2020 Emerging Artist: Toni Losey

Toni Losey, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Ceramics Monthly: What role does color play in your work?

Toni Losey: Color is integral to my work. Color has the ability to help communicate mood and life so beautifully; the possible combinations and resulting intentions are endless. In my attempt to communicate life through ideas such as a beginning and an end, I have found color a tremendously useful tool. Bright greens hint at new growth, patches of creams and whites suggest bleaching coral, burnt oranges and reds may signify changes in season. Color adds vibrancy, depth, and another level of possibilities. I have pushed myself to not fear color, but rather to embrace it fully and draw inspiration from the life found in our oceans to the fresh growth occurring in our forests and fields. Color exists within a set of connotations, and we all have our own interpretations. Though personally, I believe certain consistencies are found within our impressions of color that function as an emotional pulse or common denominator to guide toward universal reactions.

1 Toni Losey’s Sample: NER-00-4-3, 4 in. (10 cm) in height, wheel-thrown earthenware, handbuilt porcelain, slips, glaze, fired to cone 6, cone 08, and cone 09, 2019.

CM: What do you do to push yourself to stay engaged and develop new forms within the field of ceramics?

TL: There are so many aspects of ceramic and the ceramic process to keep you both on your toes and moving forward. For me, glazing acts as a catalyst in my attempt to marry technical/material process with conceptual prowess. Glazing is a bottomless hole of both frustration and inspiration. One exists because of the other and by embracing this, the potential exists to bring out the very best in my work.

My forms are about movement and growth and I work to capture and explore these ideas within my making. Glazing takes what the clay is insinuating and pushes it further; it’s not just an accessory, it is an accomplice. There is such joy in literally capturing the movement in glaze. The ability to freeze it in a moment of time, contain its fluidity, and then use these qualities to exaggerate the movement within a work—this is everything.

2 Toni Losey’s Sample: NFL-00-12-57-1, 3½ in. (9 cm) in height, wheel-thrown and handbuilt earthenware, slips, glaze, fired to cone 06, cone 08, and cone 09, 2019.

Push and pull, beginning and end, in and out, hard and soft; the tension found in these oppositions propels me in my work. I look for my work to capture a moment, a moment where a transition is occurring. This shall be a never-ending and tenuous pursuit. I can only hope to capture such fleeting moments one piece and glaze approach at a time.

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