This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with studio potter Chandra Debuse. Her animated functional pottery serves as an imagined world where squirrels, rats and slugs engage in the often humorous activities that make up the human condition. She uses drop molds and throwing to create the bulbous forms that become environments for her characters to interact. She says of her work, "My work, in practice and product, reflects my approach to make-believe, which I identify through worlds of imagination, character, and landscape. I incorporate bouncing lines, candy colors, low relief and hand-drawn elements into my ceramic service ware, encouraging a sense of discovery and exploration. Illustrations of anthropomorphized animals and stylized humans employ exaggeration, humor, and metaphor to facilitate the viewer’s ability to capture the narrative and apply it to his or her own life."
In the interview we discuss transitioning away from graduate school, her recent distinction as a NCECA emerging artist, and the ideas embedded in her pottery. She will finish her residency at the Arrowmont School for Craft this spring and move onto to set up her own studio. You can find more about her work at www.chandradebuse.com.
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These bottom images are from a studio visit I did with Chandra at Arrowmont during Jason Bige Burnett's surface symposium. She had a great collection of sketches on her studio floor. She does full sized sketches that become templates for the forms and decoration. I also snapped a few shots of her molds in action. She uses a combination of molds- wood drop, bisque and foam, to make her forms.