Paige WrightPortland, Oregon

Red Lodge Clay Center Long-Term Resident 2008-09

Paige Wright is an artist who primarily works in clay.  She received her Bachelors in Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics from The University of Montana in Missoula in 2006. She has participated in several artists in residence programs including the Carbondale Clay Center’s long term residency program, Red Lodge Clay Center’s year long residency program, Ohio University study abroad program at The International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemét, Hungary, and Project Network at the International Ceramics Research Center: Guldagergaard, Denmark. She received her Masters in Fine Arts with emphasis in ceramics from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in 2012. Paige was brought back to her hometown of Portland, Oregon in 2013 to help start and run the vessel design and production house Mazama Wares. She has held positions at Ohio University, Grand Valley State University, The Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Clark College, Radius Art Center, Idyllwild Arts Academy and Pratt and Larson Tile. Known for her expressive faces and versatile building techniques, she conducts workshops, lectures and exhibits around the country. She is currently starting up a tattoo themed U-paint Ceramics Studio called Tough Dirt Tile to create an entryway into craft for the art to personal expression.

I create objects, which are a regurgitation of my mental melting pot.

The figure comes first: it is everyday, in the newspaper, in the grocery store, and in the mirror. Raised by medical professionals I have always had a persistent curiosity about the human body. I capture intense emotion through still gesture, not to tell a story but to conjure a reaction. I strive to get the most detail out of clay to satisfy my inner craftsman. It is the ultimate challenge for me to recreate the human form in a most realistic manner.
To escape that possessive, stressful ball-n-chain known as realism, I free myself with spontaneous expression through surface treatment. Once I push the realism as far as I can, I let my mind and body settle, letting the work become less precious. I try to look at it more objectively. Then, when I feel it is ready, I give it a taste of what I feel it needs in that moment–some pink here or a patch of drill holes there.

My decisions pile on one after the next projecting an equation truly unique to me.