Elizabeth Kendall "Button Boxes" - June 2010
June 18-September 14, 2010
The evolution of Kendall’s dynamic and original clay wall pieces is interesting. She calls the series, “Button Boxes” and they look like dozens of oversized black and white buttons bursting out of their container and showering to the floor. Their inspiration comes from time spent with her grandmother learning how to sew. Young Kendall was mesmerized by the myriad of buttons collected over time with their various colors and designs piled in the sewing box. Her grandmother instructed Kendall in the techniques of the seamstress; attention to the cloth’s delicate edges, altering shapes with stitching, basting and appliqué, employing layering and texture of the fabrics and the importance of the fine details of the decorative fasteners. When translated to clay, these approaches are all evident in her art. Kendall’s first fabric-inspired pieces were her functional cups that she hand-built with thin porcelain slabs exposing the seams and making the clay imitate the soft quality of cloth, mimicking the folds and sags of the material. She then began creating cups without bottoms as an element for sculptural installations. In her last exhibition at cross mackenzie, Kendall filled the window with hundreds of these empty cup units, stacked to the ceiling to create a lace like see-through screen, quite fittingly a new kind of window dressing. Her small groupings of bottomless cups made into wall pieces will be on view.
The ‘button box series” explodes the button-like disks out into the space. They protrude from the wall on steel rods, pushing into the room and creating a sense of a three dimensional black and white digital image, the dots act like physical pixels. The gallery will have the feeling of an inverted pincushion with steel rods spiking into our space from both sides of the room.
Elizabeth Kendall is a graduate of Smith College and studied pottery at Penland, Hood College and Arrowmont with residencies at Watershed, the MacNamara Foundation and Guldagergaard, Denmark. In addition to her studio work in ceramics, she is also a contributing writer and art critic for ceramic publications such as Clay Times, Ceramics Monthly, Studio Potter, and Pottery Making Illustrated. An award winning and active clay artist, she has participated in numerous juried craft shows, exhibitions and invitationals including the recent NCECA conference in Philadelphia. She teaches workshops and demonstrations and serves on the board for Cub Creek, VA. and is vice president of the board of the prestigious Watershed organization in Maine.