Shadow May has been working in clay for almost 20 years. He began studying and making functional pottery in high school in Alaska and earned a Bachelors in English and Art History at University of Alaska. Shadow went on to apprentice with a series of production potters before furthering his studies at the Penland School of Craft and Haywood Community College as Ceramics major. In 2000, he established his own studio practice. Solidly grounded in the functional, he has trended towards increasingly larger and more sculptural clay works.
Shadow’s work achieves a surface which speaks exceedingly of the reduction, wood-fired, and atmospheric kilns that one finds scattered throughout the Southern reaches of Appalachia . . . though it is fired in oxidation in an urban environment. Traditional surface embellishments such as glass runs, sea shell stacking, and wadding marks further this feeling. Overall, the surface of the work shares tones, variations, and a quiet earthiness which connect it to the muted play of our Southeastern seasons.
This softer, intuitive side of his work is balanced with a serious physicality comprised of heft, scale, and bold lines. The forms are quite gestural with movement, carving, indentations and edges lending a strong sculptural sense even to everyday objects like cups. It is as if the work were hewn directly from rugged stone instead of transformed from silky wet clay. Touring a show of Shadow’s work is like visiting indirectly the rock formations he has seen living in the rugged terrain of Alaska, Hawaii, and Western North Carolina. He strives to make stoneware forms that reflect perhaps more on the wishes of the clay to be rock once more than on his own human needs for the containing and serving of sustenance.
The exhibit will be fully documented and available for sale online with MudFire’s new website, which will post several days after the exhibit opens, weather permitting and the creeks don’t rise.
175 Laredo Drive
Decatur, GA 30030