Rhona Armes

Rhona January 2015

I awakened on a February morning in 1966, knowing that I could learn how to paint and draw. It was an overwhelming feeling. My fourth baby in five years had been born the previous October and I knew that because I was a stay at home Mom, I would find the time to learn. And then, when I was introduced to clay, and I knew what form my journey would take. I knew also that I had to share this passion with others so that they also could explore creative thinking through a visual image. My journey in learning is ongoing and now my students are not just those who are in the classroom.

My present work is clay sculpture and presentation ware. Sculpture fascinates me because with each project I face a variety of problems that need solving. The form of the sculpture begins as a philosophical statement. As the piece begins to grow, I follow my intuition and listen to the clay. With clay stains and glazes, the clay surfaces become a three-dimensional canvas, thus my experience in drawing and painting is utilised.

I love to see a dinner table set with individual presentation pieces. The heart of my family has always been at the dinner table and the joy of presenting food in crafted dishes enriches the atmosphere.

Important to me as well, is teaching. As a retired Secondary Art Teacher, I loved working with teenagers. My teaching now is out of my studio for both children, and adults. Each summer I sponsor an art retreat at our ranch in the mountain beyond Pinantan. Participants camp and share drawing and painting experiences in the morning and/or clay experiences in the afternoon. One student remarked, “I learned that I know so well how to work that I forgot what play is. I learned it is OK to do something badly as long as it is fun or a learning situation. It is OK not to produce something useful. It is OK to ‘waste’ paper and supplies. It is OK to not do ‘it’ perfectly. It is Ok to fail.