Eleanor has been creating ceramic art since around age 13, with an 8-year hiatus during her advanced degree studies in another subject. She holds a degree of Bachelor of the Fine Arts with an emphasis in Ceramic Art from Arizona State University.
Both the natural world and the topsy-turvy world of surrealism draw Eleanor’s interest, as well as the contrasts of visual order and disorder. Much of her more representational work is based on real images, often of scenes or creatures which she has personally photographed.
She has a particular interest in the use of patterns and layered techniques including overglaze (“China Paint”) for decoration of the final form, which poses a fun yet technical challenge because these pieces must be decorated in layers, and each overglaze layer is fired in a kiln before the next can be applied. This can increase the total number of firings from the traditional two to any number needed (often a total of around 4 to 5 firings).
In order to have an appealing and practical surface to work with, Eleanor gravitates towards wheel-thrown vessels. In particular the urn form is used due to its broad surface. These urns are primarily decorative, but can actually be used as urns for cremains as well which is why internal volume is listed in descriptions. As a physician who works with persons in all stages of life and health Eleanor is sadly not a stranger to death and dying, and finds it therapeutic to make these vessels while bearing in mind the sort of persons who might be represented by them.
The urns may stand alone as pure decoration for enjoyment, but can also remind us of the gravity of our own fragility in this lovely life.