Saturday, September 20, 2008

Being Born With The Clay Gene

Mary Camin hails from Fresno, California. I was attracted to her work for its whimsical quality. Her dinnerware is beautiful and her pots seem to be a cross between plants from an alien landscape and a Dr. Suess book! I love them!
Why clay?
Some of my earliest childhood memories are of playing in the mud. Although no one in my family pursued an artistic path, I feel I was born with what I refer to as the clay gene, you have it or you don't. I love the idea of endless possibilities, fragility and permanence.
What gets you in the mood?
Being outdoors, deadlines, If it wasn't for deadlines I'd probably be outdoors.
Do you listen to music when you work?
Yes. All kinds except rap and country
What motivates and inspires you?
Keeping my life in balance allows me to be inspired. I work in my
home studio and can easily go back and forth from clay work to other personal tasks so I can keep my day balanced and productive. Seeing and being around productive people inspire me. Reading blogs of other creative people, as well as visiting galleries on line and glancing through magazines often spark an idea ... and then there is always, and most often the garden.
What’s your favorite cuss word?
I don't usually cuss, training I guess. My parents didn't cuss and it
wasn't until college that I heard the F word used and then it seemed more about proving something, the thing to do, so I didn't do it.
Who are your favorite artists and why?
There are so many I admire for different reasons and at different times. I love primitive and folk pottery. The marks and prescense of the maker from a time in history, executed with purpose and simple tools intriques me. Matisse, Miro, and O'keefe are constants for form, movement and color. Contemporary clay makers I am drawn to include, Victoria Christen — The looseness and spontaniety of her decoration, Silvie Granatelli — for her quiet forms and glazes, Jenny Mendes, for her figurative work, story and charm, Lynn Smiser Bowers - sense of fun and functional repertoire, and most currently I've been looking at the work of Cynthia Bringle in the Penland Book.
What is your feeling on the artist as activist, Artivism? and the
“handmade” movement?

The term artivism is a new one to me, but I am aware the handmade movement is back. I have always collected handmade things. It is primarily about the connection to the maker for me. I think artists and craftspeople need to actively educate and engage with their customers. Often people don't understand processes and the commitment one makes to a craft. Like anything, with education comes understanding and respect.
What is your favorite pleasure?
Quiet moments outdoors.
I could'nt agree more, being out in nature is where I get the most pleasure and inspiration. What would you say to someone just getting started in ceramics who asks you for advice?
Enjoy it. It can be a challenging medium requiring patience and a
willingness to accept the characteristics of clay.

To find out more about Mary and to see her schedule of shows check out her website Cateye Ceramics or her blog Clay Plant . Thank you Mary!

1 comment:

cynthia said...

I love Mary's work - I was attracted to her botanical motifs and whimsical sculptures the first time I laid eyes on them!