Belinda Bodnar  Sound of Rain   Wood-fired stoneware 18x12x12”

Belinda Bodnar
Sound of Rain
Wood-fired stoneware
18x12x12”

EARTH + FIRE

wood-fired ceramic sculpture & wallwork by

Belinda Bodnar
& Eric Maglio

July 21st - September 29th, 2018
SHOW EXTENDED UNTIL OCT 13TH
 

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 21st
from 4:00pm - 8:00pm

Chases invites you to Earth + Fire, a collection of wood-fired ceramic sculpture and wallwork created by friends and partners, Belinda Bodnar and Eric Maglio. This exhibit will be shown July 21st through October 13th, 2018. The public is invited to an opening reception with refreshments on Saturday, July 21st starting at 4:00pm. Earth + Fire exhibits the partnership of two artists, their connection with clay, and an affinity for the wood-fired kiln.

Firing a kiln using wood is an intensive process that can yield breathtaking surfaces. When used as a fuel, wood leaves behind ash, which travels through the kiln and adheres to clay leaving crystalline drips, flecks and earthy flashing. Both Bodnar's and Maglio's work emerge beneath these effects.

Keeping the firing process in mind while creating their work, both artists build their sculptures in ways that will react to the movement of material in the kiln. At the forefront of their making is an ebb and flow between their voice and that of their material. "...with a loose concept of the finished work, [I] arrive at an object that has found its own rhythm. [This] creates an element of surprise that keeps the process active and engaging," Maglio states of his sculptural buildings. Born out of slabs of clay serving as floor plans, his imagined architecture investigates, what does construction say of it's creator? Bodnar also uses the creation process to contemplate life's larger questions. She finds "the physicality of wedging, rolling, pinching and constructing is meditative." While searching for figures, human and otherwise in her forms, she "expresses the questions of the connections of life and death, hope, peace, loneliness, love and spirit."

It's a good thing that their processes are rewarding because wood-firing is exhausting work. In 2010, shortly after they each graduated from Bachelors programs of the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) in Manchester where they met, they worked together to build their own wood fire kiln on Bodnar's family homestead in Francestown, NH. Participation is fundamental to the commitment of firing with wood. The wood prep and loading are laboring and firing is an art in itself. Bodnar and Maglio spent over two days straight firing the majority of the work for this show.

Chases' Gallery is free and open to the public during business hours or by chance or appointment. Visit us in Chases Garage, located at 16 Main Street in York, Maine. For more information on the gallery, studios and facilities, please visit www.chasesgarage.com or call 207-361-4162.

 

Belinda Bodnar

was born 1986 in Francestown, New Hampshire, on the unique homestead her parents were building. She grew up playing in and sculpting the local clay on her family's property. Belinda’s deep love and respect for art, nature, and clay comes from these early years as a child. Living off the grid and participating in the building of her family's home, working together, and collaborating with the land has played a vital role in shaping her personal philosophy. 

Belinda studied Art and Art Education at the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) in Manchester, NH where she meet her friend and partner Eric Maglio. During this time Belinda’s excitement for clay, the ceramic process, and the process of wood-firing continued to develop. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree with a concentration in Ceramics, in 2008, and her New Hampshire Art Education K-12 Certification in 2009, from NHIA. In 2010 Belinda collaborated with Maglio to build a wood fire kiln in Francestown to gain hands on experience and develop a deeper understanding of the process of owning and operating a wood burning kiln.

Belinda is currently a full time art educator at Pennichuck Middle School and has been teaching Visual Arts in the Nashua School District since 2009. She has also taught Adult Education class for Nashua School District and for NHIA in a number of capacities from Youth Arts to Community Education. Belinda has demonstrated, lectured and exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her work is in a number of private collections in USA, UK, and China. She is a co-founder, advocate, and supporter of the Bambi Bodnar Art Scholarship in memory of her mother. 


Why am I here? What is my purpose?

Like one drop, rippling into the universe, I do not know my reach.

Where do we go? What is beyond this life, this moment?

Art for me is a give and take. Piecing parts together, exploring media, problem solving, becoming part of the process. Art is a tool that allows me to explore the world, reflect on experiences, and express my spirit.

Being outside in nature, observing plants and animals, experiencing the interconnection of energy is influential to my creative process.  I have always loved the tactile quality of working in clay. The physicality of wedging, rolling, pinching, and constructing is meditative and helps me contemplate deeper questions.  

Creating sculpture has been therapy in dealing with the sudden loss of my mother.  I have used faces and the figure as a reference to spirit, vulnerability, and the exchange of energy.

Expressing questions of the connections of life and death, hope, peace, lonelinesses, love, and spirit through personal symbols in my work.  Whether I am in my own studio or working with students I am excited by creative investigation and the endless possibilities of interconnection.

Eric Maglio

was born in Greenville, South Carolina, USA in 1984.  He studied art at New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH where he was first introduced to clay and the process of wood-firing.  He earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, with a concentration in ceramics, from NHIA in 2007. After graduating he and his partner Belinda Bodnar built their own wood fired kiln to further develop their personal understanding of the intricacies of wood fired ceramic materials and processes.

Eric is currently teaching at his alma mater as BFA adjunct faculty, and also teaches community education classes in hand-built ceramics and ceramic sculpture.  He is a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and has demonstrated and exhibited work nationally and internationally.  He continues to explore the ceramic form and surface through participating in various community wood firings in addition to experimenting in his own kiln.


Looking at architecture from different regions around the world what is it that these buildings and their details, construction methods, and materials, say about the people that created them?  Quite often the buildings we create are a reflection of our selves, as well as a response to the climate and environment that surrounds us.  A self-portrait of our belief systems, our connection or disconnection to Nature, our class or status within society, and our cultural values. 

It is from this line of thought that this series has taken shape. Each object starts with a slab of clay that is cut into a geometric shape that serves as a floor plan on which to construct the form.  Once the foundation is set coils or slabs of clay are added one after another, paying close attention to the quality of edges, surface, and structure that is steadily emerging. Always in the background is the thought of the objects interaction with fire and ash flowing through the kiln. 

As the form grows suggestions of relationships between different planes, angles, and shapes become evident and new directions are discovered.  I find this process of action and reaction to be very stimulating.  To start building with a loose concept of the finished work and arrive at an object that has found its own rhythm creates an element of surprise that keeps the process active and engaging.

 
Posted
Authorcait giunta