ABOUT HEIDI LOEWEN PORCELAIN
Porcelain is my sculptural canvas. My work is smoked with a variety of pine needles and organic combustibles yielding strong earth tones, punctuated with the vibrancy of gold leaf. As the famous chefs Julia Child and Nigella Lawson famously prepare their delicious food, I sprinkle my “spices” of combustibles to smoke, add a dash of oil paint and place finishing touches with pigmented waxes or varnish to my platters and sculptures.
Often my new techniques are direct results of crazy mistakes.
These mistakes usually become my most successful techniques. As an example, the carved chattering came as a result of my tool bumping along the clay, as it was too hard to trim in a smooth fashion. I’ve been making this great “mistake” with carving my clay for years now! My creations vary from playful miniatures, to large-scale vessels, to multiple installations. I’m drawn to refined, elegant forms with curls, swirls and exceedingly thin rims. I try to capture elegance and humor simultaneously in my porcelain. I take my work seriously, but throw in a dash of humor at every turn.
HEIDI LOEWEN ARTIST STATEMENT
Clay is ancient. Clay is interactive. Clay is my joy. Porcelain is my sculptural canvas.
I played in the mud from age 2. Porcelain is simply my new mud. I create at the wheel with its mesmerizing, non-stop possibilities. I squish, fold, slice, curl, swirl, toss, curve and carve. My creations vary from playful miniatures to large-scale vessels and multiple installations. I love refined, elegant forms and exceedingly thin rims. I capture elegance and humor simultaneously. I take my work seriously, but my live my life with humor.
People often ask if I’m at a loss to create. How funny. I’m always creating new forms, applying wild finishing techniques with smoke firing, gold leafing, gemstones and oil painting. Having achieved high technical proficiency with porcelain, creativity flows easily, with enormous amounts of clay. Its fluidity fascinates me. New techniques happen by happy accident. I treasure every inventive, beautiful mistake.
Our world chastises mistakes.
I’m fortunate to live in an artistic world ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico where mistakes are golden, unpredictability a celebration. Having grown up with a famous optical engineer father and artist mother, I was encouraged to make discoveries in every field.
Such a discovery came with a departure from the wheel to sculpt a tiny stiletto in clay. I went to Thailand in 2014. While there, an artist friend invited me to visit her foundry where she cast her work. I was mesmerized. The foundry owner saw my sculptured stiletto photo, offered to cast my work 6′ long, for the 2015 Miami Basel Exhibition. My large stiletto was cast, auto painted red, decorated with opalized crystals and fur in my Santa Fe gallery/studio. Upon winning First Prize at Spectrum, Miami Basel for this sculpture, I realized clay can translate into monumental success.
When I worked at Sotheby’s Art Auction House, in NYC in the early 1980’s, I was invited for private tea with my favorite sculptor, Henry Moore in England. Henry Moore shared one of his favorite observations: “If a sculpture is beautiful in small form, it will be just as spectacular when cast large should the proportions be correct.” How right he was. I live by his motto always.
I wish people could do what brought them joy as a child. I am a most fortunate artist.