turn and often read words, another passion, carved into the surface. The shape is gently coaxed from a single ball of clay, with nothing added or cut away. The bowl’s simplicity disguises the complexity of its formation.

My primary and favorite method of firing is the sawdust pit. There I can achieve a decorative range from simple and unembellished to more complex by using vegetation, metal leaf, or copper wire forms. These produce a visual texture while preserving the tactile smoothness. My clay is burnished many times over throughout the pinching process, inside and out, rendering a silky, sensual surface that begs your hand’s contact.

My functional bowls and occasionally some decorative pieces are wood fired.

On the personal side:
I am married to a fine man, a long-suffering engineer (his life would be totally organized if it weren't for me). I am the pride filled mother of two really, truly great kids (both "real" artists), a wonderful daughter-in-law (also an artist and maker of fine bags), a super sweet and beautiful grand-daughter-in-law, and most recently a tall, handsome son-in-law (the scholar among us).

Love and peace, Marlene

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