Art show highlights multiple mediums
At its essence, rock paper scissors is a game about exploring different options. And in Brenda Scott's show at the Spiral Gallery of the same name, she's done just that.
Scott, who specializes in wood fired pottery, recently spent time creating a series of collages. Works from both mediums are included in the "Rock Paper Scissors" show, which will hang in the gallery through the end of the month. A reception will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at The Spiral Gallery, 341 Broadway Street.
Scott enjoyed the process of straying from her normal creative endeavors.
"I'm comfortable enough with my pottery that it felt like it was time to play with other things that I've been carrying around with me," she said, noting that she had been collecting papers and other elements for the collages over the years. "I'm excit-
ed to do something differ-
The collages represent the "Paper Scissors" in the show's title, and the pottery represents the "Rock" element.
In addition to the collages, which feature leaves and book pages, along with other decorations, Scott's show includes a variety of pottery, crafted in her home studio and wood fired in the kiln that her husband built.
When Scott prepares to fire up her kiln — which is located in her backyard and is typically used twice a year — it usually takes around six hours to fully load it with the pieces that she's crafted over the past six months. Once the furnace for baking the pottery is full, she blocks the entryway with bricks and fires it up with fallen tree branches.
The kiln then burns at 23,000 degrees for about 20 hours. Scott usually begins the process at 4 a.m. and continues until midnight, watching over the process to ensure that everything happens as it should.
"It's a ridiculous amount of work, but the pieces make me happy," she said, noting that the kiln's heat patterns and ash from the flames often will decorate the pieces.
"It's not just the decorations I put on it," she said, noting that she appreciates the process of working with the furnace. "The kiln is also my partner."
Scott is the only wood fired potter at The Spiral Gallery. She enjoys this medium because the ways in which the kiln's atmosphere influences and decorates the pieces.
Pottery in Scott's upcoming show include decorative elephants with mandalas inscribed on them, mugs, coasters and a teapot. The kiln's high temperature enables the creations to hold food and water.
Some of the pieces in Scott's show are representative of human connectivity, such as a series of small cups and the tray that holds them.
"They're all different. Some are taller, some are chubbier, and they have different designs. All of us, we're all a little different from each other," Scott explained, adding that when creating the set, she envisioned it being used by a diverse group of friends. "We're connected with each other, but we're also different."
Scott thinks "there's a power in handmade" pieces.
"(They're) one-of-a-kind," she said. "A handmade mug makes coffee more special. After every firing, I take one piece, usually a little cup, and use it."
She added that the process from conception to completion that handmade pieces go through is special.
"They've gone on a journey, and hopefully they'll find homes and go on another journey," she said. "I get excited when people fall in love with something I think is extra special."