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Rachelle Chinnery

Celebrating the Source


June 1 - July 9, 2000

My medium is as old as the earth; it is the earth itself. My clay vessels are made with the same materials and process a potter ten thousand years ago would have used: ten fingers and a rock. Employing primal ingredients imbues the artwork with something unique to the ceramic arts: the connection it gives me with an ancestral creative process. In fact, it is the nature of clay itself that most directly informs my aesthetic. The material is our physical source, the source of all plant, animal and human life.

The work in this exhibition is handbuilt using a coil and altering process. Direct influence in this work comes from the oldest known potting tradition of Jomon vessels found throughout the Japanese archipelago. These vessels date back to roughly the 10th millennium BCE. Jomon vessels were used functionally as well as ceremonially and range in size, shape and treatment. They are earthenware and, as with all early pottery, were fired in pits with wood and other organic materials.

My vessels reflect the flora and fauna of British Columbia. The clay bodies contain rock from the specific locations the vessels honor. For example, a piece honoring Squamish contains crushed quartz from Squamish.

Rachelle Chinnery did an apprenticeship with Yukio Koneseda in Japan, 1991-94, and studied ceramics at Sheridan college of Art and Design in Oakville, Ontario, 1994-95. In 1996 she was the founder and co-owner of Mudslinger Clay Sudios Inc. and has exhibited her ceramic work since 1994 in Japan and Canada.