Debbie McCoy, our Featured Everett Art Walk Artist for September.
A Potter, Teacher and Painter.
“Clay connects me to the earth and makes me feel centered. Clay is a gift the earth gives us that allows us unlimited free expression. Being creative is a very necessary human trait, which can free our spirit and connect us to generations of humans who have found clay to be just as inspiring. Almost every day, clay is a part of my life. I am either seeing shapes, lines or textures in nature to be used in my future pieces, or actively constructing clay vessels by hand or on the wheel. Many of the techniques I use are similar to peoples in our ancient cultures. I prefer the irregular hand modeled pieces, or will alter in some way the wheel thrown pieces so they are less perfect and a bit irregular in shape. Textures are the jewelry on the piece. I fire my pottery in a variety of ways, but prefer the ancient methods such as Japanese Raku or Saggar firing. Both of these methods employ direct interaction of the potter with fire. With Raku, the pieces are lifted from the fire at about 1800 degrees F and placed in combustible material such as straw or sawdust. The glazed pieces react pieces react with the carbon produced from the burning materials as the pot quickly cools, making wonderful iridescent effects.
Saggar firing uses fire to affect the clay surface directly in the firing. There are no glazes, just the natural colors the polished clay picks up from the carbon in the firing.
Both these methods of firing can be very unpredictable but the effects are highly varied and therefore makes them unique. My ladies’ masks are my most recent exploration. I’m having great fun with facial expressions and various added decorations to make each one unique.
Teaching is my second love. I taught high school ceramics and sculpture for 28 years in the public schools of Washington State, as well as small workshops for teachers. I have exhibited my work, pottery, paintings, and block prints at various galleries around the northwest and at private showings. I also painted stage sets for live theater for 10 seasons. My block prints were the featured artwork for the posters for the Everett Women’s Film Festival for ten years, 1998 to 2008. I do not strive to be a mass producer of art. I instead choose to live an artful life,allowing my artistic endeavors to fuel my desire to create. I am a vessel myself, filled with inspiration from nature, making my own one-of-a-kind pieces. I hope you will enjoy them.
Pottery lesson from Debbie McCoy: What is sagger firing?
Firing pottery using the sagger process involves surrounding the pottery with a variety of burnable materials which cause interesting effects on the clay wall. The pottery can be encased in another pot (which is the sagger pot)and filled with burnable materials, or simply wrapped with combustibles in foil. Experimentation allows the artist to achieve a variety of results on each piece. These pieces are fired to about 1800 degrees in a gas kiln. Though fired very hot, the clay does not become water tight, or vitreous. These pieces are more for ornamentation, though they have been waxed so that they can be cleaned with a quick rinse. All pieces are safe for dry foods such as nuts. Pottery of this nature should be enjoyed for a lifetime.”
Thank you so much for the art lesson Mrs. McCoy!
Debbie’s beautiful pottery, along with the amazing astrophotograpy of Karen Heistand will be on display here at Solie all month. Please stop by and check out their incredible works Join us at our next Art Walk on Thursday September 21,2017 from 6pm-10pm and meet the artists. We also will be featuring the black light art of Meghan McSwain. Refreshments and beautiful art await you! Hope to see you then!
If you are interested in showcasing your art or music at Solie Funeral Home for Everett Artwalk please contact us at: Holly@soliefunerals.com
Art Curator/Author: Corianne Jensen