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Delores Fortuna

My work uses basic wheel thrown shapes as starting points; the clay wall defines both the silhouette of the form and records the time-event process of throwing. The clay wall becomes a fabric, a diary rich with gestural marks and intent. As a seamstress would cut, fold, and dart cloth to make a garment, I use this clay fabric to shape utilitarian vessels. These vessels ask questions, explore solutions, and live in your home.


Early influences in my work were the simple yet intense forms of Hans Coper, Lucy Rie and Ruth Duckworth and the color theories of Josef Albers. I had the honor of studying with Ruth Duckworth at the University of Chicago for my undergraduate and graduate degrees and Richard Lafean was a pivotal in developing my wheel throwing touch. I have always responded to work which is form simple but structurally complex deriving much visual information from a diverse array of contemporary clay artists as well as historical ceramics. My current work is shaped as much by simple thoughts as by elaborate clay working ideas.


In 2015, I retired after 16 years of teaching in the Ceramics Department of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I continue to share my experiences and knowledge at workshops and conferences.


The clay and glazes I use are often of my own formulation, fired to stoneware temperatures (2374° F) in a gas reducing fiber kiln vitrifying the porcelain clay and glazes; the glazes are food safe, mircowave and dishwasher stable. I want my work to bridge an art aesthetic with the craft making of objects; a teapot which rests on a shelf as a visual object can serve a great pot of tea.


The studio is off a dirt road in a cedar woods, you are always welcome.

 
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