Sandy Blain

Sandy Blain

Sandy Blain


MFA/Ceramics, University of Wisconsin, 1972

MS/Art, University of Wisconsin, 1967

BS/Education, Northern Illinois University, 1964



Using found objects and industrial refuse as textural tools, Sandra Blain makes impressions in her clay pieces, creating works that are both decorative and documentary of current times. Concentrating on form, color, and texture simultaneously, Blain strives to capture time and place in her earthenware creations. A professional ceramist since 1964, Blain’s work has exhibited nationally. Sandra Blain was a Professor of Art at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville until 2004. 


Her work consists of hand-built manipulated, wheel thrown and assembled clay forms impressed with found objects and serve as metaphors for the impact one has on their surroundings. The relief surfaces reveal a personal narrative experienced on daily walks. Oxides, slips, and glazes are applied through drawing, brushing, and spraying the surfaces of her forms. The visual complexity and depth of ideas and images are the result of layering textures and glazes often in multiple firings. 



Sculptural forms inspired by curbside environments provide facades to capture the discard of our culture. Relief surfaces reveal a personal narrative experienced on daily walks. The intuitive manipulation and marking of clay is influenced by historical, environmental, natural, and man-made systems of organization. Significant in the construction of form and surface impressions is the inherent quality of clay – the process that enables the medium to record the spontaneity of a direct tactile experience. Manipulated and assembled hand-built forms impressed with found objects serve as metaphors for the impact one has on their surroundings.  Slips and glazes are drawn, brushed, stamped, stenciled and airbrushed on the surface of the pieces during various intervals of a multiple firing process. Visual complexity is the result of collecting material, layering process and realizing ideas. 

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