School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

Wellington B. Gray Gallery

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Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge

Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery


Patricia Schwarz
Graduated 1979

I was introduced to clay my freshman year in college in the course, Art Fundamentals; or as we called it, “Art FUNdies.” This class offered a half semester each of painting, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture. Like many freshmen art majors, I was sure that I wanted to be a famous painter. After that course, the only discipline I NEVER took again was painting. After experimenting with various other art forms, I settled on clay, eventually earning an MFA in ceramics. My thesis show included a number of large, functional, soda-fired pieces. For a long while, I produced salt-fired and other high temperature pottery at a home studio, prior to opening Clayworks, a production and teaching studio in midtown Memphis. In various venues, I have been privileged to share my love of clay, teaching hundreds of students how to express themselves in clay.

After a few bumps in the road (surviving breast cancer and closing Clayworks) and detours including 15 years of service as a paramedic, I have returned to the wheel, focusing on non-utilitarian, saw dust fired, smoked pieces in traditional forms such as jars, platters, and vases.
Whether pulling the lid from a burned off trash can firing or opening a kiln door, the anticipation of seeing what the heat has done to the clay is still as exciting for me as it was that first time in Art FUNdies.

I hope that you will enjoy my work as much as I enjoyed making it.

Covered Jar, Sawdust-fired white earthenware clay, 6.75″ x 8.5″ x 8.5″, 2021