Featured artist Helen Fielder presents a collection of her functional and sculptural ceramics. See more of her work by visiting her website.
My interest in art especially pencil and charcoal drawings began at an early age. I found it magical that someone could create a drawn image that spoke more to me than a photographic image could. The black bold movement of pencil on white paper stirred me with it’s simplicity and strength.
Pencil and paper in hand became my standard visual expression. I later gravitated to three dimensional work, especially enjoying the tactile quality of clay. It is now my belief that everyone interested in art should experience the transformational nature of clay.
The early years of discovery, practice, experimentation and diving face-first into the ceramic arts were a wonderful time of growth for me as a person and an artist. With practice came confidence and a feeling of license to hone a style I could call my own.
I focused on divergence from convention and tradition with forms that would not be what people are accustomed to when thinking of ceramics. I do still enjoy making functional pottery and just the very idea that a mug I make might become someone’s favorite electrifies and thrills me to no end. When I think my mug could be the one they bring to the front porch to contemplate their day, and perhaps even their own creations, I’m like a pig rolling in heaven’s mud.
Teapots, whether functional or purely as an expression of art, fascinate me. They are “steeped” in history (ha ha…get it? Steeped? Sorry, I have an underdeveloped, but developing, sense of humor) and while comprised of a common set of elements, a spout, handle and lid, there is a seemingly endless number of forms they can take within these parameters. Teapots are reminiscent of people, ever changing and full with character and movement.
My childhood summers spent fishing and wading on the coastal Slovenian waters of the Adriatic Sea strongly influenced my current sculptural work. The organic sculptures with their varied textures and colors echo the forms and colors of ocean life.
I love all color and enjoy observing forms – a seed bursting from the earth, a fish alive with its glitter of color, the swaying and contouring ornamentation on a shell, the pattern of a group of cells observed through a microscope.
I’ve lately taken to lapidary with a fervor one might label ‘addiction’. From beads and cabochons to all out carving, it’s become a passion. I’ve always been one of those people that has to pick up every shell on a beach or on a road and the textures and patterns I see are reflected in my latest works. When I fall into a slump I need only grab that pencil and paper and set myself to sketching a lifetime of what I’ve seen and how I’d commit some of it to stone.
Always curious and eager to learn I am ever the experimenter and am always trying new ways of doing things.
And I love my dog.