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Grace Sheese

Grace Sheese

Grace Sheese throws, alters, draws, decals, and saturates the surface of her intricate pottery. Her forms require you to pay attention, take a breath, and enjoy each individual side and decoration. Grace comes to ceramics after some years of being a studio potter which gives her a unique perspective and expansive skill to orchestrate the many details in her pots. Faceted handles and mixed media entertain and amuse. Her current collection titled "Super Awkward Moments" begins with number GSH062 below. Grace's work varies with each delivery - the animals featured in these pots are telling a story on each mug, cup, and bowl. Rich with imagery and humor these collectible little beauties are some of our favorite work in the gallery.

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Grace Sheese at MudFire

Solo show New Work, August, 2013

Grace is regularly carried in our gallery now - Her current collection "Super Awkward Moments" was shipped for fall 2015.


Grace Sheese Artist Bio

Grace Sheese was born in Taipei, Taiwan. When she was almost 8, she and her younger sister boarded a plane with an unknown family friend and came to the United States, where our parents were eagerly waiting for us. Our family was a pretty typical Chinese family. Strict rules, Chinese food every night, no English spoken in the house. School and grades were of utmost importance.

Grace wanted to be a doctor since she was eight so when she entered college, she believed that's what she wanted. Along the way, she met and fell in love with clay. Uncertain of where the relationship was going, she taught 3rd and 4th grade for 7 years before finally committing to being a full time studio potter. However, after being together for 12 years, her relationship with clay was getting stale. In 2009, Grace went to graduate school with the hopes of rekindling the passion. It worked. Grace's passion for her medium shows in her pottery.


Grace Sheese Artist Statement

Each piece I make tells a story. They are small sto ries about the everyday, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes wistful. The an imals, the objects, and the subject matter I use are common and ordinary because it grounds the narrative in the familiar. Evoking the archetypes of the sheep, the fox, the rabbit and th e pig allows me to tell stories about universal interactions, situations, and emotions with my work . My narrative unfolds across the inside, outside, and even the underside of my work. I use t he whole piece to invite further exploration. I make my work to be touched, held and used everyday but also to be worthy of notice, of being considered, and being reconsidered.

The modern world values efficiency and speed. An array of gadgets and technologies facilitate quick and easy interactions and exchanges. And while sometimes quick and easy is just the thing I'm looking for, it is not always what I need.

Pottery is one of the very oldest technologies. There is a certain efficiency in turning clay to a purpose, but clay is resistant to modern speeds and rhythms. My life in the pottery studio is quiet and measured, unhurried, and dictated by the rhythm of the clay.

The contrast between the world within the studio and the world without is sometimes disorienting. Handmade pottery, which is neither quick nor easy and never the most convenient choice, feels like a relic of a bygone age, a horse draw carriage on a super highway.

So why bother? Because speed and efficiency can rob you of your moments. Because we are not our gadgets, we need to breathe deep, and we need to pause.

The quiet steady rhythm of the clay and the studio are contained within each piece. In their use, they bring quiet and considered moments outside the studio. Cups and bowls can be ordinary objects, used without thought, taking no space, demanding no pause. But a certain form of a handle, a texture on a rim, or a combination of colors, can elicit a pause, allow you to draw a breath, and give you back your moment.

Using handmade pottery in the modern world is both special and ordinary. I want the users of my work to be keenly aware of the experience of using a functional object, to explore the work through its use, and to consider the work through interaction. By highlighting the ordinary and the extraordinariness of handmade pottery, I hope to invite the user to pause and take a deep breath, to consider and reconsider the work, and in doing so, experience a moment of awareness.

Grace Sheese Artist Resume

2012, Illinois State University, MFA - Ceramics
1997, College of William and Mary, BA - Ceramics and Elementary Education
Recent Exhibitions:
New Work, Illinois Central College, Peoria, IL
New Work, MudFire Clay Works, Atlanta, GA
New Work, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL
MFA Thesis Exhibition: Measured Moment, Gallery Two, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Structure and Surface, Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts, Eugene, OR
Texture, Form & Function, Wells Community Cultural Center, Lafayette, IN
Selected Exhibitions:
2013 Strictly Functional Pottery National, Market House Craft Center, Lancaster, PA 2013
Bowl Show, Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MA, 2013
Cup Show, Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MA, 2013
Winterfest 2013, Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, MD, 2013
21st Century Sketchbook, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT, 2013
Define Drawing, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL, 2013
Small Favors VIII, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, CA, 2013
Ceramacon, Blue Line Arts, Roseville, CA, 2013
Configuration, Jan Brandt Gallery, Bloomington, IL, 2013
12th Annual Cup Show, Kent State University Downtown Gallery, Kent, OH, 2013
Coffee, Tea #2, Terra Incognito Studios and Gallery, Oak Park, IL, 2013
Vase Forms, The Arts Alliance of Georgia & Studio 101, Woodstock, GA, 2013
Out of the Blue, The Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula, MT, 2013
Drink This!, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA, 2013
Functional/Dysfunctional, Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL, 2013
2012 Holiday Show, Jan Brandt Gallery, Bloomington, IL, 2012
Holiday Treasures, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL, 2012
In Our Neighborhood, McLean County Art Center, Bloomington, IL, 2012
5th Annual Cup Show, Amelia Center Gallery, Panama City, FL, 2012
Fine Contemporary Craft Exhibition, ArtSpace, Raleigh, NC, 2012
Beyond the Brickyard, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT, 2012
Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2012
Craft Forms, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA, 2012
Last Call II, St. Petersburg Clay Company, St. Petersburg, FL, 2012
1997-2011 Cups and Coffee, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2011
TEA, McLean County Art Center, Bloomington, IL, 2011
Student Biennial, University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 2010
Small Favors IV, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2009
Holiday Treasures, McLean County Art Center, Bloomington, IL, 2009
National Juried Cup Exhibition, LUX Center for the Arts, Lincoln, NE, 2009
Ink, Paper, Clay, Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR, 2009
Cup: The Intimate Object VI, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL, 2009
Made in Clay, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY, 2007
Gifted: Part I, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2007
Potter's Festival, Crow Valley Pottery, Eastsound, WA, 2007
The New Aesthetics of Ceramics, Robert E. Wilson Gallery, Huntington University, Huntington, IN, 2007
Attention to Detail, Lower Columbia College Gallery, Longview, WA, 2007
Gifted, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2006
Mastery in Clay, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2006
ClayFest 2006, Christal DeHaan Fine Arts Center, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, 2006
Cup: The Intimate ObjectIV, Charlie Cummings Clay Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, 2006
The Cup, Sacramento Metropolitan Art's Commission, Sacramento, CA, 2006
History in the Making, Genesee Pottery, Rochester, NY, 2006
From Our Perspective, Oakland Community College, Farmington Hills, MI, 2006
Mayors Art Show, Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR, 2006
Patterns in Clay, Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY (Patterns in Clay Award), 2006
Poetry of a Cup, Territorial Vineyard, Eugene, OR, 2006
Tea Cups, Tea Bowls and Tumblers, Susan Maasch Fine Art, Portland, MA, 2006
Cup: The Intimate Object IV, Charlie Cummings Clay Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, 2005
In Our Cups, Lockhart Gallery, Geneso, NY (Shane Shanahan Purchase Award), 2005
Mayors Art Show, Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR, 2005
Cup: The Intimate Object III, Charlie Cummings Clay Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, 2004
Senior Exhibition, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (Presidential Purchase Award), 1997