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TAYLOR CRAIG

Ceramic Artist

My Story

Taylor was raised on a family farm in Beatrice, Nebraska where she was greatly influenced in the arts through her high school art teacher. To fulfill her dream in becoming an art teacher she graduated Doane University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree with a Graphic Design Minor in the spring of 2019. Immediately, she continued her education with the Doane Graduate program and received her teaching endorsement in Art. In the fall of 2020 she began teaching 6-12 Art at Raymond Central and completed her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction through the Doane Graduate Program. In the spring of 2022 she was accepted into the MFA program at Fort Hays State University where she will focus in ceramics and graduate in the spring of 2026.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

ROOTS

You cannot drive through a midwestern state without encountering the views of silo’s, tractors, barns, livestock, and an abundance of grain fields. Most people overlook these establishments and don’t understand the necessary demands that farmers encounter daily to provide for their communities and families. Being part of a 3-generation farm has many challenges within the business, along with factors that we have no control over: climate, inflation and taxes to name a few. Not only do I wish to express the many challenges that family farms endure, but I want to showcase the parts that people don’t see: the feeling of being a part of one. There is no true word or words that can describe the feeling of owning or being a part of a family farm. The feelings are deep, meaningful, and rooted through tradition.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

SURFACE

Pottery is an art form that accentuates both process and material and is one of the most ancient art forms known to man. History has allowed us to be familiar with pottery and we are able to understand the basic principles. While many people believe pottery to be strictly functional, at times it may only be visual. I find the simplest of forms to be the most interesting, as it resembles a blank surface. The blank surface is where I get to express myself.

 

High school was the first time that I took an interest in ceramics. Pottery  was something that just came more easily to me than others. Creating pieces that were functional and symmetrical with a material that came from nature was something that I became extremely fascinated with. During my college years was where I discovered how complex and dynamic the ceramic process really was, and began to explore beyond basic forms such as cups and bowls. My forms became more complex and my surfaces became more textural. My interest in nature and the uncontrollable effects that nature plays on our world was something that drove me to experiment with alternative glazing and firing techniques. I began to test numerous glazes in multiple ways on different clay bodies such as stoneware, domestic porcelain, and Tom Coleman porcelain. When doing so, I realized how different a simple glaze looked on each clay body. With each firing I was learning something new and was able to grow as a ceramic artist. I became more interested in layering my glazes as I was testing and fell in love with the way they looked after they were applied with a spray gun. The color was much smoother and faded evenly compared to the normal dip or brush method. When spraying, I was able to create many different layering outcomes, which almost resembled an atmospheric effect, and that was what I was looking for. A huge inspiration to my work is Steven Hill, who is known for his atmospheric techniques achieved through the oxidation process. As I began to experiment with Steven Hill’s techniques, I began to develop and expand on my own surface treatments.

 

Through the use of form, glaze, and slip application I am able to give the viewer a visual on how nature moves throughout my pieces. As the glaze pools in some areas and flows in others, the surface of a piece resembles the erosion or atmospheric effect. The texture of slip allows the glaze to flow and maneuver its way throughout the form creating its own path.

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