Still Here: A Bird Catalogue in Clay | Maria Guevara
September 3 – October 2, 2021 | Opening Friday, September 3, 5 – 7 PM
Artist Statement | In my six years as an independent artist, I have emphasized carved decoration on porcelain surfaces. I have experimented extensively with Sgraffito, a technique in which I carve into dark-coloured surfaces.
Recently, I have integrated birds of New Brunswick in my decorative work. I visit natural areas to observe the birds in their natural habitats. My new interest led me to investigate bird anatomy, flying styles, and plumage coloration. I discovered that several of my favourite birds are listed as species threatened or at risk of extinction.
My porcelain pieces are decorated with chickadees, herons and hummingbirds from New Brunswick. In most of my bird-inspired Sgraffito pieces, I carved the designs using black backgrounds and framed the bird forms with glazes of diverse colours. I explored Sgraffito techniques on coloured surfaces, which is an attractive variation when colourful birds are the central decorative shape.
I compliment my artistic work by learning more about the biology of the birds. The factors affecting the vulnerability of endangered birds are many. Capturing the multicoloured beauty of birds of New Brunswick, transmitting their uniqueness through clay, I hope to communicate about the risk of losing them.
My project was awarded the Arts NB Creation Grant for Emerging Artist last July.
Biography | I was born in Mexico City. I graduated with a BA in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage. Later, I completed MA studies in Archaeology in Mexico City at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. I graduated summer of 2013 as a Ceramic artist in the Diploma of Advanced Studies in Ceramics at the NBCCD in Fredericton NB.
In recent years, I got deeply interested in decorated ceramic techniques. I like to elaborate ceramic forms using both the throwing wheel and slab work that gives me extended surfaces to paint and carve. I combine the decoration with coloured engobes, slips and glazes. As an artist, I most enjoy two aspects of the creative process: the previous planning and the execution in clay. I can spend hours thinking of new shapes and decorating my pieces to transmit different ideas to the public.
I have a small studio in New Maryland NB, where I have dedicated myself to create Sgraffito porcelain pottery. I have my work for sale at Fine craft shops around the Maritimes; New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. I am very grateful to be part of the Craft community in New Brunswick.