That Sweet Touch of Gold
If you are looking for a little sparkle in your life you’ll find it right here. Spring feels like an excellent time for Natalie Waddell’s modern pots, playfully adorned with floral decals and that oh so seductive gold luster. Enjoy!
Meet Natalie Waddell
Q. What path did you take that led you to a career in clay?
My path in clay started many years ago when I opened up a yellow pages phone book (showing my age here!) to look through the different businesses/industries in my city to find one I wanted to work in. I found several ‘paint your own’ ceramic studios listed and I happily was hired by one. After a few years practicing my decorating, glazing and kiln loading skills I began my studies at Sheridan College in their Ceramic Craft and Design program.
Q. Where is your studio located? Can you tell us a bit about the space? How does it affect the ways in which you work?
My studio is currently located within a multidisciplinary artist collective in downtown Toronto. Although I have a private space to tuck in and work quietly it is lovely being surrounded by other artists and creators. The ability to participate in critical discussions with peers helps my work develop and grow.
Q: What are your favorite forms to work with?
My favorite forms to make have been my ‘folded’ hand built bowls. These forms have been in my practice for well over a decade and no two are the same. Their sharp edges and folds were inspired by and developed from my practice in origami and other paper arts.
Q: Looking around your local or provincial community can you name 3 other clay artists that should be on our radar?
I am lucky to be connected to a vibrant and supportive clay community here in Ontario. Three artists I think should be on your radar are:
Q. What particular technique or process are you most excited about right now?
I am excited to explore and experiment with overglaze decorating at the moment. Using decals and lustres to enhance my forms and surfaces is very instant and satisfying.
Q. What are a few of your most cherished tools? How come?
I think my two most used and appreciated studio tools would be my X-acto Knife and my Mudtools polymer ribs. Both of these help smooth and refine/sharpen my forms.
Q. What learning environment has had a significant impact on your work?
My time studying at Sheridan College had the strongest impact on me creatively by far. The instruction by and exposure to so many talented and renowned artists for three intensive years still resonates. I’m constantly using techniques and methods of working with the materials that they passed along are constantly being used by me in my work and I share them with students and other artists I know.
Q. Do you have other hobbies – creative or otherwise?
My hobbies are all tied to creating-in any medium I can get my hands on! Among the long list of hobbies I enjoy I have been most intensely drawn to printmaking.
Q. Any events coming up that you’d like to tell us about?