Jerilyn Virden – Red Lodge Clay Center

Jerilyn VirdenGreensboro, Vermont

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Jerilyn Virden is a studio artist living in Greensboro, Vermont. Together with her husband, glass artist Devin Burgess, they run Borealis Studios which is comprised of a ceramic studio and glass studio. She was an artist-in-residence at Penland School of Crafts from 2001-2004 and remained in that community for ten years until moving to Vermont in 2011. She received the Society of Arts and Crafts Artist Award In 2014 and in 2006 she received a North Carolina Arts Fellowship Grant. She earned her MFA from Southern Methodist University in 2001, and BFA from West Virginia University in 1997 where she studied abroad at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Art Institute in China. Before attending graduate school she completed a two year assistantship at the studio of Silvie Granatelli, in Floyd, Virginia. Her work has been exhibited at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Currier Museum of art, and she has work in multiple permanent collections including the Asheville Art Museum and NCECA.

Using the vernacular of the vessel, I use earthenware clay to create utilitarian and sculptural pieces. While the sculptural and utilitarian objects come from different inspirations, they are united by formal aspects and considerations, inhabiting the same space and enriching it equally. Looking to seemingly unrelated objects that have a contemporary relevance, I pare down forms and exaggerate proportions accentuating their sense of generosity and strength. Functional work and sculptural pieces are formed through a variety of hand building techniques, building up, scraping, and finally excavating the appropriate curve, each piece retaining the history of its making. Layers of glaze soften these individual marks, bringing more clarity to the form.  Hollow construction allows for exaggeration of features, contributing a visual weight that floats above the table.  The surface becomes a way to manipulate scale, moving from intimacy to expansion, in the way one understands a landscape by knowing both the small stone at one’s feet and the bulk of the mountain far away.