Tara Brenno

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Tara Brenno – Artist Statement

My earliest memories are of doing art with my mom, an artist, who taught me to see beauty all around me and to look at the world through the eyes of an artist. As a child I took ceramics classes and fell in love with the way the clay felt in my hands. My family spent summers exploring the southwest and I became fascinated with the pottery of the Hopi and Pueblo artists. I attended a boarding high school in Sedona, AZ where I spent all my free time working in the ceramics studio. At Humboldt State University, I studied ceramics, until one day I walked into the weaving studio and fell in love with the colors and process of weaving.

I moved to the Bay area to study textiles. At California College of Arts and Crafts I received a BFA in textiles, exploring surface design, weaving and felt making. It was there that I met my husband, glass and mixed media artist, Brian Brenno. Over the years I have explored many different mediums, struggling to find one that truly allowed me to express myself. As the art teacher at Chautauqua Elementary School I explore a lot of different materials with my students. It was there that I once again found myself drawn to clay.

My inspiration comes from the art of indigenous people around the world, folk art and patterns found in nature. My images are created using a technique called sgraffito to scratch the design through the glaze to the clay below or by drawing on the surface using a little squeeze bottle of glaze fitted with a fine metal tip. I find the process of drawing on or carving into the surface to be very meditative. Each piece is unique, hand built, using slab or coil construction and painted with food safe glazes. I want the pots I make to become integral parts of our lives. The objects we surround ourselves with should spark joy whether sitting on the shelf or in daily use.