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Cheryl Kempner - Bird Vaces

Cheryl Kempner

Kemper Clay

I have been creating in clay for over two decades. My explorations started with a beginning throwing class in Colorado, then to mixing clay and glazes at a community college in Kansas, to independent clay studies in Oregon, and finally to a beautiful studio in Ashland, Oregon. It amazes me how new ideas continue to flow into my head and hands. My signature pieces for many years were very thin hand-built porcelain vessels edged in 24k gold. My mother’s wooden rolling pin was often used to roll a lace texture into the porcelain. I love the balance of the delicate beauty and the inherent strength of these pieces.

Two years ago my worked changed dramatically. Our daughter turned 27 in intensive care after surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Once I got back to my studio, whimsical shapes, thick clay, and primary colored glazes started to appear. My hands took over and created crazy, nonrealistic birds. These birds looked up at me with funny little beaks and funny little eyes – they made me smile. Our daughter continues her recovery and the birds continue to evolve. There are now clay birds sitting on rocks, birds in clay bird houses, birds in nests, and birds on clay window sills. The whimsy of these creations has helped balance the intensity of life.


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Cheryl Kempner - bird mugs
Cheryl Kempner - Crazy birds
Cheryl_Kempner birds