Alanna Baird


Prints

Ottawa,Ontario

Alanna Baird - The artist’s statement

I have worked with clay since 1977, often exploring fish motifs in decoration and form. I have lived on the shore of the Bay of Fundy for most of those years, and still feel its strong tidal pull. A recent move to Ottawa, ON has given me an opportunity to enlarge my scope of work and audience.

In 1991, the Museum of Civilization put out a call for entry for a weathervane competition. Always interested in new things, I thought about how I could apply my clay relief images in metal. After mental exploration in copper shaping for a traditional fish weathervane, I found myself thinking of the tin can lids sitting in my recycle box as perfect fish scales. I borrowed a rivet gun, and some tin snips and set to work. The first fish, titled “Starkist Gold, T’ain’t No Tuna Here” came to be, and was named after the tainted tuna problems experienced by the nearby Bayside community. The attention this first fish received; its purchase by the Museum, and subsequent choice by the American Crafts (for use in it’s publication of a desk diary in commemoration of 1993, the year of craft in America) demanded further exploration in this new media. This combination of a seemingly worthless material into a shiny armored fish is a metamorphosis. This results in a re-evaluation of material and a surprise for most viewers. The fish have evolved over the years, becoming the works you see in these images. The viewer is taken beyond the material by shape and beauty; but is at the same time reminded of issues of environmental impact.

I continue to work part-time in tin. All of the tin used comes from my community, people I do not even know, carefully clean and save tin lids for me, and I often find little packages of them tied to my doorknob. More recently I have added scrap copper to my material supply, creating the potential for exterior application. This use of recycled material is timely, the resulting fish are timeless.

Another avenue for my creativity is printmaking. I was able to use the resources of Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Center’s print shop to explore copper plate etching and engraving. I also use the simple block printing techniques of linoleum that I first learned in high school. My work includes simple black and white images as well as more complex, colour reduction prints.

I continue my interest in clay through teaching at the Gloucester Pottery School here in Ottawa with introductory classes in hand building and wheel work. www.gloucesterpotteryschool.com


Alanna Baird

2007

  Vacation Rentals               

  15 Sea Street               

51 Water Street, PO Box 255 Eastport, Maine 04631 207-853-4123

“Another avenue for my creativity is printmaking. I was able to use the resources of Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Center’s print shop to explore copper plate etching and engraving. I also use the simple block printing techniques of linoleum that I first learned in high school.”

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