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Member Spotlight: Sandy Blain

Member Spotlight: Sandy Blain

With the Fall Craft Fair almost a week away and preparation for the 50th anniversary of Tennessee Craft in full-swing, it’s time to celebrate our craft artists! Over the next few weeks we will be showcasing some of our honorary members as a small thank you for their influence on our organization as well as the craft community.

Our first spotlight features ceramicist Sandy Blain. Inspired by the textures of objects and places, Blain focuses on everyday aspects of industrial life that are altered by urban development. The message Blain hopes to convey through these methods is just as unique as her pieces.

What are some messages you hope to convey with your work?  

Hopefully the viewer will see his/her life reflected in the “stuff” impressed. It is often what we throw away everyday without a thought, but when we start to focus in on the surface, hopefully it will be unsettling.

You use a lot of recycled and found objects to create the unique patterns in your pieces. What affects do you hope this has on admirers and buyers of your work?

By marking surfaces with objects from the street / sidewalk / curb / junkyard, the work questions the notion of consumption on a very personal level or on a social level as in mass waste of materials. This raises questions as to what we value and what we choose to throw away.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of Tennessee Craft?

I always look forward to getting e-mails or printed materials from Tennessee Craft as I still know some of the members. I also was part of several fairs so it is nice to see that the tradition is still being carried on. Few states have as active an organization as Tennessee Craft – the organization is so well recognized nationally. I’d love to come back and jury one of your shows.

Blain.MultipleCellular.side2 copy

“Multiple Cellular” – 17”h x 13”w x 13”d – stoneware – slab / coil constructed

Do you have any favorite moments you’d like to share of your time with Tennessee Craft?

In the south-east there is such a rich tradition of functional work and this was always valued at the fairs / exhibitions – I can’t think of a single moment but I was always aware of the support that the then TACA organization provided to students / institutions – from the chapters to the leadership, anyone in craft could count on TACA supporting their venture.

What are a few of your favorite parts of being a craft artist?

I am primarily a vessel maker – vessels have a universality related to the art of containment as well as having tremendous power in their own right. Vessels acknowledge historical and contemporary references with the hollow forms crossing between sculpture, function and design.

What are a few of your goals for the future of your craft?

Every day is a “new day” in the studio – the ceramic pieces are about a time and a place – they capture a moment that has disappeared – they are really stories. With the vessel emphasis I think about universality and simplicity – the neutral format through which any artistic style can take off – my goal is to continually make the best and most personal  3-D pieces I can organizing the relationship of the infinitely complex variety of shapes with surface markings – an ongoing conceptual challenge.


For more information and images on Sandy and her work click here.

Image above:  “Linear Basket” – stoneware – 11”h x 10”w x 4.5”d – slab constructed
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 4:18 pm and is filed under Artist Spotlight. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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