Today we’d like to introduce you to Chelsea Mae.
Chelsea, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve been an artist ever since I can remember. I have an endless curiosity for new materials and techniques. I grew up in Arizona, spending a lot of time camping and exploring the desert. I’m still the kid collecting rocks and digging up clay on the shore, but now I like to incorporate them into art projects. I studied photography and sculpture in school and then apprenticed with a fabulous large scale bronze sculptor in Laguna Beach, Terry Thornsley, where I learned lost wax casting, and a love for this messy work. I’ve had many sides hustles over the years, all related to three-dimensional art.
I dove into sculpture as my main medium about five years ago, Then I was diagnosed with cancer shortly after. It definitely lit up my motivation to do what makes me happy everyday. I feel my drive to succeed and make something amazing is much stronger than before. Having the creative outlet was a great tool to sort through the incredible onslaught of emotions. When chemo was burning holes through my brain, I sat at my table and carved caverns into clay, deepening them as the clay dried and grew stronger. The metaphors are still revealing themselves to me through the organic style I started then.
My work is always evolving as I find new materials to work with, and refine the shapes. Right now I am excited about firing more Raku and creating larger wall sculpture installations like the one I just finished for a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Six extra-large cobalt blue jellyfish will be floating many stories above the ocean.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
The human brain is wired to recognize patterns. Mushrooms and coral are some of my favorites. I find the connections between sea life and forest flora endlessly fascinating. I like to interpret these patterns by capturing their energy using materials from nature. I let gravity, water, and fire have its way with the forms. I don’t try to control the material or strive for perfect lines. Capturing the gentle curve of a tree, or the texture of an invertebrate sea creature and transforming it into stone is what keeps me excited about creating with clay.
I love to get ceramic sculpture up on the wall, it’s an unexpected place. We are used to the utilitarian cup and dishes on the table. When I do make mugs and serving bowls, it’s with the philosophy of Wabi Sabi, uneven edges and unmistakably handmade. My fine art work is often vases and vessels that are twisted and layered to really push the material beyond its limits. I like to break the rules in ceramics, therefore there’s always some breakage and failed experiments along the way.
I like to watch faces as people come into my booth at shows. When they are perplexed and entertained, I’ve done my job. I hope to bring a little fun and something unexpected into the art world.
How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Success as an artist is simply being proud of the work you put out and always moving forward with endless curiosity.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I do a few public art shows throughout the year, I announce them on my Instagram and email list, which can be found on my website. My website has easy links to my shop of available work, galleries, contact info, and Patreon page. Instagram is the place to see what’s in progress and call dibs @chelseamaesculptress.
- Website: www.ChelseaMaeArt.com
- Instagram: @chelseamaesculptress
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chelsea-Mae-Art-213349265347737/
Chelsea Mae, Ashley Vine