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I am a high school art student from Massachusetts. Sculpting and mixed media design, particularly in ceramics, occupies most of my class and free time.  I am also an intern for a local architectural firm. I love working three-dimensionally so much because I feel that it’s my way to make something real, something that fills a space and communicates with the viewer.  Working three dimensionally that allows me to think about how I can create a sculpture and space that a viewer can enter and connect with.

Ceramic sculpture can be a long and sometimes unpredictable process, so it allows me a lot of time to think about my concepts, collaborate with my teachers and peers, and figure out how I can communicate my ideas in better ways. Though a lot of my time in the studio is spent alone, I’ve found the art community, (especially the ceramics community) to be extremely supportive, interesting, and constantly full of ideas.

In the future, I can’t wait to take my ideas to college, where I am majoring in architecture. Hopefully my love for structure will help me design, and maybe even build successful and sculptural buildings in the future.

Video Transcript

“Hi I’m Lucy, I’m a high school student and I’m from New England. I’ve been someone who’s loved to make and create my whole life. I grew up with my grandmother teaching me how to sew and knit, my dad would be in, you know, the wood shop with me, but I actually never took an organized art class until my junior year of high school.

So I sort of walked into my college counselors office, and I was starting to apply to schools, and I was like, ‘I want to go to architecture school and design school’ and she was like, ‘alright, well better get started on a portfolio,’ and I was going like ‘aagh!’ So I walked in and sign up for an art class, and I actually initially got put in ceramics instead of studio art, and I was really mad because I didn’t want to do ceramics at all, so I walked into my first day of this class just completely negative, didn’t want to be there, so upset that I wasn’t signed up for studio art.

They brought out the bags of clay and they gave me a ball of terracotta, and our first assignment which was to create two figures, two contrasting figures, on a certain topic. So I immediately just got so inspired, and I made these little three inch tall figures based off of healthy and unhealthy relationships. and just immediately got really really invested in this project. And I don’t remember free period after that where I wasn’t in the studio working on something, whether it was that project or the ones that came after. And I just never gone back you know ceramics and clay and glaze, they’ve just all been my main medias since then, and I absolutely love it.

My current focus in my artwork is in personalities through body language. A lot of my pieces are focused on real people. I love meeting people and learning about their personalities, and seeing how I can communicate them through body language and threw a piece that sort of expresses their personality through body language. Next year I’m headed to architecture school, and I’m really really excited.

And what I really want to do is bring my sculptural skills into the buildings that I design, because I feel like architecture is such a beautiful mix of art, and of functionality of structure. So I really want to combine art and structure in a way that’s really seamless and beautiful.”

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3 responses on "Lucy Saltonstall, Ceramic Sculptor"

  1. You have such a great eye for body language and the “acting” of your figure work is so strong! I love hearing stories like yours – It’s fascinating how so many artists stumble onto their most passionate subject matter, almost by mistake.

    It’ll be interesting to see how you can apply your interests and skills in ceramics to the field of architecture, but I’m sure that your enthusiasm and openness will serve you very well, moving forward!

  2. I love seeing how much you love playing with form. That woman/pitcher piece you made is just so cool!

    Even though it seems like architecture school is definitely the way to go for you, I hope that you’ll still come back to ceramics, because it seems like you really fell in love with it! One of my favorite architecture groups is Diller Scofidio + Renfro. They take a lot from the visual arts and make these super conceptual and gorgeous buildings. They show that there is so much room for integration of multiple mediums!

  3. Wow!! It’s so cool to hear about the path that led you to where you are now!! Your work draws so much from the human form, and I’m really excited to see how this may emerge in your architectural work!

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