Come join us at December’s First Friday Reception “Fantastically Peculiar Things” featuring Anna Harris and Shannon Ross. Music provided by Brenda Coughennower.
Even after 37 years of creating various forms of art, Anna Harris still appreciates being an active student. She enjoys learning new ways to mix design, symbolism, and media throughout her compositions. Her main area of focus is studying and personifying nature. She believes nature contains the true extracts of life with its many textures and colors. Anna is a founding member of Gallery Calapooia. She attended both Oregon State University and Western Oregon University with a focus in both Art and Business. She is thankful to have three tough, constructive, and motivational critics: her two daughters and husband, the true artists of the family.
Shannon Ross is a native Oregonian who has worked with Ceramics for over 30 years. She lives in South Salem with her husband, Rob, who is her biggest supporter and studio mate. Her Boston terrier, Dotty, also keeps her company in the studio. While she has experimented with different art mediums, Shannon’s primary focus is ceramics, which she first studied in high school. Her degree in interior design contributes to her interest in building and constructing complex hand built ceramic pieces that are beautiful, sculptural and whimsical.
I enjoy making ceramics that combine merriment with elegance, bringing sophistication to everyday items. My work shows many influences, from ornate Art Nouveau illustrations of flowers to art deco patterns. Natural elements like birds, plants and animals are often used in my designs. Diverse influences, combined with my own personality, infuse each creation with levity, humor, and character.
To create my work, I either use porcelain or a clay mixture with 10% paper and grog, which is used to strengthen delicate parts. This paper clay mixture allows me to have greater freedom in the creation of the intricate and detailed pieces I love to create.
I enjoy the freedom of firing pieces sometimes 3 or 4 times to get the right color or detail. I use layered glazes, so the pigments interact, giving depth and lively, robust color. Sometimes I challenge myself to develop unorthodox practices such as taking separate components (e.g. stone, shells, mineral specimens, fish skin) and attaching them after firing. Since the details of my ceramics develop and change during the creation process, each piece is truly one-of-a-kind.
For my newest body of work, I’m excited about a unique approach: combining clay figurative pieces with antiques. In doing this I have incorporated elements of the unexpected and infused the narratives with mystery. Having been a collector of antiques and “found objects” for many years, I have items waiting to be given a new life. I have incorporated some of these interesting finds with imaginative ceramic animal figures to create surreal and playful forms.