Colleen in her studio.
Colleen McCall is a full-time artist with diverse talents in ceramic figure sculpture and functional hand painted pottery. She studied ceramic arts in college, traveling abroad to Italy and returning with a passion for classical sculpture. After earning an MFA from Alfred University, she continued to build and exhibit life-size female torso fragments while in residency at the Harvard Ceramics Program and beyond. When her daughter was born, she began making small dishes for her. Her pottery has since matured and is now sold exclusively at Cappy’s in Elmira and Handwork in Ithaca. Colleen recently returned to sculpting from life, specifically her life with her family as well as exhibiting regionally at Exhibit A: Contemporary Artin Corning, the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester and the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira.
Square Platter, 2011, stoneware with porcelain slip and under glaze decoration, 11.5” x 11.5”
Decorated from top to bottom, inside and out, I enjoy making uniquely designed slab formed serving dishes. The process is always fresh and challenging. Using the clay as a canvas I hand paint richly layered polychrome patterns with porcelain slip, under glaze and wax. A fine tool outlines the design by drawing through to the dark brown clay beneath. The resulting dish is beautiful empty or filled. Vintage glass ware, vibrant textiles and ornate buttons provide a never ending source of inspiration.
Done in ceramic with acrylic, "Icing" is 28”w x 26”h. Self- control is a timeless virtue which has its own unique challenges within every culture. Through the classical format of a Greek metope I explore the guilt and humor of my childrearing choices in our present age of excess. Historically, these stone carved narratives displayed the conflict between barbarism and civilized behavior. The Centaurmachy depicted on the Parthenon illustrates the force and destruction of our lower untamed appetites. Here, my son is transformed into one of these drunken pony boys at the sight of cake.