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Fluid Ceramic Flowers

Artist Abigail Allan combines clay with organic and botanical influences to create unique ceramic art.

Artist Abigail Allan has been working in clay since she was a child. It's the fluid nature of clay that appeals to her. Since studying biology as a college student, her ceramic art has taken a unique turn, combining the dynamic possibilities of clay with organic and botanical influences. The results are her flowing ceramic flower forms, pieces the combine the flowery style of Georgia O'Keefe with handmade clay techniques.

One of her ceramic pieces begins in her studio with her clay. After cutting it into sections, she rolls out slabs of clay. Next, she uses her fingers to draw directly into the clay. The organic patterns are then pressed into leaf-like forms. The clay leaves are then folded over and over, creating multi-layered structures that resemble petals. To add color to her flower forms, Abigail approaches the piece like an oil painting, adding color in layers of glaze. Each glaze is applied by brush and then fired separately. Up to eight or nine layers of glaze can be added to a piece, giving her flower forms their incredible multi-hued look. Once she's happy with the color of a piece, Abigail grinds down the bases with a belt sander. The finished piece is a flowering ceramic art work bursting with organic forms and intense colors.

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