Stephanie Osser combines her love of music, theater and art in her delightful ceramic portfolio. Visit her website to learn more about this versatile artist.
I am a ceramic artist who has emerged after a long career as an illustrator. I was a staff illustrator for exhibits at the New England Aquarium and a freelance illustrator of non-fiction children’s books, adult trade books, and editorials. For the past 16 years I have been a student and now a resident artist at the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts, at Harvard University. There, I learned the techniques needed for my new forms of creative expression and became an “Illustrator in Clay.”
Further development of my techniques occurred at international ceramic residencies, including the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine, the Medalta International Artists in Residence Program in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, and Guldagergaard, The International Ceramic Research Center in Skælskør, Denmark. I was privileged to be accepted into these programs and to have concentrated creative time in the company of other talented and successful ceramic artists.
My work is about lightness and good news, with music, children and nature at the center of my themes. My website displays my main body of work on my favorite subjects, using techniques including print on clay, image transfers, majolica, and mishima. Plaster molds are also useful for making multiples and recreating other compositions.
I am fascinated by opera and operetta, as I can hear great voices and orchestration by my favorite composers. And, there is the added visual delight of colorful, imaginative sets and costume designs. I usually incorporate some musical item or theme into my major compositions. Music is always in the background as I work, and I sing in choruses.
Some of my work is in permanent museum collections: The Statue of Liberty National Park Ellis Island Museum and the Dinnerware Museum, Ann Arbor, Michigan. My work has also been included in 33 juried gallery shows throughout the USA.
In recent developments, in August 2016, I Iearned to make lithophanes from world-class porcelain experts at the International Ceramic Center, Kecskemét, Hungary. Lithophanes are three-dimensional translucent porcelain plaques which when backlit reveal detailed images. They were first created in Europe in the 1820s. I show samples of these, my newest works, on my website. I carve low bas-relief images in plaster and then overlay them with translucent porcelain slip. I am designing dinnerware using these techniques.
Throughout my career, I have enjoyed collaborations with other artists, authors, designers, curators and art directors. Recent collaborations have resulted in architectural ceramic murals for two hospitals. Another grant enabled me to work with students from Wellesley and Babson Colleges to make tile murals on the subject of environmental sustainability on their campuses. Also at Babson, students helped me create a ceramic mural inspired by a stick of Twizzler licorice pressed into clay. We made bisque molds and developed a large clay tree of Twizzlers on a background of the college landscape.
As with my earlier two-dimensional illustration career, I now enjoy the challenge and the learning adventures of creating for education or just to make someone smile.
Stephanie Osser invites you to follow her on Instagram.