Intertwined by Sandra Zuidema
I am captivated by the patterns and structure I discover both in nature and in architecture. How can a stem so gracefully slender hold so heavy a head? How can the delicate vein of a flower be so incandescent? How can a building of stone reflect that same grace, light and beauty and invoke a similar reaction of awe? My work represents a small attempt to capture and respond to this sense of wonder.
My learning of nature and architecture deepens as I teach these subjects to my students. Teaching them not to dissect but to see things in a broader whole and as part of an unfolding story. The beauty of each plant, tree or vine is enhanced as it grows, intertwines and maintains balance within its environment. The craftspeople of the Middle Ages stood on the shoulders of others to build cathedrals of increasing height and grace while ornamenting them with intricate stone carvings that still hold us enthralled today.
My medium is clay, pulled from the natural world and then moulded and transformed. In carving and piercing out the clay just to the point it can stand before cracking, I strive to make a substance as hard as rock and sharp as glass appear to be weightless, light as a feather, as fluid as water. As I push the structural limits of clay and my own technical ability with every pot I design, I hope to inspire others to slow, to notice, to find wonder in the veins of a flower growing in their own garden or skillfully etched in stone and tucked into the rib of a vaulted ceiling.
Sandra Zuidema is a Canadian artist and educator who takes the ideas of wonder and discovery that she is continually teaching her students and brings them to life in her pottery. She received her Art and Education degrees from Redeemer University in Ancaster in 1998. She has taught in various grade schools, high school co-ops, homeschool groups and gives private lessons. She speaks at education conferences on art, architecture and art history.
Sandra’s work has been shown in juried shows at the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, Ontario and will be featured in Hamaka Creativity Lab’s magazine this summer. Sandra’s passion for teaching finds voice in her pottery – a style that frequently reflects the rhythmic patterns of traceried windows and designs in the natural world. Her home studio – aSpire Pottery - is located on the West Hamilton mountain.