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 Sara Lawless  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: Ontario/British Columbia / Thailand      Known for: iconic stone-carved figures

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Little did I know that my childhood obsession with rocks would become the driving force of my artistic adult life.  Clay on the potter's wheel is soft and fluid.  Upon firing, it becomes solid and hard, returning to a state of stone. Like stone, fired clay will eventually erode, changing form once more.  In other words, clay has no final or original state, and neither do I.

I grew up on a small subsistence farm in eastern Ontario, Canada, where I was encouraged to explore and create, as well as to work hard at whatever I did.  After receiving a degree in English from Simon Fraser University, the pivotal moment in my creative life came soon after I moved to Bangkok, Thailand: suffering from culture shock and all the self-doubt and fear that accompany it, I suddenly had the realization that "art" was my reason for being in Thailand.  Quite unexpectedly, I found myself teaching in an art-based kindergarten, and was deeply inspired by the spontaneous creativity of my students.  I also found myself embracing the Thai culture, with its highly valued craft traditions.

Later, as a student at Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, British Columbia, I spent a summer working with master potter Wayne Ngan on Hornby Island.  Wayne is best known for his Song Dynasty ware, but at the time I was there, he was experimenting with more imaginative, sculptural pots--what he called "pure form"--and he showed me that a pot needn't be limited by the circle of the wheel.  This playfulness with technique and emphasis on form have carried into my own pots. At the same time, I feel strongly about creating art that can be incorporated into daily living, whose full significance can only be experienced through physical contact and use.

I am both surprised and delighted by the support my work has received (including BC Arts Council Scholarships, an exhibition in Japan, and the Orton Cone Box Show), and look forward to sharing more of it with the world.  Upon my graduation from KSA in 2006, my husband Kendrick Mauser and I bought a home in Kaslo, BC, where I am currently setting up my studio.

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