Naomi ClementLondon, Ontario


Naomi Clement is a Canadian artist and educator who explores ideas of home and belonging through the powerful lens of functional ceramics. She received her MFA from Louisiana State University in 2017, and her B.F.A from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University in 2003. Naomi has participated in residencies, given lectures and workshops, and exhibited her work across Canada and the United States. She recently served as a board member for the National Council on the Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and was named a 2017 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly magazine.

 

My work is a constant discussion on how things fit together and how they do not. In particular, I am interested in points of transition: the space where orange becomes red, the place where glaze meets bare clay, the edge of a handle and the end of the pot. In my process, I continually seek out and create opportunities for these moments to occur: leaving a seam visible in a hand-built cup, cutting a soft line in the rim of a bowl, or negotiating the space between white slip and raw clay. As a maker, I am interested in how these moments record my decisions and become physical signposts left for a future user. These traces of intent and action say: I was here, please bear witness.

In my current body of work, I use text elements taken from old family correspondence and ephemera to explore my family history and connect past and present. Letters are digitally scanned, enlarged, and then laser cut into newsprint. These newsprint text elements are then used in my decorative process, acting both as a stamp and resist for colour and texture.

Handwriting is such a personal way of connecting, leaving your mark, and telling your story—through this intimate process we connect our thoughts to the physical world. Using the labour of my hands, I unite these traces of my past with functional objects that celebrate the tangible joy of the every day.

The resulting pots ask to be noticed and examined. I want them to convey a sense of a life lived, and a life still to be lived; they are about making connections and wanting to make connections. A snapshot of the journey, each pot is a tether that connects me to me, and me to you: a memory bound in mud-made-stone for years to come.