Maymeep Studio

Centerville, VA

Maymeep is a word I made up as a child which meant I was having fun. The process of putting these creatures together is just about the most Maymeep I have ever experienced!

I’m a lifelong art junkie, animal lover, and color freak; these critters are the natural amalgam of my interests. We are bombarded daily by reality. I want to transport the viewer to another place. Animals can be any color, pattern or texture that appeals to me. Rules? Not interested. The why nots, what ifs, and let’s see, are my visual candy.

My creatures begin as a lump of clay on the wheel, which I throw into a bottomless closed form (think of a hollow gumdrop). Once the clay firms up a bit, I start to alter the form by pushing, pulling and coaxing it into a shape that interests me. Next a slab bottom is added. That is when the real fun begins. Inevitably, I begin to see the creature it becomes. Pattern, carving, and the addition of hand built elements soon follow. Drying, bisque firing, applying underglazes or glazes – then back into the kiln for their second firing. Some get additional post fired finishes, then their metal bits are added. My husband and I started naming the pieces instead of using inventory numbers or barcodes (boring). We do not give them their names until completed, as we can only truly see who they are when finished. A cocktail during naming is infinitely helpful!

Using discarded machinery yields a treasure trove of metal bits that give my pieces their final quirky twist. Unfortunately, a lot of these beautifully engineered machines are discarded and left to rot in landfills, unless I get to them first. Anything can become something. You just have to open your mind, be willing to break the rules and have some fun….