October's BOC Spotlight Artist is Sheila LaPointe who lives in DeLeon Springs, Florida. Sheila calls herself a ceramic artist and has been working in some kind of clay for 40 years.
Sheila works with Porcelain, and Raku clay bodies, She loves the intricacies that porcelain clay can create; she fires electric and also propane for the raku pieces. Her studio is a 12 x 14 shed, with 240 electric setup, AC, water, cable and a outside kiln area under a shed roof. Sheila's helper is her cat who occasionally strolls over to visit.
As far as inspiration and process, Sheila finds inspiration and textured materials in thrift shops. She likes making molds of found objects and pressing clay into molds, rubber stamps or cloth. She cuts shapes of the impressions. She likes to sand or round the edges when the pieces are dry and then hand-painting or airbrushing the greenware. She fires to 1500 degrees and reglazes with a clear glaze then firing to 2300 degrees.
Sheila's favorite glazes include: Higby water blue, Opal, or just a clear glaze over Mayco under-glazes. She prefers Mayco glazes because they hold their color to cone 6.
Favorite themes and design inspirations include: aquatic designs, and impressions from my collection of antique lace.
Sheila admires Joan Miller for her perfect blend of talent with awesome whimsy. She reports that for functional ceramics, Sara Grove can trick your eye with her ceramic textured pieces and Becky Baldwin is an incredibly talented functional potter.
Sheila sells her work at art shows and galleries; also on Etsy. Her advice to newbies..." Go always with what you are passionate about. You know you are working well if you lose track of time."
Her favorite tool or piece of equipment- " I love my hand made wooden tools, I say hand made because I have worn them out so much from use that they are honed to my hand"
Sheila LaPointe, BA