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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Visiting Sharon Virtue

Sharon Virtue in her studio and her ceramic goddesses













A little over a year ago I took a workshop with Sharon Virtue at Clay Creations in Pacifica  all about surface decoration on clay. Sharon was welcoming and informative. I love to illustrate on clay, and I am a printmaker too so I found the workshop to be very relevant and applicable to what I do with my art. She made such a great impression on me that I have been a fan ever since.

The Beautiful Dish I now have hanging in my house


Yesterday I went to Ruby’s Clay Studio in San Francisco to meet the exquisite Sharon again and to pick up my new rococo inspired dish. I bought a small turquoise green rectangle plate with surface decoration of a bird, a letter, a crown and flowers. I love the ornamentation on the dish and the rich and vibrant glazing. While I was at Ruby’s Clay studio I had the pleasure of seeing Sharon’s workspace and I was fortunate enough to see some of her amazing work fresh from the kiln. All of her work is incredible!


The most imposing and magnificent of the work was a large sculpture of a beautiful celestial woman tattooed with mishima designs and layered with textural detailing. Her intensely hued orange skin and eyes sparkled and she was vibrantly decorated and multicolored with mauve, purples, greens, blues and more. If I could have taken one home it would have been the bust of a pretty woman with brilliant orange hair, exquisite features, porcelain skin, and adorned with lavender clouds, coral and flowers. She was extraordinary! The women Sharon sculpts are kaleidoscopic divinity. I could have looked at her work for hours but I had disturbed her work time long enough and I had to get to printmaking myself, so I left.  


So that I can have more opportunity to admire Sharon’s work, I plan to attend her show  with Tiffany Schmierer  at the Pence Gallery  Both are San Francisco- based ceramicists who create sculpture full of color and surface detail. Their work is skilled and complex and invites the viewer to take a longer and deeper look at it. Sharon’s female figurative sculptures are fabulous and I look forward to seeing more of her work up close and in person!

Cell Phone Self Portrait

This summer Sharon is teaching a workshop at Sierra Nevada Tahoe College (June 23rd-24th) on “Painting with Clay”.