Shirley Gromen Ceramics


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    My work is a portal into the ever-changing natural world of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Using sgraffito to interpret different species of birds, fish, insects and plants on functional and sculptural porcelain forms I hope to bring to the user/viewer an awareness and appreciation of the variety of interdependent life that surrounds us.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: "y forms use a mid-range porcelain clay body and are either thrown or handbuilt. I use a mishima technique carving parts of the design onto the leatherhard form that will then be filled with terra sigillata (a fine clay slip). After spraying terra sigillata I then use a sgraffito technique of carving away the black slip to reveal the drawing. Slip trailed lines are then added.

    A: When I think of my influences, I see my grandmother’s Limoges china that she carried from Europe in 1914 and my mother’s Imari china plates from Japan that decorated the walls of our dining room. I also pull from my career as a graphic designer when I envision the two-dimensional aspect of a surface design or pattern with all its intricate layers and stages. I’m also influenced by what I discover as I continue to explore my craft.

    A: My work celebrates nature in a narrative that is realistic yet playful.

    A: Clay brings many connections to other ceramic artists and the opportunity to view how clay shapes their lives. While traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico in 2019 I was fortunate to visit with several ceramic artists in different villages. One of the most memorable being watching a ceramic artist grind his local clay with a concrete roller the size of a lawn mower before mixing with water to use for throwing on a hand-turned wheel.

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