Wendy Anderson

I began working with clay years ago while studying at the College of the Atlantic on the Maine coast. Further studies in ceramics and art took me to Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and the University of New Hampshire where I received a BA in Studio Art. I received a teaching certificate in Art Education from the University of Montana. My journey with clay has never been limited to a single way of working. I love to throw on the wheel and to hand build forms. I have made ceramic jewelry, three-dimensional tiles, and large ceramic sculpture. But no matter what form my work takes, similar themes and images have always permeated my work and they are always connected to the daily life that I live as well as the dreams and imaginative life given shape in the studio. I have always lived in rural areas and animal imagery has been an ongoing theme in my work. As a family, we loved to hike and be out on the water. Spending time in the mountains of Northwest Montana gave me an abiding respect and affinity for creatures like bear,deer and ravens. Our own dogs and horses have always found their way into my work.

I have a deep love of story telling and my work has always had a strong decorative and narrative element. Creating a ceramic form is often just the starting point for me. I have always painted images and designs, or incorporated three dimensional figures and animals into my bowls, mugs, dishes, tiles and platters. The blank interior of a large bowl is like a lovely curved canvas for me, just waiting for imagery, story, and perhaps even words. I often begin my bowls and sculptures with a person, a dream, or a memory in mind. The painting evolves as I work in my studio into something more universal that will not only decorate a form, but will also welcome the future owner of the piece into a world of color, imagination, and celebration.

The spirt animals evolved from my love of the animals I continually painted as well as my interest in Native American culture and my desire to do more three dimensional work. The spirit animals evoke for me a feeling of benevolence, guardianship, wisdom and connectedness. I am always amazed when I see a group of them in my studio, at how utterly different each one is from the other and how each has a facial expression uniquely its own. I always have the feeling that every one of them will find a home with exactly the right person.

Persimmon Gallery
537 Electric Ave
Bigfork, MT 59911

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