Monthly Artist Feature (October 2018) – Shannon Weston

Artist’s Name: Shannon Weston

Name of Brand: ClayBabee

Artist’s Age: 21

Artform: Ceramics

Instagram: @handmadebyshann

Why do you do what you do? When did you realize a passion for what you do?

My ceramic journey began in my first year of Edna Manley . It was there I developed a strong admiration and appreciation for handmade objects, made from natural materials. I found great joy and satisfaction creating vessels using wheel throwing, coil building techniques. I  really love working with clay and I’m very passionate about it  because I feel it’s a medium that I can best express myself through. I’m super excited and I do look forward to learning and growing within the field.

What is your educational background?

I received an Associates Degree in Visual Arts Foundation (Ceramics) studying at the Edna Manley College in Kingston, Jamaica. Currently, I’m pursing a Bachelors degree in Craft and Design (Ceramics) at Sheridan College in Oakville, CA.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced while trying to pursue your passion?

I have not really come across any major challenges so far. A majority of the resources I need are provided by my school, and if I need something outsourced there are nearby supply stores that have just about anything and are quite reasonable.

Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?

Yes, persons usually ask about  jobs/careers within the field. [However, there a quite a few careers that are available, these] include [being a] ceramist/potter, [ceramic] professor, ceramic technician, ceramic engineer or even porcelain technician (dentistry).

What are some of the fears that you face?

Potentially working as a successful full-time artist.

How do you deal with those fears?

I find that engaging on social media with artists or reading articles in ceramic monthly magazines always gives great incite on artists that work full-time. They mostly speak about their educational background, how they manage their studio, selling/marketing their work style of making and overall journey to their success.

How do you work? What is the method to your ‘madness’ and how do you filter your creativity?

I like looking at images online or in magazines of the female physical form, abstract art, contemporary ceramic art, organic textures, form and patterns, body modification,  ancient African art, and  biomorphic ceramics just to name few. Usually while looking through these images I’ll be drawing or making notes of artists to keep in mind, historical details/forms/elements, techniques, glazes, or surface designs to test and experiment with and then apply what I’ve conjured into a creation of my own.

Out of all your work, which piece resonates the most with you?

I am really in love with my recent experiments with raku and cone 6 reduction firings, the glazes melted beautifully and they really accentuate their form.

By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?

I’m usually satisfied with my work if I take a look at it and I don’t have a bad, unsettling feeling that something might be missing, off or incomplete. After a bisque/glaze firing I usually check for any clay or glaze defects (cracking warping, dunting, crazing etc.) and, if there are none, I would then deem that piece safe and successful.

“I’m usually satisfied with my work if I take a look at it and I don’t have a bad, unsettling feeling that something might be missing, off or incomplete.”

~ Shannon Weston