Hilary HelfantBridgehampton, New York

I began my interest in clay at a young age, although my formal studies are in art history, printmaking and painting. My interests in music and botany brought about my first series of painting. I studied painting in New York City first at the School of Visual Arts, and graduate studies at Hunter College. In 1995, After living and exhibiting in NYC for 12 years, I moved out to eastern long island and have lived there ever since. For many years I explored depth and color in nature inspired geometric paintings. In addition to maintaining my studio work I worked as an art teacher grades K – 8. It was teaching children that brought me back to working with clay. My work started out small and now I’m looking into ways of creating larger outdoor pieces.

In my current sculpture, I am exploring the patterns and the layers in natural forms. My pieces don’t replicate nature but develop organically on their own. Using a sphere shape as a starting point, I am making sculpture that one doesn’t just look at, but looks into. The radiating spikes create a larger implied sphere. For glaze, I spray a base color and then create lines using an application bulb. In a sense, painting two dimensionally on a three dimensional surface, creating movement and a strong contrast. I am also very interested in alternative firing techniques.

My work represents my bottom line optimism. A ceramic sculpture, sturdy in nature; a symbol of strength and resilience people need today who care about one another and the future of our planet.