Porcelain artist Monica Wakefield uses a combination of wheel throwing and hand sculpting to create her one-of-a-kind porcelain sculptures. Her work is largely inspired by the bones and skeletons of humans and reptiles. Select areas of the sculptures are thinned, giving the illusion of transparent skin when held to light.
Wakefield's porcelain sculptures are hand thrown, altered, carved, and polished, then carefully dried before being fired. Each piece is finished only by hours of hand polishing before firing. This occasionally leaves the surface with delicious flaws and imperfections, as one can never predict what porcelain will do throughout the creative process. This unpredictability can also be considered one of the main attractions of working with such a difficult material, as unexpected activity in the kiln can also lead to spectacular alterations of the sculpture.
Monica Wakefield has been working with clay since she was a student at Appalachian State University in 1993. She has worked exclusively in porcelain for the past several years, developing her craft through trial and error, and learning the intricacies and nuances of working with porcelain. She has studied at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee. She works from her studio in the foothills of North Carolina.
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NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, Raleigh, NC, 2013