In this Q and A Interview, featured KAC Store Artist Sharon Jamieson talks about hippos, The San Juan Islands and how a class she took 38 years ago at the Kirkland Arts Center fueled her love for creating art.
How did you find out about the Kirkland Arts Center Store?
I learned about the Kirkland Arts Center Store through the Kirkland Artist Studio Tour (KAST). My first time at the KAC Store was at the KAST Preview Party this past spring. I was finally able to meet many of the artists participating in the tour as well as many artists who were showing their work at the Store. I was impressed with them and their art. I was anxious to become a part of this artist community.
win the KAST People’s Choice Award for 2013?
Yes, I did win the "People's Choice Award" at the KAST preview party held at the KAC Store. My piece was a garden sculpture called "Sole Mates". It was an old dilapidated boot as a planter with a little yellow Lab puppy laying beside it chewing on it. I was so shocked, I couldn't believe they said I'd won. In the past juried shows I'd been in over the years, I had been the only clay artist, and not even included in the competition. I always got a "Special Award" for the best of my own creations, but somehow that's not the same. It was wonderful to actually be given the opportunity to compete with the other artists. I was thrilled with the honor of winning this award.
about your work.
My clay work is all hand made. I make both indoor and garden sculptures, and pit-fired pottery. My sculptures are almost entirely of animals, though I do occasionally make human sculptures. I must say the animals inspire me the most because they are so endearing. I love trying to capture each type of animal's special look while also evoking the viewers emotions. My garden sculptures of animals are quite whimsical.
What excites you/do you like best about what you do?
pit-fired pottery came about when we bought a tiny island called Towhead
Island in the San Juan Islands in 1989. I wanted to have something
to do on the island that made me feel a part of it. I found that I really
enjoyed this type of rustic, back to nature type of pit-firing of my pottery,
and started adding simple forms of sculpture to the fire. I never know what
each piece is going to look like until I uncover it from the ashes the
following morning. Every piece of pottery is definitely a unique,
one of a kind piece of art. Very fun.
What excites you about your work?
One thing that excites me about my work is the reaction that people have to it. For instance, I was working at the Store one day, helping a woman try on jewelry; while we were chatting she asked me if I could show her some of my work. I showed her the garden sculpture I had in the store at that time, the "Happy Hippo". She exclaimed, "You made that? I love him!" and enveloped me in a big hug. I was really touched by her response.
How long have you been creating your art?
I suppose my art started way back when I was a child when my favorite past time was drawing animals. I have always been involved in one form of art or another all my life. But when I began pottery when my younger son started 1st grade, I knew that three dimensional art was for me. My work progressed to include wheel thrown pottery, hand built pottery, and then sculpture for home and garden. That all began 38 years ago. I even took a wheel throwing class at Kirkland Arts Center about 36 years ago. Of course it was then called Kirkland Creative Arts League.
Where do you work on your art?
I used to do my work at Seward Park Art Studio where I was a charter member of the co-op. I left there when I made my own studio in the basement of my home. I love having my work so accessible so I can work on it whenever I want.
How as participating in the KAC Store beneﬁted you
and your art?
The downside of working at home is that I lost that sense of community in the art world. The KAC Store has given me the opportunity to work at home, while enjoying the camaraderie of other artists, and the ability to show and sell my work in a lovely environment. My art also benefits from this because it has given me more incentive to create new work and set new goals. I love it.