Rosalind Shaffer , ceramic portraits in raku
Seeking balance and harmony in an ever more chaotic world has lead me to create sculpture and vessels with a meditative spirit and a personal reflection on the human condition. Some of the pieces, particularly in the figurative and animal stoppered vessels collection, offer a humorous social commentary. Nature is a primary inspiration for my work, and I often incorporate feathers, weathered wood, leather thonging and other textures and elements found in the natural world.
When I discovered the Ancient Japanese technique of Raku, I was drawn to the beauty and the complexity created by this exciting firing process. Intricate crackled patterning occurs from extreme temperature changes; with exuberant colors and textures created from the black carbon and the minerals in the glazes that burst through to the surface during the firing process. No two pieces are ever alike, though all embrace a timeless essence- both ancient and contemporary at the same time.
I have followed artistic pursuits for as long as I can remember, and I have always found the interaction of negative space and sculptural form especially intriguing. Though I first started out as a a painter, I soon desired to pull the images beyond the flat plane of the canvas. I began to work in wood, creating figurative painted wood constructions that were meant to work in the environmental spaces in which they were displayed. I eventually found the flat planes of cut-out shapes somewhat limiting; lacking the dimensionality that I sought, and I discovered that clay was the perfect organic medium, allowing for the fluidity I was seeking to create more sinuous form.