Women Working with Clay: Cheryl Ann Thomas
This June, Hollins University will be hosting a Women Working with Clay symposium at their Roanoke, Virginia campus. I’m happy to announce that gallery artist Cheryl Ann Thomas has been invited to participate in the symposium as a faculty demonstrator. The symposium will address the tradition of women in ceramics as potters, artists, and artisans.
In her role as a demonstrator, Thomas will illustrate how she builds tall, thin-walled vessels from coils of porcelain, followed by what she describes as a “very short performance.” Those familiar with her work know that the construction of a vessel form is only the first step in a multi-layered artistic practice exploring chance, fragility, and loss. The vessels she builds collapse unpredictably during firing due to their size and weight, and these collapsed forms can then be combined to create larger sculptures. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in two-way dialogue with Thomas about her process and concepts, an opportunity that is sure to be enriching. Speaking previously about her work, Thomas has noted that “The intention to work with fragility and the possibility of accident is immersed in the question I have chosen to explore.”
The following video, titled Relic 250, resulted from Cheryl Ann Thomas’s desire to share her process. I think it elegantly illustrates the work that goes into each piece, and serves as a meditation on the delicacy and transience of life and art.