Clay Artists exhibit opens in Greenville

Published 7:27 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Five Clay Artists are featured for the holiday special exhibit at Artisans on the Square in Greenville from Nov. 30 to Dec. 30. The exhibit opened with a reception last week and includes over 100 new, one of a kind, hand crafted pieces of pottery and sculpture.

Marilyn Austin of Woodland, who taught art in Meriwether County for 30 years, creates a variety of hand sculpted pieces for decorating inside or outside.  Marilyn’s pieces are whimsical and designed for adding interest to any location and bringing smiles of surprise and delight.  Included are pieces for hanging as well as sitting on tables or the ground, in various shapes and sizes.

Jon Brinley of Midland uses his potters wheel to create urns, pots, pitchers, bowls, cups and vessels which are useful as well as beautiful works of art.  Jon uses a wood fired kiln and creates glazes with wood ash and salt.  Salt glazing is a technique where salt is blown into the high temperature kiln and combines with the silica in the clay to create the color and texture of the glaze in a single firing.

Allen Gee lives and works in the Greenville studio of D.X. Gordy, considered to be the foremost Southeast potter of the 20th Century.  Allen uses his potters wheel and wood fired kiln to carry on traditions and techniques of the past.  He creates glazes from local minerals, wood ashes and rocks, which he crushes himself into a fine powder.    

Nellie Ralat of Waverly Hall is showcasing her Elfin Magic series of five sculptures, in addition to a variety of useful and decorative bowls and plates. Nellie creates pattern and texture on the fronts and backs of her pieces by rolling the clay and imprinting designs of leaves from live plants, crocheted thread designs and other interesting items.

Bobby Vaillancourt of Sharpsburg creates pottery using both wheel and hand sculpting.  Raku is one of his favorite methods. Raku, originally a Japanize technique, requires a special kiln and involves introducing other combustible materials onto the fired piece, while still hot, to create the designs.  Horsehair raku uses hair or features which burn quickly on hot white clay to create unique and interesting designs.

Clay Art is as varied as the imaginations of the creators.  It also involves surprises for the artists since the firing process controls the final result – never exactly the same for any two pieces. The two fine art galleries in downtown Greenville are open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, call Linda Wilburn (404) 386-1328.