Clara Hoag
What clay body do you use?

    "I use Grande – I like the grit and strength of the clay – but I’m not picky: I’ll use any mid- or high- temperature clay body".

     

    Primary forming method?

    “Handbuilding: Coil-building and Slab-building”.


    Primary firing temperature?

    "^04-^6. For photography, the clay remains unfired".


    Favorite surface treatment?

    "For fired work, I like to use either lots of glaze or just an oxide wash. For photographs, I carve windows and designs, and I use underglaze for color".





    Favorite Tools?

    "Wooden chopsticks, paring knife, dental (spoon) tool, wooden sculpting tools, metal rib, and my hands".           



    Describe your studio environment.

    "Messy! I live and work in my studio, so it’s constantly a battle between letting my studio be a studio and keeping my living space clean".



    How/Where do you market & sell your artwork?

    "I have a gallery in Illinois (Cinema Gallery) that has represented me since 2009. I have also met many collectors and art enthusiasts through auctions and group shows".





    What sparks your creativity? What drives you to work with clay

    "Art history, especially religious/spiritual/culturally profound work. African art and Medieval art are especially moving for me.

    The desire to connect with others.

    The desire to find deeper truths about humanity.

    Clay has a long, rich history in American and world folklore – from creation myths about people made of clay, to folk songs where clay represents change, wavering feelings, or unsure footing. That history informs some of my reason for working with clay.

    Clay is this wonderful, visceral material – it really wants to be skin, hence the figure sculpting. It’s just too easy".


    Did you come to pottery from a different career? Tell us about your journey to a ceramics career.

      "I was in a biology/pre-medicine program as an undergraduate student. I found my way into the art department (via art history) and ended up in a ceramics class. I graduated with two major degrees in Ceramics and Art History".




      How have you have taken your experience as a well-established maker in the field and passed that knowledge along to other artists?

      "I’m a full-time teacher at Houston Community College: I teach ceramics, among other things, every semester. I have also taught ceramics at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center, Art League Houston, Glassell School of Art, and the University of Houston".



      What’s the best advice you’ve been given by a fellow maker, mentor, or teacher?
        (From Ron Kovatch, April 2015) "Cut loose.  Let your work show the free spirit that defines you.  Your work looks a bit careful now.  Keep making it if it gets you shows or money... but in the corner of your studio, do the art making equivalent of doing heroin while smoking crack, while fucking 2 guys and 2 women and telling Obama how to fix shit.  Mix media, use paint where ceramic glazes are limited.  Slash and burn.  Making art is warfare.  Take no prisoners".
        Website URL and other social media platforms:
            • Facebook: Clara Hoag
            • Instagram: @clarahoagie
            • Website: claragracehoag.com
            • Gallery: cinemagallery.cc

            artist statement: 

            Clara Hoag received two BFAs from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in 2009 and received an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Georgia (Athens) in 2013. She currently teaches Ceramics and Art Appreciation at Houston Community College. In addition to teaching, Clara has been a resident artist at The Archie Bray Foundation and The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; she has participated in numerous national shows; she has received grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and the Houston Art Alliance; and she plays a mean banjo.
             



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