"Welcome Home" is as selection of the work I created over the course of a month-long residency at LABARTZ in Jingdezhen, China.
In my design work I aim to create simple pleasures and positive interactions. Through my 2D and 3D artwork I explore the way that myself and others experience the world, drawing inspiration from the shapes, colors, and patterns I observe in daily life. In this body of work, I created 3D printed and CNCed prototypes that were inspired by pattern elements from American folk art and from my own observations of pop culture, daily life, and nature. As 3D forms, the 2D elements transform into sculptures, objects, and vessels that create a delightful and playful world of their own.
I'm often told that my work is cute, that I should design toys, and that the things I make are "so fun!" I'm learning to take these comments as compliments, because cute isn't synonymous with childish and fun doesn't mean unimportant. I aim to make artwork that is approachable, joyful, and unapologetically cute. A Chinese artist viewing the show in Jingdezhen described my work as being "like a good friend", and although in her mind the proper translation was escaping her, I think that feeling is exactly what I was trying to achieve with "Welcome Home".
The drawing in the center was done at home in Cincinnati before any of this work was made. I was beginning to explore what the 2D shapes I had been drawing would look like as 3D forms in a space. The two accompanying drawings were explorations of the relationships of colors and how they change when combined in unexpected ways. The one on the left was drawn while lying in the grass (this is very against the rules) on a sunny day in Taoxichuan, and the one on the right was done on a train ride from Shanghai to Wuyuan. These types of drawings are meditative studies of pattern, color, and perception.
Woodwork by a Jingdezhen carpenter with traditional joinery; gingham napkins sewn by my wonderful mama; ceramics inspired by folk art, kawaii, homemaking, and simple pleasures; shims made from the shop drawings I gave to the carpenter. Check out #jingjingblingbling on Instagram to see some of my process and some images from the other artists who participated in the group show, "Roses and Thorns".
Below you can see bits and pieces of my making process as well as some of the colorful, inspiring surroundings encountered throughout daily life in Jingdezhen.
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