Chanda Zea – Red Lodge Clay Center

Chanda ZeaPortland, Oregon


Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2013, (AIA) 2018, (AIA) 2022

Chanda Zea is an artist, teacher, and maker with a deep love for building community through clay, and is currently the Programs Director at Pottery Northwest in Seattle WA. She maintains an active presence in the national field through here board service as the Programs Director for NCECA, the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts.

Her diverse studio practice ranges from large installations to functional pottery and is inspired by the processes of making as well as objects of industrial and mid-century modern design.

I am in love with objects. Sometimes new objects, but usually old, used objects that speak to me of their past life. I want to own them, possess them, intimately explore their curves and corners, dimples, dots, swirling lines or smooth broad planes.

When I find an object I particularly love – an ashtray, a candy dish, a lampshade, even a toilet plunger – I make a mold so that I can recreate it again and again. I pare the object down to pure form, taking away original function, color, and material, leaving nothing to distract from the beauty of the original design.

I assemble and re-assemble these forms, at times combining various bits and pieces into new objects, alternately using the casts in an unaltered state, repeating each form multiple times, building larger abstract installations, creating emphasis through repetition. Light and shadow on lustrous white ceramic surfaces emphasize the lines and planes that originally called to me. I add in other materials, balancing an abundance of color and texture with the purity of the ceramic forms to create large compositions that encompass walls and rooms.