Tea Housing will highlight Candy Coated’s new tea bowl designs and tea settings inspired by a love of green tea, the act of tea making, and a recent porcelain artist residency in China. A former Resident Artist at The Clay Studio, Candy served as a Guest Artist at the Studio this summer while she prepared for this celebration of her recent artistic explorations.
Many of the works in this show are made from Blanc de Chine porcelain produced at Master Lin Studio in Dehua, China during with the assistance of slip casting specialists during my International Contemporary Ceramics Residency. During this residency, it was my honor to learn large scale mold making and porcelain casting techniques from highly skilled factory studio workers. The entire residency of three months in China was completely mind blowing on the daily, thereby creating “future memories” that I will recall and share with others for the rest of my life- that is literally how life altering this ceramic cultural experience was for me. Upon arrival back in Philly after this magical experience, I headed directly to one of my favorite places in the world, the Clay Studio to meet with curator of exhibitions Jennifer Zwilling to propose ideas for a residency in which I would create a mini factory to produce hundreds of tiny tea cups, an exhibition of an installation of the cups combined with artworks brought back from china made from the beautifully exquisite glowingly luminous white jade-like porcelain, including life like porcelain peony flowers, and an Artist’s Tea Talk with a flower making workshop titled “Flower Power”. For me, the creative process becomes reality when inspiration takes form; summer of 2019 the residency occurred and in September the rest of the proposal unfolded thankfully with the assistance of innumerable staff and artists. One of the sculptures in the show, Greenest Tara, or “Alien Guan Yin” as I lovingly nicknamed her, is the anchor piece of this installation, “Tea Housing”. This reminiscently alien-looking head is symbolic of the mind and greater thinking, mental creation. What we think, we create. From her dripped hundreds of individual ceramic works that ebbed, flowed, and swirled around the space infinitely reflected in the mirrors covering the walls. At the heart of this is the idea that all creation comes from the mind, flows through the heart and out through the hands creating these forms called art. Some of these forms were tea cups, plates and bowls. All that which sustains life; tea, water, food. Green Tara is a goddess, known as Mother Earth, representing the eternal life force that fuels all life who overcomes obstacles and saves us from physical and spiritual danger. In Sanskrit the name Tara means Star and she was also called She Who Brings Forth Life, the Great Compassionate Mother, and The Embodiment of Wisdom, and the Great Protectress… one who can take human form and who remains in oneness with every living thing. The star Green Tara symbolizes enlightenment through transformation if made with pure white porcelain found in the mountains of Fujian Provence, the same place that Buddhism was introduced to China by a monk from India. It has been more than a 25 year dream come true for me to visit China and make spiritual artworks with the most special of porcelains
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