Saturday, March 5, 2011

Clay virtuoso ...

When Rae Dunn decided to experiment in clay for the first time in 1994, I'm sure she had no idea that it would lead to the creation of beautifully crafted wares with worldwide sales.

I first came across Dunn's work when I purchased the four French 'Sidewalk Cafe' appetizer plates shown above. Their simplicity and playfulness immediately caught my eye. Being the inquisitive soul that I am, I knew I wanted to learn more about the San Francisco-based artisan behind the craft.

I fell head-over-heels for the organic presence in all of Dunn's work. It is the Japanese asthetic of wabi-sabi, the beauty found in imperfection, that makes me feel emotionally connected to each of her authentic pieces.

The 'Celebrate Plates' (above left) and the clever 'Cat Bowls' (above right), are sold online through Magenta, and each piece reflects Dunn's humor and design skill.

I really enjoy taking a stroll through her own online Etsy store (a truly heavenly pursuit in my book) that yields more of her grounded shapes and clever, straightforward graphics.

It's evident that Dunn is influenced by natural forms, simple shapes and found objects.

It's a good thing her shop is online rather that a storefront, otherwise I would be drawn to picking up and touching everything. Somehow, these handmade pieces elicite a 'touchy-feely' sensory signal that makes me want hold each and every one.

I'm not sure how she finds the time to create so many dynamic pieces of art like plaques and pitchers and bowls (shown left and above), but I'm glad she does!

Dunn will even create custom designs upon request.

And, just because I can't get enough of her talent, I'm thrilled Dunn writes a blog as well. 'Rae Dunn ... clay' is a blithe look at the artist, her sketchbooks and amazing creations, as well as the joys of life with a silly dog named Wilma (who happens to have her own doggie blog, too).

Rae Dunn is truly a virtuoso with clay!