Born in Montreal, Canada, Martina Lantin received her Bachelor of Art from Earlham College (1996) and her Master of Fine Art from NSCAD University (2009). She has been an artist in residence at Baltimore Clayworks and Arrowmont School of Art and Craft, and the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts. She has taught workshops throughout the United States. Currently, Martina teaches at the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Selected as an Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly (2002), her work has been recognized in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions and is held in collections in Canada and the United States. In 2010 Martina was awarded an Individual Artist Grant by the Tennessee Arts Commission and in 2013 was shortlisted for the Raphael Founder’s Prize from the Society for Contemporary Craft. She has also published articles in both Studio Potter and Pottery Making Illustrated and was the subject of a feature article in Ceramics Monthly. She is currently serving as a guest editor for the Studio Potter Journal.
Committed to the joys of working in earthenware, which she describes as chocolate porcelain, Martina creates functional ceramics through thrown and altered forms. The thin layer of white slip serves to accentuate the construction methods and to invite an exploration of the making process.
I find earthenware the most seductive clay body. Using this chocolate porcelain, I seek to evoke nostalgia of the future by making work that is a reverberation of the past. Objects and installations are rooted in concepts generated through the analysis of early European porcelains and English cream ware. I provoke a tension between the elegant handling of the material and the rugged connotations of the clay body.
This duality extends into the object; manifesting in the dual roles of utility and decoration, simultaneously serving as containers of social and cultural information. I am particularly drawn to the semiotics of things – the message they may contain by visual inference and juxtaposition. Creation is a unity of cognition and action. It is a continual process of call and response. I ask questions that consistently inform the next series of work. Inquiry stems from and is propelled by my interactions with the material, imagery, historical research, my past work and future ideas.
As a maker, I have the capacity to exploit the variables of surface and scale to instigate a particular experience. Convivial and quotidian forms combine to play games with lines and colours. The work teases the boundary between awkward and sophisticated. Strategies of ornament are developed to engage and enhance the piece. Over time, through handling and contemplation, the subtle layers of colour and surface are revealed, reveling in accumulated narrative.