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Brianna Shimer

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Brianna Shimer is a recent grad from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University with her Bachelors in Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics and a minor in Education. During her time in Alfred, she developed a diversity of skills in Ceramics but has chosen to focus on wheel-thrown functional tableware. Along with a degree in Art, Brianna is interesting in teaching ceramic art to all ages.

Over the years, Brianna has developed a unique perspective for form and surface in her work. The work she is creating is inspired by nature and travels she has taken to Europe. She has attended Haystack Mountain School of Craft as a Technical Assistant and has exhibited work around the country, including Archie Bray Foundations for Ceramics and Goggleworks in Reading, PA.

Currently, Brianna is forming a small business for ceramics and beginning a career in teaching art education

Artist Statement
I approach making ceramic wares with a balance of constructive form and opposing surfaces, allowing the surface to appear as an effect of the form.

By creating layers through the process, the form meets the surface and emphasizes the unique nature of each object. By making these individual objects that contain their own particular features due to their domestic connotations and by pushing the conventional guidelines of such, I have been able to create a body of work.

The evidence of the handmade is an active component to the features of the finished piece. There is the “thrown” aspect, which is the wheel-thrown quality of the clay, that the clay is being spun through hands to create form. When throwing, I focus on the interior of the piece and push clay from the exterior to alter the thrown shape. The throwing is a calm moment of time. This alternation of the interior opens volume, depth of surface and asymmetry of form, which comes about on the exterior.

The trimming has a weathering quality, representing the feeling of the repetitive tide washing away a jetty. I use the effects of the pushing, pulling, the trimming, the bumps and indents as a guide for glaze and color.

With the combination of various moves, I mimic the fluidity of a vista in the different moments within my construction of an object. Vista imagery is never within reach, an aura of nature. Within a great scape, there are many little flashes that are captivating to my eye. The fluidity of rolling hills into a distance, the uncertainty of the colors that appear within a mossy pond, the swift rain droplets running down leaves. When reflecting upon my ceramic wares, there is a breathe of fresh air in surface to form relationships and as a collection, there is a defining value of unity and balance.

Landscapes have been a resource of inspiration for centuries in various cultures and mediums, the horizontal line of earth that is the balancing line between the sky and ground. The vista is repeating and continuous. It is a quiet meeting point of two opposing aspects of a view, the contrasting components of nature. There are moments of perspective that define how objects are understood, unique to every individual. In my own thoughts, I have a clear angle on looking on the world as well as the creation of objects. Within the visual movements between the belly of a cup and the rim of the saucer, how can they be altered and glazed a certain way to meet one another in that quiet moment of nature.

The ideal home for my functional wares lay in the tasks of daily life; moving in and out of the cabinet, passed around a dinner table or sitting on the tabletop in the living room or in the hands of someone who appreciates objects of craftsmanship.

I have focused on a notion around the ideas of tableware and the social gathering that occurs within a tableware landscapes. In my mind, the dinner table is a coming together of people and conversation,a moment to spark a discussion and to share stories. Exchanges of laughter, dialogue, play between friends and family. The chatter that flows through the air is as effortless as the landscape of objects on the tabletop. Platters, sets of plates, bowls, cups, with surfaces that are as inviting and intriguing as the environment they live in.There is a contrast between excitement of dialogue among people and the soft, subtle appearances of the ceramic table scape.