As an artist I began a life love affair many years ago with the under utilized medium, clay, for sculptures. I find that working with clay is very grounding, a soothing experience that takes me back to the ancient roots of sculpture. I have pushed the boundaries of the medium to see just what I can do with it. I have created animals, people, both as small sculptures and as life size busts of people I know. I also create mosaic tile tabletops and wall hangings using my own technique combining the versatility of clay with the beauty of stained glass.
When my sons were in grade school in Walden, Colorado, I volunteered as an art teacher for about 6 years. That was a gratifying experience in itself. I was also able to get back to working with clay as my students clamored for me to make them small sculptures after I made some dinosaurs and brought them in to show to the classes. Over the years I have created a variety of original sculptures from small animals, to larger busts of friends and family.
When I received the entry to the Aspen show, I felt I needed to try a new look for my sculptures, which evolved into incorporating the beauty of juniper wood, gemstones and clay. “Apache Tears” was born; I just needed then to find the perfect piece of wood to fit my vision.
Over the years I have expanded my creative efforts to include designing and producing original tile pictures, and table tops. I came up with an unusual marriage of glass and tiles in my tile art works.
Then in 2010, I was approached by the staff of Nisley Elementary to design and and install a tile rendition of their school mascot, the Grizzly. Over the summer I made a 7’ + tall grizzly, making the tiles in a base relief form, with the installation being completed in the fall after school started. Several of the classes added extra hands to make the job go faster . The background was designed after the installation was started at the school and many of the parents and school district brought in donated tiles to be used as part of the project.
I have been privileged to help judge the local Altrusa Art shows for Middle and High School students recently. It is so satisfying to see the quality of art work created by our local student artists.
Lylamae T. Chedsey, artist