SCENT OF A SCULPTOR"The texture and the scent of clay intrigued me," said Celeste Pecor. She started working with clay in her very first art class in high school. Although many clay sculptors use a wheel to create functional pieces, Celeste prefers hand building with coils and slabs because it is slow, methodical, and meditative.
Her style has evolved over the years. "At first I explored the limitations of clay," she said. "and along the way I found endless possibilities. Working with clay is a journey filled with adventure." Her work is organic with undulating, nearly baroque, free forms that show movement and rythym. Many pieces have a textile appearance with the look of draped fabrics (the tile table she displayed at the Home Show has a quilt-like look).
Celeste studied with Dale Okino, a Japanese artist from Hawaii, and Susan Smith. Okino gave her work a strong Japanese influence. Her sculptural process and raku (a Japanese sculptural technique) came from Smith. Deb Shell brought Celeste back into sculpture. Both artists spoke of the contemplative value of working clay. In her counselling studies, Deb uses artwork as a stepping stone to work through a problem; Celeste appreciates its introspective value.
Her best show was at the Fleming Museum where she exhibited mixed fiber woven pieces and clay pieces in raku, very large coiled and slab scuptures and one porcelain piece. Celeste showed her earlier work at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland, and has also exhibited at the Francis Colburn Gallery, the Shelburne Frame and Art Shop, and the All Arts Council/Rotary Home Show.
During the summer Celeste offers art workshops in print making, weaving, clay, and painting to kids and adults in the community. She works in the resource room at BFA and teaches art at Northwest State Correctional Center. Her students there often have no art background but they do have individual styles and are discovering creativity and learning art appreciation. Her business, Celestial Arts, creates and sells jewelry and clay tiles from juried craft fairs.
Celeste loves flower gardening and motherhood. She has one daughter Elise, 14, who is a constant inspiration. Thanks to a bone marrow transplant in 1988, she overcame cancer and is living her life over. "Sculpture has kept me going," she said. "My work encompasses the many passions I have mixing the joys and challenges of life."
Many of the AAC profiles first appeared in the County Courier, the St Albans Messenger, and online in ArtBits on this site, in the Arts and Entertainment section of VermontNOW magazine, and on Themestream.com
All Arts Council of Franklin CountyDick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
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