Through my artwork I communicate the importance and symbolism of the honey bee to my life. My family has raised honey bees for three generations. Bee farming has had a significant impact on my life. The honey bees allow my family to have a product they can enjoy and financially profit from. Not only is the farming aspect important, but also the behavior of the honey bee. Like a hive, my family members are incredibly loyal to each other. We all work and provide, so that the others can survive. My work reflects my memories of being raised in Southern Appalachia, and how bee farming has continually influenced me into adulthood.
I am influenced by my constant exposure to the mountains of Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina. I reference the regional beauty and childhood memories to generate ideas. Careful study of the honey bees and their colonies have inspired images and textures used in this work. I create most of my artwork in ceramics and printmaking. I make the two communicate the same language by integrating my prints into surface design for my ceramic pieces. For this body of work I used a variety of materials such as clay, ink, paper, encaustic medium, and oil paint. After construction of the ceramic tiles, I gathered prints and family photographs to use as surface design. I then incorporated the images onto the tiles with encaustic medium.
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