Eva ChampagneUbud, Bali

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Red Lodge Clay Center Long-Term Resident 2009-10

Eva Champagne is an artist of American birth and international upbringing and tendency. She received her B.A. in Studio Art from Humboldt State University and completed Post-Baccalaureate study at the University of Florida. In 2009 she earned her M.F.A. in Ceramics from the University of Montana-Missoula. For several years afterwards she traveled extensively for artist residencies including AIR Vallauris in France, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark, Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Maine, Red Lodge Clay Center and The Clay Studio of Missoula in Montana, and Gaya Ceramic Art Center in Bali, Indonesia.

As an educator, she has taught in both academic and workshop settings. Ceramic subjects include wheel throwing, handbuilding, soda firing at low, mid and highfire temperatures, ceramic surface techniques, and thematic sculptural topics. Other media courses have included beginning and advanced drawing, figure drawing, painting, 2D and 3D design and understanding visual arts. She and her work have been featured in Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated, among other publications. She returned to Gaya Ceramic Arts Center twice after her residency to lead workshops, before joining Gaya full time as Managing Director in 2019. She currently resides amidst the rice fields of Sayan village in Ubud, Bali with a cat called Sometimes.

Weave, unravel; elaborate, obliterate.

I create ceramic compositions in the round using a myriad of ceramic materials and application and masking methods. The results are varied, colorful, lively surfaces, with an emphasis on strategic combinations, layering, and experimentation. Visual content is imbued with patterns from nature–of growth, accretion, dissolution, with geometric tessellations, symmetry, gesture, micro- vs macrocosms, color theory, and with the narrative quality of idiosyncratic layered, accumulated marks. When completed, I give these highly expressive works over to the soda firing process, bestowing upon it the final word in design. I delight in the serendipitous nature of a soda atmosphere: what the soda contributes, what it washes away. There is a wonderful sense of freedom in surrendering a work to this type of firing, and a sweet anticipation of results which cannot be wholly predicted. This method can be described as a collaboration between my planning and expression, and the kiln’s sweeping endowments and editing. This way of working draws me toward deeper insight into and acceptance of the ceramic process, surely, but also of life, the big picture: we make plans, simple but often elaborate; we strive for the best outcomes, and life may deliver disappointment or something even greater than anticipated. In any case, the happiest response as I see it is to remain open to surprises, resilient to setbacks, learn, grow, give thanks; to mingle and dance within the complex harmonies that compose this creative existence.