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Evelyne Schoenmann

Qotw: What Inspires You In Your Work, And How Do You Incorporate It?

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Awwww my fellow forum members are so very kind to me and send questions (since they know I am out of order...). Thank you Nerd for sending the following question:

 

I walk through nature, by the ocean, drive by the mountains: and it inspires me back in the studio.

What inspires you in your work, and how do you incorporate it?

 

Well, for me it is nature as well, but more walking in the woods since there is no ocean here in Switzerland. Then: visits to museums of ancient art, looking at works of friends (and foes :lol: ), looking at Pottery magazines, clouds!.... and how about you?

 

Have a good week!

 

Evelyne

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Usually it is jagged earth, thunderstorm cloud and leaves,  but since I have been making hand coiled pots with Mimbres designs I have been perusing books of ancient Indian tribes.  We are taking a vacation at the Grand Canyon there is so many tribal museums and reservations in the area it is going to be hard to see them all but I am going to try.    Denice

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Usually it is jagged earth, thunderstorm cloud and leaves,  but since I have been making hand coiled pots with Mimbres designs I have been perusing books of ancient Indian tribes.  We are taking a vacation at the Grand Canyon there is so many tribal museums and reservations in the area it is going to be hard to see them all but I am going to try.    Denice

Denice,

The Heard museum in Phoenix is Amazing for their SW pottery collection. Hope you can get there.

Marcia

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I am inspired by my travels and different architectural or religious history. I am inspired by nature: cracked each, landscape and animals. I am inspired by different historical and new trends in Ceramics. If something captures my interest, I will try to explore and discover more about it.

Marcia

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Museums, galleries, using common materials (or uncommon) for different textures, constant experimenting to keep things interesting. Right now I'm making a lot of mugs for a specific purpose and that can get wearing but the new glazes I will use on them keeps me going.

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My biggest inspiration is nature. I am constantly in awe of the dramatic natural beauty of the area where I live. I try to capture the contrasts and colors in my work. I use four or five different clay bodies and I like to leave the "earth" of the piece exposed and put beautiful saturated color next to it, or else use a brown clay body with white stoneware slip. 

This mug is from the "California Wildflowers" collection. The colorful wildflowers are set against clay the exact color of the dry grass and sand of the California hills. 
 

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I also enjoy making repetitive patterns with slip trailing or carved bands of design inspired by Moroccan and Native American work. 

 

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This plate and cup are glazed in the exact colors of the Pacific ocean that I see every day. The hills on the drive to and from the desert are rocky and dramatic with big rainwashed gullies everywhere, no real vegetation, so the land is in sharp relief. The plate is carved with a design that I wanted to look like blue eucalyptus leaves blowing in the wind. 

 

 

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I tend to covet large sculptural pieces with elements of raw materials and painterly coloration, & mixed materials reflective of the vagaries and diversity of life. So I have a whisper of a vision of how I would do work like that, which influences me and helps me to incorporate some of those thoughts into some of my very small pieces. 

 

I am finding that trying to articulate the "what and why and how" of inspiration is like trying to glue gelatin to masonry. The essence of inspiration (a fuel for creative drive) for me is a distillation of merged experiences (of exposure to a decent chunk of art/art history/working artists coupled with exposure to certain life/death issues).

 

As regards incorporating inspirations, in the present time, into my work, I have only barely begun to explore those whispers past the depth of a pin head. I am still working on the Selfie (Hidden Mask series-inspired by a Community Challenge 6/16) that I had deliberately fractured and added granite dust to in the refire, trying (and failing) to set the pieces into a frame-like slab, and am just now getting a sense of where I want to go with it, so this topic is quite timely!

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Mostly it is monkey see monkey do with a few twists. Sometimes conflict within myself. Sometimes I have a Spiritual draw to create something (if nothing but a sketch). Right now I am contemplating  making a couple monumental jars/vases with strong form and clean lines and then have part of it torn open with spikes, teeth, and claws. Then add some blobs of slips and veins going to and fro. This stems from my five year old grandson's battle with cancer. We just completed forty three weeks of chemo and six weeks of radiation. I also have wanted to make some clocks lately like the last couple of years.

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I have noticed something about potters since my year of being on this forum. Yes, we are mostly inspired by nature, our surroundings, and pieces we see in museums: but there is also an interest in other cultures. I have not attempted it; but I admire those who venture into "primitives" and replications of pieces from cultures long ago. Some even duplicate the firing techniques from civilizations long past: not sure I have that kind of patience.

 

Denice: I have been to the Grand Canyon: you should find enough inspiration for the next ten years.

Marcia: do you have an example of religious history?... that tweaked my curiosity.

Lady: I have been following your "anything and everything" in the gallery- well done!!

Terri: an example of "uncommon" would be nice.

Giselle: I have long admired your collection-very nice!

Lee: I have been patiently waiting for you to find your voice: I have been "seeing you" more and more lately.

 

What: cannot begin to comprehend that struggle: our thoughts and prayers for your grandson.

 

For me? Half way between Hill City, SD. and Mount Rushmore, as you wind up the side of a small mountain sits a small mountain lake. There is a gravel area to pull off onto and walk around the lake if you desire. On the north side is a large boulder (very very large) boulder that extends out into the lake. I drove up there every morning to sit, and to drink my coffee from the local mom & pop cafe. The sun just barely up at day break, chasing the shadows off the lake as it rises. As the sun got brighter; the clouds reflected off the waters. The deer,  coming up to the waters edge on the other side, along with the mountain goats.

 

Mountain Lake

 
Mountain Lake.
 
Nerd

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I guess I will have to echo what everyone else has said.   Nature is a big influence for me.  But travel of any sort seems to really get ideas flowing.  A trip to the mountains, a trip to the city, a trip to another state or another country.  When I travel my favorite past time is a museum visit......lest I forget there were many many people before me creating and marveling over wonderful artistic ideas!  And of course, conversations with other people!!   That is an amazing influence!!  I love the flow of ideas!

 

Great question!!

 

Roberta

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For me? Half way between Hill City, SD. and Mount Rushmore, as you wind up the side of a small mountain sits a small mountain lake. There is a small gravel area to pull off onto and walk around the lake if you desire. On the north side is a large boulder (very very large) boulder that extends out into the lake. I drove up there every morning to sit, and to drink my coffee from the local mom & pop cafe. The sun just barely up at day break, chasing the shadows off the lake as it rises. As the sun got brighter; the clouds reflected off the waters. The deer,  coming up to the waters edge on the other side, along with the mountain goats.

 

 
 
Mountain Lake.
 
Nerd

 

 

Love love love the "lake" you made. 

 

I too have noticed that many if not most potters draw from nature. Sometimes I think it is because "earthy" types are drawn to an earthy art. I mean, how can you get more earthy than clay?? :) 

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Mostly it is monkey see monkey do with a few twists. Sometimes conflict within myself. Sometimes I have a Spiritual draw to create something (if nothing but a sketch). Right now I am contemplating  making a couple monumental jars/vases with strong form and clean lines and then have part of it torn open with spikes, teeth, and claws. Then add some blobs of slips and veins going to and fro. This stems from my five year old grandson's battle with cancer. We just completed forty three weeks of chemo and six weeks of radiation. I also have wanted to make some clocks lately like the last couple of years.

 

I would be tearing up vases and making claws and teeth too. :( Not. Fair.

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I see fish underwater and later make a very loose wall fish from that memory or underwater photo. It a loose process these days.

 

I've only seen pictures & have never dived (unless you include shallow water snorkeling) but you must see lots of green translucent kelp leaves and different flashes of colour in the sea life!

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It sold. But my gallery wants more. So I need some ^6 porcelain which is in Helena. The roads were to bad to make a long detour last weekend. I did get to mix raku clay before the cold returned.

Thanks for the compliments.

 

The herons are some of my favorites inspired from Texas.

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GiselleNo5 and What? like this

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We have heron in Montana as well as the Gulf Coast of Texas. They are all over. I like the natural surroundings. Love wild horses, cattle, and birds. I really want to study Magpies more. they are very beautiful in the snow. I have been an avid Bird watcher for 45 years.

Marcia

here ia a Black Bellied Whistling Duck with 29 ducklings. I published this in the local newspaper. The others are from my back yard in Texas.Altamira Oriel, Painted Bunting, Green Jay

 

This one popped up today on Facebook memories Rosietta spoonbill- my backyard in Texas. Currently I have huge wild turkeys, magpies and chickadees around.

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Thanks Nerd for taking over! I love your comments, and I love love love the answers and pictures I saw here. I have to search my mobile if I can find a picture of the bi-disc I worked on before I broke my leg. Couldn't go to the studio since.... The bi-disc is definitely inspired by the temple windows I saw in Taiwan, last fall. Hmmmmm.... can't find it. Stay tuned!

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