The idea of making a living as an artist was not taught (at the
university) as most students went into academic teaching jobs out of
school. I chose not to go that route. Instead, I went directly to New
York City. I soon got a part-time teaching job at NYU and then Parsons
School of Design as a way to pay the rent. My work progressed and I
began to show in a New York gallery.
At a very young age, I decided to become a ceramic artist and studied
art and ceramics with that intention. I opened my studio immediately
after school and began making pottery parallel to my research on more
sculptural pieces. Both need absolute concentration and discipline. I
chose to concentrate on sculpture.
I don’t believe I had an initial or conscious reason to pursue ceramic
sculpture as a profession; it just evolved through trying different
mediums. My father was a metal sculptor and my mother is a potter. I
always knew I wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t want to compete with
them, so I began in illustration. Eventually I realized I needed to
express myself through more expressive materials.
I have always been a maker/builder and need the experience of working with my hands. The engagement of my full mind and body to deconstruct and form the world is a way of trying to understand and bear witness to life.
An intense and unwavering commitment to my work preceded any idea of
generating income from art. Any idea, or body of work, worthy of the
honor of being purchased by a collector or museum is usually made
presuming it will not generate a dime, but must be made nonetheless.
Since I was a child, I have been making, breathing, and living art. My parents took me to museums in the ’60s and ’70s in New York City while visiting relatives. I was in high school and was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I did not want to do a receptive job; I wanted to do something creative, so I chose art.
Ribbons of rubber and strands of silk meander and stretch
around porcelain pods and protrusions. The current work of Alison Petty
Ragguette explores the parallel between visceral and mechanical systems. This
intelligent and emotive work envelops interior spaces where bones fit into
cartilage swaddled with translucent skin, or nourishing fluids flow. Naked
porcelain, silicone rubber, and colorful silk thread merge, wrap, wind, and
flow, implying the hardness and softness of our interior and exterior lives.
These organic abstractions are intimate and tight, slick and sticky,
stimulating and seductive, playful and alien.
Students in the graduate ceramics program at Edinboro
University are expected to develop a strong individual direction, whether it is
in ceramic sculpture or functional pottery. Our extensive facility provides all
methods of firing and studio access 24 hours a day.
Finding Your Voice
Master craftsman Jeffrey
Nichols talks about Finding Your Voice by developing your techniques
and your ideas. over a period of time. He demonstrates his accumulated
skills by sharing his technique for making a faceted teapot and using
his unique decorating technique of layered underglazes. To view his
teapot spout technique, check out the video.