Dialogue: Lindenfeld + Lindenfeld
Opening Reception: Friday May 8th, 5:30-7:30pm
Exhibit Dates: May 8th - June 27th
“Dialogue: Lindenfeld + Lindenfeld” Exhibition Artist Statement
I grew up with my mother's loom in our family's living room. Not many years later I ended up with clay carving tools and a rolling pin in my own ceramics studio. The pairings of work in this show exemplify the influences of my mother's work on me and have served as an opportunity to both grow creatively and to honor my mother and her life's work.
Lore Kadden Lindenfeld (1921 - 2010) emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in the late 1930s. She attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina in the 1940s and was a student of both Josef and Anni Albers. Inspired by the Alberses and the Bauhaus tradition, she worked as a textile designer for the New York fashion industry followed by a career as a weaver, fiber collage artist and as a weaving and art history teacher on the college level.
I grew up hearing riveting stories of Black Mountain College, its avant-garde, experimental environment and brilliant, unique personalities. As well, I was exposed to many artists and craftspeople during my childhood and took my first pottery class with a friend of my mother's. I responded to the immediacy of clay more than what appeared to be the tedium of threading warps on a loom.
While working on a degree in ceramics from Boston University's Program in Artisanry, I discovered the Japanese technique, Nerikomi, of layering colored clays to create patterns. I have been captivated by exploring many ways of working with colored clay ever since. I have also come to realize that my method of working with clay - the sense of movement, abstract graphic quality, nature-themed imagery and vivid color - echoes my mother's textiles. In designing work for this show, I was first more drawn to my mother's fiber collage work than her weavings, as a closer match for my own techniques and sensibilities. I later saw that the way I carve into the layers in two directions appears as woven fabric.
It was both fascinating and challenging to interpret a two-dimensional medium within a three-dimensional realm; to not just reproduce my mother's ideas and imagery but to draw inspiration and design the pieces as my own. My hope is that my ceramics, while paying homage to my mother, stand on their own just as her fiber works do.
~ Naomi Lindenfeld
Naomi Lindenfeld has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in ceramics from Boston University’s Program in Artisanry.
Naomi has developed methods of working with colored clay to create pieces which are intended for daily use as well as for gatherings and celebrations. The technique involves layering colored clay into a block. Patterns are achieved by slicing and then rolling or pinching the layered colored clay, and in some cases carving away strips, to create a multi-dimensional effect. The flat slab or pinched form is then hand-constructed into pieces that are tactile, useful and decorative.
Flowing movement is the main feeling that Naomi hopes to convey in her work. Her inspiration is drawn from her love of dance, patterns in the natural world that result from the movement of water and wind on materials like rock, wood and shells. The colored clay technique allows one to work with colors while making a piece. Naomi loves to experiment with different color combinations to see how colors blend and contrast to create different moods.
Naomi took her first pottery class at the age of 12, continuing to work in clay in high school. She went on to earn a degree in ceramics from Boston University’s Program in Artisanry, a program designed to prepare students to be professional craftspeople. During her time at B.U. Naomi observed another student who was experimenting with colored clay. Although it was still a few years before she got involved with this technique herself, she began to be intrigued.
After college she worked for several potters and eventually had the chance to do some of her own work, which is when her experimentation with colored clay began. Naomi is one of the founding members in 1983 of the Brattleboro Clayworks, a potter’s collective. The combination of discovering the wonders of colored clay and forming the group studio helped her aspirations fall into place and connect the work with her heart.
Naomi has had the chance to share her enthusiasm of colored clay by teaching workshops at many craft institutes around New England, focusing on this technique. Since the fall of 1998 she is the ceramics teacher at The Putney School, a progressive boarding high school in Putney, Vt. with a strong arts program.
In the fall of 2004 after 21 years as a member of the Brattleboro Clayworks, Naomi took the step of setting up and moving into her home studio in West Brattleboro.