We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Daulton Shaughnessy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Persistence, desire and the need to create! I have always worked with my hands and explored the many facets of making. My chosen material of clay was not always a viable option throughout my life so I would turn to professions in the arts that involved making with a variety of materials. The desire to create using fabric, airplane glue, paint, wood or metal kept my persistent need as a maker ongoing. I surrounded my self in professions in museums, art centers, sometimes as an administrator or as a technician as a way to pay the bills and still create , even if it was not in clay! Now, as I am able to work mainly in clay the past materials, processes and relationships I made in the arts inform the work I am making. The approach I take to organizing myself also relates to past lifestyle I had in my persistence to create!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The field of ceramics has many directions and during my 40+ year career I have explored many of them! For the past 25 years I have persistently explored atmospheric firing in a gas , highfire environment. I consider my clay work to be ceremoniously function. This means that there is a strong element of ritual involved in the touch, use and interaction with the claywork. This could involve the use of an everyday item like a cup , salad bowl cheese platter or the highly ritualized use of a teapot set used for a special occasion.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I like in 2 cities! One is very urban and the other rural, both exciting, inspiring and very different from each other! 1. Urban excitement in the Minneapolis area: Northern Clay Center, Walker Art Center, MIA, Northrup King Art Building, 2. Rural living in Ottertail, MN: Arthouse Studio, Nerw York Mills Regional Cultural Center, Bridgettes Gallery, Perham, MN Williams Company Store, Ottertail,MN
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have been involved in the arts my entire life! My first influence was my mother, Shirlee. Now 91 , living alone and still creating as a painter, potter, print and paper maker. I was also strongly influenced by my Jr High school teacher, Bob & Connie Anderson, Sunflower Pottery my high school art teachers and the local art center , The Octagon Center for the Art in the town of Ames, Iowa when I grew up. Additionally, my studies receiving my BFA & MFA supported my efforts and I would shout out to my mentor Suzanne Stephenson of Ann Arbor, Michigan for the encouragement beyond my formal studies. Finally, my husband , Patrick, of many years, exhibition and boxes of pottery hauled to and from a show had been my biggest supporter!
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photos by Sandra Daulton Shaughnessy