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When Paintings Become Sculptures: Jaime Keiter’s Frank Stella–Inspired Ceramics

When Jaime Keiter made a move to Atlanta last year — after spending more than a decade in New York City working as an art director and photo editor for magazines like Vogue and Lucky — she decided it was time focus on her artwork, which included a series of simple, geometric pencil drawings on paper. “Moving to a new place gave me a new perspective on life, and I had less pressure to make art that was formulaic,” explains Keiter. After a friend suggested they join a ceramic studio on a whim, Keiter’s vision for her one-of-a-kind ceramic sculpture became fully formed. “I had been thinking of a way to make paintings that are unexpected—in a medium other than paper and wood. In the ceramics studio, it all sort of clicked,” says Keiter.

She began using clay to create the same shapes she was using in her drawings, then layering and painting them — ceramics as a canvas. Inspired by artist Frank Stella’s non-uniform canvases, Keiter’s wall hangings each begin with geometric tiles that she hand builds and collages to form her sculpture. Then, with the shape she’s created as her canvas, she uses various glazes and glazing techniques (wax resist, atomizer spray) to realize her vision with color and texture. “I love the mystery of the glazes,” says Keiter, “When I’m drawing on paper, I know what I’m going to get, but with ceramics, you do glazes, underglazes and washes. Then, you put it in the kiln and sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes its not, but you always learn something.” Scroll down to see Keiter’s (definitely amazing) inaugural collection, which makes its debut this month.

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