by Nancy Gardner
In my work I have tried to bring together the things I value in life. The touch of the hand, rich color and pattern, natural forms, designed objects. It occurred to me that paintings represent a sort of enhanced reality, a moment when life is operating on all cylinders and that I wanted to bring that heightened sense to the table of everyday life. Maybe you could reach into a painting and take a piece of it and then build a still life in your house. So each piece is a pot and a piece of a painting. I wanted to be just the tiniestcorner of a Matisse painting, and that seems preposterous-could you mention yourself in the same sentence?
But that’s it really. It’s been this dogged determination of that small but persistent idea that I have been following. And every 200th pot or so it happens. The patterns painted on our earthenware ceramics are inspired by the formalized flora and foliage of antique china, fabric and painting. The pots are hand-built out of earthenware, inspired by the history of decorative arts and the cross currents between cultures over time. The method of working is pinch and coil which achieves a hand made look. We resist the urge to clean things up too much. Our work is earthenware, hand decorated with under glazes, then finished with glaze. Each piece is handmade and hand painted. No two pieces are exactly alike.
Nancy Gardner was born in 1954 in Philadelphia. Nancy remembers the excitement when she began working with clay at the Cheltinham Art Center. This led to undergraduate studies in art and a BFA from the Temple School of Art at Tyler University in Philadelphia. Nancy moved to the Midwest for graduate school in ceramics at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1981 where she studied with nationally renowned ceramic artist Harris Dellar and graduated in 1984 with an MFA in Ceramics. In 1984 Nancy moved to Dayton Ohio for a full time teaching position at Sinclair Community College.