Mariko PatersonLunenburg, Nova Scotia

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Mariko Paterson has been around the ceramic block. Born and raised in Vancouver, she skedaddled after a stint at Langara College to pursue a degree at the Alberta College of Art and then Kent State University to complete her MFA degree. While she has also made New York, Michigan, Ohio and Manitoba as just some points of her professional pursuits, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia now serves as ceramic headquarters. Forage Studios strives to produce a subversive strain of ceramic work as well as serve the community with an education of the arts.
Historical meets handbuilding where her sculptural interests lay and a dalliance with the pottery wheel has resulted in both forms and a forum for exploring her love of creamy cone 6 clay bodies and illustration.

Pinterest is a curious entity. Unassuming at first it slowly seeped into my life and then covered me like a nice, warm blanket. Long, long ago before the Internet in the Dark Book Ages I used to ravish the school library for Ceramics Monthly magazines, Ceramics Art & Perception and the like for my quick clay fixes. I still do from time to time for their pithy, feature length articles, but more and more I find myself using Pinterest as my first point of entry into, well, inspiration. When Pinterest entered the scene I exclaimed, Hallelujah!!! Now I can scan and store allll those pretty pieces and ceramic bites in one easily retrievable place. Click on the squirreled away images once again and I am then lead down a rabbit hole of links, details and original sources. The only drawback to Pinterest is that while a picture can conjure a thousand words, Pinterest can consume a thousand hours.

As a student I used to worry about copying people. Then an undergraduate instructor grumpily told me, “Nothing is new any more, everything has already been done so don’t even try.” I didn’t believe him then and I don’t believe him now, but I do believe I have developed a technique, a knack, if you will, that allows me to scan images for their interesting bits that blip across my creative radar screen. These stored creative bytes are then pulled up from time to time via Pinterest, further examined and adored and then adapted to suit my own ceramic conquests as need be. It could be a whole piece that strikes my eye, or then again, it might be a just flash of color. Sometimes it is a shapely profile or texture to note that makes me want to clamor my way back to the studio to try and figure out the processes involved and bring them into my kiln-fired fold.

Which brings me to my Pinterest compadres at this 21st Century Sketchbook show. Amongst the plethora of works that rock my ceramics world are those of Michael Corney, Carole Epp and Jen Allen whose work continuously pops up in my Pinterest Landscape. Like a teenager who collects and plasters her bedroom with the rock posters of an uber talented rock band, I bring up and revisit their works frequently and often. Michael Corney I have admired since undergraduate school for his jig jaggedy-Tom Tom Club-like approach to drawing and illustration. Carole Epp is a Canadian Ceramic goddess (and I don’t even believe in gods) whose work brings to life a fairy tale of creatures and characters that float between dream and nightmare. And Jenn Allen’s fluid forms combine an interception and interspersion of color and pattern that are reminiscent of Japanese Oribe wares. While these three artists top my ceramic charts along with a handful of other “pinned” artists they form a tight ensemble that I am most excited to jam with. Let the show begin.

Historical meets handbuilding where her sculptural interests lay and a dalliance with the pottery wheel has resulted in both forms and a forum for exploring her love of creamy cone 6 clay bodies and illustration.