Miranda Howe – Red Lodge Clay Center

Miranda HoweRoswell, New Mexico

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Miranda Howe was born and raised in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.  Elements of her surroundings- colors, geologic features, landscape- can often be seen as influences in both her sculptural and functional ceramic work.  Miranda studied at Texas Tech University, receiving her BFA in 1995, at the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts based in Italy and Greece, and she completed her MFA in 2002 at Montana State University. Miranda has been awarded art residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, the LH Project, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, the Roswell Artist-in-Residence program, and the Kohler Arts/Industry Residency.  Coming full circle, Miranda has returned to Roswell, where she recently renovated a historic warehouse and opened Bone Springs Art Space- a studio, gallery and educational facility.

Sculptural and utilitarian works emerge side by side in my studio- satisfying two different modes of thought and purpose.  Though dissimilar in many ways, they continually run parallel and echo one another.

Within the surfaces of my functional forms, what began as a simple love for decorative patterning, with layers of stripes, lines, and dots, has evolved into a deeper study.  Some of the pieces, with their muted color palette and horizontal banding, are reminiscent of my native desert landscape, while others are inspired by the decorative architectural elements found in ancient Greek and Roman buildings.

My sculptural pieces are rooted in a deep love for geologic elements, decorative ornamentation, and architectural components. I am captivated by the spirit of nature in counterpart with the structures of man and often use one to complement the other. Ancient ruins, quilting fabric, dried riverbeds, brick streets, wallpaper, and strata are but of few of the inspirations for my work.

Stemming from an interest in architectural elements, I began noticing the vast array of stone and brickwork employed in both contemporary and ancient cultures. Whether along streets or as wall treatment, the range of interlocking surfaces that could be created was impressive.  This simple but powerful inspiration led me to introduce a more volumetric quality into my foundational tile format of working.  Flat slabs of textured clay were folded into hollow ‘pillow tiles’.   These pillow tiles were then transformed into more brick-like shapes, becoming my wall-mounted ‘box’ forms.  And most recently, I have been translating these aesthetics into a more sculptural context.

The flat surfaces on my forms provide the perfect canvas for accepting layers of information and where I focus on the use of decorative elements and repeat patterning. Embossing, slip-trailing, silk-screening, carving, and inlay are several techniques that go into the process of developing these ornate surfaces.  The use of repetitive designs helps establish a rhythm or cadence in my work.  I explore the contemplative and meditative properties of this rhythm, as well as high-lighting the breaks or voids which interrupt that flow.