Tanya Tyree Creates Sculpture in Raku, New Show Opens December

Raku by Tanya Tyree, C'ville Arts Gallery, Charlottesville downtown mallOur highly popular member Tanya Tyree will be C’ville Arts Cooperative Gallery’s featured artist during the month of December. She will be at the gallery on December 7th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., during the Historic Downtown Mall’s First Friday event.   

Tanya Tyree creates feminine figurative clay sculptures and her current work is an exploration of happiness, love and wisdom. Her raku fired clay sculptures are hand-built and created primarily from flat slabs of clay with some altered wheel-thrown elements.  Focusing on simplified forms with intricate surface development, each sculpture is incised with abstract drawings that build on its mystery.

The pieces are bisque fired and then treated with copper and colored glazes. The glazed pieces are fired in a small gas kiln, removed while red hot, burned, and reduced in combustible materials, and quickly plunged in coldwater. This violent process is called “Raku” and it curiously alters the glazes by flashing unpredictable hues and tones, making each work unique in form, design and surface.

“My goal is to create works that convey a mood, connecting you to its mystery.”  Tanya said, as she described the painstaking process of Raku. To learn more about this artist visit her web site www.2artstudios.com

What’s it like being a part of an artists’ cooperative?

Since we’ve been working on our new website for C’ville Arts Gallery, I’ve been thinking a lot about who we are as an organization.  What attracts artists to join cooperatives and why would we all do just about anything to make sure our co-op not only survives, but that it thrives?

A couple of weeks ago, I had a phone call out of the blue from one of my fellow artist members, Mary Ellen Larkins.  Mary Ellen works in fused glass; she produces unique and beautiful jewelry, as well as some very interesting sculptural pieces and even some items for the home.  So, anyway, Mary Ellen left a message on my voice mail that she had a friend who has a gift shop, and he had received a shipment of depression glass that arrived in pieces.  Pieces?  Well, as an artist who works in mosaic, the word “pieces” makes my heart race!  Mary Ellen had convinced her friend that she knew someone who could put his shards of Depression-era glass to good use, and her message to me was simply “come and get it!”.  And get it I did; what a beautiful haul of broken glass it is!

This sort of thing happens all the time at the Gallery.  One artist will have something they no longer need, and they’ll call one of their fellow artists.  We’re always thinking about each other; we’re there for each other; we’re there for our cooperative, too.

I probably don’t have to tell you that times have been tough, and when people cut back on their buying, often the handmade arts and crafts are considered less essential.  So far, though, we’ve made it; and, we’ve made it because we’ve pulled together, tightened our belts, increased the percentage of sales that goes to the co-op, and generally just focused on providing quality handmade objects, whether traditional crafts or decorative art or fine art, that is well-made and affordable.

We do it together.  We love our Gallery’s location near the Central Place on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall, and there’s a true sense of cooperation among our group of artists.  We love our Gallery, and we really love the relationships that we develop with other artists.  There’s a certain camaraderie among our members, and though we each focus on our individual art, the Gallery provides us with a higher purpose for which to work.  It’s a very good thing.

– This article was written by Virginia Gardner, our resident mosaic artist.