Mayco: Please tell us about yourself – what’s your background and how have you ended up where you are today?
Alina: Hi! Im Alina Maddex. I am 21 years old and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. Currently I am attending The Ohio State University to pursue a BFA with a focus in Art and Technology which will guide me to becoming an animator. For as long as I can remember art has always been one of my biggest passions. I grew up watching all of the Disney animated films which further sparked my interest in drawing and animation. Taking part in the creation of a film that will resonate with children and families around the world like films many did for me as a child is my goal. I took my first ceramics course in high school and loved it but my next ceramics course was not until the fall of 2016. From there my love for ceramics has grown and I continue to improve my craft with more courses and free time in the studio.
How would you describe your style of work, the materials you use and how you’re inspired?
In my work I am drawn towards geometric shapes, smooth and clean surfaces and simple yet playful surface designs. When throwing and shaping my forms on the wheel I use various types of ribs to achieve a clean surfaces and sharp angles. Further smoothing and perfecting of the form is done when trimming. What inspires me to make these forms is the amount of control and precision needed to make them. I enjoy challenging myself to make the best work I can. There is a lot of gratification in being able to make a crisp form with sharp angles and clean lines from a material that is naturally very messy and hard to work with. On my surfaces, I like to experiment a little more, keeping some work very plain and simple while adding patterns and decoration to others.
What are you favorite Mayco products to use? How do these products show off your work?
Some of my favorite Mayco products are the Foundations Matte Glazes. I love the smooth surface is gives the work and it is very easy to apply. Matte glazes take away the distraction of light reflections and glare that comes from using glossy glazes. This allows for the viewer to focus more on the form of my work and enhances it’s smooth and angular qualities.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduating with my BFA in Art and Technology I plan on becoming a 3d computer animator. My dream is to work at Pixar Studios or Disney Animation Studios, helping with animated shorts or long term feature films. It wasn’t until I was half way through my high school career in 2012 that I first learned about ceramics but I was drawn to it very quickly. I wish to continue making pottery after graduation in anyway I can as well.
Who is your ceramic “hero”, or an artist that you really look up to?
One of the first artists I discovered in 2016 was Brian Giniewski. I love his use of glaze on his simple vessels. The vibrant colors and perfect amount of drip from the glaze made his pieces really jump out at me. Even though my work is much different than his in terms of surface design, I really appreciate the playful elegance his work exhibits.
What was first piece of pottery you made (that you remember), and why did you fall in love with the art form?
The first piece of work I remember making and keeping was a small blue mug which I still have today. It is very heavy and the handle was attached upside down but it was the first functional piece I had ever made and that’s what made it special to me. I loved the utilitarian nature of of what I had made which is unlike a lot of other art forms that are not meant to be touched or held.
In addition to creating your own ceramic art, what are your hobbies?
In my free time I enjoy spending relaxing time with my family and friends, especially my dog Maggie. I also love spending time outdoors and around animals so I frequently visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Other forms of art I enjoy creating are portrait drawings and animations.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
If I could visit anywhere in the world I would go to Hawaii because I have never been there before and it looks incredibly relaxing and beautiful.