I became enchanted with clay when I spent summers as a teen at Penland School of Crafts in the mountains of North Carolina. Then, for many years, I had a business called Cerantics and I traveled all around doing shows with my clay jungle gyms and fish bowls. Family life took over and I taught children for years as my children were growing up.
This photo shows my very first sand sculpture—and this is where it all began!
I received a BFA in Ceramics at the University of North Carolina and have worked with clay for over 40 years. Currently, my figurative sculptures are evocations of a dream world.
My inspiration comes from mythology, fairy tales, dreams and the antics of animals and children. Publications include Ceramics: Art and Perception, Lark Books, The Shambhala Sun, andBetter Homes and Gardens. My work is in the National Museum for Women in the Arts and other private collections.
HEALING MY LIFE THROUGH CREATIVITY
On June 9, 2000, I sustained a serious head injury while I was decorating the gym for my daughter’s 8th grade graduation ceremony. The cherry picker I was in at the time collapsed in on itself and crushed my head, smashing my face into its steel ladder. I tried many healing methods, many of which were effective to a point; however, being able to express my experience through art has been my main healing tool. The tactile nature of clay, the quiet time in the studio, the visionary journeys to realms to retrieve images, all contributed to my rehabilitation. As I changed the clay, the clay changed me. I feel I was given an opportunity to explore in a new way my experience with art.
Our imaginations are sacred. At the deepest level, they can put us in touch with the collective unconscious that we all share. I create in clay a version of my intentions and dreams. Making something real in physical form makes it real on many levels. In my classes we travel a journey of transformation and exploration through art to find a deeper place, a more fulfilling place- that place where stillness reigns and time stretches out and magic has its way with us. It is an alchemy of sorts, a turning of lead into gold.
Figurative clay sculpture encourages self expression. This highly narrative medium has made a big impact in the art world in the last few decades. I am happy to be a part of this contemporary line of artists and glad to be able to watch others wake up to their love of this expressive art form.
I encourage my students to give themselves permission to play with clay as if they were in kindergarten, without layers of self-consciousness. That place of creativity is pure joy and delight. It is experienced by just being in the present moment and allowing that magic space of no thinking, where heaven and earth join in union through our hands and heart. My desire is that my images might feed you and give you permission to connect to your own creativity. SO welcome to Caroline's world, a world of creative play where you can join in and open yourself up to the transformation that art can bring. Art saved my life; it can save yours too.