VIDEO: Revelstoke potter branching out

Jacquie Palmer is experimenting with paper clay

When Jacquie Palmer first read about paper clay it was going to be “the greatest advancement in pottery this century.”

Though it hasn’t taken off quite as well as that writer first thought, composite clay fusion has been a great advancement to Palmer’s creations.

“I wanted to go more 3-D,” she said.

And paper clay was the answer.

A mixture of 25 per cent mulched paper mixed in with regular clay, Palmer said that the paper clay is strong, lighter and doesn’t shrink as much, which allows her to create bigger pieces such as Luna the bear that she created for the first annual Luna Arts Fest in 2017.

The addition of paper to the medium also allows Palmer to embed things such as broken pottery pieces into her creations.

“I have more shards than I can really keep up with,” Palmer said with a laugh.

Palmer’s pottery can be found during the summer at the downtown farmer’s market. She is known for her signature ash glazes. However she is moving beyond the standard pottery as she ventures into creating with paper clay.

There was some failed experiments in the beginning.

Palmer read that she could embed metal into her pieces, however it sunk to the bottom and stuck to the kiln shelf during firing.

Just like when she was learning to turn bowls and cups.

“You have to be patient because when you start out the fail rate is like 40 per cent, for me initially,” she said.

Because the paper clay is more fragile, Palmer has to make moulds to shape it around. Back in September she had created a mold for the face of a grizzly and was shaping in her basement studio.

Jacquie Palmer created this piece of art using paper clay. (Submitted)

She has also been experimenting with pieces that can be mounted on the wall. She creates almost a painting using the paper clay then cuts it up so that it will fit in the kiln, reassembles and glazes it and her husband helps her create the wall fixtures.

“I have to figure out how to cut it up in a way that is aesthetic,” she said.

Though she didn’t create anything for Luna this year, Palmer did participate in Art in the Park.

“The best thing was being thrown together with a bunch of avid artists out in the wild or maybe I should say it was fun being out there with the wild and wonderful artist,” said Palmer in an email after the event. “Being immersed in the setting has got to inspire awe. Glacier National park is an amazing place. It’s a privilege to be part of a team of artists showcasing this spectacular wilderness on our doorstep… But part of me would rather keep this incredible place a secret!”

READ MORE: Inspired by nature: Artists explore Glacier National Park for annual Art in the Park residency

The works she created based on her experience in the residency were on display in the gallery Oct. 26-Nov. 16.

READ MORE: Art in the Park projects featured in upcoming Revelstoke Fine Arts Centre Exhibition

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