Luminescent. Ethereal. Otherworldly. Ceramist Jennifer McCurdy’s artworks beg for tactile engagement. Every of her extremely architectural ceramic items are influenced by kinds in nature, from a cracked conch shell on the seashore to sensible airborne milkweed seed wafting by the air. To McCurdy, the ordered symmetry and asymmetry of nature reveal the motion of life, offering inspiration expertly manifested on her potter’s wheel.
But every of McCurdy’s items is as notable for that which is absent. Like intricate latticework, the hollows are equally as transfixing. Although she has been working with porcelain for greater than 4 many years, her present imaginative and prescient asks and solutions questions similar to how skinny can the excessive hearth porcelain be earlier than it collapses within the hearth? How a lot can it’s lower away and nonetheless keep structural integrity? How can the structural kind be built-in with the visible, as in nature? How can the motion of the potter’s wheel and the hearth of the kiln be mirrored within the completed piece, which is rock-hard and everlasting? She makes use of translucent porcelain that when hand-carved, and fired at simply the proper temperature, conveys gentle, shadow, power, and motion. This elusive steadiness between the convex and the concave is typically enhanced by a 23-carat gold leaf that illuminates the vessel’s inside to disclose new patterns.
A longtime resident of Martha’s Winery, McCurdy lives on island time; she appreciates the quiet winters that the majority conform to nature’s cycles. Inside her work, she strives to mirror the steadiness of life that surrounds her.
McCurdy’s items might be discovered within the everlasting collections of museums and in galleries all through the nation.
How does your house of Martha’s Winery affect your work? How lengthy have you ever lived on Martha’s Winery? The place are you from initially?
Nicely, it’s stunning and peaceable right here, and I’ve many fantastic associates right here. My household is right here. My husband and I’ve been dwelling right here for over 25 years, however I did develop up right here. We lived in Florida for 15 years, for the primary 15 years of our marriage. We moved again to be with household.
Did you’ve artistic influences rising up? How did you specific your creativity and artistry while you had been youthful?
My sister and I at all times conceived our personal amusements rising up. We had been inspired to work from scratch. I believe it’s extra the doing of it, somewhat than simply admiring the work of others (which has already been completed).
Are you able to describe the method of making considered one of your items, from imaginative and prescient to completed product?
The imaginative and prescient is form of a fluid dance with the method. I’m searching for the curves and empty areas to circulate into one another and transfer round one another, however, technically, porcelain is a troublesome medium to work with. I start the method by throwing the preliminary kind on the potter’s wheel. Then, I alter the piece off the wheel to create a motion of soppy shadows. Then, I carve away the porcelain so as to add the definition of traces. When I’m glad with the shape, and the smoothness of the floor, I hearth the piece to 2350 levels Fahrenheit, the place the porcelain vitrifies, adjustments molecularly, and turns into malleable within the white-hot warmth. If the piece is skinny sufficient, and I’ve lower away sufficient, it will probably “stoop” into a brand new kind. This facet of the creation, I discover most fun, and I believe lots about calculating the motion of the construction within the kiln throughout firing to create sleek kinds. However there’s a lot room for likelihood and serendipity right here!
Your works are on show at famend galleries and museums all through america. When had been you first exhibited, and the way did that come about?
I did many, many artwork reveals, together with avenue reveals, in Florida, once I was younger. Regularly, as my work matured and I turned extra seen, I obtained presents for illustration from galleries, one after the other, over time.
Outdoors of galleries and museums, the place do your artworks discover a dwelling?
I’m fortunate to have many fantastic patrons and collectors all over the world who get pleasure from my items of their houses.
What’s considered one of your favourite items, and why?
Ah, now you might be asking me to decide on between my kids!
The place can events discover and buy your work?
My work might be bought at any of my galleries which can be listed on my web site, or they’ll contact me instantly. My web site is www.jennifermccurdy.com