Offramp Gallery is pleased to present Offering, a solo exhibition of ceramics and prints by Elaine Carhartt, from May 31 - June 28, 2015. There will be an opening reception for the artist on Sunday, May 31, from 2-5pm.
Elaine Carhartt's fancifully dressed anthropomorphic figures are Inspired by the directness and simplicity of tomb figures of the Japanese Haniwa, Pre-Columbian sculptures and other sculptural work from many cultures. Each of the eleven human figures and four angles in the exhibition is in the act of offering something -- a flower, animal, bird, ribbon or butterfly. Five ceramic busts and eight hand-colored linocuts round out the exhibition.
The figures are built by applying one slab to another, building higher, shaping as I go; pushing and pulling from the inside and out; cutting and adding clay. If I have learned anything it is that clay demands two things: attention to time and gravity. If the clay is too wet it will collapse under its own weight when another layer is added, and will crack if left to dry too long. Being a ceramic sculptor keeps me close to home!
The glazing process, which includes underglazes and clear gloss glaze, is the reward for getting the figure out of the first bisque firing without cracks. It becomes an intuitive play of color and pattern. It is a delightful time to see the finished figure come out of the second firing -- always a surprise!