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Deborah Slahta

I work with clay and play with fire. Inspired by the centuries old tradition of vessel making, I produce raku and stoneware pottery. There is an intimacy working with clay, a transformation via touch, giving life and spirit to the object. With all the technology that surrounds us, I make things with my hands. I love the feel and smell of clay, a connection to the Earth. Mathematics and art have an ongoing historical relationship. Influenced by my love of geometry, marking and measuring with ruler and compass, I use tape-resist, a technique I first experimented with forty years ago. The design begins with a line or a circle, evolving, repeating, filling the surface.  Fascinated by fire, the drama and immediacy of the raku firing process contrasts sharply with the exacting and time-intensive process of applying the tape and hand painting each pot. Known for precise geometric designs, my newer stoneware work is a departure from well-defined divisions of space. Multiple layers of glaze flow and combine, a more painterly approach to complete the three-dimensional canvas