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Artist's Statement - Martha Daniels Print E-mail

Cloud Tower.  Hand-built, fired, glazed, painted, gilded ceramic sculpture ( 6 ft tall, approx.). Collection he Kirkland Museum, Denver, CO. I lived in the Mediterranean area during the 1960s. There, I made large sculptures that had to be abandoned because they were too large and heavy to move.

I was determined to find a way to make large-scale and portable ceramic sculpture.

After many years of experimentation, I succeeded in doing this, by developing of innovative structural techniques through hand building. An original viewpoint and aesthetic also resulted from this search.

This work is described as "unique" by critics, collectors, and gallerists. It includes large architectural constructions, figurative sculptures, and other pieces that simultaneously seem to exist in both ancient and contemporary worlds.

I use a proprietary clay formula. Hand-building techniques are based on altered, assembled, clay slabs. I seek equally innovative approaches to the surface that include using maiolica glaze, varnish, paint, gilding, luster, and even nail polish.

The purpose of this work is to advance the boundaries of ceramic sculpture. I pursue a personal vision in a universal language of symbol, metaphor, and theme, and present it through the unique material properties of clay.

I have worked unassisted in the studio for years, creating all art work myself, including forming, firing, and surface treatments. I continue to do so, only hiring occasional help for heavy lifting, moving, and loading. My studio is located now in southern California.

This work has had national and international exposure in more than 200 exhibitions, and received outstanding critical response. It has been acquired for the collections of the Denver Art Museum, The American Museum of Ceramic Arts, The Kirkland Museum, and many other private and corporate collections. Large projects include a 212-foot-long ceramic mural for Colorado Department of Transportation and a one-person exhibition, GROTTO, at the Denver Art Museum. A selection of this work was published recently in "Colorado Abstract: Painting and Sculpture," the first major survey of modern and contemporary abstract art in Colorado, and in "Continental Divide," a book and exhibition sponsored by NCECA, of major ceramists of the Rocky Mountain region.