the art and pottery of tricia schmidt
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bio and statement
nearly conventional vessels
biography & artist’s statement Ceramics is a medium that I’ve always enjoyed, though I didn’t consider myself a potter until five years ago when I inherited the high school Ceramics program in Woodbury, Minnesota, and fell in love with it. As I learned more and more about the history and science behind clay, explored the myriad of forms, surfaces and firing techniques available, and as I worked with other, practicing potters, I realized that this art form offered me two things that no other medium could: the perfect marriage of form and function, and the visceral thrill of unimagined success vs. utter failure every time I opened a fired kiln. As I try to put to words a description of my ceramic aesthetic, I find the best word to be “eclectic.” As a teacher, in the early years of my clay obsession I spent most of my time trying techniques so that I could later teach them to my students. Also, as I met more ceramic artists and was intrigued by their work, I found myself playing the detective, trying to figure out how a particular form was done or glaze effect was achieved. As I have come into my own, more focused interests lately, I find my work to be honing in on primarily wheel-thrown forms that retain a trace of their maker, with surface decoration that is cheerful and bright. When I throw a pot on the wheel, I experience a delicate balance of control and chaos. The end result is rarely perfect, which is a trait I have come to appreciate. An organic lip or the mark of a finger are badges of honor that yes, this pot was hand-made. I may choose to leave the form circular, but I am also interested in taking that circular form and distorting it, to remove even further traces of the wheel’s perfection. I enjoy pots that toe the line between functional and nonfunctional, although functionality usually wins out; the excitement of taking that pot home to use, or of someone else connecting with that piece and making it a part of their daily ritual is so amazing…it is what motivates me to create. Out of necessity, the type of firing I most often use is done to low- or mid-fire temperatures in an oxidation kiln, which is a fairly predictable tool. To help my surfaces retain as much life as possible, I choose to play with designs that are round and colorful: industrial-looking circular stencils, concentric “crop circle” doodles, 3-dimensional loops, retro decals, even hand-drawn illustrations. I love the way these designs make my pots more whimsical, which I believe also makes my work more approachable to the average pottery appreciator. In the end, I just want to make pots that make me happy, and that will make others happy to look at and use. The look and feel of what makes me happy changes constantly as I continue to explore this medium, but as long as I still get that “Christmas morning” feeling when opening a kiln, and as long as I still experience that feeling of “rightness” when I hold a finished piece, happiness will follow.
To exhibit my work at the VIVA Gallery in Viroqua, Wisconsin To apply for membership with the VIVA Cooperative.
I am an emerging artist in the field of ceramics, with the talent to make and desire to present my work to a larger audience. I am an enthusiastic, creative soul and a very hard worker I have lived in Viroqua from 1976-1999, and my parents still reside there. Though I do not live in the area any more, I visit frequently and have great respect for the strong arts presence in the community.
“Art Smart” exhibition at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN Annual “Les Farrington High School Artists/Art Teachers Exhibition” at Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI Solo show of ceramics and paintings at The Bean Factory in St. Paul, MN Juried Fine Arts exhibition at the Minnesota State Fair; Honorable Mention Award for Ceramics in 2007. Solo show of paintings and sculpture at the Acadia Café in Minneapolis, MN
2011 2006-11 2010 2006-07 2006
Professional Experience: 1999-present
Woodbury High School, 2665 Woodlane Drive, Woodbury, MN Art Teacher: specializing in Ceramics and Sculpture Recognized as Teacher of the Term: Fall 2005, Spring 2011
Educational Experience: Recent Studies in Art: MS in Educational Leadership BS in Art Education, K-12
Advanced Wheel, Northern Clay Center Ceramics, University of MN, Twin Cities Advanced Ceramics, UW-River Falls Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall, Minnesota University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire Eau Claire, Wisconsin
2011 2010 2009 2002-04 1994-1999
Published on Jan 30, 2011
Published on Jan 30, 2011
Ceramics, clay and paint! Tricia Schmidt shows commanding abilities in all things art. This is indeed work of exceptional beauty. So, spend...