From an Insect’s-eye View: The Ceramic Gardener
April 8, 2014 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Frances Doherty, The Ceramic Gardener, sold her restaurant to instead feast on ceramics, something she got hooked on after evening classes. Her work comes from the flowers and plants that we see around us, even in the cracks in the pavement.
What I love about her sculptures is that they embody so much from nature without attempting to imitate or reproduce a certain plant or flower.
Doherty’s love for the patterns and textures hidden away in flowers and plants stems from her feeling that they represent a continuing state of promise and renewal.
Most recently, she has been focusing on seedpods and fruiting bodies. She plays with scale, but not just for the intricacy of magnification. Doherty likes to recreate what plants must look like to insects— “the insect’s eye view.” From that view, what is it exactly that is insatiably attractive or repellent about the colors, patterns and textures of a plant?
Doherty works in stoneware to throw the basic shape of the sculpture. She then alters and models onto that form. She likes her pieces to glow. To achieve this, she chooses glazes that are often slightly crystalline or iridescent. They always compliment the form.
Her pieces are high fired, making them suitable for enhancing both indoor and outdoor spaces.