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about moi dugan

Moi Dugan Rochester, NY

I am inspired by my environment and use this to embellish my work. My wheel-thrown and hand built ceramics act as canvases for my narratives. I strive to make my work functional and yet stand on its own as a work of art when not in use. Cityscapes have been of great interest to me but my newest work is inspired by our recent move to a house in the woods. We are surrounded by 200 year old trees, more lilies of the valley and mushrooms than lawn, woodland creatures, more types of woodpeckers and grosbeaks than I've seen in my whole life, eagles in our back yard along with fox families, naughty raccoons and our chickens that we keep close eyes on!

My technique utilizes slip and sgraffito to produce the layers of color, texture and pattern. Slip is liquid clay which I make highly pigmented with mason stains and powdered oxides such as copper, cobalt and iron. The slip is applied when the piece is has been trimmed but is still leather hard. I apply layers of the slip with brushes and in many thicknesses to achieve depth in the design. When the slip is nearly dry to the touch I add accents by using the sgraffito technique.

Sgraffito is Italian for "scratch" and I use carving tools to incise the surface revealing the clay body beneath. I love the texture and feeling this creates and it gives the surface of a piece more life and interest to the viewer. One of my trademarks is that in nearly all of my work I incorporate the design on through the bottom and foot ring of the piece. This way when handling the work there's a little surprise on the bottom and this continues the design throughout the whole surface area.