Whimsical Garden Ceramics

Jolee Pink creates garden art using the ancient Japanese style wabisabi.

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Jolee Pink started her career as a graphic designer by trade but chose to follow her dream of working as an artist and creating her own garden art. Her style is known as wabisabi-- a style derived from ancient Japanese aesthetic which celebrates the beauty of imperfection found in nature. Wabi (which means cycles of erosion) and sabi (which means recurrence) can be seen in the ripples of a sand dune, the spirals of a rip curl, or a colorful sunset. Jolee blends her expertise as a designer with a fine-tuned grasp of color and whimsy into her mostly ocean-inspired ceramics. Integrating her characters, many of them larger than life, into the garden environment is what sets her apart in her artistry.

Jolee begins working from a slab of rolled-out clay. She starts with a clay cylinder, stuffs it with newspaper--creating a machete--and then drapes clay around it. Once she has created this skin outside of the machete, she carves and texturizes it by hand, putting pieces together with slip (a wet clay mixture). She adds the details, like eyes or sea shells, and presses texture into the clay using such things as avocados for rippled skin and using a pastry bag of slip to create tiny bumps. Then the clay dries for five to seven days. After two firings, a high fire and a glaze fire, her ceramics are complete.

In this segment, Jolee makes a version of the giant octopus, Big Orange, which sits in her garden above a waterfall adjacent to her studio. The giant octopus has a body that is 2 feet tall and tentacles that weave in and out of the earth in a 6-foot radius. She makes a 1-foot-tall octopus spanning out about 3 feet. Also see myrtle, a 3' x 2-1/2' turtle that appears to be swimming through her sandbox, giant crabs, floating stingrays, moray eels winding around plants, exotic fish planters, and fascinating brain coral pots.

Jolee's vivid use of color and clean lines always result in warm, charming and humorous art. Her clever use of sea life and critters will tickle your imagination and leave you smiling.

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