Goshen, Indiana

Artist Statement

I began learning  art at a very young age and have found drawing to be the easiest form of personal expression in conveying my sense of imagination and interest in problem solving.  After taking introductory classes in high school, I explored art further at the collegiate level.  I quickly found myself admiring the way clay responds to different treatments as both hand built sculptures and wheel-thrown pottery forms.  Not too long ago I began to revisit my drawing and ceramic studies through a master’s program at my alma mater, the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne.  The goals for this body of work were to bring together the voice and style I have created within my drawings and to use clay as the surface and vessel to express those ideas.       

My artwork is ongoing in merging my abstract drawing concepts with my ceramic and sculptural forms.  The inspiration for this union sprouts from my expanding enthusiasm of how lines, shapes, and patterns create both conceptual and representational imagery.  Rather than using paper alone as the surface of which to show my drawings, I want to continue my explorations using clay, and incorporating my ideas from the drawings into the design and surface treatment of each piece.

Currently, I am exploring different techniques of how I want to transfer my drawings onto a clay surface. I am working with the application of slips and sgraffito (a technique learned from artists long ago), as well as glazes and image transfers (which is a more current method).  I am using different thicknesses to create the clay slabs, cutting them into specific shapes, applying the drawing, and then manipulating the finished piece before it is completely dry in order to achieve another dimension.  As these slab forms progress, I eventually want to graduate the slabs into sculptural pieces.  The challenge will be to develop a sculptural form of which complements the abstract drawing. 

Copyright © 2019, Kristen O'Dell. All rights reserved.