Botanicals in Clay

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Artist's Statement - Sandy Siegel

My work is a union of function and whimsy to create everyday objects like pots, plates, clocks and cups. The designs that I impress on these objects celebrate the local flora and fauna that grow all year round here in the desert.

I love the desert environment and the diversity it offers in terms of fresh leaves, cactus and especially succulents that can grow in such surprisingly small spaces. Herbal impressions are also central to my work as they evoke the various senses, and people respond to their healing qualities.

Experimentation and community are at the roots of my creativity. Each work is treated uniquely and goes through a process of layering, as I cover the surface of the object, including the bottom, with smooth and rough textures, real leaves, cactus spines or lace pressed over each other in abstract patterns. Lizards and dragonflies also playfully inhabit these spaces.

The creation of each piece actually starts outside the ceramic studio. I derive ideas and inspiration from my own garden, those of my friends and neighbors and the varied Arizona desert and mountain environments. The beauty around me is interpreted and translated, through the various stages of creation, to the pieces, and eventually to my customers.

I love to generate networks. I love constant experimentation. I strive for communication and mutual satisfaction. When I talk with my customers I love explaining the leaves and the process of creation. Some exchanges are short but many are long and full of exchange of a beautiful object but also a philosophy of living. Celebrate the local, appreciate nature, and connect with those around you-that is the basis of my work.

"Botanicals In Clay" is a member of the East Valley Art Guild,