Juliette Ripley-Dunkelberger

Through my ceramic figurative sculpture, I convey my personal life experiences; translating physical and emotional sensations into visual representations. I work to make the invisible human experience visible.

My degree in music performance taught me to pay attention to details, patterns, and how pieces of a work relate to the whole. While in music you experience each moment of a work over time, in the visual arts, the work done over time is distilled into one moment of viewing. As an artist I have the opportunity to express universal experiences, ask questions, or draw attention to social issues.

I have loved working with clay for over 25 years because of the endless artistic potential and the constant intellectual challenge of glaze chemistry, building techniques and surface treatments. Portraying the human figure has been a constant theme in my work. Torsos and busts often get incorporated with themes of the natural world or social issues to express how interconnected we are.

I spend a lot of time researching concepts or issues, sketching out ways to communicate my ideas and experimenting with construction or surface treatments before I start building a piece. Each piece is built to convey a specific feeling or idea. And while those themes don’t change during the building process, the choices I make around how to visually express them can depend on how they are working out in the clay.

I have enjoyed opportunities to teach ceramics to beginners and beyond. I am passionate about helping others discover their creative process. Which may lead them to making more art or simply allow them to think more creatively on a daily basis. I encourage students to revel in the potential in life by being open to new experiences and approaching life as a creative curious learner.

Juliette Ripley-Dunkelberger