Chandra DeBuse is a studio potter in Kansas City and a founding member of Kansas City Urban Potters. She received her MFA from the University of Florida in 2010 and was a resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Chandra has presented her work as a NCECA Emerging Artist, at the Utilitarian Clay Symposium, the Functional Ceramics Workshop, SOFA Chicago and the Alabama Clay Conference. For more about Chandra see ChandraDeBuse.com and on Instagram @chandradebuse.
The imagery I embellish my pieces with highlights stylized plants, animals and scenes that can be found in urban environments, right around the corner. Additionally, like plants and animals seeking growth in every available space, I decorate all surfaces of my ceramics front and back, top and bottom, wrapping imagery around edges and curves, rims, feet and handles, encouraging exploration and discovery through use.
My functional pottery incorporates narrative imagery, pattern and form to amuse and delight the user, imparting a sense of play. My work, in practice and product, reflects my approach to make-believe, which I identify through worlds of imagination with determined characters and landscapes of leisure. I incorporate bouncing lines, candy colors, low relief and hand-drawn elements into my ceramic service ware, encouraging a sense of discovery and exploration.
Patterns found within nature, such as tree bark, water waves, or flower petals are abstracted and simplified, ricocheting across forms. My salt and pepper landscapes, treat servers, jars, plates, cups, and bowls become playscapes where pattern and character frolic, inviting human fingers to also roam the topography, seeking out their own morsels of delight.
Only through using each piece: holding and exploring it, can the whole image or pattern be seen. When someone laughs at a character I’ve drawn, spills their drink because they were investigating the bottom of a cup, or finds joy in discovering a plump spoon nestled inside a pocket, I know the pots are successful. Feelings of joy, delight, and amusement tickle the imagination and spark light-hearted behavior, resulting in an enriched life.
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