Media: Ceramic, Sculpture
MFA, Michigan State University
BFA, Michigan State University
Mark Chatterley started throwing pots over thirty years ago. Feeling limited by the shapes he could form on the wheel, it wasn't until he returned to school in pursuit of his Masters, that he began sculpting clay by hand. He now deals with large-scale sculptural ceramic pieces that he makes by himself, focusing primarily on the figure, with a metaphysical theme. Each piece is unique with the surface ranging from a shiny metallic to a crusty texture reminiscent of rusted metal or weathered stone.
. . . I have a true love for clay. Everything about it recalls pleasurable things. The smell reminds me of rain on a hot summer day. And the range of textures - from smooth and sensual like cream cheese to rough and gritty like sand on a beach - is always a delight. Clay is a malleable, forgiving material that allows extensive alteration. I have found that the only limits of clay are the boundaries of my imagination. For me art is about communicating with other people. Reaching out in a visual way and putting it out there.
I use around 18,000 pounds of clay per year, from a clay body that is my own formula. The sculptures are hand-built from the ground up 6-8 inches at a time, so it takes several weeks to complete the building of a life size figure. After three months of working I load all the sculptures in my 700 cubic foot kiln that I built. I then do bisque firing. After the kiln cools I place all the sculptures on the floor and apply my crater glaze. They all go back in the kiln, and I fire the work to around 2100 degrees.