Mayco: Do you have a signature style? If so, please tell us about it.
Taylor: I try to keep a common thread throughout most of my work. With the surface, I am always trying to evoke a balance of beauty and intrigue. Sometimes this is done by combining images and patterns to create a specific narrative. Other times a simple motif such as a flower or geometric shape. I am always working within a limited color pallet with tons of contrast. I like using bold images mixed with pattern such as stars and dots. My forms are mostly thrown and altered, however I have been doing more hand building work lately. Mostly I just like to have fun with my work! I think the joy I get out of making pots really comes through in all my pieces and I hope that would be a significant signature.
What inspires you in your work?
My biggest inspiration is american traditional tattoos. I am constantly looking at work from old and new artists. I think that with every tattoo, just like every pot, there is a very specific story that can be interpreted in multiple ways. The rich history and lore that comes out of the tattoo tradition always keeps me exited! Stylistically, I love the use of bold lines, limited color, and clear imagery. I have always found so many similarities between tattoos and ceramics that it just makes sense. I am also inspired by printmaking, american folk art, divination practices, and of course animals, especially cats!
Does working in a ceramics supply company affect your art? In what way?
Totally! When I was in college I was so focused on the technical aspect of ceramics, like glaze chemistry and clay body formulation, that my surface was often an after thought. It wasn’t until I started working at Stone Leaf Pottery that I even discovered the amazing world of commercial products! While I would never take back my “everything made from scratch” days in college, I love the commercial products I am able to use because of SLP. I am now able to test a huge range of products and really narrow it down to the best of the best. I am always answering questions about our materials so it gives me a better understanding of how they work. Because I don’t have to spend as much time formulating glazes and clay bodies, I can spend way more time on developing my artwork.
Another thing that I have found invaluable about working at SLP is the wide range of people that I meet. I talk to everyone from artists to teachers to taxidermists. Meeting so many people and hearing about how they use the products we sell gives me endless ideas to use in my own art work. I am also able to form relationships with these people, which is essential in the ceramics community.
I see in your work, you use a lot of red and black. Do you tend to stay with the same color palette?
Yes, a majority of my work is strictly red and black over a white or cream colored clay body. I like the contrast this creates. I do use some other colors here and there to change things up but it is usually just one or two other colors with black.
What other ways have you used Mayco Designer Liner and silkscreens?
I have started using the silkscreens in conjunction with silkscreens I have made. I like creating stories with them by combining the images. I mostly use the Designer Liner for stars and dots on the background of my pots however I have started using it for silkscreening recently. It works really well combined with the Mayco Silkscreen Medium!
How has using these products changed your artwork, if at all.
I think by using the silkscreens it has allowed me to assess the meaning behind my work more. With the pre-made images I am able to attack the surface of my pieces more like a collage and less like a painting. I have always found a blank canvas rather intimidating so this helps give me a good starting point. Building up surface with a variety of techniques and different images feels more interesting to me. I like seeing another layer of contrast between the pre-made images and my drawings on the surface. I also have more fun when I am not so intimidated by the process so I can really get the sense of jubilance in my artwork to come out!
The Designer Liner has helped me discover the subtle intimacy that can be found within pottery. Feeling the slightly raised bump of the Designer Liner on the edge of a cup against your lip or on a handle makes you want to explore the piece more. It creates another layer of intrigue in the work which is very exciting!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world about you, your art or ceramics in general?
The longer I am in the ceramics community the more and more humbled I become. I was amazingly lucky to have supportive teachers in high school and astounding college professors. This support has followed me to my job and studio practice. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people I meet and the amount of support I have received. It really pushes me, even more, to excel in this field. It feels great to be making headway as an artist/craftswoman in this day and age! I hope as my career progresses I can pass along some of this support to other young artists. Its an amazing tradition and an outstanding community!