Ellen Clancy: I am relatively late to the clay world as ceramics was not part of my studies at RISD or BU where I concentrated on graphic design and photography. Later, serendipity led me to study handbuilding at the Danforth Museum, where I fell totally in love with the claymaking that is now a necessary and important part of my life.
For many years I have been a studio member at The Potters Shop and School surrounded with wonderfully creative and supportive colleagues. And I am thankful also to be in year six as one of the claymakers represented at the Left Bank Gallery in Wellfleet.
I find it hard to describe my work because, for me, this clay journey is one of continual exploration, wanderings, experimentation, and, on occasion, epic failures. All of this brings me great joy.
If there are consistent creative threads in my work, they could include these: a nod to strong organic forms, never enough texture upon texture, a color palette based in nature, a love of dramatic contrasts, and a need for raw, patinated surfaces.
I have a tendency to use either a single glaze or a dozen on a piece. Or the surface of my work will be entirely dominated by texture or perfectly smooth so those dozen glazes can sing. Middle ground seems elusive. Because of these tendencies, most of my pieces are one of a kind.
Frequent travels also influence my work. Exposure to unusual landscapes, textiles, exotic forms, colorations, and new artists and their work feeds my creative process. My challenge is to be always forward-moving with trying new ideas and techniques. There is so much more to discover and learn and create.
Sarah Fuhro: When I step into the studio, I dance with excitement. A slab of wet clay is my canvas, my wall, where I will give form to a voice inside me. I try to say in line and contour and color what I cannot say in words.
Sometimes it is the feeling of the season, heat, cold, new life, or the death of the old forms. My inspiration comes from the natural world around me, the way leaves grow on a tree or a how a rabbit runs across the snow. Old stories come bubbling up from the Bible, from the myths of the Greeks and from the people who came before them.
Clay has a voice and sings to me in a thousand languages.