Terra Cotta Collection by Alan LeQuire
Janelle Seated by Alan LeQuire
For someone like me, who was a dedicated carver, the return to clay as a medium was life changing. Wet clay is the ultimate sculptor’s medium. Any volume or surface texture can be created in this material. Clay offers complete plasticity in any consistency from liquid to solid, and therefore limitless possibilities for expression.
After it is fired, terra cotta preserves the artists touch – allowing us to sense the artist’s presence in a fingerprint even hundreds of years later.
When I work in natural clay I feel connected to the entire history of sculpture making around the world. This is the primary way we know about most of those early cultures, through their clay sculpture – because it lasts.
Clay is found everywhere and is inexpensive, but once fired it offers permanence. In this way, Earth is the humblest medium, but also the noblest.
Terra Cotta, Unique
More about Terra cotta:
Terra cotta is the term for fired clay, literally meaning “cooked earth.” There are examples in early art from as far back as 3,000 B.C. Continually since, artists have created in clay, and collectors, including Baron Thibon and the Goncourt brothers, have passionately assembled collections of terra cotta sculptures, citing their delicacy and “the modeling of dreams, [with] an almost immaterial beauty.” (Goncourt, La Maison d’un Artiste. 2 vols. Paris, 1881 pp. 166-67.) In 1764 Johann Joachim Winkelmann wrote in The History of Ancient Art, “Modeling is clay is to the sculptor what drawing on paper is to the painter. In the soft material, and on paper, the genius of the artist is seen in its utmost purity and truth.”