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 Christine McKay  

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Lived/Active: Montana/Washington/Hawaii      Known for: sculpture, drawing, ceramics

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Biography from Dana Gallery:
Montana artist, Christine McKay, was born in Honolulu and raised near Seattle.   Her birthplace, the lush Northwest, and the inland Rocky Mountain country, have all had tremendous influence on her artwork.  Indigenous cultures from those diverse locales shaped her passions and subsequent interests in prehistory, its ancient art form, and world mythologies.

She received a BFA from the University of Montana in Missoula, where she augmented her art studies with archaeology and anthropology.  Her current medium is clay, mostly porcelain.  She uses the slab building method, some throwing and coil work; often time combining all three.  

She works out of her private mountain studio and lives with her husband, horses, cats, dos, and diverse Montana wildlife. 

Artist's Statement:
When I discovered clay I found a way to incorporate two passions...drawing and sculpting.  I prefer to have my hands and fingers directly engaged with my medium, so I'm happily drawn to those where I can brush my fingers over a page or a clay surface, feeling the response of the elements under my fingertips.  There is often a sensation of deep connection to ancient artisans when working with clay or charcoal, as though time is no barrier between me, a Paleolithic artist or a Neolithic potter/sculptor.  I'm quite a loner, but in those moments I'm touching in with the deepest of friends and times I wish I had known.

I fire at Cone 6 Oxidation (electric), primarily using a porcelain clay that I get from the well-known Archie Bray Foundation  in Helena MT.  It's a lush porcelain that suits throwing and hand building.  I settled on oxidation firing because I work with so much detail; painting and carving.  Cone 6 retains those efforts as well as creating durable outdoor pieces.  Over time and much experimentation I've found a pallet of glazes, pigments and methods that create toasty and earthy surfaces which meld with the organic attachments I sometimes include.

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