Judi Tavill’s ceramic art is directly inspired by nature in all its complexity. More than simple sculptures, her art replicates a living organism, or perhaps, a coral reef. “Sea creatures and weather formations, fabric folds and textile richness or historic ceramic techniques all come together to inspire the form and texture of the work,” writes Tavill on her website.
But it took Tavill sometime before she decided on her artistic voice, having first pursued a career in fashion. It was only in 2003 that she came across clay, and a love story ensued. Working from her studio based on the New Jersey shore, her process includes wheel throwing and hand-building, altering and distorting forms before deeply carving, hand texturing and surface detailing her creations.
Firing the clay twice allows for the addition of delicate glazing work and the melting of crushed glass for additional surface interest. According to her, this process is long and involved, requiring both planning and improvisation.
But it’s a process that is worthwhile, judging by the finished result.