Patricia Griffin Ceramics

Patricia Griffin Ceramics

About The Artist

Patricia Griffin • Cambria, CA

Art was prescribed for me 20 years ago. I was overwhelmed and burned out as the owner of a busy design agency when a counselor recommended I do something art-related not tied to meeting a client's need. That led to my first clay class, and a whole new world opened up. For more than a decade, I've been a full-time artist and now work from my home studio, where I face the ocean in one direction and a wild preservation area in the other. I explore this sense of place in my work, depicting animals and plants, and the movement of the sea, air and meadow grass. I use the traditional technique of sgraffito in contemporary designs, etching through an applied color to the clay surface. It's similar to making a woodcut, and the result looks very much the same. I'm enthralled with creating narratives using layers of form, color and imagery to break up the surface and create movement around a three-dimensional form.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I make my pieces from stoneware clay, moving between throwing forms on the wheel to hand-building with slabs. I love pattern and texture, often using the traditional technique of sgraffito with contemporary designs that resemble woodcuts. To create my designs, I paint the piece with black underglaze while still in the "leather-hard" stage and then etch through the underglaze to create the pattern or image. The piece is then bisque fired, followed by glazing and the final firing.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I love the cycle of making my work - from the first stage of forming to the final firing and opening the kiln. Every time I begin a cycle of work, I'm delighted to start anew and see where the process will lead. Clay offers so many possibilities and gives me the opportunity to continue developing new ideas.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I have a deep connection with the environment of the central coast of California where I live and work, and am a certified California naturalist through the Coastal Institute/UC Extension. In the past year, I�ve furthered my own commitment by creating a sustainable studio practice operated primarily with solar power. The practices of reclaiming clay, reusing materials and conserving energy have become important elements of my art, and help align my studio operation with my subject matter.