Cheryl Ann Thomas : Fragility and Chance

Oh man! Yet another ceramics artist; this time American Cheryl Ann Thomas who graduated from the Art Centre College of Design in California with a BFA in 1982. I have to admit I came across her work this morning on Instagram and thought I was looking at a cleverly suspended pile of linen. I had no idea it was actually porcelain!

Thomas has been working with this material for at least 16 years and says it all began with a question…

How thin and how tall can I make a column using the coiling method and what will the results be?” I found that the columns were too thin and too tall to hold their form and would collapse during the firing. I chose to limit my colors to black, white and gray.

Five years later, another question arose, “What will happen if I combine two or more fired columns and re-fire them?” I found that the forms would continue to reshape and enfold one another.

In another five years the next question arose. “What will happen if I add white to my black clay.” I assumed I would get another variety of gray. Instead, I got blue. Then I wondered what other colors I could develop.

I assumed that my investigation of process would not be personal but merely academic. In hindsight, I realize the purely objective pursuit is impossible. Looking at my work as it surrounds me in the studio, I learn that I an drawn to fragility, accident or chance and reconciliation. The intuitive grows stronger as I continue my exploration’.

Just look at what a curious, creative and persistent maker can do. Such an inspiration for someone like me who gives up after the first failure 🙂

Relics 6, 7  (hand-coiled porcelain) 2002
Relic 17, (hand-coiled porcelain) 2002
Blue Tower, (hand-coiled porcelain) 2014
Relics Hand coiled porcelain
Winged (hand-coiled porcelain) 2014-15
Shadow (hand-coiled porcelain) 2016-17
Spring 2 (hand-coiled porcelain) 2016-17

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