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Elaine Henry (aka Elaine Olafson Henry)

American, b. 1945

Teapot with Lid

10.75 x 6.5 x 6.5 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Elaine Henry has a goal of “aesthetic ecstasy” for her porcelain works, meaning something that gives us a reaction of delight when we see it. Henry works toward this end by making layers of rumpled ruffles and seemingly fancy fabrics that become frozen in place during the firing. Her moderately sized hybrid structures usually have a midsection of textured strata that are variously coiled onto bowls, pitchers, vases, and urns. Teapot is a thrown bowl that becomes the foundation for crumpled, curled, and creased adornments. The foot has been paddled to make it rectangular. The spout was handbuilt, the lid is thrown and paddled, and the handle is pulled. A subtle and modest blush color from the flames of the soda-firing dance across the piece. The similarities between Henry’s functional pottery and her sculptural pieces reflect the artist’s consistency of style and process.

Elaine Henry is a ceramic artist, curator, and writer. She is the former editor and publisher of the international journal Ceramics: Art & Perception. She earned a BFA in ceramics from the University of Wyoming in 1992, and an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1995. She taught at Emporia State University in Kansas from 1996 to 2007 and served as the president of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts from 2002 to 2004.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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