Comments and reviews of visual art in Saint Louis
Monday, April 10, 2006
For the past several months, I have muddied my hands in a ceramics course at Meramec Community College. It is a very dynamic medium for creativity, offering shape, texture, color, and depth. From function to abstraction it provides a wide range of application. Such versatility provides the artist with incredible power to incorporate suble aspects of their personality into unique works of art.
Charity Davis-Woodard creates wood-fired porcelain pottery with accents of nichrome wire. As a functional potter, she strives to incorporate feeling and ideas into her pieces to make them usable and attractive. From her artist’s statement: “ What is most fulfilling and exciting to me, however, is the idea that pottery has the potential to function as expressive art each time it performs for the user” She strives to provide those cherished “favorites” among our collections of possessions. With the untiring grace of her pieces, she may well accomplish this goal.
Charity works with a style which, while not foreign, it is not readily identifiable either. Most of the work is done in a very soothing glaze of ivory with a soft sheen. This vase was wheel thrown and altered to give it a more rectangular shape. The lower fifth is toned with a band of amber which has been etched with precisely spaced fine vertical lines. The lines are then smoke darkened from the wood burning process. The side adds additional angular features due to the turquoise rectangular glazing. The edges are none the less, very much rounded, giving it that soft, touch me, appeal. A roof graces a number of her pieces, perhaps to remind us of the out doors. She lives near Edwardsville and strives to incorporate rural aspects into her work. This piece is well balanced with a sense of symmetry one would expect from one who has come out of the Dewey Decimal world. Charity recognizes the fastidious elements of her personality may overpower her work, making it too tight. She selected a natural way to loosen it up. She lets the natural process of wood firing soften the blow. Varying areas of glaze are darkened by the smoke, adding a random element to what would otherwise be meticulously thrown pots. Her work is currently on display at Xen Gallery through April 30th.