Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gallery Talk at Blue Spiral 1, October 9th at 4:00pm

I will be giving a gallery talk at Blue Spiral 1 on Friday October 9th at 4:00 pm. This talk coincides with my body of work that is exhibited in Natural Order that runs Sept 3 - Oct. 23, 2015 

In recent years I have been known for my mixed media vessels and paddle forms. In Natural Order I have moved away from my usual mediums of textiles, ceramics, gut and wire and collages on paper. In this new body of work, prunings from my permaculture garden create the foundation of what I consider as "drawings". This new work incorporates aspects of my usual materials, small bits of wire, waxed linen and gut as lashings, instead of cloth I have created net-like filigree using an ancient knotless netting technique. The pieces are presented on panels whose surface is layered with subtle shades of white milk paint that has been inscribed with writing. The sense of a story creates an evocative backdrop for this new work.

Friday, August 28, 2015

"Natural Structure" at Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC

These are created of masabi cherry prunings from my garden.
I will have an exciting new body of work in the exhibition "Natural Structure" at Blue Spiral 1, Sept 3 - October 23, 2015. The new work is a collaboration with the fruit trees in my permaculture garden. The fruit trees; masabi cherry, Chinese apricot, belle of Georgia peach, jujube, box elder maple, bittersweet and willow have provided the prunings that I has responded to, manilupated, and embellished. The work began in March when I graft onto my fruit trees, the cut or pruned branches were selectively peeled and shaped to dry. In June I began responding to the branches and they evolved into what I considers mixed media drawings. In addition to the cherry or pear or jujube etc. branches I have incorporated gut, wire, and waxed linen. This new body of work pulls on so many aspects of myself as an artist.

They are presented on hard board panels like paintings and have layers of different shades of white milk paint to create a sense of atmosphere. Subtle layers of words, some physically scratched in like sgrafitto and other written with graphite pencil, are hidden in the layers of milk paint.  The words evoke a sense of a narrative. Historically literary works by writers such as Emerson and Thoreau and many others created a bridge to the natural world, making nature more accessible and bringing the natural world inside thru their words.

This is an exhibition not to be missed. Blue Spiral 1, 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801   Mon-Sat 10 - 6, Sun 12 - 5.  828 - 251 - 0202 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Passage" in Summer Exhibition at Oeno Gallery

"Passage"  32" x 60" salt and wood fired stoneware, steel, encaustic, glass, 23 kt. gold leaf
                                           available thru Oeno Gallery, Bloomfield, Ontario  
"Passage" side view
"Passages" is part of the Summer Group Exhibition at Oeno Gallery in Bloomfield, Ontario. "Passages" continues my exploration of using multiples to express a sense of choice. Life is continually presenting one with choices, small and large decisions that determine one's trajectory thru life. Some hit us over the head and others are so subtle that one may not realize that a life altering decision has just been made. "Passage" presents five vessels all created from different clay bodies, finishes and firing techniques. Each vessel and instrument of motion represent a unique emotional sensibility, imbued with the energy of my hand and heart the day I created it.  As I am creating these pieces my mind explores the vast array of life's journeys that have been presented to me thus far and others that are still just ideas or dreams yet unexperienced. My intention for the pieces in this series is that one responds to and selects a vessel and a paddle or "instrument of motion" to guide you on your journey for that day, as needed on another day one selects another combination to assist one on their journey thru life. The variety of forms, material, surfaces and techniques create an array of sensibilities to respond to and select from.

Monday, September 30, 2013

New Collages for the Southern Highland Craft Guild - Fall Fair

I will be doing the Southern Highland Craft Guild Fall Fair, October 17 - 20, at the Cellular One Center, formerly the Civic Center here in Asheville. I have been working on some new work that I will have on display in my booth. This summer at the Fair I had a corner booth for the first time and it was a tremendous success. I have been exhibiting at Craft Fairs for many years and felt it was my

best booth display so far. Here is my booth from the summer Fair. The corner booth allowed for a more open feel and better visibility. I look forward to tweaking it for the fall Fair and having new work to play around with, compose and create a dynamic display. I have been continuing to explore

my collage series and will have a number of new collages on display. These are two new collages I have framed for the show. They continue to explore relationships. The layers of words, stitches, kakishibu and tea are getting richer and richer. They provide a more immediate way, than labor intensive clay or textiles, for me to distill and process what is going on in my life. They begin first in my visual journals and then certain explorations on my journals pages inspire larger collages.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Carolina's Got Art - First Place Award

"The Space Between"  45" x 25" x 5"  steel, bamboo, lacquer, paint

This piece "The Space Between" was accepted into an exhibition Carolina's Got Art a the Elder Gallery in Charlotte, NC. Lance Esplund was the juror for the exhibition. He is the art critic for Bloomberg News and Muse.  It was an honor to be selected by Lance Esplund for the exhibition and to have "The Space Between" chosen for the First Place Award. Below is the statement I wrote to accompany the piece.

"The Space Between"  Statement

       The vessel is a metaphor of interior and exterior, of containment, of transport and journey.  It is both universal and personal. A vessel can symbolize self. The vessel in all its many forms is my muse. These vessels are enigmatic being boat pod shapes, or pod tool shapes or tool vessel shapes. Once a piece is begun, it takes on a life or story of it’s own. As I respond to the process and materials, a dialogue develops between the piece, the material, and me. The vessel allows me a vehicle to investigate new ideas, materials, narratives and relationships.
       A number of years ago I became interested in how shadows extend the presence of a piece. Shadows are ethereal, always changing and can appear very solid yet one cannot touch a shadow, it touches you. For many years I have explored clay to create very solid and stable vessel forms.  I am interested in how shadows extend the presence of a piece. In “The Space Between” the individual vessels represent the essence of a vessel, stripped down to its basic elements, its skeleton.  The essence of the vessel is felt and brought alive by its shadows and its interplay of shadows with its neighbor’s shadows.
       I am interested in duality and the idea of a grouping of vessels that are intrinsically bound together by placement and the interplay of shadows. “The Space Between” explores relationships and inter-relationships between individual pieces. This grouping of vessels is intrinsically connected by the interplay of shadows. Created separately, these individual pieces are presented as a grouping to strengthen and highlight a sense of similarity and contrast. A dialogue is created by the contrast of line, and form and how the 3-dimensional forms are translated into 2-dimensional shadows.  Each vessel is an individual, separate and yet touched by the neighboring vessel’s shadow. The shadows overlap and weave together creating a silent conversation whispered on the wall. These negative spaces and shadows enter into the dialogue, extending the piece and representing the silent energy or the unsaid between individuals. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Many months have passed and many changes since I last wrote. Hietala is now legally my new maiden name. So a new chapter begins. This spring semester I am teaching adjunct at Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC,  and really enjoying it. In Advanced Craft Design, 3-D design, we have been working with line using wire, planes using foam core, manipulation and transformation using clay, and our next project will be functional containers of gut and wire. I have been intrigued by translucent gut stretched taught over wire forms for a number of years.

This is one of my gut and wire pieces, "Instrument of Motion - Textiles" that is currently on exhibition in Breaking Ground: Innovative Craft at HandMade in America here in Asheville. The exhibition was curated by Kathryn Gremley, Director of the Penland Gallery and showcases work by artist that are pushing the boundary of their medium in unexpected ways. The exhibition runs from March 8th through
May 31, 2013.

"Instruments of Motion" is a series of paddle like forms that are inspired by some aspect of trade goods that were brought back by vessel. When I think of vessels, I am a romantic and inspired by the era before diesel, when sails and the wind carried new ideas, materials and information around the globe.

"Instruments of Motion - Textiles" is a piece inspired by the labels I remove from my clothes, and save of course. Most of them are made in far off places. The labels represent textiles disseminated across the globe by vessel. Paddles/oars or what I have come to call instruments of motion were an integral part of that journey.

It is created of steel wire in the manner of tinkering or working by hand with simple tools. Hog gut is stretched and dries taunt and translucent. It has a natural tone that alludes to nostalgia and a sense of time passage. In this piece there are three compartments that house mother of pearl buttons and labels removed from clothing. I inherited a jar of white mother of pear buttons from my grandmother. Over the years I have used them and replaced them with new mother of pearl buttons that I have collected and saved.  The labels are presented showing their front and backside for variation in color. The work is stationary yet creates the sense of motion and sound that a rattle would create. Due to the delicate nature of the gut I now present the work in a white shadowbox frame for protection.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Subconcious and Memory an Upcoming Exhibition at Blue Spiral 1

The summer solstice has passed. The last year and a half have been spent processing my Dad's suicide and my unexpected divorce. Now it is time for me to use my creativity to begin a new chapter. I have been asked to be in an exhibition at Blue Spiral 1 opening August 2nd. It is a group exhibition themed around the Subconscious and Memory. I have chosen to continue exploring the vessel, images from my recent dreams and the idea that words record our memories, dreams and subconscious. I love words and the act of writing or in this case physically inscribing. This is a detail of a salt-fired porcelain vessel that is part of a grouping that will be in the exhibition. The piece "Holding on to...." was inspired by my Dad's alzheimer's. He had a little black book that he carried religiously and wrote down everything, it was his way of keeping hold of his mind. When ever he got lost from this reality, he would take out his book and find what he had written down, what he was suppose to be doing, what he needed to do. etc. Not everything could be kept track of so easily and so the past filled in, replaying over and over again. The buttery surface of the helios porcelain allows one to write easily. I inscribed words, stories, memories all over the surfaces of the vessels and paddle blades. Areas of words were covered with shellac to reserve them and then the unprotected areas were washed with water and a sponge, gently washing away the words and what they meant. Subsequent layers of shellac and washing created a surface where there were areas washed away and areas still very real and readable. The sparkle of the glass inside the vessels alludes to the sparkle of spirit inside all of us. The pieces was a wonderful piece to work on.

"Holding On To...."
  30" x 39" x 4," salt fired porcelain, oxides, steel wire, linen thread