A recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Fine Art, Gemma Farrell has always been interested in anatomical illustrations. She has been apprenticing with Lucy Fagella, a Greenfield-based ceramicist and pottery teacher. Once Farrell started working with clay, she thought it be a great medium for her own anatomical illustrations.
These starkly compelling pieces include small plates, vases, bowls and mugs in a variety of shapes, all in red or black against white backgrounds. The original illustrations are done using a sgraffito technique. This begins by applying a coating of a contrasting colored slip to still-damp clay. The designs are then incised or carved down through the the slip into the clay body beneath. The designs are enhanced due to the contrast between the color and the three-dimensional quality of the slip and clay.
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