Meet our “Weekend of Clay” Visiting Artists!

The “Weekend of Clay” is fast approaching, and we are fortunate enough to have three of the Transformation 9 artists join us to teach a workshop in the Studio. Lauren Mabry, Julie Moon, and Peter Morgan are currently residents at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, and they will be here on October 25th and 26, 2014.

We asked them a few questions about their work.

Contemporary Craft (CC): How would you describe your medium?

Julie Moon: I work with clay and glazes. I am continually inspired by decoration and adornment, not only through my sculptural work, but also for the body. My line of jewelry is a spin off from the surfaces of my sculptural work. I’ve always been interested in pattern and decoration, how it can enhance or distort your understanding of form, (whether that be a sculptural object, or the figure.) It’s fun for me to play with the language of ornamentation and what it can suggest about the personality of an object or a person.


Peter Morgan: I primarily work with a low-fire white sculpture body and commercial glazes. Using commercial glazes gives consistency in my surfaces, and I don’t have to spend a lot of time mixing and testing different recipes. I do a bit of drawing as well, and for those pieces I utilize, crayons, watercolor, markers, and collaged elements.


Lauren Mabry: I make painterly, abstract, ceramic sculpture. I’m a calculated risk-taker with a keen attraction to color, movement, and material. Ultimately, my work is a synthesis of intuitive, expressive surfaces and elemental forms. The intricately glazed surfaces sometimes look weathered and aged, but at the same time colorfully lush and wet. There is a sense of immediacy to the mark making, and at moments a sense of play.


CC: What visual or conceptual themes do you tend to deal with in your work?

Julie Moon: I am interested in how we use decoration as a language. I’m also interested in the ephemeral nature of visual culture, specifically within the decorative and applied arts. I’m interested in how it relates to the fields of craft, design, art and fashion.

Peter Morgan: I am interested in how we know and understand the world through a variety of images and cultural mythologies. Often my work takes on a theme of location, and this frequently is manifested in creating animals specific to certain places. Lately I have been creating a body of work based on birds found within Philadelphia.


Lauren Mabry: The absence of representation in my work allows the marks, brush strokes, and color to communicate. I’m compelled by the scintillating, seductive energy created through formal dualities. Drips, swipes, and splashes of colorful glazes variously fold and float. In some passages bold hues intermingle with spells of quiet tints and shades. The completed surfaces look effortless, but in fact they are the result of my long-term study of the physical and chemical behavior of ceramic materials.

CC: How has your work evolved over time?

Julie Moon: Technically, my jewelry line has become streamlined and therefore more controlled. I have become more efficient in my process, meaning that things are easier to reproduce. Trying to create a line for mass production, it’s been important to streamline my designs and therefore my process.


Peter Morgan: Throughout the years, my work has gone through a variety of scales shifts. Some of the change in scale are based on logistics, of how to ship and store work. This has caused me to investigate how to create different kinds of special experiences with smaller pieces. Lately I have been attempting to be more refined with my forms, trying to capture more of the innate structure of what I sculpt. Oddly enough, I think I take myself a little less seriously now then I did perhaps 10 years ago. Back then, everything had to have specific reasons, and now I tend to make what I want.

Lauren Mabry: I started ceramics when I was 14 at my public high school in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin. Our program was exceptional and by the time I graduated I had experience with many aspects of ceramics that college students rarely get. By 18 years old I was well versed in high fire reduction, oxidation, wood firing, salt firing, making clay and glaze, etc. I pursued ceramics seriously from my teenage years onward. My forms are a sculptural support for highly expressive, versatile painting. The final works are the physical embodiment of my studio process, continual play, and intuitive impulses.


CC: What are you most excited about seeing when visiting Pittsburgh?

Julie Moon: I love the neighborhood that Contemporary Craft is located in, so many delicious places to visit! I’m also a huge fan of the Warhol Museum….but one of my favorite places to check out is Zenith Antiques. I discovered by accident with a few gal pals the last time I was in town. They have a plethora of great antiques, vegan dishes and CAKE!!

Peter Morgan: I am excited to have a Primanti Brothers sandwich and drink some Iron City Beer. During my last trip to Pittsburgh (for the opening of Transformation) I visited the National Aviary. As an avid birdwatcher it was a real treat, my favorites were the Stellar?s Sea Eagles. They are massive birds with imposing beaks that put Bald Eagles to shame.

Spaces for the Weekend of Clay workshop is extremely limited, so sign up online or give us a call at 412.261.7003!