The Frank Lloyd Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of ceramic sculpture by an emerging artist, Cheryl Ann Thomas. All of the works in this show are made by the coiling process, the oldest and most direct method of forming clay. It is precisely this purposeful engagement of the hand and the material that makes the sculpture appealing, as the artist allows the process to be her subject. By further allowing the constructions to collapse and take accidental form during the firing, the artist has created a subtle and provocative body of work. The pieces are a record of the interaction; they become relics of the daily artistic engagement.
Coiling is a way of hand-building a pot using "snakes" of clay. Its history includes Pre-Columbian pottery and West African pottery. Most Neolithic cultures also used this method of making for large storage jars. However, this technique is still used by contemporary ceramic artists. Usually, each coil is integrated with the previous one so that its identity as a coil is lost. In Cheryl Ann Thomas' work, the delicate coils retain the touch of the hand. In fact, the rhythmic movement of the hand and the repetitive patterning of the layers give the sculptures their significant form. As the artist states:
"I work within the possibilities and limitations inherent in the coiling process, combined with the potential for change occurring during the firing or over-firing of the clay. The coiling technique involves a succession of rhythmical movements that connect me intimately with the clay in both body and mind. My tools are my hands. My imprint causes the texture of the piece. The combined variables of climate, clay conditions and human attention/inattention create the possibility of endless results."
Cheryl Ann Thomas received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design in 1982. Based in Ventura, California, she has been exhibiting locally for the past five years. This is the first time she has participated in an exhibition at the Frank Lloyd Gallery.