About Me

Hey Everyone! I am Bianca Del Cioppo and I am in love with art!

I am currently a student at Sierra Nevada College in beautiful Lake Tahoe. I am working towards my BFA in ceramics. I am relatively new to the ceramic art world, but I am quickly making up ground and filling every moment of my life with art shows, conventions, ceramics history and time in the studio. This blog is just a collection of what I make, what I see and things that peek my interest in the art world. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My BFA Show Speech and Questions


BFA Show- February 21st

 A Vacant Chair
“I am not sculpting the figure, but rather the shadow that they cast.” - Alberto Giocometti

I created this show in response to a dear friend’s passing last semester. I was experiencing new feelings and states of mind that I hadn’t experienced before and they inspired my work in ways that I couldn’t fully understand. Each figure I created started to  speak to me about a memory; a memory embodied itself in a moment in time that reflected my states of mind during the grieving process. These memories were so powerful that I found no answers in traditional ceramic techniques. Each moment in time, was new and raw inside me. I felt the need to capture these exact moments with an equally raw feeling of clay. I think if I had gone about this project with a method I had already learned, it would have lost something. Because these are temporary feelings to a permanent outcome, I wanted the impermanency of unfired clay to capture and mimic my emotions. I wanted to make them life size because the emotions I was feeling were so massive they couldn’t be miniaturized.  
The strokes that I made in the clay were direct movements of the emotions I was feeling as I was in the process. How I treat my figures is very similar to how I sketch. I have always been attached to sketching as an outlet for my life. Sketchbooks were always the first thing I packed when I would go on family trips. 
For the last few months, my life has been laid out in my sketchbook. It has been a way for me to vent, think and come to terms with the events that had occurred. For me, this way of creating is completely new.  It is about trying to capture something that is intangible. I am not firing my pieces because there is that immediate sense of permanency with fired ceramic work that I am looking to draw away from. I am not creating to profit. I am creating purely as an outlet for my emotions. 
I have been looking for a different way of expressing myself in my art since last year when the SNC’s Clay Club travelled to Seattle for NCECA. The National Conference on the Education for the Ceramic Arts hosts many exhibitions, one of which, we entered into. The running theme for that year was “On the Edge” and our group immediately thought of ‘on the edge of extinction.’  We wanted to create these life size figures with animal heads representing the bond between humans and the endangered species in the Puget Sound region. We created these figures with found materials, trash, chicken wire, and hand dug clay. It was ironic that these figures were made of the very materials that were killing the animals in that area. It was a very moving experience for me, I was completely consumed in the entire process, so much so, that I started searching for more meaning in my own work. Before, I was solely working on sculptural pots with wire detail. I was taking everything I had learned.  After NCECA, I started exploring the ways that nature creates a beauty in even the ugliest parts of the world. For example, when you see a fungus from a distance, it may not be beautiful, but when you look closely the patterns created are unquestionably fascinating. I wanted to look into this play on peoples perception of beauty in nature. When I moved into figurative work, it was an easy transition because my forms were already very figurative. Then I went life size.
When I started making these figures, they were solid pieces of clay. It only took six hours to completely finish one, but the piece didn’t have anything to support it. I started thinking back to the NCECA trip and how we made a skeletal structures for each figure. I took that idea and incorporated it into my final pieces. I created a wood frame base, wrapped them in burlap and finally chicken wire. Both the burlap and the chicken wire were used to grip and hold the hundreds of pounds of clay I added to each figure.
I wanted to express looseness in the figures similar to that of Egon Scheile. I was introduced to Egon shortly after I started figurative work and I fell in love with the wide gesture marks that he used to convey movement and emotion. He would take liberties with the figure that were new and exciting to me. I saw a lot of similarities between Egon’s paintings and my sketches and I wanted to take both styles and make them come to life in clay. 
This whole process has been extremely beneficial and moving for me, both in my personal life and for future plans. I want to explore this new way of creating clay figures and see what more I can learn from it. I like the sense of freedom working raw has brought me and I look forward to bringing this new skill into grad school and my future practice.

Egon Schiele Inspiration