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Artist ID: 2388

After 30 years of working with fused glass I made a complete left turn and began to sculpt in clay. .My clay figures represent the commonplace and droll. I image both our serious and confusing inner dialogs. Quizzical and whimsical expressions represent the questionable circumstance that we may find ourselves in. Currently these thoughts have turned to the roll of the Jester in history.
I appreciate the jester, not as a fool, but as the interpreter. Because of the impermanence of my military brat childhood and heritage, I found myself often maneuvering to find my place in a new community. Humor can break the ice. I think we are all called upon to use comedy, to cajole, to seek the absurd and the humor in life. We are all Jesters to some extent.
Although self-taught, my friends and community of artists have been a constant and generous source of technical information. I have chosen to work with a mid-fire clay that seems versatile enough for my imagination. I use underglazes and vitreous glazes depending on the surface that I am looking for or what the piece tells me it needs. They develop during their creation not from a fully formed idea. It is always important to stay flexible.

Lesley Nolan

I am the only child of a career Army Officer and creative homemaker and the grandchild of two World War II career Army Officers and creative homemakers. I could go on down the generations; wagon wheels to tank tracks. Home was wherever they were stationed, which necessitated thrifty creativity to make a house into a home.

Both of my grandmother’s taught me that creativity was in every aspect of life. My maternal grandmother played the piano, sewed, was a painter and an excellent cook. My father’s mother, was an excellent seamstress, developed a braille version of the American Flag, upholstered furniture and at 90 learned to use the computer and wrote a book. My grandmother’s, like my own mom, were capable, intelligent and inquisitive women with indomitable can-do spirits. I stand on their shoulders.

After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in the Social Sciences focusing on Law, I married my Kentucky Fort Knox High School sweetheart, us Brats stick together. From Florida, to Atlanta, to Panama City, and finally to Tallahassee, Florida, I worked, raised our family and as a homemaker turned to the artistic tendencies nurtured from my past. Just for fun, I will mention that I am related to James McNeill Whistler.

I began exploring the re-emergent art of fused glass and worked successfully in that material for 30 years, sharing, teaching, and gratefully earning awards, accolades, and a position of respect in the field. The work is enjoyed in corporate and personal collections throughout the country.

I have always been interested in the figure and translated that to large panels of dancing figures that I became known for and sold across the US. Yet, I felt I wasn’t able to develop the narrative I yearned for. In 2014 I began to venture into the tactile and malleable world of clay. As daunting as any career change, it has been a fast and furious learn curving that challenges me technically and creatively. In 2019 I made the leap permanent and turned to clay full time. I feel I was destined to make this change, even after all those years.

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