Marie-Elena Ottman, Ceramic Sculpture

Artist Talk Hosted by Louisville Clay at AA Clay Studio & Gallery September 11, 2018

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Louisville Clay members gathered at AA Clay for Artist Talk and Potluck
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President of Louisville Clay, Alex Adams introduces Marie-Elena Ottman

Marie-Elena Ottman is a Louisville based artist with a story worth telling. Louisville Clay members enjoyed seeing images of Marie-Elena’s fantastical ceramic art, while hearing her compelling personal story.

Iguana

Having grown up in Panama with an American father and Panamanian mother, Marie-Elena makes art about the symbiosis and the tension that can exist between two cultures. At age 21 she broke with tradition in Panama, where women stay at home until married, by emigrating to the United States to attend college in Montana. What followed was an art journey in which she has represented the integration of two cultures through visual metaphor.

Portrait-slide-Panama

Marie-Elena’s ceramic process is achieved through coil building and the use of extraordinary color. She also artfully combines glass with ceramics in her sculpture.

Her current images are derived from her homeland and include coconuts, cashews, iguanas, monkeys, coatimundis, exotic birds,Panamanian dress and vibrant color. The following images are metaphors about pregnancy, split personality, and greediness, among other life stories.

 

“I’ve learned to not forget culture, to embrace the past while also moving forward” said Marie-Elena as she closed her presentation. Ottman currently teaches Intro to Ceramics and Advanced Handbuilding at the University of Louisville. She and her husband have two children, ages 12 and 10, who are learning about their heritage by speaking Spanish as well as English.

Marie-art

Louisville Clay Members Make Elaborative/Collaborative Teapots

It was a two-hour clay event on June 12 at
KY Mudworks in Louisville that rated high
on the fun-scale for area artists.

The complexity of the teapot is well known to potters.

This Julius Friedman poster shows a teapot by Hsiao-Ling Gardner

We added a challenge to the process by mixing and matching separate functional and aesthetic components (body, spout, handle, lid). Each finished pot consists of parts made by different contributors. We call this the “exquisite” teapot.

As we began to communally design a process for creating exquisite teapots, we felt as if we were 15 people sharing one brain (allowing some confusion to enter the scene, of course).

As we worked individually to create teapot components, we felt like an expanding intellect: occasionally working in the dark, and motivated by the unknown.

Boldly, we came together to combine our creative identities
and, “voila”, teapots were born.

You could not have found a happier group of artists at play.

Louisville Clay is an association of ceramic artists and enthusiasts.
We support clay culture in our region by creating a vibrant atmosphere
in which to create and communicate.

We have membership events such as exquisite teapot-building,
as well as demonstrations and lectures by visiting artists.

Check out our website at louisvilleclay.org. Members can easily create profiles to share news and information with the Louisville Clay community.