CHRISTINE R. BROWN
What got you interested in clay?
My Mom was a member of the San Diego Potters Guild when I was growing up so I spent a lot of time in Spanish Village messing with clay. Later I had ceramics classes in high school and college.
How long have you been working in clay?
40 yrs on and off
What does your work intend to say?
I have 2 kinds of work, sculptural and utilitarian. I like my sculptural work to tell a story or narrative about something I am passionate about. I want the viewer to be intrigued by the elements I put together & let them discover and interpret what the piece is about. Those works are made for galleries and shows and I am trying to build my exhibition record with them. My utilitarian work tends incorporate imagery and form to create unique pieces.
Who and what are your biggest influences?
Early in my studies I was influenced by Les Lawrence and Eric Gronberg who, at the time, were pushing the boundaries of what you could do with clay. I still use the techniques they pioneered in the early 1970’s. More recently I worked with Jeff Irwin and find the work of Kurt Weiser, Jason Walker, Shalene Valenzuela and Irina Zaytceva truly inspiring.
What inspires you?
Mostly going to shows and galleries and seeing what other people produce. The internet has such a wealth of information on different artists and approaches to clay and I can look up my favorite artists and see what they are doing without having to travel to galleries.
What's your favorite piece of artwork that you've created?
I have been working on several sculptural pieces centered on the theme of endangered species. I made a large rhinoceros head representing the demise of the white rhino and it sold for $1200. Now I am sorry I sold it because it is my favorite piece so far
What is your most important artist tool?
I think my perspective on contemporary issues and my ability to creatively convey my thoughts on those issues into a visual representation. I have been perfecting my use of the velvet underglazes as a medium in order to apply images to the clay pieces I’m making and it has become an integral part of my recent work.
How do you want your work to affect your audience?
I want them to be visually and intellectually intrigued enough to stop and think about my work and what it is trying to communicate. I want my utilitarian work to be interesting and different from what people are used to seeing.
Describe your idea of artistic success?
To be able to constantly challenge myself and continuously develop the skills I need to pull off whatever I want to make.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I have only recently returned to working with clay. I have spent the last 5 years learning to paint and draw which I also enjoy doing very much. I want to be able to incorporate the two mediums, form and imagery, to create interesting pieces and take my work in a new direction. The best of both worlds!!