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Donna Namnoum
Featured Artist working With Clay and Custom Glazes

I’ve always been interested in the vessel aesthetic; from the beginning I have used the potter’s wheel to alter wheel thrown vessels to make sculptural forms. I have cycled back to forms inspired by plants more often than not and over the past several years have been making covered jars whose lids and sometimes the vessel itself, are covered with plant-like, organic and abstracted forms. Also in this series I have created relief sculptures for the wall.

Each of the parts of my sculptures are made on the potter’s wheel, allowing me to create forms that look alive - growing, twisting, and even wilting. The wheel-thrown parts are altered and then assembled.

My interest in historical ceramics and world pottery has informed my work: the subjects of my early forms were classic pottery vessels and then evolved to being about and reflecting various natural forms - plants, bugs, human beings and even cellular-like forms. Meanwhile, they have evolved from representational to varying degrees of abstraction. My intent is that the works conjure familiar images; some easily recognizable and others vague.

Surface and color is integral to the finished forms. Making my own glazes improves my ability to add texture, layers and colorful surfaces that can make the forms more visually compelling. I am aware of the uncertainty of how a piece may turn out after the glaze firing; the goal is for that uncertainty and experimentation to be visible in the final work.

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