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Lauren Blankenship

Artist statement:

Pottery has always been a method of healing for me and one of the best ways to express myself. In uncertain times, art has always been there to bring me back down to Earth. I put a part of me in every piece I make, showing the joy that art has shown me. I make functional pottery because it contributes new meaning when you can use the piece of work instead of simply putting it on display. For me, art communicates a story through a specific piece. I chose to make plates because I wanted to be able to cover the most surface area with my paintings and the stories they tell. When I create pottery it allows me to break the rules and do things on my terms; I create the things I see in my head and the things around me, not having to follow an outline. I don’t get inspiration for my work from well-known artists. I like to get my inspiration from the world and its beauty.

lauren blankenship

Today, unfortunately, our world is facing one of the biggest environmental crises in history. Our actions in this world cause environmental problems such as waste disposal, water pollution, climate change, and cutting down trees that home hundreds of animals, leading to species endangerment. Some people believe that climate change is a problem for future generations to deal with, but no matter where you live these things affect everyone and everything. Just because climate change or pollution hasn’t affected you yet, it doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting the animals that have no voice when it comes to these problems caused by us. Some people do not realize that we are one of the biggest reasons animals are becoming endangered and even extinct.

I want people to see my paintings and to take a second to realize the beauty in these animals. I want people to open their eyes to acknowledge that if we stay on this track we may not have any of the animals pictured on these plates in the near future. I hope that when people look at my artwork it will make them stop to appreciate not only how beautiful nature and our world really are; I hope that it will also act as a motivator to keep our world that way. I have created plates and painted endangered animal species on them, to make people aware of this environmental crisis.

I threw each plate on the wheel and then painted white slip on the top of the plate so it would make the colors pop. After they were fired I chose which animals I would put on each plate, then painted each one on with underglaze. Through my pottery I am able to express specific issues. I can show people who I am, the things I am capable of, and information I want to express through form and color. In my years of creating art I have had many people who have inspired me, but not as much as real life inspires me.