Where are you from / where do you live now / what brought you to the southern highland region?
What a privilege to have been introduced to the southern highland regions as a child. Growing up in Lakeland, Florida, my grandparents and parents escaped the summer heat by retreating to Highlands/Scaly Mountain, NC. I fell in love with the beauty of the flora and fauna. The decision to relocate permanently to Highlands, NC; a place that has always felt like home, was an easy one.
What is your favorite part about living in the southern highlands?
Living among the beauty of nature and being able to be among others that share that love is wonderful.
Tell us something unique about your process / what makes your work unique among artists in your same discipline?
Working with clay, I have been inspired by many artists and techniques, the material offers endless possibilities. "Questioning, searching, and wrestling with ideas of purpose, identity, and worth drive my creative process. Experiences layer, fusing the unexpected and predictable, the uncontrolled and intentional. The juxtapositions that create the story of our lives are reflected in my sculptural porcelain vessels. I am learning to see and to treasure life, shaped by beauty in the hands of love."
Deneece Harrell explores the symbolic analogical conversations of self-reflection, beauty, renewal, and joy through her work. The torn, unglazed surface of porcelain juxtaposed with gold leaf hosts the dialog used to capture the movement and tension of fragility and strength in surfaces. Her work documents experiences of loss and pain interwoven with inexpressible joy and fulfillment.
Each piece evolves intuitively as she begins to manipulate the porcelain clay, revealing its inner dialogue. The marred, smoothed, stretched, and torn individual sections inspire her to explore the limits of the medium, documenting situations outside of her control and moments of spontaneous freedom. Her pieces reflect inner beauty, restoration, and the philosophy of kintsugi, using gold leaf and custom gold composite.
Harrell launched her ceramic studio and began participating in juried exhibitions, from local to international, in September of 2019. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, College of Architecture in Interior Design. Teaching visual art, participating in international, national, and local ceramic workshops, mentoring, and professional affiliations continue to inform her process.
How long have you been a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild? What is your favorite part of being a Guild member?
Membership with the Southern Highland Craft Guild began in winter of 2022. The fellow artist, their drive to pursue their craft in excellence, they desire to come together to promote craft; my favorite part of the guild.
What can visitors expect to find at your booth? Are you working on anything specific to reveal at the Craft Fair this Summer? (New work?)
Visitors can expect to find new work in a variety of sizes and complexity created in response to continuing exploration and questioning of ideas through analogical dialogue in porcelain clay.