Jane McDonald Ceramics

 

 

Jane McDonald
 

My passion for clay began 35 years ago when I enrolled in a beginning throwing class. Over the years I followed my desire to master the wheel, determined to transform a mound of clay into beautifully
symmetrical forms with seductively smooth surfaces. In time, I became
dissatisfied with the limitations of the wheel as a means to express myself. This has led me to explore the endless possibilities of hand building.

Currently I am exploring the vessel using textured slabs of clay with intersecting vertical and horizontal rib lines – these are my "Ribbed Vessels". With lines, and the use of bold, contrasting color, I aim for a flowing movement encircling the surface, as one might see in the subtle twist of a body engaged in dance or expressive motion.

I also make "Monostones". They are simple, hollow, organic architectural forms, with a broad surface on which I apply glazes with pattern and bold color.
Sometimes I like to expose the hollow space within the form by cutting out shapes in the walls and through to the other side. Revealing the interior space allows the eye to weave in and out of the structure. To me the interior negative space is as important as the outside positive space to defining the piece.

For the most part, my work is fired in the raku process. The nature of raku-the shock of sudden cooling and reduction- cracks the surface and allows smoke to penetrate the glazes and clay, evoking a rawness and unrefined quality on the surface of the fired clay. What I love about the raku process is the element of surprise with the finished glazed surface. A bit of mystery that leaves room for the imagination to see subtle nuances along the mottled and smoked surfaces.

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©2009 Jane McDonald • Petaluma CA • 707.481.1909 • janemcd55@aol.com
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