Teaware and More

About My Art

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I was born in Russia, Moscow and grew up in a culture rich in narrative and folklore. Since my childhood, I have always been interested in folk art and history. All of my life, I feel I have seen the world through the subjective eyes of an artist. From the first moment I began sculpting clay, I knew this was the media that could express what my imagination envisioned.

My work has always been focused upon storytelling and utilizes a narrative, figurative style of sculpture. The vision itself may be a self-portraiture or a story idea from daily existence enhanced with a little whimsy. The narrative element has always been very important as the story unfolds on multiple levels as the figures frequently tell interior stories. Observations, feelings and experiences from every day life comprise the themes of my pieces. I call these narrative vessels “story pots.” It is important that my sculptures have a story to tell. In this way, they may transport you into their world.

Over the years, I have used symbols from various folk stories to use in my work. Birds for example, are emblematic of happy dreams in Russian culture. Fish are a fertility symbol in other mythologies. Cats and Dogs are symbols of hospitality and friendship. Purses are sure sign of prosperity. Other signs are more personal. Feet are a symbol of mobility and hands represent the ability to do meaningful work.

I plan the piece in my head and make many sketches to document the concept. However,I don’t touch the clay until I can feel what I want. When I’m clear about the feeling for the concept, I pick up the clay and start molding it into a character. After a struggle, the clay and I come to an agreement. In the creation of sculptures I work with and surrender to the unique qualities of the medium. In my bonding with the clay, it’s important that the clay is allowed to speak.

My preferred medium with which to sculpt is porcelain. I work with clay in many ways using a variety of techniques and firing types. My pieces generally begin on the wheel as a whole, or in parts. The clay pieces are thrown and altered or hand built using a cone 10 clay. All the sculptural figurines are created by hand, and refined in the leather hard stage. After bisque firing, I usually apply underglazes to the exterior of the vessel.

The pieces are fired to cone 10 to improve their density and strength. Often, I apply mason stains and/or a combination of red iron oxide to bring more depth to the surface. Some of the story pots are also painted with china paint, lusters and 24 k gold after glaze firing. My intention is to allow the color of the porcelain to show through.

My pieces are practical objects, meant to be approachable, accessible and functional. While the exteriors illustrate the themes of our daily lives, the pots are also useful in their ability to hold the fruits of our experiences. This duality allows the pieces to speak to us on multiple levels.

My observations, feelings and experiences are the themes for these pieces and they grow from the quite real yet very ordinary anxieties of parenthood, work, relationships and other essentials of human life.

My work strives to enhance the lives of everyday people. Hopefully my pieces and the visions they illustrate will bring insight into and an understanding of our world. Bringing some joy into the world through art is both a great challenge and potential fulfillment.

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