Featured Artist Linda Chapman

The striking, intricate patterns on artist Linda Chapman’s porcelain vessels are inspired and influenced by the places she has lived. Learn more about this artist and her work by visiting her website.

 

“A Garden” Porcelain, 11"w x 2"d by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“A Garden” Porcelain, 11″w x 2″d

 

I am the maker of unusual things.

 

“Carved Bowl” Porcelain, 7”w x 6”h by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Carved Bowl” Porcelain, 7”w x 6”h

 

Prior to becoming enthralled with clay, my art had been concentrated in 2D. However, when I was closed out of a drawing class while working towards my BFA, the only class that fit into my schedule was a ceramics class. That was the end. I loved the clay. I was hooked.

 

“Wall Plate and Trumpet Vase” (Dickson Commission) Porcelain, Plate: 20”w x 3”d, Vase: 8”w x 10”h by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Wall Plate and Trumpet Vase” (Dickson Commission) Porcelain, Plate: 20”w x 3”d, Vase: 8”w x 10”h

 

After receiving my BFA in ceramics from the University of Colorado in 1974, I set up my own studio in Boulder. My training had been exclusively in high fire reduction firings, i.e. using wood and/or gas in huge outdoor kilns. However, I lived in a neighborhood that was not tolerant of a giant smoky kiln, so I changed my chemistry to accommodate firing in an electric kiln at mid-range temperatures. In 1975, few potters were working in this genre.

 

“Eclipse” Porcelain, 15”w x 4”d by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Eclipse” Porcelain, 15”w x 4”d

 

My initial inspiration for decorating pottery came from my grandfather and his love of the pottery of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Arizona. I wasn’t interested in painting the intricate designs they do, so I decided to carve the imagery out of the pieces instead.

 

“Feather Plate” Porcelain, 15”w x 4”d by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Feather Plate” Porcelain, 15”w x 4”d

 

My art practice is intense and requires constant timely attention. Too wet, one can’t handle the piece; too dry, too late. And there are no guarantees that the piece will fire successfully. The process has many steps, each step being as important as the last and the next.

 

“Prairie Farms” Porcelain, 6”w x 9”h by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Prairie Farms” Porcelain, 6”w x 9”h

 

I create each piece individually. After the piece has dried to a leather hard state, I apply colored liquid clay (slip) to the surface of the pot. Then I carve through this thin layer of color into the whiteness of the porcelain. After drying slowly and completely, the piece is bisque fired. After this initial firing and cooling completely, the pieces are glazed and fired a second time to nearly 2200 degrees F.

 

“Spinner” Porcelain, 20”w x 3”d by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Spinner” Porcelain, 20”w x 3”d

 

The firing process takes three days to complete, and is the final and ultimate test. I have come to terms with loss of control at this final stage, as the fire ultimately determines the outcome. At this point I have done everything I can to create the successful piece. Now it is up to the Kiln Gods to favor my work.

 

“Vase” Porcelain, 11”w x 7”hby artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Vase” Porcelain, 11”w x 7”h

 

I work in porcelain because I love the contrast of pure color on the pristine, translucent white of the porcelain. Porcelain is quite demanding to work with, but mastery of this medium results in striking artwork.

 

“Dungeness Wind” (Work in Progress) Porcelain, 22”w x 4”d by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dungeness Wind” (Work in Progress) Porcelain, 22”w x 4”d

 

Recently a friend noted how my work has evolved and adapted to wherever I live and work. In my native Colorado, where my inspiration was the pottery of the Pueblo Indians, hard edge geometric designs dominated my designs. When I moved to Kauai in 2002, my designs softened, reflecting the tropical plants and watery ocean vistas of the islands. In 2010, I moved my studio to the Northwest where the intricate basketry and giant carved totem poles of the First Nations people are reflected in my work.

 

“Dungeness Wind” (Work in Progress) Porcelain, 22”w x 4”d by artist Linda Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dungeness Wind” (Work in Progress) Porcelain, 22”w x 4”d

 

I have been a professional potter for forty years. My work is collected on four continents. I have been honored to be included in many invitational and juried shows, including the American Craft Shows in Baltimore and San Francisco, and museum shows including the Colorado Artist-Craftsmen Show at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

 

Artist Linda Chapman invites you to follow her on Google+, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

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