The Indigo Project

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Best Design  

Juror's Comment:  "Is it cloth? Is it clay? The elements of this installation piece come together to create an engaging study of colour and pattern that is balanced and appealing. From afar the work effectively evokes a sense of movement, like the cloth that inspired the work."

Sponsored by Fusion

Monica Rosenthal

The Indigo Project


I have had a lifelong love affair with indigo dyeing and after three trips to India, with Indian textiles, especially kantha embroidery. The Indigo Project through this series of 9 plaques, is my way of paying tribute to these two diverse traditions, translated into clay.
Stoneware, cone 6, some plaques glazed, some plaques, painted with underglaze, some with cobalt oxide washed off, each plaque made by hand, textured, and holes pierced individually. After firing, each plaque was embroidered with one of three colours of waxed cotton cording

h. 9”,w. 7”, d. 1.5 in

Click here to view my OGP Gallery
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Artist's Statement

As a ceramic artist, I have been creating functional ware for more than 15 years. More recently, I have extended my creative practice to include ceramic jewelry and wall art. My work reflects a strong Asian aesthetic. This stems from my experience of living in Japan for four years, taking numerous trips to Korea, and a life of continuous travel. I also have a deep interest in textile arts, both old and new. In particular, the art of indigo dying has long been a source of fascination. I am inspired by contemporary art, which leads me to redefine historical references and traditional practices in a contemporary context.

The diversity of my interests is reflected in my current work, which includes several distinct series. The first is an experiment in translating the rich variations of indigo dyeing and Indian kantha embroidery into clay. The second is a series of electrified lamps, that explore the interplay of positive and negative space, offering a new dynamic in my functional home ware. These require a collaboration with a fellow artisan to design and craft the wooden bases for my lamps. While these works challenge the boundaries of my comfort in the ceramic world, my work remains concerned with surface texture and pattern through carving and other means, the contrast of shiny and matt, and an architectural underpinning to my hand-built forms.

My education includes a BFA from York University and Master’s studies in Art History from the University of Michigan. I have continued to enhance my skills by studying with local artists, and at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, St. Lawrence College and Haliburton School of Art and Design.

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Photos by Rajeev Nath
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