FARMINGTON — From boxes to bottles and baskets, various pieces of ceramic art will be on display at Feat of Clay Gallery starting Friday.

Feat of Clay will be hosting its ceramic art show reception Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Fiona Clarke, a member of Feat of Clay Gallery, said this is the first year the gallery has had a ceramic show, which they did as an invitational. Clarke will be one of 10 artists participating.

Clarke makes mainly slab ceramic art, meaning she individually creates each side of her small boxes by hand.

She said they hope to be able to host more ceramic shows in the future.

Cynthia McDowell is one of 10 artists invited to take part in the ceramic show at Feat of Clay.
Cynthia McDowell is one of 10 artists invited to take part in the ceramic show at Feat of Clay. (Courtesy of Feat of Clay Gallery)

Keeping with the show's theme -- bottles, bowls, baskets and boxes -- Cynthia McDowell, a ceramic artist from La Plata, provided a collection of bottles for the show.

During the show at Feat of Clay, McDowell will be showing a canteen, a saké set with a cork and cups and a jug with a sunflower on it.

McDowell started making ceramic art when she was attending Colorado State University just over 15 years ago.

Since graduating in 1998, she has been making art her career and will be teaching ceramics as an adjunct professor at San Juan College.

While McDowell uses various firing methods for her ceramics, she said she prefers wood fire because it provides a rustic feel. A bottles also is a shape that lends itself to the wood kiln because of the way the kiln has to be stacked. The thin bottles fill in gaps and divert flames.

"I make bottles all the time," McDowell said.

McDowell was a member of Feat of Clay from 2005 to 2008 and she said she was excited to be invited to take part in the ceramic show.

"It's an incredible, learning passionate art," McDowell said.

She explained that no one can ever learn all there is to know about ceramics.

Ceramics is also a social art, McDowell said.

"A lot of it is learned from being around other people," she said.

When with other ceramic artists, she is able to watch their hands and learn some of their techniques.

Another thing she likes about ceramics is that it is an art that can be used in the house.

She said she tries to capture the Southwest-style landscape when creating her art in order "to give it the connection to where it was made."

The bottle with a sunflower on its side, she said, was inspired by her garden.

"I got really into planting sunflowers this year," McDowell said.

She said sunflowers have a lot of character, sometimes they are brightly blooming while later in the year they have shriveled dry leaves.

McDowell moved to New Mexico in 2000 and found herself intrigued by the rich ceramic Puebloan history of the area.

"It's very inspiring to be out hiking and to see shards lying around," she said.


What: Bottles, Bowls, Baskets, and Boxes

When: Reception 5 to 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Feat of Clay Gallery, 107 S. Main Street in Aztec

More info: 505-334-4335

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.