Carol Kimmons: Sassy Shadows Pottery
My work is based on forms and designs from the forests and farms of the Sequatchie Valley and the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee. Bowls, mugs, and pendants are hand-built from soft clay impressed with leaves, seeds, and flowers gleaned from the vast biodiversity of our bioregion. The delicate fossil-like tracing in the clay shows details of veins, twigs, and flowers that identify the many species. The elegant designs resemble delicate engraving and 18th-19th century botanical plates. Patterns are emphasized by use of natural safe oxides, such as iron rust. I use stoneware clay fired to 2200 degrees in an electric kiln. The functional ware has food-safe interior glazes and natural unglazed exteriors. My husband Johnny mounts the tiles on sustainably harvested wood cut on our sawmill. He also makes stainless steel cable hangers for my bird feeders and carves the wooden beads to decorate them. Each finished work is one of a kind with organic forms and designs. Tiles are labeled with the scientific and common name of the plant as well as medicinal and traditional uses and type of wood it is mounted on. To date, I have labeled over 200 separate, mainly native, species. I make tiles during all four seasons, but with the plants unique to the season; for example, dogwood and mayapple blooms for spring, weeds and Queen Anne’s Lace in the summer, goldenrod for fall, and ferns, sawbriers and hemlocks in the winter.
My art utilizes my experience as a botanist and education director of Sequatchie Valley Institute, the environmental center where we live. My goal as an artist is to share my love of nature and art with our community and encourage the development of artists and craftspeople in Tennessee. My work reflects my love of our native plants and enables me to share their beauty and symmetry, while emphasizing the fragility of our exquisite ecosystem and the unique biodiversity of the beautiful Sequatchie Valley. You can see more of my work on my Facebook Site or at Sassy Shadows.
Social and cultural issues, science, and my experience as an American woman abroad are essential instruments in the creation of my art. I was raised in the rural Tennessee of my father and cultured by the colorful traditions of my mother’s Colombian blood. Exposure to both Appalachian and Colombian artisans laid the foundation for my appreciation of the aesthetic quality that originates from human hands. I am currently working on a body of work entitled Unit of Measure, inspired by my daughter’s passage through each day, the specimens she collects, and patterns she follows from home to school and back again, as well as observations of the elegant, intuitive correlations between things one does, life’s cycles, the routines one develops, patterns one traces and objects one collects.
I earned my B.F.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia where I pursue my passion for the arts with exhibition and community involvement. Along with my current painting work, I also teach art to a variety of ages at a range of venues including here at Sequatchie Valley Institute and Liquidambar. I can be contacted for commissions or other interest in my work at email@example.com or http://www.michellekimmons.wordpress.com. See more of my work on Etsy or Facebook.
Patrick Mcintyre Kimmons Ironwood: Nature of Reaction
As a multi-media artist, most of my abilities have come from (wilderness and villages museums, archeological sites and) 30 years of life on my four-generation family homestead and intentional community in the Sequatchie Valley on the western edge of the Southern Appalachians. From the time I was six and running wild on the mountainside, I have cared for goats and fowl, worked with mules and llamas, operated a wood shop and sawmill, designed edible landscapes and a permaculture forest farm, and built epic organic structures of logs, rock, straw, and clay. Without the experiences, skills and access to tools that my life has provided, I would not be able to create the art now enriching my life and the lives of others.
I have organized my color reactions into a pattern language akin to the periodic table. This enables me to use my complex color pallet and adjustable flame chemistry reactions to explore new color frontiers. Using graphite and brass tools, many of my own design, I form the glass by spinning its molten form (much as a potter does on a wheel) while blending and layering color, painting with glass until I know balance and harmony. I then often flatten the 3-D form into 2-D landscapes to bring the eyes focus into one plane. My current focus is on analyzing and harmonizing my color theories while marrying metal form and sculpture.
My steam punk scientific curiosity has recently lead me into an electrochemical romance with the relatively new art of electroforming, which dates back only to 1804. Inspired by pataphysics (the nature of imaginary machines), steam punk, post-industrial collapse, and objectivist utopian art, combined with my collection of abstruse objects, my work continues to evolve into increasingly complex multilayered designs.
The Glass: The colors and nature of my glasswork have now reached an apex of complexity after ten years of experimentation and exploration into color combinations and reactions. I use the explicit properties of over 200 types of glass from Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the US. I layer and stretch color to almost microscopic detail and three dimensional depth creating an abstract and varying path of visual harmony.
The Perfect Flame: The infinite possibilities of flame chemistry can be subtle or extreme as fine adjustments provide a distinct and abstract effect on each color reaction. This simultaneously finesses and forces new color combinations, possibly never before seen.
The Design: I join to my glasswork numerous detailed and treasured items to form three-dimensional objects representing the art of an unknown time.
The Synthesis: Using an electroforming machine which I designed and built, multiple layers of copper are electrically transported through a liquid solution and atomically bonded to both the copper metal and the electrically conductive paint on my sculptures. The electroformed copper is finished with a series of chemical reactions creating a strong and organically patterned finish reminiscent of an object that is very old or a relict from the future.
My Identifiable and Functional Objects include marbles, cabinet knobs, lamp pulls, apothecary bottles, ear rings, hair sticks, pendants, buttons, divining pendulums, medicine bags, solar system replicas, cremation ornamentation, and kaleidoscopes. See more of my work on my Facebook page.