Nicolle LaMere

What clay body do you use?


"I’ve always mixed my own clay bodies so that I can customized the behaviors and final appearance of the ceramic.  At this moment I am using a cone 10 porcelain casting slip and a cone 6 terracotta."


 

Primary forming method?

"I primarily work with personally designed molds and slip dipped burnable materials such as paper or tumbleweed."


Primary firing temperature?

"My ideal is cone 10 reduction however, I am now firing to cone 05 oxidation."


Favorite surface treatment?

"

My sculptural works are untreated, unglazed and unadulterated clay body color and texture.  On the flip side my slipcast tableware utilizes various image transfer techniques and come in a wide spectrum of color.  Techniques range from handmade stencils, newsprint transfers, augmented photo lithography and water etching."



Favorite Tools?

"When I’m mold-making I have a very fine sculpting/detailing tool which was developed for spreading adhesives.  I also love my sumi ink brush and finishing sponge!" 


Describe your studio environment.

"I currently maintain a studio at Box13 ArtSpace alongside about 20 other artists.  When I first moved to Houston a little over a year ago it was a bit difficult to work in isolation, Box13 opened new avenues to meet, discuss, and grow with a close group of artists. I mostly treat it as a flux space working with a variety of mediums concurrently.  There isn’t a kiln onsite but my future desires include building a baby portable anagama kiln."





How/Where do you market your artwork?

"At this time in my career I’m trying to focus on creating the artwork I want to make rather than thinking about what ought to sell or finding the market for a particular artwork.  I do have a mostly neglected etsy page (StudioLaMere)."

How/Where do you sell your artwork?

"I sell my artwork by word of mouth or commission."



What sparks your creativity? What drives you to work with clay?
"My favorite past times are reading books and losing myself in forests and prairies. Two of the most influential books which have inspired my creative process are Hermann Hess’s “Siddhartha” and Kurt Vonnegut’s “Sirens of Titan.” Just like the lessons of working with clay, there is always an expectation held within the maker and their desired outcome, at the same time the clay has its own workability and readiness.  Clay encourages me to remain present in the moment and understand what is true and what is wishful thinking."


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

    "At this time I would consider myself to be an emerging artist.  Towards the end of my BFA in ceramics and a secondary in printmaking I completed two National Undergraduate Research Grants and in 2011 my work was included in the NCECA National Student Juried Show.  As a young person I was worried whether or not I would be able to find a place in the artistic community but these particular accomplishments gave me the confidence to stick with it.  The time between undergrad and gradschool I would spend my summers at Arrowmont and Penland as a work study student and later as a studio assistant learning as much as I could from the various experts in a variety of mediums.  While in gradschool at Texas Tech University I continued my research with the assistance of the NCECA Graduate Student Fellowship.  After graduating in 2017 I spent two months camping on a traveling artist residency.  It is was my deliberate decision to stay active within the artistic community to the greatest extent possible which sustained my ability to continue in the arts.  I now live in Katy, and teach studio art classes in handbuilding, moldmaking, and various sculpturally based courses at Art League Houston.  What is important to note is that sometimes our resolve to keep going wavers.  It’s only those who keep going, who keep trying despite setbacks who will see the results of their efforts…eventually."




    How have you have taken your experience as a well-established maker in the field and passed that knowledge along to other artists?
      "I have published the findings of my previous technical ceramics research as well as teaching K-12, undergraduate, and adult continued learning courses.  I’m excited to say that I will be teaching a workshop in June for ClayHouston members pertaining to surface development and image transfer on clay.  I’d love for people to come visit Box13 ArtSpace and learn some new techniques!"





      What’s the best advice you’ve been given by a fellow maker, mentor, or teacher?

        “All art is, is the ability to solve problems by coming up with creative solutions. If you can fully understand the problem, you will find the most appropriate solution.” 



        Website URL and other social media platforms:

        Website: nicollelamere.com

        Instagram: @wisco_disco

        Etsy: StudioLaMere


          Bio:

          Nicolle LaMere was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. LaMere moved to Lubbock, Texas to complete her MFA in ceramics with a secondary in sculpture graduating in 2017 with honors. Since graduating LaMere has participated in the internationally known Land Art of the American West program. LaMere currently lives in Katy, TX, teaches studio art courses at Art League Houston and maintains a studio at Box13 ArtSpace.  

          Artist Statement:

          The journey from Southern Wisconsin to my new home in West Texas transitioned me from a landscape that envelops to one that exposes a person. In this place red and golden flat plains are met on the distant horizon by an ever-expanding blue sky. I felt separated from the landscape; I was now a feature on rather than of the land. This separation created an expanse which encouraged a critical evaluation of my relationship and potential impact in relation to the environment. I operate within the metaphorical void, seeking to make visible the inter connectivity that exists within the ecosystem by utilizing biological materials as the liaison of truth.


          Contact ClayHouston at info@ClayHouston.org

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